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The role of teachers in school and curricular reform Branislava Baranović, Ph.D. Institute for Social Research – Zagreb Centre for Educational Research.

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Presentation on theme: "The role of teachers in school and curricular reform Branislava Baranović, Ph.D. Institute for Social Research – Zagreb Centre for Educational Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 The role of teachers in school and curricular reform Branislava Baranović, Ph.D. Institute for Social Research – Zagreb Centre for Educational Research and Development E-mail:

2 The Educational System in Croatia EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN CROATIA

3 Characteristics of the national curriculum (NC) for compulsory education from the teachers perspective

4 Why is it important to examine the teachers opinions as part of the process of curriculum reform? The curriculum reform requires detailed analysis of factors that influence its development and implementation. Teachers/ pillars of NC - the main source of information on NC. Examination of theachers opininos provides: - insights into weaknesses and strenghts of the NC relevant for policy makers/curriculum developers; - sensitises the teachers for curriculum changes; - includes theachers in the very process of curriculum reform; - enhances the development of the curriculum culture in schools.

5 The current state of the national curriculum The results of empirical research on the opinions of school principals, teachers and pupils towards the current syllabi Sample (120 schools): 2134 subject teachers, 1334 classroom teachers, 2674 8th grade pupils, 120 school principals) Project carried out in 2003

6 The frequency of PC usage among subject teachers (%)

7 The frequency of Internet usage among subject teachers (%)

8 Do you communicate through E-mail? (%)

9 Resources for lessons preparation (mean values) Legend: 1=never; 4=always

10 Teaching tools Most commonly used: Textbooks Workbooks Teachers Handbooks Professional literature Least commonly used: Personal computers Internet Educational CD ROM LCD projector

11 Teachers estimates of their subjects syllabi (subject ranks) Croatian Lang. and Lit. ArtMus. For.La ng Math s BioChe.Phy.His.Geo. Tech. Edu. Phy. & Health Ed. Rel. Edu. Rank Up-to-date8786876787675 Overloaded1622111421246 Demanding2977365636579 Interesting6465722363753 Horizontall y coherent 9899999999898 Vertically coherent 4534587858967 Useful6353654275422 Important for the future 5231233144311 In need of change 3118347512133

12 Note Table on the previous slide presents the rank of teachers' estimates of the syllabi characteristics for each subject. They were derived from the teachers' perceptions of the subject they teach. Rank 1 being the highest and rank 9 the lowest. Rank explains the position of the characteristic in relation to all other subject syllabi characteristics. On all dimensions except for "overload" and "demand" a higher rank describes a more positive estimate (e.g. more up-to-date, more interesting, but less overloaded and less demanding)

13 Teachers estimates: change of number of lessons for each subject (% of teachers) Subject-=+ -=+ Croatian lang. and lit. 19.467.812.8Physics11.578.110.4 Arts3.450.446.2History13.579.27.2 Music3.956.439.7Geography9.276.814.0 Foreign language2.459.837.9 Technical Education Mathematics15.674.010.4 Physical and Health Ed. 2.152.545.4 Biology6.483.110.5Religious Ed.51.346.12.5 Chemistry11.680.18.3Elective subjects7.853.139.0 Legend: -: reduce current number of lessons =: keep current number of lessons +: increase current number of lessons

14 The subject (content) structure of the national curriculum should be changed The subjects that should not be taught in school according to the teachers estimates: Catechism - 34.5% teachers Technical education- 7.8% teachers The subjects that should be included in school: ICT (as a compulsory subject for all students) – 24.4% Ethics – 10.4% Second Foreign Language – 10.3% Sexual Education – 8.9%

15 The teachers perception of the obstacles to quality teaching and implementation of the syllabi The most frequent responses: 1.Differences in motivation of students in a single class 2.Differences in abilities of students in a single class 3.A fast pace of teaching or syllabi implementation 4.Large classes 5.Insufficient collaboration among teachers

16 What kind of curriculum changes should be done according to the findings? (teachers perspective) Weaknesses of NC Necessary changes Overloaded syllabiReduction of content load Insufficiently up to dateContent update Insufficiently horizontally and vertically coherent Interdisciplinary approach with horizontally and vertically aligned syllabi Inappropriate subject structureNew content/subject structure Insufficiently balanced (underrepresented subjects) Soft subjects should get more time Insensitive to student differences Differentiation according to abilities and interests of students Domination of traditional teaching methods and tools Based on the use ICT technology and student centered teaching approach Poor collaboration among teachersFoster cooperation of teachers in planning/ implementation NC in school

17 Internationalisation of educational change -European integration and globalisation place the Croatian educational system in an international context -To align educational changes to the needs of the national economy and society but also to European and international trends -International trend - education for life and work in a knowledge based society and globalised economy (education for new competences) -European Reference Framework for qey competences: 1. communication in mother tongue, 2. communication in foreign language, 3. mathematical competence and competences in science and technology, 4. digital competence, 5. learning to learn, 6. interpersonal,intercultural and social competences, 7. enterpreneurship and 8. cultural expression.

18 Towards the new national curriculum -A request for the development of new national curriculum (a coherent, balanced and integrated national curriculum, based on new competences). -Changes in other segments of the educational system (e.g. teacher education, length of compulsory education, organizational structure of educational system, etc.). -What has been done: reduction of content load and content update.

19 New demands on teacherscompetences -Traditionally - a centralised, subject-based and knowledge oriented national curriculum. -Education and training of teachers for development and implementation of outcome/competence based curriculum (in methodology of designing outcome/competence based curriculum, new approaches to teaching and learning, assessment of learning outcomes, use of ICT, crosscurricular and team work, etc.).

20 Questions for disccussion in groups (1) 1.Role of teachers in curricular changes: - Reflection on curricular reforms in individual countries - Why teachers opinions and participation in the curricular reform (CR) are important? - In what way have teachers participated in the CR in your country (in committies, school curriculum development, etc.)? - In what way the participation in the CR facilitate the teachers competence in implementation of new curriculum?

21 Questions for disccussion in groups (2) 2. Capacity building of teachers for the implementation of the new curriculum - What kind of training provision for the implementation of the new curriculum did teachers receive? - How much did the initial education prepare the teachers for new curriculum demands? - How much did the in-service trainings prepare the teachers for new curriculum demands? - What would you change in the existing in-service training? - What would you change in the existing pre-service training? - In what elements of professional development da you need training?

22 Questions for disccussion in groups (3) 3. Suggestions for the future - Examples of good experience or practices in participation of teachers in the curriculum reform useful for others. - Examples of good practices in pre-service education and in-service training of teachers useful for others. - How to improve the processes of exchanging ideas and teachers experience in the region?

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