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ERIC Number: ED537247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 280
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 309
An Exploration of Foreign Language Teachers' Beliefs about Curriculum Innovation in Algeria: A Socio-Political Perspective
Bellalem, Fouzi
Online Submission, Ed.D. Dissertation, King's College London
Recent political and economic developments in Algeria have brought about reforms of the educational system. A new curriculum was introduced as part of these reforms. This study explores the beliefs of French and English school teachers about curriculum innovation in Algeria. The study is positioned in the qualitative research tradition and looks at teachers from an "emic" perspective. It takes a constructivist paradigm, where the researcher adopts the lens through which the participants' world is interpreted. A review of literature about teachers' beliefs and curriculum theory helps to draw a theoretical framework to guide the data analysis and interpretation. Semi-structured interviews and group discussions are used as methods of data collection. Grounded Theory is employed as a method to analyse the data. The findings indicate that the teachers held negative beliefs about the new curriculum because of an incompatibility of these beliefs with the innovation. A further analysis reveals that issues of policy and power underpinned this incompatibility. It was found that the participants generally enacted a transmissionist ideology whereas the new curriculum was intended as socio-constructivist. They viewed the Algerian school as a site of political power and ideological domination, whereas the Ministry of Education viewed it as a place for engendering socio-cultural emancipation and democracy. The teachers showed positive attitudes towards learning foreign languages, but were wary of the latter's hegemonic power. They believed that they were not being recognised as professionals, while their Ministry blamed them for being unresponsive to change. I conclude that the participants' beliefs had not been so challenged prior to the implementation of the innovation; that both participants and policy-makers blamed one another and were unaware that they both represented part of the problems facing curriculum reforms; and that the Ministry's educational reforms were not actually in line with social, political and economic reforms. In the conclusion it is argued that tensions arose because of a lack of trust and dialogue within the Algerian educational system. It is suggested that recognition of "social capital", a philosophy based on interaction, trust and critical reflection towards accomplishing social integration and democracy, can be adopted as a strategy by all those involved in education to promote dialogue towards improving the teachers' situation in Algeria. Appended are: (1) Description of Algeria's geography, population and ethnicity; (2) Structure of the Algerian school system; (3) Alternative routes for education and training in Algeria; (4) The educational administration system in Algeria; (5) The old teacher training system in Algeria; (6) Licence course structure and contents; (7) ITE course structure and contents; (8) Researcher's biography; (9) Informed consent letter; (10) Diary of data collection; (11) List of policy documents and textbooks collected in Algeria; (12) Interview schedule; (13) Sample of translated categorisation and classification of data; (14) Samples of interview summary; (15) Sample of translated data chunks; and (16) Checklist of ethical points. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure, and 14 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Algeria