ERIC Number: EJ794693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Mandated Curriculum Change and a Science Department: A Superficial Language Convergence?
Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, v24 n5 p1185-1199 Jul 2008
This article investigates the introduction of a systemic curriculum change, the Essential Learnings curriculum framework, in the Australian state of Tasmania. Using Gee's [(2003). Language in the science classroom: Academic social languages as the heart of school-based literacy. In: R. Yerrick, & W.-M. Roth (Eds.), "Establishing scientific classroom discourse communities: Multiple voices of teaching and learning research" (pp. 19-37). Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates] six claims regarding the importance of language in science education, the responses of the science teachers within a secondary school to the curriculum reform were investigated. This research utilised a narrative methodology to elucidate the processes by which science teachers attempted to negotiate a sense of meaning for the reforms within their work context. Three particular challenges are highlighted for curriculum reformers. These challenges involve the potential for a linguistic distance between teachers and reformers, understanding the importance of the work context in teacher learning and the dangers of a superficial application of reform language to teacher practices. The article concludes by emphasising that the negotiation of a situated language can provide both teachers and reformers with both coherence and a common ownership of a reform, thus strengthening the potential for its implementation and institutionalisation.
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Discourse Communities, Educational Change, Science Departments, Science Teachers, Foreign Countries, Science Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia