How teachers evaluate a curriculum developed in-house: Focused interviews with six teachers
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOver the years the field of evaluation has developed many models for evaluating curricula. These models suggest that teachers ought to be concerned about testing and measurement, technical quality, objectives, equity, and the views of stakeholders (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). The curriculum and teacher change literatures (Doyle & Ponder, 1977; Fullan, 1982; Hawthorne, 1992), on the other hand, have suggested that teachers are guided by a different set of concerns: student learning and classroom management, the amount of work involved, the pressure and support provided, the fit of the new curriculum with the teacher's system of beliefs, its clarity and explicitness, and so forth. Those studies, however, were based on curriculum innovations which were developed outside the school and implemented from the top-down. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the evaluative framework teachers used when they evaluated a curriculum developed within their own department. Focused interviews were conducted with six high school mathematics teachers. The teachers had been involved to varying degrees in the development of their own Pre-algebra course in which they replaced the textbook with an activity-based curriculum. The study found that the teachers, in general, considered those criteria suggested by the change literature to be of greater importance for evaluation than those suggested by the evaluation literature. The study also found that the teachers' views of the importance of the individual evaluation criteria was not uniform, but that the teachers' views were mediated by the degree to which they had participated in the development of the curriculum. A model of the teachers' evaluative framework was developed, but further research is needed to illuminate the role of the teacher participation. This study is of particular interest to those concerned with curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching and Teacher Education