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Teacher use of indigenously developed curriculum materials

Norman, Pamela Alice (1998). Teacher use of indigenously developed curriculum materials. PhD Thesis, Northern Territory University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Norman, Pamela Alice
Title Teacher use of indigenously developed curriculum materials
Institution Northern Territory University
Publication Date 1998
Thesis Type PhD
1303 - Specialist Studies in Education
Abstract As leaders in Aboriginal education strive to develop appropriate curriculum materials for Aboriginal schools and to support their successful implementation, lessons can be learned from this research. The study centred on investigating teachers' opinions and use of a set of curriculum materials which had been developed in school-based writing workshops. Seventy-six Aboriginal teachers were involved in these workshops. Data provided illumination of teachers' opinions not only of the materials, but also about how the materials writing project was organised and the materials were developed.

Three conceptual frameworks informed the research design. The organisation, development and application phases of Print’s (1993) model of the curriculum process provided an overarching framework. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model provided the concepts of 'stages of concern', 'levels of use', 'innovation configurations' and 'interventions' which were so useful for investigating the implementation of the resource. The grounded theory approach was used in the analysis of qualitative data. Subjects were teachers in Northern Territory Aboriginal schools and data-gathering instruments included a questionnaire, an interview and a checklist.

The results showed that the resource had been widely adopted and had had a profound effect on the way English was taught in Northern Territory Aboriginal schools. With the exception of the methodology which was intended to lead to students writing independently in English, all the critical components of the resource had been successfully implemented. Important qualities of the resource were its reader friendliness, user-friendliness, models of work and use of topics of relevance to Aboriginal sociocultural contexts.

The study identified issues and exemplary practices during the three phases of the curriculum process. Derived from the findings a grounded theory is presented for developing and implementing curriculum materials for Aboriginal schools. Recommendations include the need for improved training of change facilitators to support the implementation process and further research into effective teaching-learning models.

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