Perceptions of Elementary School Teachers Concerning the Concept of Curriculum

Author/s:

DOI: 10.12738/estp.2015.1.2168 

Year: 2015 Vol: 15 Number: 1

Abstract

As the meaning that teachers attribute to curriculum includes important data concerning curriculum development as well as affects their teaching process, this study investigated the perceptions of elementary school teachers regarding the concept of curriculum. The participants of the study, which was carried out using the phenomenological design, were determined using typical case and maximum variation sampling techniques. The data which was obtained from 26 participating elementary school teachers was collected using a semistructured interview form consisting of questions on perception and concept analysis. The qualitative data set was subjected to content analysis using an inductive approach. The findings were organized under two categories, namely, curriculum perception as a product of experience and the structural meaning of curriculum experience. The results of the study showed that elementary school teachers perceive curriculum as a theoretical text, political text, scope (content), or as guide books prepared by publishers, and that the curriculum is shaped in practice. In addition, the codes making up curriculum fidelity in the teaching process were grouped under two themes, adaptation and adoption. The study has found that in order for elementary school teachers to be able to adapt the curriculum during the process of teaching, they first need to understand the philosophy of curriculum and be competent at paralleling the curriculum with the context. In other words, they need to understand the curriculum and question the context in which it provides the service of teaching. In this respect, it has been recommended that teacher education programs should be examined in terms of their competency in training teachers who adapt the curriculum, and that the level of curriculum fidelity of a teacher during the teaching process should be studied.

Keywords
Curriculum, Curriculum perception, Curriculum adaptation, Curriculum fidelity, Teacher autonomy, Teacher training, Phenomenology

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