The Impact of Curriculum Innovation on the Cultures of Teaching

| December 30, 2005
The Impact of Curriculum Innovation on the Cultures of Teaching

Keywords: curriculum innovation and sustainability, cultures of teaching, teachers as decision-makers, implementation

Hong Wang & Liying Cheng
Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Canada

Bio Data
Hong Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in curriculum studies of second/foreign language education at Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Canada. She has been a language teacher and language teacher educator for about 20 years at a university in China. Her research interests are teaching English as a second or foreign language, teacher education and professional development, curriculum implementation and evaluation. She holds an M.A. in English Language and Literature at Xi’an Foreign Languages University, China, and an M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Carleton University, Canada.

Liying Cheng (Ph.D.) is an assistant professor in teaching English as a second/foreign language at Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Canada. Her primary research interests are second/foreign language testing and assessment in relation to classroom teaching and learning. She holds an M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in England and a Ph.D. in second/foreign language testing from the University of Hong Kong. Before joining Queen’s University in 2000, she was a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow (1998-2000) within the Center for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation (CRAME) and the TESL program at the University of Alberta, Canada.

This paper describes the Rolling Project conducted in the College English Department at a major provincial university in China from 1998 to 2000. The purpose is to explore the change process, the subsequent challenges presented to the main stakeholders in the university, and the impact that this English language curriculum innovation has brought about to the then prevalent cultures of teaching. It is argued that the failure to sustain the project is the consequence of the top-down approach to curriculum innovation during which the majority of the teachers, despite being the main stakeholders, were excluded from full involvement in the decision-making process. Critical reflections about the project point to the importance of understanding the complexity of educational change and the key role that teachers play in the process within the educational context. It is further suggested that the significant role teachers should play in curriculum reform must not be overlooked if successful implementation and sustainability are to be achieved.

See pages: 7-32

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 7 Issue 4