Observing the implementation of a school-based curriculum by teachers of different mind styles: a case study in Hong Kong

Yuen, H.L.S., 2017. Observing the implementation of a school-based curriculum by teachers of different mind styles: a case study in Hong Kong. EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Teacher autonomy within Hong Kong’s schools is constrained by a highly bureaucratic system in which their individual teaching styles are compromised. This could be reflected in the former studies on the school-based curriculum development (SBCD) schemes initiated by the Hong Kong government, in which what was supposed to be a bottom-up innovation had turned into a highly centralized initiative. Whereas the aim of SBCD should be to allow teachers to make decisions at the school level to cater for pupils’ needs, the government-initiated SBCD schemes targeted to satisfy bureaucratic requirements instead. At issue is bureaucratisation of school-based innovations, which threatens to usurp teachers’ autonomy to make sensible judgments in response to contextual concerns. To provide a different perspective, this qualitative case study takes an insider approach to examine the implementation of a teacher-initiated school-based curriculum in a Hong Kong secondary school. English lessons delivered by four Secondary 5 (equivalent to Year 11) teachers were observed in 2013. Running logs were used to record how the four teachers delivered the school-based materials in one of their English lessons and were compared. The Gregorc Style Delineator instrument was used to identify the teachers' mind styles following the classroom observations. The research found that three teachers held the same mind style of Concrete Sequential, and their lesson activities shared many common features. However, the teacher who held the mind style of Abstract Sequential adopted a different approach in her teaching. Coupled with the classroom observations were semi-structured interviews which were designed to elicit the four participants' attitudes towards the SBCD in this study. Whilst all teachers held positive attitudes towards the curriculum and mentioned some of the benefits of SBCD that were aligned with overseas studies, they also made adaptations to the materials in accordance with their preferred teaching styles. The findings thus contrast sharply with former studies on government-initiated SBCD schemes, in which teachers tended to conform to the official requirements. Finally, this study discusses the extent to which the factor of mind styles should be incorporated into curriculum design, and provides some guidelines for how SBC could be implemented and developed.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Yuen, H.L.S.
Date: March 2017
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Jun 2017 13:46
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 13:46
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30946

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