Title

A document analysis of the Tajikistan national curriculum for social studies for class four

Date of Award

8-1-2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Many curriculum definitions have been given and much has been said about curriculum orientation, but much is needed to look at the curriculum from different orientations, in the area of curriculum, in the context of Tajikistan. This study, thereby, set out to explore what the orientation of the existing Tajikistan National Social Studies Curriculum for Class Four is, and how can it be used as a tool for transformation in Tajikistan. The study I have done was based on qualitative research, and, within this approach, I have used the method of document analysis. To analyze the curriculum document, the curriculum framework based on Miller and Seller (1990) was used. It also followed the stages of document analysis based on Robson (1998). However, there was one difference, and this was with respect to testing and coding. In this stage, since I did not have a second person, therefore, I, myself, went back again to test the coding and the categorization. Findings from this study reveal that the curriculum is reflecting a more transmission orientation. However, there are some elements of transaction that have been found, such as cooperative work and recognition of prior knowledge of the students, which the curriculum has tried to present. But, still, some of these elements are limited, as no brief illustration has been presented, which can help teachers to know how it can be done in the real classroom. Moreover, there is no integration between the components of the curriculum such as topic, content, instruction and assessment. Therefore, it fails to reflect the transaction orientation in its true sense. Furthermore, the study shows that the transmission curriculum orientation did not help students make a shift from controlling knowledge to creating new meaning on topics, and applying the new knowledge in action, for their society, or community. The study concludes with the suggestion about how the curriculum could reflect the transformation orientation and, thus, be used as a tool for transformation in Tajikistan. To demonstrate the transformative approach, I have selected one content area of the existing curriculum, and presented the illustrative Unit Plan. The main focuses of this lesson are: (a) lived experiences of the students, (b) generating new knowledge and (c) acting in the society to spread the information.

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