Living the curriculum: Teachers’ journey of personal and professional self-discovery

Document Type

Conference Paper

Conference Name

Education beyond the crisis: New skills, children's rights and teaching contexts

Conference Location

Sibiu, Romania.




Diana Mihaescu, and Daniela Andron

Publication (Name of Journal)

The 19th Biennial Conference of International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Lucian Blaga - University Publishing House




There is considerable degree of agreement among the educators that specific skills of critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication and information fluency, collaboration and cross-cultural understanding are needed for students to succeed in life in the 21st century. The development of these skills requires a curriculum, which is current, vibrant and in constant state of review. The paper reports on a school teachers’ journey of living the curriculum for developing the twenty-first century skills among the students. The teachers undertook this journey under a continuous professional education programme. The programme comprised thirty lead teachers from pre-nursery to high school - grade eleventh level. Teachers’ reflections and classroom discussions are the main sources of data for the paper. The paper reveals a new model of curriculum planning and a paradigm shift in teaching and learning, which was required to allow the creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication - the 4Cs of the 21st century skills – to flourish in all class levels of the school. More specifically, the paper uncovers those important aspects of teachers’ personal and professional self-discovery, which were at the heart of achieving new curriculum targets. In the end, I argue that mere advances in the curriculum suited to the development of 21st century competencies are not sufficient. How teachers undergo professional self-discovery and form personal theories have an important effect on how curriculum is lived for transforming classroom teaching and learning.