Title

Facilitating social studies teachers in enriching the curriculum: Possibilities and challenges

Date of Award

8-1-2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

This small-scale action research project explores the possibilities and challenges involved in facilitating Social Studies Teachers in understanding the notion and practices of the curricular enrichment process in their classroom contexts. The effort is based on the rationale that the curriculum needs to be enriched in order to maximize the attainment of set curricular goals and objectives. However, the assumption is that in most cases the curricular goals and objectives are not satisfactorily met due to the teachers: a) limited access to and understanding of curricular goals and objectives, and b) limited knowledge and expertise in effective implementation of the curriculum. In this background, the project sees, curriculum enrichment, as one of the important ways in assuring the attainment of goals and objectives of the curriculum. To realize this aim, the action researcher worked with two secondary level Social Studies teachers in a private school of Karachi, Pakistan. In this regard, the project studies the existing perceptions and practices of curriculum enrichment of the teachers. Subsequently, a strategic action plan was prepared and implemented to facilitate the teachers' understanding and practice of curriculum enrichment. Subsequent planning and action remained responsive to any need for change arising out of the experiences of implementing the previous one. The data for the action process was collected through semi-structured interviews, lesson observations notes, researcher's and teachers' reflective journals and tape recordings of input sessions. The gathered data was analyzed soon after each action step for reflection and further action. The study reports some possible strategies to facilitate teachers in gaining understanding about the notion of curriculum and curriculum enrichment. These are: 1) Using input/training sessions about definition and theory of curriculum and curriculum enrichment. 2) Sharing strategies for content, pedagogical and organizational enrichment. For example, adding supplementary reading materials from sources other than the prescribed textbooks, use of newspapers, audio-visual aids, inquiry and project work, organizing field trips and inviting guest speakers. In the same vein, the study also reports the challenges faced Dissertation Abstracts MEd V Class of 2002 33 in the process; such as: striking a balance between facilitating in joint and ;individual input sessions, time availability for action and its research and overemphasis on theoretical input. The report concludes by presenting key learnings experienced as a teacher educator and action researcher and suggests a focus for further action research.

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