Title

Possibilities and practicalities of enriching the class 5 English curriculum

Date of Award

8-1-2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

This study examines how the English curriculum of Class 5 is enriched in a Junior primary section of a private school in Karachi Pakistan. The top - down approach requires teachers to follow the National Curriculum as it is, particularly, in Government schools. Most teachers in the Government context have not seen it physically. Hence, teaching in the perspective of those teachers may be to make students cram outdated factual information and remain within the boundaries of “textbook”, which is often mixed up with the curriculum. Little authority is given to teachers to take it further to enhance the learning of the students. On the other hand, few private schools have embarked upon the process of “curriculum enrichment”, because the existing National Curriculum appears to have failed to meet the varying needs and demands of students, and their voices are often unheard with respect to their interests. Moreover, societal and technological changes taking place locally and globally demand that our National Curriculum's scope becomes wider and in depth, bringing diversity and richness in it in order to be able to face the future challenges. Qualitative case study design, studying two classrooms, was used to construct the picture of the participants' understanding about the main research and subsidiary questions. Data were collected through the enriched English curriculum of Class 5 of the school where I conducted this research. The research participants' lesson observations, structured and unstructured interviews of the research participants, interviews of the Vice Principal, the Coordinator and the students, and attending the Coordination Meeting where teachers' and students' concerns and enrichment activities developed by the English teachers are discussed. Analysis of the data revealed that the school is enriching the English curriculum of Class 5 through various strategies, for example, material, organizational, pedagogical, paradigmatic, relational and students' ideas and experiences. The school Management fully supports English teachers in the curriculum enrichment. The teachers welcome students' contributions who have the potential to enhance the curriculum. On the other hand, the English teachers need to develop further understanding about the curriculum and its enhancement so that they could effectively achieve the objectives for curriculum enrichment. Moreover, critical inquiry, in terms of specific enrichment activities and supplementary books, is also needed. Based on these findings, the importance and the recommendations of the study in terms of the teachers' and my own practice, and literature on the perspectives of different stakeholders about curriculum enrichment, are discussed.

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