A study of primary teachers attitudes towards the ruralisation of school curriculum in English-speaking Cameroon
In 1974, Institut de Pedagogie Appliquee a Vocation Rurale (I.P.A.R) Buea was set up to collect and collate information, carry out research, and prepare a report with proposals to the Cameroon Government suggesting what curricular and other related reforms should be introduced into the primary school system to give it a greater environmental and rural orientation. In 1977 I.P.A.R produced its Report on the Reform of Primary Education which called for some major and radical changes in curricular, structures, organisation, examination process, teaching methods, and other pedagogical practices of primary teachers. This study is concerned with the proposed reform and with the attitudes of primary school teachers towards some of the major and radical proposals in the report. Specifically an attempt is made to ascertain how favourable or negative primary teachers are to some of the proposals. A further objective is to improve the understanding of the sources of different attitudes by relating positive attitudes (or reform-mindedness) to a series of 'explanatory' variables which include a set of biographical background; characteristics of the teachers' pedagogical background; and aspects of the teachers' orientation towards their occupational role. A broad hypothesis was adopted that 'primary teachers' attitudes towards the different reform issues will be correlated to reflect a common attitudinal dimension of general reform-mindedness'. Statistical analysis confirmed this hypothesis. Other minor hypotheses which were adopted were either confirmed or rejected depending upon the 'explanatory' variable used to analyse the teachers' responses. The thesis is divided into five parts. The first part (Chapters One and Two) consists of the conceptualisation of the problem and analyses the framework within which the proposed reform has to operate. Part two (Chapters Three and Four) describes the primary school system, its curriculum, its historical genesis, its present nature and the pressure for change. Part three (Chapters Five and Six) outlines the major reform proposals, indicating items chosen for the questionnaire and describes the characteristics of the primary school teachers. In part four (Chapters Seven and Eight) the survey design is described and hypotheses adopted. The last, part five (Chapters Nine and Ten) analyses the results, discusses these results and considers some of the implications deriving from them leading to certain suggestions on the way future policy may evolve.