Curriculum innovation in Malaysia : the case of KBSR
This study of KBSR, the New Primary School Curriculum in Malaysia, Is based on the proposition that- as a response to the Cabinet Committee Report (1979) recommendation for 'overall development' - it Is an Innovation which seeks to replace the traditional with a more child-centred curriculum. It is argued that such a change is fundamental, involving not only classroom practices but also the philosophical-pedagogical assumptions underlying them. Further it is suggested that conditions in Malaysia are not conducive to such a change and that consequently KBSR Is most likely to meet with difficulties. The research was conducted within a broadly ethnographic or interpretive tradition. On the whole, the findings of this study confirm much of what is already known about the problems of curriculum innovation and implementation generally. However, this research underlines the importance of recognizing that many of the conceptual apparatuses of child-centred education and their implications for classroom practices are foreign to the Malaysian educational establishment: there need to be a greater concern for their adaptability and compatibility with local context. The centrality of the teacher, who Interprets the curriculum and Implements or rejects it as the case may/fe, is underscored by this research. It is concluded that the path to improving the quality of primary education in Malaysia realistically begins with raising the level of training and professionalism of the teachers.