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Title: From curriculum reform to classroom practice : an evaluation of the English primary curriculum in Malaysia
Author: A. Rahman, Nor Haslynda
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 5160
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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In 2011, a curricular reform of primary education in Malaysia known as the Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (SCPS) was implemented for all taught subjects including English. The aim of the English language curriculum reform was to place great emphasis on the development of student communicative competence through interactive, learner-centred teaching approaches. Research suggests that the implementation of a curriculum reform at the classroom level depends largely on the extent to which teachers understand what the curriculum policy is intended to achieve and whether they perceive the policy as relevant and feasible. This study critically examines the effectiveness of the SCPS for English in three dimensions: (1) the clarity and usefulness of the curriculum documentation; (2) the effectiveness of the curriculum dissemination process; and, (3) the implementation of the curriculum in the classroom. A mixed-method was used in the study. It consisted of semi-structured interviews, document analysis, lesson observations, systematic interaction analysis of digitally recorded lessons, discourse analysis of lesson transcripts and video-stimulated reflective dialogue. The study involved 8 teachers, 2 curriculum trainers, 2 District Education Officers, and one officer from the Curriculum Development Division of Ministry of Education (MOE) in Malaysia. A total of 32 primary English lessons, four from each of the teachers involved, were also observed, video-recorded and systematically analysed. The findings revealed that the SCPS was not fully understood by the teachers and top-down, cascading of the curriculum process was largely ineffective. They also highlighted incongruence between the curriculum policy and classroom practice. The findings suggest there is a need to revise the SCPS documentation, to evaluate the curriculum dissemination process, and to support teachers in curriculum implementation at the classroom level. The wider implications of the findings for curriculum policy makers and teacher professional development are also discussed.
Supervisor: Hardman, Jan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available