An analysis of curriculum change: official statement and actual practice: an attempt at an historical and sociological reconstruction of curriculum change in New Zealand secondary schools with particular reference to the teaching of Science and English since the Thomas report

by Massey, L. E.

Abstract (Summary)
Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or available through Inter-Library Loan. The thesis attempts to explore the relationships between the official aims of the English and Science curricula for forms III and IV in New Zealand Secondary Schools and the implementation of these aims by teachers in their everyday teaching of the subjects. It was hypothesised that what counts as knowledge in the process of curriculum change is a result of continual interpretation, and re-interpretation of the official statements by the participants in the process of change. The choice of the word change in the title was deliberate. Curriculum change implies not only the rational process of planned change (curriculum development) executed by a central organisation but also the unplanned 'adaptive drift' which is characteristic of curriculum change. The everyday intricacies of the interactions between teachers and pupils might bear little resemblance to official statements of curriculum aims and objectives. The historical evolution of the official syllabuses in English and Science is described in the first part of the study. "The Thomas Report of 1045 is taken as the beginnings of the present day curriculum in New Zealand Secondary Schools. In the second part of the thesis case studies of four schools, which are illustrative of types of secondary schools found in New Zealand describe the implementation of the official statements. An explanation of social behaviour based on a phenomenological view of knowledge is used to explain the relationships between the official aims and the teachers' attempts to implement them. A statement of the theory and the methodology employed in the research precedes the description of the official syllabuses. The phenomenological view of knowledge suggested a research methodology which is different from the traditional model of educational research. The traditional model is characterized by large samples, control groups and an emphasis on measurement and quantification. The phenomenological model uses smaller samples and takes an account of the wider context in which the events take place. The data in the case studies is gathered by a number of research methods all aimed at 'illuminating' the relationships between the official and the actual curricula.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/1980

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