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Curriculum Deliberations Over Time: A Nexus of Teacher Dilemmas, Questions, Experimentation, and Agency

by Richard Sawyer - 2017

This article examines 24 teachers’ perceptions of their curriculum and curricular choices over their first 11 years of teaching. Adaptive expertise and teacher visioning were used as a conceptual frameworks. A theme of diversity runs through the alternate route elementary teachers. Some of these teachers from diverse backgrounds promoted a social justice curriculum, but their teaching skills often lagged behind their goals for societal change. Eventually, on both the alternate route elementary and secondary levels, some of these teachers valued and implemented an integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum. The college-prepared teachers focused more on the creation of integrated learning environments on the elementary level and the adaptation of content to learning on the secondary level. Some of the college-prepared secondary teachers used more learning-centered approaches in all their classes from the start of their careers. Others were more influenced by the classroom context (the level of the class or the subject matter) and initially were more innovative in their beginning or “basic skills” classes than in their advanced classes. Most of the teachers in both preparation groups who remained in the classroom began to develop a sense of adaptive expertise.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 14, 2017, p. 1-36
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22225, Date Accessed: 3/5/2021 2:55:30 PM

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About the Author
  • Richard Sawyer
    Washington State University, Vancouver
    RICHARD SAWYER is professor of education at Washington State University Vancouver. His areas of study are curriculum theory with an emphasis on teacher epistemology and imagination, teacher leadership, duoethnography, and aesthetic curriculum. He recently published Duoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research, published by Oxford University Press, for which he received the AERA Division D Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award, and “Tracing Dimensions of Aesthetic Currere: Critical Transactions between Person, Place, and Art” in the Currere Exchange Journal.
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