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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