Teachers Beliefs and Practices Influencing Curriculum Policy Implementation: Pedagody and Curriculum

By Hlanganani Maggie Maluleke and Abraham Tlhalefang Motlhabane.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 18, 2015 $US5.00

Many explanations on how best policies could be implemented in different set-ups have been developed and piloted by different scholars with interest in policy implementation. Most of these explanations focus on the processes from policy design to the resistance of those responsible for implementing policy in local jurisdictions such as schools and districts. These accounts rest on the assumptions that implementers understand policy’s intensions and that failure is a function of poor interpretation of the policy messages. These has been challenged in the recent work in implementation research in that even when teachers and administrators heed high-level policies and work hard to effectively implement them, implementation failures still persist (Cohen and Hill 2002). Ryder, Banner and Homer (2014, 126) contend that one reason given for this failure is that teachers do not understand the reform and the motivations behind its implementation. However, an approach to policy implementation failure exclusively as a result of poor interpretation of policy message or deliberate attempts to ignore or sabotage policy neglects the complexity of human sense-making processes which remain influential to policy implementation. This paper reviews and extends this growing body of knowledge on policy implementation literature that applies cognitive frames to the study of policy implementation. This paper seeks to understand policy implementation from a cognitive perspective whereby a key dimension of the implementation process is to develop an understanding on how and why grade 9 Natural Science teachers in the General and Training Band of South African education system make sense and respond to the transformative and instructional policies that guide their teaching practices in ways they do. Again, the purpose is to analyze what encourages and discourages teachers to respond to the policies in those specific ways.

Keywords: Curriculum Policy, Implementation, Sense-making

The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 18, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 412.720KB)).

Dr Hlanganani Maggie Maluleke

Doctoral Student, College of Education, Department of Science and Technology Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Prof Abraham Tlhalefang Motlhabane

Senior Lecturer, College of Education, Department of Science and Technology Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa