A controlled rapid approach to curriculum change : addressing the pressures of increased test-based accountability on schools

Smeed, Judy Lillian (2008) A controlled rapid approach to curriculum change : addressing the pressures of increased test-based accountability on schools. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Increasingly, large amounts of public and private money are being invested in education and as a result, schools are becoming more accountable to stakeholders for this financial input. In terms of the curriculum, governments worldwide are frequently tying school funding to students‟ and schools‟ academic performances, which are monitored through high-stakes testing programs. To accommodate the resultant pressures from these testing initiatives, many principals are re-focussing their school‟s curriculum on the testing requirements. Such a re-focussing, which was examined critically in this thesis, constituted an externally facilitated rapid approach to curriculum change. In line with previously enacted change theories and recommendations from these, curriculum change in schools has tended to be a fairly slow, considered, collaborative process that is facilitated internally by a deputy-principal (curriculum). However, theoretically based research has shown that such a process has often proved to be difficult and very rarely successful. The present study reports and theorises the experiences of an externally facilitated process that emerged from a practitioner model of change. This case study of the development of the controlled rapid approach to curriculum change began by establishing the reasons three principals initiated curriculum change and why they then engaged an outsider to facilitate the process. It also examined this particular change process from the perspectives of the research participants. The investigation led to the revision of the practitioner model as used in the three schools and challenged the current thinking about the process of school curriculum change. The thesis aims to offer principals and the wider education community an alternative model for consideration when undertaking curriculum change. Finally, the thesis warns that, in the longer term, the application of study‟s revised model (the Controlled Rapid Approach to Curriculum Change [CRACC] Model) may have less then desirable educational consequences.

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ID Code: 40169
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Lidstone, John, Millwater, Jan, & Shield, Paul
Keywords: curriculum change, educational change, accountability, external change agent, high-stakes testing, model
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2011 05:19
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:01

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