Developing curriculum design expertise through teacher design teams

Tjark Huizinga

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    945 Downloads (Pure)


    To foster the design and especially the implementation of curriculum reform, teacher involvement from the early stages of curriculum reform processes is advocated. By fulfilling the role of designer, it is expected that teachers’ understanding of the reform and their ownership concerning the reform are being promoted. However, most teachers lacked the knowledge and skills needed for proper curriculum design. The assumption underlying this study was that teachers need to develop their curriculum design expertise to be able to cope with the problems encountered in design processes and to create quality curriculum materials. The study was guided by the main research question: “What opportunities do TDTs provide for teachers to develop curriculum design expertise?” For answering the main research question a mixed-method approach was conducted. Four studies were conducted during a project in which Teacher Design Teams [TDTs] collaboratively designed curriculum materials that were attuned to the Common European Framework of References for languages. The curriculum materials they developed included language tasks, assessment rubrics and vision documents. The TDTs received tailored support during the project. The results showed that teachers as designers have to deal with design challenges when they design curriculum materials. These challenges consist of the decisions they have to make about the curriculum materials and the design process. Teachers’ ability to tackle design challenges is affected by teachers’ prior expertise in curriculum design for collegial purposes, their pedagogical content knowledge and their curriculum design expertise. Teacher involvement in a TDT provides teachers with various opportunities to learn about curriculum design and the curriculum reform, which helps to develop their curriculum design expertise and PCK. These activities include using exemplary materials, sharing experiences about the design process with teachers outside the TDT, evaluating the curriculum materials and using the materials in classroom practices. Thus, although teacher involvement offers opportunities to develop teachers’ curriculum design expertise, their involvement in a TDT as such is often not enough. Just-in-time support offered to TDTs has to focus on the activities that are not (yet) part of teachers’ repertoire and need to be offered in the form of concrete tools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Voogt, J.M., Supervisor
    • Pieters, J.M., Supervisor
    • Handelzalts, A., Co-Supervisor
    Award date12 Dec 2014
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-3769-8
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014


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