A Proposed Model for EFL Teacher Involvement in On-going Curriculum Development

| December 30, 2005
Title
A Proposed Model for EFL Teacher Involvement in On-going Curriculum Development

Keywords: EFL curriculum development, professional growth, action research, personal practical theory, expertise

Authors
Mohamed El-Okda
Western Kentucky University

Bio Data
Mohamed El-Okda currently works as an assistant professor of ELT Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University. Earlier he was an associate professor of ELT Curriculum and Instruction at Cairo University and has taught in many other universities. He has supervised 14 MA studies and published 18 papers. He is currently interested in EFL teacher professional growth, reflective teaching, learner and teacher autonomy, and task-based language learning.

Abstract
This paper highlights two main assumptions about curriculum development and teacher professional growth. One is that curriculum development is an on-going process that never ceases once a curriculum framework and a package of prescribed teaching/learning materials are produced and introduced in an educational system. The other is that curriculum development and professional growth cannot be separated. Curriculum development in almost all Arab countries follows a top-down model in which teacher involvement is confined to the implementation of pre-designed packages of teaching materials. In this paper, it is argued that neither a top-down strategy, nor a bottom-up one will be effective in bringing about sustainable educational reform. The former can lead to teacher resistance to or misinterpretation of innovative features; and the latter can result in overly local and small-scale endeavors of educational reform. A model that combines both top-down and bottom-up strategies in curriculum development is proposed. The model illustrates how task-based teacher research can be encouraged and systematized in schools to allow for teacher initiatives to feed in subsequent top-down attempts to develop curricula. Practical suggestions for implementing this in the Omani context are made including suggestions for teacher educators who teach pre-service teacher education courses.

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See pages: 33-49

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 7 Issue 4