EXPLORING A COLLABORATIVE-PARTICIPATORY PROCESS IN DEVELOPING A MULTICULTURAL TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM

Author: Wilma Reyes

Reyes, Wilma, 2011 EXPLORING A COLLABORATIVE-PARTICIPATORY PROCESS IN DEVELOPING A MULTICULTURAL TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM, Flinders University, School of Education

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Abstract

ABSTRACT The aim of this thesis was to instigate a collaborative participatory process in developing a multicultural teacher education curriculum that is relevant and responsive to the needs of the Agusan community in the Philippines and to examine the process. The curriculum development process itself reversed the usual approach, from top-down to bottom-up by directly involving teachers and students in curriculum planning and decision-making. This inverted approach aimed to bring about success indicators of empowerment in terms of curriculum decision-making among the participants involved. The study led to the development of a collaborative participatory process curriculum model suitable for the local campus of a school or university. The key features of the collaborative participatory process model that emerged in the process of curriculum development were identified and described in this research. In addition, the study described the extent to which the collaborative participatory process model achieved its purpose of providing a locally responsive curriculum in a teacher education university. Research methods used were a combination of two qualitative approaches: collaborative participatory action research (CPAR) adapted to the context of curriculum development, and a grounded theory approach, which informed the data analysis. The study was conducted at the Philippine Normal University Agusan campus. Four administrators, five teachers, four students and the researcher were purposively selected as participants to form the curriculum development team. The curriculum team collaboratively identified the multicultural curriculum focus through a series of curriculum development meetings. Ten meetings, some which combined focus groups and workshops, were held over a semester from June to October 2008. Meetings were audio and videotaped and documented by field notes with the assistance of two local process observers for local language translation. The research also used other sources of data such as participant observation, an exposure trip to the local community and individual interviews. Validation of multicultural curriculum outcomes was achieved through a meeting with a reference group and the general faculty. Verbatim transcriptions of data and individual interviews were coded and analyzed using NVivo 8 software. Grounded theory was used as the methodological procedure to the analysis of data following the stages of open, axial and selective coding. Results of the study showed evidence not only of individual but also collective empowerment of the participants involved through the collaborative participatory process. Moreover, the active and direct involvement of all curriculum stakeholders, particularly teachers and students, in curriculum development led to the successful creation of a multicultural curriculum. The participants' empowerment resulted from the space created for the voices of previously uninvolved participants to be heard in curriculum decision-making. The teachers; and students' empowerment showed that a bottom-up model in creating a curriculum for a local context is feasible and desirable. The collaborative participatory curriculum process model developed in this research could be a model for other universities with local campuses to the possibility of reversing the current curriculum model from top-down to bottom-up to be responsive to their own local community. This curriculum model could also be used in designing school curricula other than a multicultural education curriculum.

Keywords: collaborative-participatory approach,multicultural curriculum,teacher education
Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2011
School: School of Education
Supervisor: Professor Rosalind Murray-Harvey