Teachers' Perspective to Prescribed Curriculum
Hala Hadba, Qatar University (Qatar)
More educational institutions in the Arab Gulf are requiring rapid changes to enhance English language learning in order to keep up with globalization and economic growth. This urges the need for investigating policy changes such as effectiveness in curriculum orientations and their impact on the actual process of teaching in order to gauge how organizations are performing. This paper reports the findings of a mixed-method small-scale study on curriculum enactment as perceived by teachers in the English Language Foundation program in a higher institution in Qatar which involved 57 teachers. Data collection methods included a survey and interviews with 12 teachers in the same department. Results of both quantitative and qualitative data showed that almost all teachers exercised some freedom when using the curriculum materials available in varying degrees due to individual as well as contextual factors. Personal factors encompassed different teaching styles and pedagogical methods. Contextual factors had to do with the quality of the prescribed materials in the first place in addition to fulfilling students’ needs.
Results also showed that either when implementing the designed materials as they were or after modifying them to fit their own purposes, teachers were keen on sticking to the specific guidelines set by curriculum designers mainly for accountability standards. Most participants highlighted the importance of participating in developing reliable quality resource materials to enhance teachers’ performance.
Keywords: Prescribed Curriculum, implemented curriculum, curriculum support, teacher discretion