The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Coherence in Curriculum Development: Navigating the Landscape through Communities of Practice (CoP)

Niall Mulpeter, University of Limerick (Ireland)

Joanne O’Flaherty, University of Limerick (Ireland)

Orla McCormack, University of Limerick (Ireland)


Curriculum development is a complex and contested process involving a myriad of stakeholders. Establishing a meaningful and effective process to guide this intricate journey is a valuable endeavour to support the overall process. This study aimed to explore how communities of practice (CoPs), framed by Fullan and Quinn’s (2015) Coherence Framework, can support the curriculum development process. These CoPs (n = 21) actively participated in the development of a values-based curriculum for publicly managed schools in the Republic of Ireland, that aligned with the national lower-end post-primary curriculum. The first CoP comprised of an expert advisory committee charged with developing the values-based curriculum. The second CoP was a national teachers’ network, selected based on their pedagogical expertise, experience, and access to students. This study adopts Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder’s (2002) model of CoPs, a branch of social learning theory that resides within the constructivism paradigm. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the two communities of practice: an advisory committee (n = 10) and a teacher network (n = 11). Deductive data analysis was framed around the four elements of Fullan and Quinn Coherence Framework (2015): ‘focusing direction,’ ‘cultivating collaborative cultures, ‘deepening learning,’ and ‘securing accountability’ through the lens of leadership. From this analysis, we discern factors supporting curriculum development, extract valuable lessons, and pinpoint challenges, thus framing the study's key findings. These findings not only contribute to theoretical insights but also offer implications for educators and policymakers. Recommendations derived from these insights offer a possible approach to foster effective curriculum development in education.


Curriculum; curriculum development process; communities of practice; coherence; values education.



[1] Fullan, M., & Quinn, J. (2015). Coherence: The right drivers in action for schools, districts, and systems. Corwin Press.

[2] Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Harvard business press.


Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy