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Exploring university teachers' attitudes towards curriculum reform

Evers, K. (2015) Exploring university teachers' attitudes towards curriculum reform.

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Abstract:The University of Twente (UT) introduced a new educational model focused on student-centred and process-oriented learning. This required from teachers to adapt a role as a learning facilitator. The Centre for Educational Support (CES) of the UT designed a training programme that taught teachers the skills they needed to be a successful facilitator. Teachers’ attitudes towards a reform are seen as a requirement for successful implementation of a curriculum reform (e.g. Ajzen, 1991; Fullan, 2007; van Aalderen-Smeets, Walma van der Molen and Asma, 2012; Van den Akker, 2003). Teachers’ attitudes can be influenced by training that is focused on teachers’ values, beliefs and attitudes (Desimone, 2009; Fullan, 2007; Gegenfurtner, 2013; van Aalderen-Smeets & Walma van der Molen, 2015). Van Aalderen-Smeets and Walma van der Molen (2015) showed the positive effect of an attitude-focused training programme on the attitudes of primary school teachers towards science education. This present study investigates whether the CES training programme improved the attitudes of university teachers towards curriculum reforms. A conceptual model for defining university teachers’ attitudes was designed based on the model of van Aalderen-Smeets et al. (2012). Based on this model and data from pilot interviews, a questionnaire was developed to measure the attitude of 49 teachers of the University of Twente (25 untrained teachers, 24 trained teachers). The validated questionnaire was used to compare the data between both conditions. The data showed no significant differences between the conditions. The tutor training programme was probably not sufficient. A pre-test post-test study is needed to be sure of the influence of the training programme. Until then, we recommend a more attitude focused training programme, an extension of the duration of the training programme, more forms of active learning (e.g. peer coaching, reflection, mentoring) and a more personal and practicable format.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68416
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