Professional Development for a New Curriculum for a Developing Country: The Example of Technology Education in the Solomon Islands
Sade, D. (2009). Professional Development for a New Curriculum for a Developing Country: The Example of Technology Education in the Solomon Islands (Thesis). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3290
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3290
This thesis explores the impact of a specially designed technology educationprofessional development programme for traditional technical education secondaryteachers to assist with the implementation of technology education in the SolomonIslands. Technology education is a new development for the teachers in SolomonIslands who are used to a more prescribed technical education. The technologyeducation in the Solomon Islands is in the process of change with the curriculumbeing developed into a broader technological literacy approach comprising oftechnological knowledge, technological process, and technological and societalvalues. Thus, the development of teacher knowledge of technology and technologyeducation and their technology education practices are crucial for the successfulimplementation of the new technology curriculum proposal.The theoretical framework of this thesis is based on the interpretivist paradigm with aqualitative case study approach. A two-year study with eight secondary technologyeducation teachers in the Solomon Islands was undertaken in 2005 and 2006. Theteachers existing perceptions of technology and technology education, classroompractices and student learning in 2005 are described. The professional developmentprogramme undertaken in 2006 and its impact on the secondary school teachers'perceptions of technology and technology education, classroom practices, and studentlearning in technology education are also examined.The preliminary inquiry in 2005 showed that the technology teachers in the SolomonIslands held narrow perspectives of technology and technology education, with viewscentring on narrow technical aspects. The teachers' 2005 classroom practices werevery conservative with technical skills focussed teaching approaches fostered mainlyrote learning, and their assessment was dominated by summative assessment foci. The2005 findings were used as a basis for a professional development to prepare teachersto become more effective when teaching the proposed technology curriculum. Aprofessional development intervention programme was undertaken in 2006. It wasbased on key professional development principles of teacher support and teacherreflection and sharing. It was on-going and was undertaken over time. A socialconstructivist learning model was used by the professiosnal development provider toiiihelp bring about teacher change. This programme built on the localised context andwas crafted around best practices from other professional developemnt models.The study provides empirical evidence that the professional development interventionprogramme had a positive impact on the teachers' perceptions of technology andtechnology education, and teachers' teaching practices which changed from having atechnical education focus to a technology education focus. There were strong linksbetween teachers' perceptions and their classroom practices. When teachersdeveloped robust knowledge about technology and technology education, and usedappropriate technology education specific pedagogies they were able to successfullyimplement the new Solomon Island technology education curriculum. The positiveimpact of the professional development programme on teachers' understandings ofthe nature of technology and technology education, their classroom practices, andstudent learning demonstrate its effectiveness. The success of the professionaldevelopment model justifies the recommendation for its wider use in other developingcountries with similar contexts and situations to the Solomon Islands.
The University of Waikato
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