Collaborative Curriculum Development and Implementation: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Centerpiece for School Change
Transdisciplinary, inquiry-based curriculum and pedagogy can positively affect teacher practice and student learning when educators collaboratively create a community of learners, engage in developing a cohesive curriculum, and use inquiry as a primary pedagogical approach. The study documented the journey of a small international school in the process of adopting the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). The goal of the study was to co-create and implement a program using inquiry-based pedagogy. Participatory action research (PAR) methodology included three iterative cycles of inquiry in which we, as co-practitioner researchers, collected and analyzed these data: observations, meeting minutes, our program of inquiry, unit planners, teacher reflections, surveys, memos, artifacts from parents, and IB reports. Data were coded using the existing IB framework (deductive) and emerging themes (inductive) that became evident in the PAR cycles. Three key claims emerged: (1) Experiential, authentic, transdisciplinary approach leads to growth in all sectors of the school community: teachers, parents, students and leaders. (2) Building a collaborative environment using a strong curricular framework (IB) leads to positive changes in teacher planning that supports student-driven learning. (3) Achieving a balance between authoritative and collaborative leadership is tricky. Potentially, the PAR methodology provides a systematic way to improve education at international schools. Every international school is unique, and the PAR process enables schools to improve the education for the community based on its needs. The PAR consisted of iterative action research cycles involving teachers, students, parents and leaders to create positive change. Including all stakeholders using a distributed leadership approach while transitioning to be an IB PYP school gave our community members a voice and empowered them to be involved in the process of collaborative curriculum building. The IB PYP provided a strong curricular framework that guided our work; however, it was successful because a team of committed teachers and leaders engaged in co-developing and implementing the transdisciplinary units of instruction. Collaborative curriculum development and implementation provided experiential learning opportunities for teachers and modeled the pedagogy intended to be used in our instructional practices.
Halligan, Kristin. (April 2019). Collaborative Curriculum Development and Implementation: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Centerpiece for School Change (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7188.)
Halligan, Kristin. Collaborative Curriculum Development and Implementation: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Centerpiece for School Change. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, April 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7188. July 16, 2020.
Halligan, Kristin, “Collaborative Curriculum Development and Implementation: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Centerpiece for School Change” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, April 2019).
Halligan, Kristin. Collaborative Curriculum Development and Implementation: Inquiry-Based Learning as a Centerpiece for School Change [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2019.
East Carolina University