About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1376-1386
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CURRICULUM LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: A TALE OF FOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT LEADING A CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

N. Albashiry1, J. Voogt2, J. Pieters1

1University of Twente (NETHERLANDS)
2University of Amsterdam (NETHERLANDS)
Background:
College heads of departments (HoDs) are increasingly expected to perform more curriculum leadership tasks, maintaining and advancing the department curriculum. However, in practice, HoDs are reported to pay little attention to this aspect of their job due to a lack of professional support and encouragement for such a role, especially in developing countries.

Study purpose:
Conceptualizing curriculum leadership into four major tasks (establishing purpose, providing curricular structure and support, promoting curricular collaboration, and coordinating efforts), this study endeavored to answer the overall question: How do HoDs perceive and enact curriculum leadership tasks within curriculum development projects?

Methods:
This study has adopted an embedded multiple-case design (Yin, 2003). Four HoDs participated, on a voluntary basis, in a project that aimed at redesigning the current college educational programs. Each HoD formed a team of teachers from his/her department to work on the redesign task. The HoDs received various forms of support before working on the curriculum development project such as training workshops (on curriculum design and curriculum leadership), exemplary materials and templates, and coaching during the project. Five sources of data were used to answer the research question:
1- interviews of HoDs,
2- interviews of teachers,
3- minutes of teams’ meetings,
4- observation notes of teams’ meetings, and
5- researcher’s field notes.
Data were analysed both deductively and inductively (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Thomas, 2006) through an iterative process of coding, using a qualitative analysis software (Atlas.ti7).

Findings:
The findings show that in light of the professional support received and the hands-on experience of leading a curriculum development project, the HoDs became aware of how important it was to move beyond focusing on administrative work toward assuming more purposeful curriculum leadership. The HoDs realized the criticality of the support they received before and during the curriculum development project and reflected upon the future organizational and professional support which they would need to exercise effective curriculum leadership. The findings also indicate that the ways the HoDs enacted the curriculum leadership tasks and the challenges they encountered varied based on several factors such as the HoD’s interpersonal, management, and curriculum development skills, the HoD’s commitment, and the department context (e.g., teacher collaboration, and teachers’ workload).

Conclusion and discussion:
It is concluded that professional support along with guided leadership experiences not only can help change HoDs’ perceptions about their job as HoDs, but can also make them aware of the support needed for such a vital role. The findings also suggest that for HoDs to practice effective curriculum leadership in practice, both organizational and professional support are needed. The first pertains to the need for follow-up and encouragement by senior management, and the latter concerns three professional competencies (leadership, management, and curriculum design).
@InProceedings{ALBASHIRY2015CUR,
author = {Albashiry, N. and Voogt, J. and Pieters, J.},
title = {CURRICULUM LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: A TALE OF FOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT LEADING A CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {1376-1386}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Albashiry AU - J. Voogt AU - J. Pieters
TI - CURRICULUM LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: A TALE OF FOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT LEADING A CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 1376
EP - 1386
ER -
N. Albashiry, J. Voogt, J. Pieters (2015) CURRICULUM LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: A TALE OF FOUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT LEADING A CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 1376-1386.
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