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Teacher perceptions of the goals of effective school reform and their own role in it

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The role of the teacher in the modern school system is increasingly important and complex. A teacher needs a high level of professional knowledge and autonomous decision-making when faced with professional challenges. The curricular reform in Slovenia has encompassed several areas of teachers' professional activities. This paper establishes that declarative goals by themselves are not enough for successful introduction of reform, as the achievement of reform goals in practice is highly dependent on teacher perceptions and how actively they are involved in all phases of the reform. The empirical study examined how teachers understand the main aim of the reform, and how they evaluate their own level of competence in areas which have gained in importance as a result of the reform. The study included 468 primary and grammar school teachers. The results show that teachers have a fairly narrow view of the goals of the reform. The categories stressing a more active and responsible role of the learner (in line with modern models of instruction and learner-centred paradigms of curriculum development) did not rank highly. The study also points at areas where teachers need additional training. The importance of quality teacher education at pre-service and in-service levels is stressed as a pillar of effective school reform.
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Keywords: Curricular reform; Goals of curricular reform; Teacher competence; Teacher education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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