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Participatory Curriculum Planning: Students’ Perceptions

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The purpose of this case study was to understand students’ perceptions of their participation in planning the course curriculum. The data collection sources included interviews of six volunteer graduate students, class observations, recording of class meetings, students’ coursework, and course syllabus. This study revealed that involving graduate students in planning the course curriculum based on their perceived goals motivated these students to learn, enhanced their sense of ownership of learning, and gave them a sense of empowerment. Although the participants believed in the importance of student input and involvement in what they would study, they also believed in the importance of instructor input regarding course objectives. This study also found that students’ familiarity with authoritative teaching hindered their full involvement in determining course content based on their real needs and interests. Results have implications for teaching graduate students as adult learners.
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Keywords: curriculum design; curriculum planning; democratic participation; graduate students; higher education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Curriculum and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal publishing original research. It uses a balanced and comparative perspective to consider curriculum design and development, evaluation, curriculum models, comparative studies in curriculum, innovation and policy, planning, and educational administration.
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