Walking the Talk: A Case Study of Curriculum Decision-making in Designing and Sustaining CTL’s MEd C&T

Project Number
SUG 01/16 MAB

Project Duration
May 2016 - November 2016

Status
Completed

Abstract
A flagship programme of the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL) Academic Group is the Masters in Education (Curriculum, Teaching & Learning) or MEd C&T which started in 2006. Over the ten years, MEd C&T has attracted large numbers of post graduate students and the Ministry of Education (MOE) provides scholarships for at least one cohort (12-20) of students each year. Courses on curriculum leadership have also spun-off from MEd C&T for example in LEP, MLS, TLP1 and 2, ECDA Pinnacle Leadership. As the work of CTL AG and the content of MEd C&T revolve around curriculum policies, theories, curriculum making, evaluation and implementation, it is pertinent to study the decision-making that informed the conception of this curriculum at its beginning, and also as ongoing practice. This is especially significant since much of the literature cited in the MEd C&T courses tended to come from non-Singaporean contexts (e.g. Eisner, 2001; Schwab, 1973; Tyler, 1949). It is timely to document these decision-making as a local case of curriculum decision making. It is also fortuitous to propose this research to help in refining the MEd C&T assessment practices, in particular the department's move towards a more informed standards-based grading which is intended to bring about a clear and concise set of standards with precise levels of mastery for our students undergoing the programme. As part of our 10th year critical reflection, the programme is looking at new ways to use formative assessments and intervention strategies to help its graduates leave the programme with specific attributes. The development of student attributes has become a constant thread in our recent discussions for the Med C&T review and while aspirational in nature rather than being purely a statement of current practice is important for us to document. The use of the SUG would go into the hiring of an RA to assist in gathering of data (interviews of the initiators of MEd C&T) and to carry out a literature review of other MEd or MA programmes on Curriculum offered by universities around the world (e.g. USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Japan). Our aim is to document, describe and analyse the issues and challenges around the way knowledge is constructed, validated, passed on, contested, and reconstructed. We also aim to unpack tacit assumptions held and the dilemmas encountered behind each curriculum decision. The insights gleaned from this project will inform the practice of curriculum evaluation, review and design and will provide useful examples of actual practice of a Higher degree programme.

Funding Source
MOE

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