Curriculum Perspectives and Leadership in Innovations for the Nurturing of 21st Century Learners

Project Number
OER 27/15 TLS

Project Duration
March 2016 - February 2019


In this follow-up study on “Nurturing the Twenty-first Century Learners and Curriculum Innovation”, the team seeks to build on our findings and implications to extend this empirical study in the next 3 years (2016-2018). In 2013-2015, we have documented the contextual structures, school leadership, improvements to school cultures and pedagogical practices, and empirically validated features of whole school improvement and curriculum reform. Although the study focused on curriculum innovation and nurturing of 21st century competencies in the context of gifted or high ability students, we believe the structures, processes, enablers and inhibitors for curriculum design in implementing Iintegrated Programme are dimensions that mainstream schools may consider in initiating and implementing a curriculum innovation. These good practices or potential inhibitors of designing school-based curriculum and pedagogical practices to nurture 21st century learners could be communicated and shared. Findings from this group of schools may provide insights related to the challenges and advantages of school partnerships in coming together as a community to implement a curriculum innovation. Findings from the partnership may have implications on how mainstream schools can work with others to bridge constraints in resources and expertise to initiate and implement a curriculum innovation. We perceive the realities and difficulties of the partnership, such as how the different socio-cultural contexts requires continuous dialogue to establish shared understandings and the different levels of readiness related to school leadership and teachers’ capacities. One of the foci of our study is to compare and contrast what the independent and autonomous schools are able/unable to do, and how these have to do with the type of school. The translatability is more likely to come from practices in the autonomous schools. In fact, the “family” of independent and autonomous schools could potentially be a "model" for mainstream schools. In the next phase of the study, beside the continuation of follow-up of curriculum innovation, teacher learning and student learning experiences and achievement, we would like to dwell deeper into the designed and lived experiences of curriculum and instructional leadership in these IP schools. Particularly, in the context of curriculum innovation, how the designed and lived experiences of curriculum and instructional leadership activate teacher agency and develop expertise in making and customise curriculum for their learners. Moreover, we would like to examine how the designed and lived experiences of curriculum and instructional leadership shape students’ learning experiences, particularly the nurturing of the 21st century competencies.

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