Do you see what I see? Teacher perceptions of change

2017-01-31T04:32:35Z (GMT) by Senisin, Simone Anne
This study explores the beginning phase of a school change process in curriculum innovation and its role in school reform. It aims to identify and explore aspects of the process as understood by participating teachers. Student voice is included in this study to further contextualise teachers’ experiences. The changes in relation to the curriculum innovation are central to the aims and purpose of this study and were internally driven by a new principal, the vision he bought with him to the school and the processes put in place to facilitate attempts to reculture the school. Data for this study comes from semi-structured interviews with six teachers and seventeen students. The data explores the impact of the change process on teacher practice in the classroom. In what ways did changing school culture inform and change teacher practice? Teachers were interviewed individually twice over a period of twelve months from August of one year to July of the following year. Group interviews were used for the collection of student data. Teacher discourse was analysed for implicit and explicit meaning in relation to changing school culture, beliefs about student learning and teacher identity. The study concludes that teacher emotions and their subsequent relationships with other teachers underpin the perceptions that teachers hold of the school culture. This, in turn, affects their levels of engagement in professional learning opportunities and subsequent classroom practice. The study suggests that teacher identity is linked to emotional labour and that there is correlation between the emotions and perceptions of teachers in and outside the classroom. This study has implications for those responsible for leading curriculum innovation as part of school reform, and those in the field of teacher education.