Teacher involvement in curriculum development in Zambia: a role analysis of selected secondary school teachers in Lusaka district,Lusaka province,Zambia

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Mwanza, Christine
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The University of Zambia
Curriculum development for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary School levels in Zambia has received much attention since their revision which commenced in 2013. Despite the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), which is the main institution placed with the responsibility of curriculum development, claiming that the Zambian school curriculum is developed through a consultative and participatory approach through course and subject panels where teachers and other stakeholders are represented, there has been no empirical evidence to suggest the extent to which teachers, who are the major implementers of the same curricular, have been actively involved in the development process. This study therefore, sought to establish whether secondary school teachers in Lusaka urban of Zambia were adequately and actively involved in the curriculum development process. The concurrent embedded design of the mixed methods approach was employed with the qualitative approach dominating the study while the quantitative was used to add detail. Data from secondary school teachers were collected using questionnaires while interview guides were used for Head teachers and curriculum specialists. Raw data collected from interviews and questionnaires were analyzed using themes and descriptive statistics into significant patterns so as to easily interpret and understand the essence of the data. The findings of the study clearly suggested that teachers were dissatisfied with the existing practice of curriculum development which insignificantly involved them. The majority of secondary school teachers in Lusaka Urban had never participated in the development of the curriculum and this they thought was the main reason why they faced challenges with implementing it effectively. It was further revealed that curriculum materials such as textbooks were of poor quality. The teachers, however, indicated that they were willing to participate in the curriculum development process, especially in situational analysis, in the formulation of educational objectives, setting up the curriculum project, and writing of curriculum materials such as textbooks. From this study, it was concluded that teachers were not adequately involved in the curriculum development process with their role being mainly to implement the already developed curriculum. Consequently, most teachers’ encountered challenges when implementing the developed curriculum. A majority of teachers felt they can play important roles in the curriculum development process apart from the actual curriculum implementation. It was thus recommended that Ministry of General Education (MoGE) through CDC should broaden the scope of teacher involvement in curriculum development through being in constant touch with the schools especially through extensive research, adequate communication channels and making visits to schools. This may enable them to develop a curriculum that is flexible to be easily implemented by all teachers depending on the learners’ needs and different school environment.
Curriculum--Planning--Zambia , Curriculum--Education--Zambia