The way ahead: Which road should we choose?

Ka Wai Marianne SHAM-KOO

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Teacher curriculum decision-making addresses the purpose, process and product of making curriculum decisions in teachers’ curriculum work. A research study using narratives from and conversations with a group of primary school teachers and principals uncovered the secret garden of teacher curriculum decision-making within a context of curriculum change in Hong Kong. Both the research question and the methodological approach prompted this study not to remain within the contexts of “what is” or “what may be” in drawing experience from individual participants. It was the sense of ownership, professional commitment and collaboration that participants could envision as an image of “what could be” – a way of thinking outside “the square box”. On the other hand, the involvement of Critical Friends enabled to “triangulate” the decisions on research planning and analyses of data. Taking a phenomenological approach, the involvement of Critical Friends became a hermeneutic iterative process of scrutiny of this study. Furthermore, constant member checking with participants about the data and data analysis throughout the four Action Steps facilitated the operation of the study outside “the black box”. All this made visible and transparent of the ways the research analysed her data and kept them as credible and ethical as possible. The paper reports the research outcomes on four areas which include the lifeworld perspectives of teacher curriculum decision-making, curriculum theorizing, curriculum change and teacher and principal professional development. The paper identifies what further research directions are appropriate and what methodologies may be appropriate for these further investigations. The paper concludes by emphasizing how it is significant and what it can lead to in the way ahead. Copyright © 2001 Australian Curriculum Studies Association Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th National Biennial Conference of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association
EditorsMarie BRENNAN
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australian Capital Territory
PublisherAustralian Curriculum Studies Association
ISBN (Print)1875864377
Publication statusPublished - 2001


Koo, M. (2001). The way ahead: Which road should we choose? In M. Brennan (Ed.), Education futures & new citizenships: Proceedings of the 10th National Biennial Conference of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (Vol. 1, pp. 285-334). Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Curriculum Studies Association.


  • Primary Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development


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