A deliberative case study of decision-making and action in a physical education curriculum development project

Brockerville, Gordon Thomas (1995) A deliberative case study of decision-making and action in a physical education curriculum development project. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Using a qualitative case study research methodology grounded in the interpretative and critical paradigm, a provincial physical education curriculum development project was examined to provide a comprehensive analysis of curriculum decision-making and action. Through observation, audio-taped meetings, journal and interview, the decision-making and action that transpired during the construction of a formal curriculum framework document was followed for 26 months. -- Several strategies were synthesized to analyze what happened in the project, how it happened, why it happened and whose interests were served. Using Kirk's (1988) features of curriculum inquiry (knowledge, context and interaction), a collection of 'knowledge' that formed the basis for the framework document was juxtaposed against the 'context' of former physical education curriculum development and contemporary educational reform. The 'interaction' of project participants (including the author as participant-researcher) in decision-making and action was analyzed using an adaptation of Walker's (1971a&b, 1975) System for Analyzing Curriculum Deliberations. A macro analysis of major episodes and a micro analysis of deliberative moves revealed four phases of decision-making that resulted in the construction of the framework document. The analysis disclosed a series of deliberative acts in response to contextual problems, issues and constraints. Also, the analysis showed an eclectic approach to planning, displaying elements of Walker's (1971a&b, 1975) naturalistic model of planning, Schwab's (1969, 1970, 1971, 1973) practical model, and Klein's (1991) conceptual decision-making model. -- Habermas' (1970a&b, 1978, 1979) criteria for competent dialogue was used as a normative screen - first to assess the discourse in the project, and second, to judge whether or not the decisions and actions were made in the best interest of teachers and students who will have to translate the framework into a functional curriculum (Dodds, 1983, 1985). This analysis revealed that the curriculum writers, as influential decision-makers, were explicit about their intentions. The participants, as critics of the curriculum framework document, communicated in an environment of mutual trust; however, they were constrained by the hierarchical structure of decision-making. A form of cognitive emancipation (Tinning, 1992) was the reward for the participant-researcher who intended to share the insight with stakeholders inside and outside the project.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5753
Item ID: 5753
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [201]-238.
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Physical Education
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Physical education and training--Newfoundland and Labrador--Curricula; Curriculum change--Newfoundland and Labrador--Planning; Curriculum change--Newfoundland and Labrador--Decision making

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