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From official intentions to classroom practice: How do Cypriot primary school teachers respond to the new language curriculum

Gennari, Christina (2019) From official intentions to classroom practice: How do Cypriot primary school teachers respond to the new language curriculum. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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A new language curriculum for primary schools in Cyprus was implemented in 2012. This curriculum aimed to modernise not only the content of language subject matter, but also Cypriot society at large. Previous research in a range of contexts has shown that curriculum implementation is a complex process of negotiation between what is new and what is already there. This study investigates the enactment of the new language curriculum in Cyprus with a specific focus on personal factors (e.g. teacher cognitions), and context (e.g. school, professional development). The research adopted a sensemaking perspective on teachers’ language curriculum enactment with an emphasis on meaning making and agency. Through a qualitative multiple case study over six months, meaning making and agency were elicited from ten teachers working in five primary schools in a large city in Cyprus. Data were collected through two classroom observations and three semi-structured interviews per teacher. Teacher interviews were used as the primary data source. Whilst much previous research has focused on conceptualising agency as constrained or afforded by the context, this research demonstrates that agency is enacted by active agents who define what it is important to them during negotiations with their working contexts. Analysis suggests that teachers make meaning and enact agency in ways that show an active prioritisation work during which cognitions and contexts are contested and classroom priorities are manifested that direct teachers’ agency either towards change or continuation of existing trajectories of action. Analysis regards teacher cognitions as the most influential element during this process. Yet, the effect of the context emerges as one that can help teachers to unfreeze from current ways of thinking and doing, or to favour continuation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Sensemaking, teacher agency, prioritisation, curriculum reform, language curriculum, critical literacy, genre-based pedagogy, curriculum enactment, professional development, teacher cognitions, school context.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.804532
Depositing User: Christina Gennari
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 06:31
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26404

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