Computerised lesson planning for innovative curriculum development
Teachers tend to plan lessons and develop curricula using linear and other rigid approaches. This research study sets out to explore a more flexible approach, using technology to devise lesson plans. Computerised lesson planning is the focus of this research study. It is explored in relation to three curriculum development theories: curriculum as product, process and praxis. The primary question is: To what extent, if any, can computerised lesson planning promote innovative curriculum development? In exploring this, the following secondary questions are addressed: * What need is there for a computerised lesson planning program? * What dimensions might a computerised lesson planning program have? * When the lesson planning program is implemented by lower-primary teachers, final year education students and lower-primary lecturers, what improvements to the design of the computerised lesson planning program do they suggest? * What implications could a computerised lesson planning program have for innovative curriculum development? The participants and the research environments are purposefully selected. The participants are lower-primary teachers, final year students and lecturers in the lower-primary course at a university in Namibia. All of whom who are involved in implementing the curriculum for basic education in Namibia. Qualitative design-based research methodology is used and situated in a pragmatic paradigm. Two data generation methods are employed: qualitative open-ended questionnaires and reflective journals. These are used to generate data on the participants‟ experiences and perceptions during the time they implemented the computerised lesson planning program, as well as their suggestions for improvements to the program. Content analysis is used to deductively and inductively analyse the data and derive themes. The themes include: competence, comfortableness, attitude, experience, training, as well as access and availability of computers as related to the use of the technology; computerised lesson planning improves the lesson planning experience; the computerised lesson planning program enhances curriculum development and implementation; training and support are requirements for the successful implementation of the computerised lesson planning program; technical suggestions to improve the current computerised lesson planning program; practice makes perfect; and fostering innovative curriculum development. The need for a computerised lesson planning program is explored in two ways. The first is to examine the importance of lesson planning, and the second is to recognise the need to make it less time consuming by using technology such as computers and a lesson planning program. The main research findings make it evident that the computerised lesson planning program participants applied in this research study promotes innovative curriculum development in ten main ways. (1) It facilitates dynamic and vigorous lesson planning; (2) it promotes curriculum knowledge and skills; (3) it facilitates the creation of knowledge, problem solving and collaboration; (4) it optimises teaching and learning and developing teachers‟ and learners‟ potential; (5) it facilitates personalised, accessible and creative teaching and learning experiences; (6) it encourages teachers to be actively involved; (7) it creates positive attitudes amongst teachers to curriculum development and implementation; (8) it facilitates reflection in order to enable change; and, (9) it provides a professionalisation tool for educators; and (10) it fosters competence, growth, change and innovation. This research study demonstrates that the computerised lesson planning program has the potential to promote innovative curriculum development.
- Education