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close this bookBecoming a Primary School Teacher in Trinidad & Tobago, Part 1: The Curriculum in the Teachers' Colleges (CIE, 2000, 49 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: The Curriculum - Documented and Espoused
View the document2.1 Introduction
View the document2.2 The General Curriculum
View the document2.3 Detailed analysis of the core courses
View the document2.4 Assessment Procedures
View the document2.5 Summary of Curriculum Issues

2.1 Introduction

An overview was done of the general curriculum, as documented. In addition, a detailed study was done of specific aspects of the Teachers' College curriculum. The areas chosen for detailed study were the Education courses and three of the core primary school courses, namely, mathematics, language arts and science.

Data on the documented curriculum were gathered through content analysis of the curriculum document. Insights were gained by focussing on the four targeted areas (Education, mathematics, science, and language arts) and drawing on the work of Eraut (1976) for the analysis.

Eraut outlines that the curriculum can be viewed against a five-point diamond frame, with the points of the frame comprising the aims, objectives, content, pedagogy and assessment procedures. The content analysis thus focused on these "points" and attempts were made to see if there is coherence among them, as should be the case with a well-documented curriculum.

Ideas about the espoused curriculum in education were obtained through the conduct and analysis of in-depth interviews with lecturers from the two Colleges who are Heads of the Education department. Lecturers in the other subject areas targeted were also interviewed. In all, four Education lecturers, one language arts lecturer, two literary studies lecturers, two science lecturers, and five mathematics lecturers were interviewed, making a total of 14. These interviews were transcribed and analysed in the effort to unearth the intentions and philosophy that these lecturers hold for the courses in which they are involved.

The research questions which guided this aspect of the work were as follows:

The Documented Curriculum

What are the stated philosophies underpinning the Teachers' College curriculum
What is the nature of the Teachers' College curriculum?
How is the delivery of the Teachers' College curriculum organised?

The Espoused Curriculum

What do teacher educators claim are their intentions with respect to the content, method of delivery, assessment and outcomes of their teacher training efforts?