An investigation into Lecturers' Beliefs and Implementation of the English Language Curriculum Change at Higher Education Level in Pakistan
Hussain Shah, Farwa
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I have put an embargo because I intend to publish articles based on this thesis.
This thesis describes an exploratory study designed to investigate the beliefs and perceptions of eight English language lecturers about, and their classroom practices in implementing the curriculum change that was enacted in 2010 at the undergraduate level in the public sector colleges in Pakistan. Research indicates that curriculum change is a highly complex and a multifaceted process (Carl, 2009), and its success depends on a number of features. In this respect, it is acknowledged that teachers and their multiple roles contribute significantly to the success or failure of any educational reform or change. Therefore, this exploration focussed on investigating teachers’ implementation of the curriculum change through an analysis of their beliefs about teaching and learning, their perceptions about the curriculum change, and the issues involved in implementation. My approach is interpretive, and thus qualitative research methodology was employed to obtain an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. Semi structured interviews and classroom observations were used as data collection instruments. The analysis of the data revealed that, in spite of the lecturers’ generally positive attitude towards the concept of change and their belief in the importance of English for both individual and national progress, there was a limited uptake of the new communicative curriculum. The study indicated that teachers’ beliefs combined with a number of external factors including the student level, educational culture, examination washback, lack of resources and support, and absence of teacher training could be an explanation for contradictions between the intended and the implemented curriculum change. The study concluded that the needs of the teachers must be acknowledged, and measures should be taken to create compatibility between the teachers’ beliefs, contextual factors and the reform policies. Although the study does not provide any explicit solutions to the problem of change and reform implementation, the insights revealed significant implications, clarified some critical issues, and offered some recommendations which might prove beneficial not only for curriculum planning and implementation in the future, but could also be useful in guiding those involved in the present curriculum change. Important areas were also suggested for further research in the field.
EdD in TESOL