Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An exploration of the science teaching orientations of Indian science teachers in the context of curriculum reform
by Nargund-Joshi, Vanashri, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 265; 3554009
Abstract (Summary)

This study explores the concepts and behaviors, otherwise referred to as orientations, of six Indian science teachers and the alignment of these orientations to the 2005 India National Curriculum Framework (NCF-2005). Differences in teachers' orientations across grade bands (elementary, middle, and secondary) and school types (public versus private) are also examined to determine how contextual factors may influence this alignment. First, a content analysis of the NCF-2005 was completed to identify the overarching principles of the NCF-2005 and goals specific to the teaching and learning of science. Interviews with school principals were also analyzed to understand how the goals of NCF-2005 were communicated to schools and teachers. Together, these data sources served to answer research question one. Next, profiles were created based on three interviews with each teacher and several observations of their teaching. These profiles provide a point of reference for answering the remaining three research questions. Findings include teacher's orientations falling along a continuum from traditionalist in nature to inquiry/constructivist in nature. Stark contrasts were found between traditionalist orientations and the goals of NCF-2005, with much of this contrast due to the limited pedagogical content knowledge these teachers have regarding students' scientific thinking, curriculum design, instructional strategies, and assessment. Inquiry/constructivist teachers' orientations, while more in line with reform, still have a few key areas of pedagogical content knowledge needing attention (e.g., knowledge of assessment and a variety of purposes for constructivist instructional strategies). In response to the final research question, several contextual factors contributed to teachers' orientations including environmental constraints, such as limited resources and large class sizes, cultural testing pressures, and limited accessibility to professional development. Suggestions for improving the implementation of NCF-2005 in India's classrooms are discussed according to various stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, curriculum designers, professional developers).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rogers, Meredith A. Park
Commitee: Akerson, Valarie L., Cross, Dionne, Manring, Rebecca
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Science education
Keywords: Educational reform, India, Inservice teachers, International science education, Pedagogical content knowledge, Primary & middle school science teachers, Teaching orientations
Publication Number: 3554009
ISBN: 9781267937933
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