Details of Thesis

TitleImplementing curriculum change in religious education: A study of the perceptions of primary school religious educators in the Archdiocese of Hobart.
Author Healy, Helen
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2011
Abstract The purpose of the research reported in this thesis was to study the perceptions of school-based primary religious educators in Tasmania, Australia, as they engaged in the implementation phase of the curriculum framework at the centre of the study, Good News for Living: A Curriculum Framework in Religious Education for Students in the Archdiocese of Hobart (CEOH, 2005). The effectiveness of educational change is often judged by the impact an innovation has on the professional beliefs and practices of teachers and consequently the learning of students. The inability of implementation to link the broad concept of the change with the day-to-day practice of teachers contributes to the failure of educational change (Elmore, 2007). The study aimed to investigate the implementation of a new curriculum framework in order to generate theory about successful curriculum change. Research in education builds knowledge to improve practice. This research was located within a qualitative paradigm. It drew on the principles of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to analyse the data from in-depth interviews carried out with school-based religious educators: principals; assistant principals responsible for the religious education program within the school (AP:REs) and classroom teachers. The emerging insights and theory were then further analysed in relation to the current literature, the views of experts in the field and the researcher's expertise to consolidate the theory. Theory was generated in three key areas. These related to factors that stimulated change; factors that supported the change and factors that indicated the significant signs of change. Six categories of findings emerged from these key areas. These contributed to the theories that emerged pertaining to the implementation of this curriculum change. These concerned: (1) the readiness of religious educators to engage in change; (2) the connection between the teacher and the innovation; (3) the support of a collaborative culture; (4) the dynamics of leadership in a collaborative structure; (5) challenges to the change process and (6) the effects of change for teachers. The study assisted in the articulation of key recommendations for the effective implementation of large-scale curriculum change that includes both schools and their centralised administrative body. This research makes a significant contribution to research in religious education in the primary school sector.
Thesis 01front.pdf 327 Kb
02whole.pdf 5,951 Kb

Top of Page