Dolma, P., Nutchey, D., Watters, J. & Chandra, V. (2018). Investigating the alignment of Bhutanese mathematics teachers' planned approaches within the context of a reformed curriculum. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education,16(3), 581-602. Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-016-9791-1
Reform of mathematics education has been in focus in many countries including those in major economic transition. This paper reports a segment of a study which was conducted in Bhutan, where a reformed elementary mathematics curriculum has been recently introduced. The reformed curriculum is based on social constructivism and its design has been influenced by the USA’s National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards. This paper reports upon the planned teaching of a sample of elementary (primary) teachers in their implementation of the reformed curriculum. The data for this part of the investigation were aggregated from a qualitative survey of randomly selected elementary school teachers (N = 72) from 40 schools across the country. A set of 3 analytical rubrics, based on intentions embedded in the curriculum, was developed to analyse the alignment of teachers’ planned sample learning activities with the intentions of the curriculum. Our conclusions are that while the curriculum’s intentions might be meaningfully stated in the curriculum documents, implementation remains problematic because there appears to be a mis-alignment between curriculum intentions and classroom practices. For instance, teachers by not adopting evidence-based approaches recommended in the curriculum document and are continuing to deny students opportunities to achieve deep understanding in achieving national priorities. This paper also argues that the proposed analytical rubrics may be of value for Bhutanese mathematics educators and, with minor modification, educators in other contexts, as they critique planned and actual practices.
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