An investigation of the relationship between curriculum policy and assessment practice in Malaysian classrooms

Abdul Aziz, Azima Binti (2021) An investigation of the relationship between curriculum policy and assessment practice in Malaysian classrooms. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates the relationship between policy intent and classroom practice of the recently introduced National Curriculum in Malaysia, KSSR (Standards Curriculum for Primary Schools). It mainly explores the factors related to the development of the new curriculum policy and examines the implications of the model of change for the enactment process of the curriculum in classrooms.

The study adopts a case study design, employing a phenomenology perspective within the qualitative interpretive paradigm. Data were obtained through an analysis of policy documents, classroom observations and interviews. The classroom observations involved eight teachers from two primary schools whilst the other interviews involved two officers from the Ministry of Education, two head teachers, and 13 students from the participating schools. Thematic data analysis guided the analysis of the data gathered from the multiple sources. A deductive approach to thematic analysis was employed during the analysis of the policy document while
inductive approach was adopted to analysis the interviews.

The outcomes from the analysis revealed that there was a discrepancy between the policy intent and teachers’ practices. International education policy has shaped the policy thinking of KSSR curriculum policy through policy-borrowing. Adopting this trend in the policy-making process in Malaysia has not produced the desired outcome. The findings from this study showed that the classroom activities have been primarily orientated towards examinations. Because of that, other activities that can engage students in improving their learning through formative assessment practice have been found ineffective, such as peer and self-assessment as well as feedback interaction. The top-down, mandated policy has contributed to the discrepancy which has affected teachers’ beliefs, teachers’ practices and the quality of school leadership.

This study provides insights into the discrepancy that exists between policy and practice in Malaysian classrooms. This phenomenon is attributed to the ineffectiveness of a systemic change that involves different people that have their specific roles in the process. Innovative changes integrated in the policy needs to be deeply understood by every individual who is directly or indirectly involved in the process, for it is difficult to see real changes happen if any of these individuals move in a different direction from the aim of the curriculum. For this to happen, innovation needs to be designed for sustainable development through being based on the notion of collaborative practice to build in different perspectives from different communities (Gardner et al., 2010).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Hayward, Professor Louise and Crichton, Dr. Hazel
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82426
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 13:47
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 08:21
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82426

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