TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: RATIONALE, CHALLENGES, AND STRATEGIES IN ZIMBABWEAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The study focused on the rationale behind teacher involvement in curriculum development, the challenges that are associated with such a practice as well as the strategies which can make the process smooth and helpful. A case study design was used in Goromonzi District in Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. Cluster, random and purposive sampling were used to select 45 teachers and five school heads from a population of 825 teachers and 35 school heads. The sample included teachers and school heads from different educational contexts: boarding, urban, rural, mine, farm and resettlement schools. NVivo Version 10 was used to analyse data generated from semi-structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The research found out that the rationale behind teacher participation in curriculum development lies in their closeness to the learners and the classroom in which the curriculum will be implemented. Other findings in support of teacher participation included development of a practical curriculum, increase of teacher professionalism, motivation. Challenges associated with teacher participation included time factor, lack and scarcity of resources, negative attitude among teachersas well as political interference. The study came out with three categoriesrecommendations; first the government should include teachers from different educational contexts, provide adequate resources and time for curriculum development as well as remunerate the teachers decently for their responsibilities. Secondly, teachers should develop a positive attitude towards research and their work in general. Lastly teacher development institutions are encouraged to prioritise curriculum development in the training of teachers.
Keywords: Curriculum development, teacher involvement.