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Editorial: Curriculum change and teacher resistance

Carol Mutch

Educational change in New Zealand has been a hot topic in 2012. We have faced cutbacks, closures, charter schools and league tables, not to mention the ‘rejuvenation and consolidation’ of Christchurch schools following the 2010/2011 earthquakes. A common reaction has been resistance—from teachers, principals, teacher unions, academics and, in the cases of class sizes and the Christchurch closures and amalgamations, also from parents and boards of trustees.

In many centres, classrooms, schools and tertiary institutions, teachers might respond to top-down change with immediate outrage, deliberate avoidance, partial adoption, major adaptation, sneaky subversion or even quiet revolution. When we trust teachers and educational leaders to make decisions based on their professional judgement, these acts are more likely to be thoughtful and positive rather than negative and detrimental.

It is these positive acts of thoughtful critique that this issue of Curriculum Matters celebrates. While some authors in this this issue take an overt and deliberate stand against current curricular and educational policy directions, others quietly keep progressive ideals alive through their creative, reflective and innovative practices.

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