Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Opinions of Parents on the Implications of the Primary School (1-5 Grades) Curriculum

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Opinions of Parents on the Implications of the Primary School (1-5 Grades) Curriculum

Article excerpt

Abstract

A complete success in implementing a curriculum mainly depends on teaching activities at schools and the parents' support of the curriculum at home. Therefore, it can be claimed that the views of parents on the implementation of a curriculum play a very vital role. Nevertheless, there is a great gap in curriculum evaluation studies that scrutinize the parents' views on the curriculum implementation. The main purpose of the present study was to figure out the parents' views on the primary school curriculum (1-5) started to put into practice during the 2005-2006 academic year. Within the context of a qualitative research method, a critical case sampling technique was used in the present study. The sample was consisted of 226 (206 mother and 20 father) middle class parents who have similar socio-economic and cultural background and whose children were enrolled in a primary school in the city center of Eskisehir, Turkey. The data of the research were gathered through a questionnaire, consisting of four open-ended questions, at the end of the 2005 - 2006 academic year. Analyses included descriptive statistics. In view of the findings of the present study, it can be concluded that the current curriculum received more negative comments, especially on its incompatibility with the secondary school placement exam (OKS), deficient information in its course books, and its ineffectual enforcement of handwriting. In terms of a few positive feedbacks, parents stated that it facilitated their children to become eager to learn, forced them to inquire, and helped them gain self-confidence. Moreover, parents believed that the current curriculum was more practicable when it is compared to the previous one based mostly on memorization. With reference to the gathered views of the parents, it can be claimed that parents could support and ratify the current curriculum as long as its unavailing secti ons are emendated.

Key Words

Primary School, Curriculum Evaluation, Parent Views

In some countries, parents might be represented in national curriculum development commissions in nation-wide, whereas in others they might be represented at regional levels such as taking a part in school administration boards or in curriculum implementation committees (Center for Education Research and Innovation-CERI, 1997). Lawson (2003) reviews the findings of research that explored the roles of parents' participation to education policies and found that parents engaged in education processes in varied categories. For instance, parents might play active roles in providing accommodating atmosphere at home, administrators' decision-making process at school, students' out-of-school activities such as cultural and child developmental activities, facilities which might provide help for teachers, parent-teacher associations of schools, solving school based problems and planning, implementing, and evaluating reforms. In terms of parents' involvement into the implementation of curriculum, Brantglinger and Majd-Jabbari (1998) stated that middle class parents can easily express their opinions and accept the reforms in curriculum; however, parents who have low income, generally state their opinions against the implementation of curriculum and they generally resist to accept the reforms. On the other hand, Rogers (1997) indicate that parents should be involved in planning and implementing curriculum regardless of their socio-economic and cultural background. Taking his suggestion into consideration, in addition to the responsibilities of other parties, a framework for parents' responsibilities in participation to the education process and their potential roles in their children's education process are outlined in the new primary education curriculum put into practice during the 2005 - 2006 academic year in Turkey. Basically, it suggested a framework that engages parents in providing support for schools, teachers, and students on the implementation of the new curriculum (MEB, 2004). …

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