Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Parental Involvement in Curriculum Implementation as Perceived by Nigeria Secondary School Principals

Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Parental Involvement in Curriculum Implementation as Perceived by Nigeria Secondary School Principals

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which parents are involved in curriculum implementation in secondary schools in Anambra State of Nigeria as perceived by male and female principals. A research question and a hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The survey research design was used. Participants were 257 secondary school principals. A 16-item researcher-developed questionnaire, designed on a 4-point scale, was used to collect data. Structured interviews were also used. Mean scores, content analysis, frequencies and t-test were used for data analysis. Findings indicated that in the opinions of male and female principals, there was a little extent of parental involvement in curriculum implementation. This indicates that irrespective gender, the principals in this study held a similar view of a little extent of parental involvement to curriculum implementation in schools. For this trend to improve, school principals and teachers need to make efforts for reaching and involving members to support curriculum implementation. They should design and implement strategies that will result in improved involvement, and at the same time, balance involvement vis-à-vis educators' professional autonomy.

Keywords: curriculum implementation, secondary education, parental involvement

1. Introduction

1.1 Background to the Problem

Education is one experience that most children worldwide have in common and the most common means by which societies prepare their young for the future. The underlying goal of all education is to create a positive change in the student's knowledge, achievement, and behavior. Education is not just about getting children into school, but making sure that all schools work in the best interest of the children entrusted to them. Schools provide various learning experiences that prepare children for future living. At the heart of these learning experiences is the curriculum.

The word "curriculum" comes from the Latin word "currere" which means "a course to be run". By this definition, curriculum signifies a course of studies followed by students in a teaching institution. It refers to a course or courses through which learning takes place. In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, course work, and content offered at an educational establishment. A curriculum is a "plan or program of all experiences which the learner encounters under the direction of a school" (Tanner & Tanner, 1995, 158). According to Gatawa (1990, 8), it is "the totality of the experiences of children for which schools are responsible". The curriculum is a tool that describes the teaching, learning, and assessment materials available for each specific course of study. As stated by Department for Education (2010), curricula usually define the learning that is expected to take place during a course or programme of study in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. It also specifies the main teaching, learning and assessment methods and provides an indication of the learning resources required to support the effective implementation of the course. It includes a consideration of the purposes of education, the content of teaching, teaching approaches with the focus being on the product as well as the process and a programme of evaluation of the outcomes. This implies that one of the functions of a curriculum is to provide a template or design which enables learning to take place. The curriculum generally delineates what educational objectives, content, learning experiences and outcomes of learning involve (Sowetll, 2000; Esu, 2005). Through the curriculum, the citizens of a nation are made to ultimately develop an understanding and appreciation of knowledge, learning and interaction with education. The curriculum thus affects, effects and is affected somehow by the purposes, structures and contents of the wider society. It provides the education system with an opportunity to respond to the contextual requirements of the times, to address a number of major problems in the present education system, and to ensure that current conceptions of learning, progression and knowledge are built into education. …

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