Teachers’ Feelings during Curriculum Change in the United Arab Emirates: Opening Pandora’s Box

Mar. 29, 2010

Source: Teacher Development, Volume 14, Issue 1, (2010), pages 107-121.

In this article, the authors report partial findings of a qualitative interpretive study of female secondary school English language teachers’ perceptions of curriculum change in the United Arab Emirates.

The participants were 16 female teachers in three secondary schools who had experience teaching the former and the current English language curricula.

Data collection methods included repeated recorded face‐to‐face semi‐structured interviews, member‐checking group interviews and document reviews.

Data revealed that participants had contradictory affective reactions to curriculum change since they approved of some aspects of change but were disturbed by other aspects.
Their feelings evolved with time to become more positive as they became more familiar with the new curriculum.
A considerable number of the participants had low morale as they perceived their role in curriculum change as marginal, inferior and passive. Many teachers felt they did not have a voice due to issues of hierarchy and control.

The authors recommend giving a voice to teachers in curriculum change by involving them in curriculum development processes to eliminate negative psychological effects such as marginalisation and powerlessness.

Updated: Jul. 26, 2011