Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 16, No. 3, August 2012, 345–360.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The primary purpose of this study was to identify the curriculum orientation profiles of pre-service teachers participating in the teacher education programs at the Hashemite University in Jordan.
This study was guided by the following research questions:
(1) What are the psychometric properties of an Arabic version of the ‘Curriculum Orientation Inventory’ for use in Jordan?
(2) What are the curriculum orientations of pre-service teachers participating in the teacher education program at the Hashemite University in Jordan?
Rigorous translation procedures were utilized to validate an Arabic version of the Curriculum Orientation Inventory (COI) for use in Jordan.
Population and sample
The validated COI was administered to a sample of 259 pre-service teachers who were enrolled in the teacher education program offered by the Hashemite University.
The sample distribution was 37 males and 222 females.
The results of the factor analysis indicated that five latent factors with 29 items emerged from the Jordanian data highly consistent with the English version of the COI.
These findings suggest that the constructs assessed by the COI may be robust across cultures.
Results also indicated that pre-service teachers valued all the curriculum orientations to various degrees.
Specifically, they highly valued the Cognitive Process orientation followed by the Social Reconstruction orientation and the Humanistic orientation.
It is obvious that pre-service teachers’ first concern is the Cognitive Process orientation, where they perceive the primary purpose of the curriculum is to develop students’ cognitive skills such as memorizing, hypothesizing, problem-solving, analyzing and synthesizing, which can be applied to learning virtually anything (lifelong learning).
Moreover, pre-service teachers emphasize that the curriculum should also focus on fostering students’ ability to critically analyze societal problems and to take actions to establish a new and healthy society (problem-based approach).
Further, pre-service teachers valued the Humanistic orientation in that the goal of the curriculum should focus on students’ personal development and on their interests and needs in a learning environment filled with love and emotional support.
These results and views are also justified by the fact that the educational system in Jordan emphasizes the mind of the learner, the learning environment, and the society at large.
In other words, individual and societal needs are equally considered.
The other curriculum orientations that pre-service teachers are moderately oriented toward were the Behavioral and Academic Rationalism orientations.
In sum, Jordanian pre-service teachers draw from multiple orientations to form their curriculum beliefs.
The researchers concluded that all curriculum orientations are valued to various degrees.
A number of practical and theoretical recommendations are provided for the field of study.
From the practical standpoint, the Ministry of Education should take immediate reform initiatives which emphasize the curriculum orientations of all teachers in Jordan.
For example, the MOE could first use the COI to assess and evaluate the curriculum orientations of all teachers.
Second, the MOE could hold regular workshops to train and instill the values provided by the five aforementioned curriculum orientations in each teacher’s mind and to refine the curriculum, the guide, and the supporting materials as it sees fit.
Third, the MOE may adjust the promotional system of teachers and base it on their ability to value all the curriculum orientations to various degrees.
The university systems in Jordan should make sure that their programs of classroom teaching emphasize important values related to each curriculum orientation.
It is recommended that university administrators require each Dean from the college of education to conduct needs assessment of their programs.
Based on that, committees, seminars, and workshops could be utilized to incorporate each orientation to various degrees in the development of curriculum materials.
From the theoretical standpoint, longitudinal studies should investigate changes in the curriculum orientations of pre-service teachers over time.