Curriculum reform that has an effect on the everyday practices in schools always entails translation of new ideas into new educational practices. This takes place primarily through shared sense making. However, our understanding of the different ways in which shared sense making is carried out is still scarce. In Finland, the district level plays an important intermediary role in orchestrating curriculum development work at the municipalities and in translating and mediating reform into school-level development work. The study explores different shared sense-making strategies employed by 12 district-level curriculum reform steering groups around Finland, including participants from 54 municipalities. Three hands-on strategies of shared sense making including comparison, standardisation and transformation were identified. The results indicated that different hands-on strategies have different functions in the process of making sense of the reform objectives. To a certain extent, the strategies can be viewed as hierarchical. Overall, results suggest that district-level actors aim to foster shared sense making; however, a more intentional use of strategies is needed.
Improving Schools – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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