An international study of the changing nature and role of school curricula: From transmitting content knowledge to developing students' key competencies

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The primary purpose of this study is to investigate how key competencies can be incorporated into school curricula, what relevant instructional methods are needed and what institutional support is required to make school curricula based more on key competencies. For this, the study uses qualitative data from three schools (one each in South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand). The results indicate that a transformative approach, not an additive approach, is required. That is, teachers tend to restructure existing curricula to develop students' key competencies instead of considering the latter as a new teaching component. In terms of instructional methods, teachers are likely to believe that more engaging and participatory instructional methods would help their students to practice and develop diverse aspects of their competencies. Further, the principal's efforts to enhance communication and interaction with teachers is crucial to constructing local definitions of key competencies and shared visions for integrating such competencies with school curricula and instruction. The results indicate a need for redirecting the role of school curricula from transmitting content knowledge of academic subjects to developing students' key competencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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