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The road taken: Professional pathways in innovative curriculum development

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Leat, Dr Rachel Lofthouse, Sally Taverner


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This article describes the phases that teachers went through in their engagement with innovative teaching strategies as part of a school-based research consortium linked to a university department of education in England. The teachers recorded their experiences and responses in diaries which gave access to their dominant feelings and concerns during the innovation. The diaries were analysed to investigate changes in the entries over time. The six phases were: initiation, novice, concerns, consolidation, expansion and commitment. The analysis also indicates the changing nature of professional support that was important during each of these phases. The conditions that characterized the 'working space' created by the teachers are discussed and particular emphasis is given to the fact that they collaborated with each other and with outside agents. Evidence from later interviews is used to suggest that these conditions have had a lasting impact on the schools. Further these conditions are related to the concept of social capital and the school research coordinator exploiting a 'hole' in the organization. It is argued that social capital among teachers and school leaders is critical to large-scale change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Leat D, Lofthouse R, Taverner S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

Year: 2006

Volume: 12

Issue: 6

Pages: 657-674

ISSN (print): 1354-0602

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1278

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13540600601029686


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