Special Education Teachers’ Involvement in the 2013 Curriculum Development Process in Zambia: A Case of Selected Inclusive and Special Schools
In January 2014, the Ministry of Education in Zambia rolled out a revised curriculum in schools. A lot of literature especially in African countries reveals low involvement of teachers in curriculum development process. This study was conducted to establish the extent to which special education teachers were involved in the 2013 curriculum development and whether lack of involvement had implications on curriculum implementation for learners with special educational needs. One Hundred and thirty-four (134) respondents that included 120 special education teachers drawn from three provinces, 12 special education standards officers, and 2 curriculum specialists responsible for curriculum development in special education were involved. A mixed method approach informed by the Deliberative Curriculum Framework and the Critical Theory Paradigm was used. Teacher respondents answered questionnaires while Special Education Standards Officers and Curriculum Specialists were interviewed. Teacher observations were also conducted on selected teachers within the 120 sample. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 16.0 while NVIVO was used to analyse qualitative data. Results showed that special education teachers were not adequately involved in the development of the 2013 revised curriculum and they demonstrated limited understanding of the concept of curriculum adaptation, which is necessary for implementing of the curriculum to LSENs. The study recommends a deliberative cyclic training of teachers for special education to understand how to implement the curriculum to LSENs.