Teacher Collaboration in Curriculum Design Teams: Prospects and Challenges in the Zambian Education System
Curriculum development is a task which must not be carried out by an individual or a group of curriculum specialists only since the process demands for collaborative efforts from various key stakeholders such as; teachers, teacher educators, Non-Governmental Organisations, religious leaders, learners, parents and community leaders. Based on research and the theoretical thinking of curriculum development across the globe and in Zambia inclusive, the authors in this paper sought to explore prospects and challenges of teacher collaboration in curriculum design teams in the Zambian education system. The reviewed literature especially from the Zambian perspective indicated that teachers were dissatisfied with the existing practice of curriculum development which insignificantly involved them. In addition, it was established that in most cases, the teacher education curriculum offered in teacher education institutions was not appropriately aligned with the curriculum offered in the school. This led to a number of consequences in as far as curriculum implementation was concerned because teachers who are the implementers of the curriculum were left in a dissonant condition. Consequently, most teachers’ encountered challenges when implementing the curriculum in schools given the fact that they were trained on a teacher education curriculum that was not aligned to the school curriculum. Additionally, upon graduation they were to implement a school curriculum whose development they did not participate in. It was thus recommended that the Ministry of General Education through Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) should broaden the scope of teacher involvement in curriculum development teams through extensive research and adequate communication channels. There was also need for colleges and universities to review their curriculum so that the teacher education curriculum was appropriately aligned to what teachers were to later on teach in schools.