Minty S & Priestley M (2012) Developing Curriculum for Excellence in Highland Schools: A report on the qualitative findings for the Highland Council and the Scottish Government. Stirling: University of Stirling.
Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is generally viewed as a landmark development in Scottish education, hailed by its architects as ‘one of the most ambitious programmes of educational change ever undertaken in Scotland’ (Scottish Government, 2008, p. 8).i It is radical in that it calls for a shift in classroom practices towards more pupil centred approaches to education. This is accompanied by a renewed view of teachers as professional developers of the curriculum and agents of change, and a new emphasis on flexible, local planning. Despite the far-reaching implications of this innovation, there has been little research to date on the new curriculum. The research reported in this briefing partially fills this gap, primarily exploring teachers’ views of the new curriculum, and the nature and extent of implementation. The briefing summarises the findings from research conducted in tandem with a Scottish Government funded partnership project, established between a Scottish local authority and the School of Education (termed the Stirling Project by participating teachers). The project contributed to the development of CfE within the authority by providing explicit support for curriculum development to a number of different networks of practitioners. These development activities provided an opportunity to undertake research into teachers’ enactment of CfE. The research aimed to:
identify effective practices of curriculum implementation and teachers’ professional learning in the context of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE);
produce insights to inform sustainable, large-scale curriculum change and teachers’ professional learning.