Investigating the relationship between curriculum reform and changes in teachers’ beliefs and practices: a mixed methods exploration of the impact of introducing a historical thinking curriculum in Austria

15th November 2018 : 16:00 - 17:30

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Subject Pedagogy

Speaker: Dr Roland Bernhard, University of Salzburg and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room D

Convener: Professor Gabriel Stylianides

In 2008 official reforms were made to the history curriculum in Austria, informed by a significant paradigm shift within history education research (Kühberger, 2009) from a content orientation to a focus on historical thinking (Körber and Meyer-Hamme, 2015).

Until recently, however, there had been little research into the ways in which this paradigm shift had influenced the beliefs and practices of the history teachers responsible for enacting the reformed curriculum (Bernhard, 2018). These questions were the focus of a funded, mixed-methods study, conducted between 2015 and 2018. The seminar will draw on qualitative data from participant observation in 50 history lessons and interviews with 50 history teachers, as well as on quantitative data from questionnaires completed by a larger sample of teachers (n=277) and students (n=1,085), to examine the nature of history teachers’ beliefs and practices ten years after the reforms were introduced. Consideration of the relationship between the curriculum as it was conceived and as it has been enacted and experienced will lead into reflections on the implications of the findings for initial teacher education.