Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications
CHAPTER SIX: The Perceptions of Teachers in Sierra Leones Secondary Education Reform: Yee Han (Peter) Joong & Kathryn Noel
Yee Han (Peter) Joong & Kathryn Noel
In the 1990s, large-scale educational reform orchestrated by provincial, state, or national governments emerged around the world (Fullan, 2000). Whitty, Power, and Halpin (1998) studied reforms in Australia, England, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. Each country had its unique history and context, but all of the governments introduced policies that sought to reformulate the relationship among government, schools, and parents and to develop closer links among objectives, programs, teaching, and student evaluation. Reform in education often demands changes in practice that challenge classroom teachers. These changes can trigger resistance, debate, or passivity in teachers. Teachers do not resist change; they simply resist the transitions required to change, because transitioning requires letting go of tried-and-true lesson plans, activities, and assessment modes in order to move into a new reality (Sowell, 2005). In reform efforts, teachers often report feeling overwhelmed and under-supported (Helsby, 1999; Lasky & Sutherland, 2000; Soucek & Pannu, 1996; Taylor, 1997). In our previous research on reforms in Canada and China, we concluded that teachers were overworked and lacked in-service training, resources, and support to implement the reforms as conceived (Ryan & Joong, 2005; Joong, Ying, Lin, & Pan, 2006, 2009; Joong & Ryan, 2009). Changes in curriculum and the resultant transitioning require teachers to alter the “specific blueprint for learning that is derived from the desired results—that is, content and performance standards” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006, p. 6). Changes also require time for learning and im...