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Title: Intended and Taught GNH-Infused Curricula in Secondary Schools of Thimphu and Samtse Districts, Bhutan: A Mixed Methods School Effectiveness Research
Contributor(s): Thinley, Pema (author); Haynes, John  (supervisor); Jenkins, Kathryn  (supervisor); Cohen, Kristen  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2018-10-26
Copyright Date: 2018-06
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This study investigated the case of the intended and taught Gross National Happiness-Infused Curriculum (GNHIC) in secondary schools of Thimphu and Samtse districts of Bhutan. A mixed methods approach was adopted to investigate if the existing GNH curriculum has met the requirements for achieving the stated GNH values and principles.
The conceptual framework of the study was based on the school effectiveness characteristics proposed by UNICEF (2000), UNESCO (2005), Scheerens (2000), Creemers and Kyriakides (2006), Reynolds et al. (2014), Tshering (2014) and Windham (1990). The outcome of executing the Educating for Gross National Happiness (EGNH) plans via a GNH-Infused Curriculum (GNHIC) in the sample secondary schools may be contingent on the level of input characteristics introduced by the school policy planners.
A 6-point Likert-scale questionnaire (which was subsequently modified) was used to gather quantitative data from 22 government secondary schools comprising 202 teachers, and the data were analysed using the Rasch modelled statistical software, Winsteps Version 3.92.1. Both item and case estimates from Rasch were employed to ascertain the level of effective implementation of the teaching of GNHIC in the sample schools, which was founded on the independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV) of GNHIC. ANOVA and MANOVA tests on both teacher and school characteristics (age, gender, qualification, number of years of teaching, district, location, school category and day/boarding school) were undertaken based on the case input data generated from Winsteps. Correlation and regression tests ascertained the relationship between the survey scales and their predictability for identifying the effective implementation of GNHIC, which is determined by the GNHVITAL scale.
From the original sample of teachers (N=202), 12 volunteered for inclusion in semi-structured interviews. Transcribed interview data were analysed using Leximancer's text-mining software Version 2.25. The analyses were conducted under four separate themes: approaches, school resources, interpersonal supports and attitudes of teachers. For each theme, the top ten ranked concepts generated by Leximancer were reported.
A synthesis of findings from both the QUAN and QUAL phases of analysis revealed that the overall implementation of the GNH-Infused Curriculum in the sample schools is meeting expected standards, based on the criteria from the Department of Curriculum and Research Development (2011), now known as the Royal Education Council. However, in some cases, gaps between the intended and taught curricula were noted. In the analysis of QUAN, the two main independent variables that explained and predicted the effective implementation of GNHIC via GNHVITAL approaches were school resources (SR) and internal support system (ISS). This finding was supported by the QUAL data analysis, which identified gaps in implementing the GNHIC created by factors including lack of appropriate professional support from the school principals, absence of school policy on the GNHIC and inadequate school resources.
Recommendations for future implications of GNHIC and a way forward to strengthen the effective implementation of GNHIC, such as GNHVITAL approaches, are provided to strengthen the current practices of EGNH via GNHIC in the schools. This study adds to the existing claim that input characteristics such as appropriate teacher development programmes, relevant curricula, relevant resources and vigorous professional support from both internal and external school leaders are imperative for the effective implementation of any educational innovations in schools.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)
130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930201 Pedagogy
930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified
930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Doctoral

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