Examining the teaching of reading: Teachers’ implementation of the STELLAR programme

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Loh, Jason Kok Khiang
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Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) is a literacy programme in Singapore that is text-driven and supplemented with research-based teaching approaches and instructional materials supplied to teachers. STELLAR was fully implemented in 2015 and is seen as an example of effective scaling up of an innovation (Pang, Lim, Choe, Peters & Chua, 2015). This study aims to explore the relationship between the teachers’ concerns based on their years in the education service and years of STELLAR experience and the changes made by them during the reading component of STELLAR across schools. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) will be used to examine the teachers’ implementation of the programme. Two of the CBAM diagnostic tools used to study this implementation are the Stages of Concern questionnaire (SoCQ) and the Levels of Use (LoU) interviews. The adaptations made by these teachers will be compared based on their number of years of experience; the rationale for these changes will be derived from the interviews. The role of teachers in curriculum enactment is of great concern, because they play a crucial role in the scaling up of any innovation. According to Curdt-Christiansen and Silver (2013), “Policy innovations have little effect when teachers have difficulties in understanding the pedagogical assumptions underlying the policy goals and when their own pedagogical beliefs are not taken into account” (p. 248). If teachers do not understand the intent of the innovations, such innovations will be left outside the classroom. By examining and understanding the concerns of the teachers and the changes made, curriculum developers can ensure adherence to the intent of the curriculum, while allowing space for flexibility in the teachers’ adaptations. This will then help reduce the usability gaps.
STELLAR, Curriculum adaptations, Stages of concerns, Reading, Teacher experience