Secondary English teachers' implementation of the principles of the pedagogical recommendations of the National Curriculum 2012 in Bangladesh
: a qualitative investigation

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis investigates the classroom implementation of the principles underlying the pedagogical recommendations of the recently introduced National Curriculum in Bangladesh. It examines the recommendations presented in the curriculum documents and the ways in which pedagogic practices align with those recommendations. It also explores the ways in which the prescribed textbooks, examinations, teachers’ beliefs and other contextual factors interact with the enactment of the curriculum. 
The study used multiple case studies within the qualitative interpretive paradigm. Data were collected from multiple sources and using various methods: from four teachers of two secondary schools through lesson observation, pre- and post-lesson interviews, and stimulated recall; from a group of teachers teaching in a third school through group interviews; and from documents related to the curriculum. Multiple data sources were used to explore teachers' understandings, beliefs and classroom practices in relation to the learner-centred and interactive pedagogy promoted in the National Curriculum and to allow for triangulation of the findings. Data analysis was guided by the themes/categories derived from the analysis of the National Curriculum policy document 2012 as well as by the themes that emerged in each individual case study. The teachers' beliefs and practices were contrasted and compared through a cross-case analysis. 
The findings revealed alignments as well as divergences between teaching practices and curricular recommendations. Data suggests that instructional practices were shaped to a large extent by learners’ perceived proficiency levels, class size and examination formats and to a small extent by teachers’ beliefs and their knowledge and understanding of the recommendations. There were similarities as well as differences among the participants in their classroom practices in terms of the degree of learner participation and interaction in the classroom, the relative attention paid to learner differences, the contextualization of grammar, the quality of L2 input, formative assessment and feedback, all of which are recommended in the curriculum. Overall, a strong correspondence was found between teaching practices and examination requirements across the participants. There was evidence of the acceptance and gradual incorporation of the relatively new learner-centred and communicative approaches to teaching alongside the long and deeply entrenched teacher-centred approaches. However, poor dissemination of the pedagogical proposals, lack of clarity in the reform message, teachers’ limited understandings of pedagogical recommendations combined with contextual constraints such as large class size and teachers’ heavy workload meant that gaps remained between instructional practices and policy recommendations. 
The study provides insights into the classroom implementation of curriculum reform and contributes to research in the fields of teacher education and language pedagogy. It brings to light the partial and piecemeal fashion in which the reform initiatives have been introduced in Bangladesh. The results highlight the need for ‘joined-up thinking’ and providing teachers support in enhancing their classroom interactional competence and in adopting a wider range of grammar teaching approaches and techniques. The findings also underscore the need to address contextual constraints such as large class size, poor pay and heavy workload of teachers so that teachers get more time to devote to professional development.
Date of Award1 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorNicholas Andon (Supervisor) & Martin Dewey (Supervisor)

Cite this