Barriers to effective curriculum implementation

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Research in Higher Education Journal

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An administration of a private school located in the south reported the problem of a lack of curriculum fidelity to a new phonics program, which created a need to identify barriers preventing full curriculum implementation. Using the concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) as the conceptual framework, this qualitative case study identified concerns and barriers teachers report when implementing a new curriculum. Data were collected from 10 participants (8 teachers and 2 administrators) through a questionnaire, interviews, and observations. Participants were interviewed to identify any barriers experienced with curriculum fidelity of a new phonics program. Teachers were observed to determine which components of the curriculum were present in or omitted from their lessons. Participants completed a questionnaire to determine their levels of concern when asked to implement a new curriculum. Results indicated that teachers required additional information before the expected implementations occur and an understanding of demands on their personal time. Common themes showed a desire for professional development (PD), peer-collaboration, and access to curriculum resources, which served as the basis for the project. The resulting project integrated PD to address concerns connected to reoccurring themes. Implications for social change include change at a systematic level by providing administrators with data to support teachers during curriculum changes and substantiation for the benefits of understanding concerns prior to a change for improving curriculum fidelity.