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Curriculum making: the teachers’ perspectives Two key characteristics for being a successful curriculum maker are enthusiasm and commitment (GA, 2009a). The teachers involved in the Young Geographers Project brought these qualities, yet at the same time were, mostly, somewhat nervous of the opportunity provided to them – since their teaching practice was not infrequently inhibited by the con-straints instilled by the directives of the national strategies which still affected primary teaching (Alexander, 2010). Thus, the teachers viewed the opportunity offered by the project as both novel and risky while giv-ing them some freedom to try different approaches to their curriculum and teaching. Several were beginning to experiment with a ‘creative cur-riculum’ which a number of head teachers encouraged. All the heads were supportive of their teachers’ involvement in the project. This does not indicate that there were no constraints, but they were few given the supportive contexts within which the teachers worked. The key limita-tion the participants reported was the time factor, since the wider curric-ulum was not to be set aside and no additional time was available. They were required still to work to core subject requirements within their respective schools. Geography competed in their classes with other cur-riculum demands. At times they found themselves switching during the day between curriculum making and curriculum delivery, though, like the children, they seemed to cope with this. In one case a teacher was not allowed to take children off the school premises, though she could use the school grounds for field and ‘local’ work; she adapted her origi-nal intentions appropriately. There were, inevitably, some resource constraints, but teachers used the web and other means to circumvent these. Given the committed nature of the participants in the Young Geogra-phers Project, it is not surprising that the findings have a largely positive feel to them, though there are some surprises. Seven characteristics emerged from the project grouped under two categories. These categories are termed here curriculum dynamics. These are the ‘ingredients’ which provided opportunities for teachers to be proactive and to have agency as curriculum makers. What seems central to these characteristics is that they are, at heart, reflective of teachers’ attitudes to themselves, the chil-dren and the potential of curriculum making. Without positive attitudes supporting them these characteristics would not function. This is consis-tent with the concept of curriculum making which, while reflective of cur-riculum requirements, requires teachers to be flexible and evolutionary in approach, providing direction and having goals while being discretionary, considering options and being decision-makers as a class project develops. The two categories of curriculum dynamics are termed ‘contextual dynam-ics’ and ‘subject dynamics’.

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