Curriculum implementation in the Singaporean education context
As encapsulated by the Japanese proverb, beginning a process such as educational change may be the easiest stage of the journey. Continuing the journey and staying the course of the change is the hardest part. Integral in the process of curriculum design is planning for its successful implementation. As Fullan (1982) commented, “Good ideas with no ideas on how to implement them, are wasted ideas” (p. 92). Eisner (2001) noted that “though the intended curriculum might be judged excellent on relevant criteria”, what is actually operationalised or experienced by students “may not resemble what was intended” (p. 33). DuFour (2004) described a cycle of school reform efforts as beginning with initial enthusiasm, but if there is lack of clarity regarding fundamental concepts of the reform, implementation problems would quickly arise, leading teachers to conclude that the reform is a failure and eventually abandon it. Tellingly, Hoban (2002) states that historically, “millions of dollars (have been) poured into the development of curricular innovations for schools with the expectations that teachers would implement them” (p.13), with only marginal success.