Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Chan, E. (2006). Teacher experiences of culture in the curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(2), 161-176.

doi: 10.1080/00220270500391605


Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


In this study, I examined the experiences of two middle-school-level teachers as they attempted to acknowledge the ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity of their students in their curriculum and through their teaching practices, to identify the kinds of complications and challenges they encountered in the process. I presented one particular curriculum event to explore ways in which diverse beliefs and values intersected as the teachers implemented the event.

I employed a narrative inquiry approach with an emphasis on stories to learn about the experiences of my participants. I took part in all aspects of school life, including staff meetings and school events, classroom lessons and field trips. Interview transcripts, researcher journals, theoretical memos, and descriptive field notes were computerized and filed into an existing project archival system.

Examination of teachers’ experiences of working with their diverse student population enhances our understanding of factors that need to be considered as teachers implement a culturally sensitive curriculum, and contributes to the field of Curriculum Studies by informing teaching practices, professional development for educators, and decision making pertaining to the development of curriculum policies for multicultural school contexts.