Klibavicius, Darius

Klibavicius, Darius
Start date:
September 2020
Research Topic:
Pupils Experiences of and Involvement in School Curriculum Reforms
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kevin Smith and Dr Rhian Barrance
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Aims and purpose of the research:

Welsh Government is currently rolling out a new school curriculum. Whilst curriculum reforms such as this have previously been researched through the lens of curriculum studies, policy enactment, change management and school improvement, there has been much less focus on pupilsā€™ own knowledge and experiences, and their involvement in implementation. Such a focus is consistent with the influence of the ā€˜newā€™ social studies of childhood, as well as the promotion of childrenā€™s rights. This project aims to further enrich the research literatures on curriculum reform through the inclusion of childrenā€™s voices.

Research questions:

  1. What knowledge do primary school pupils possess about the curriculum reforms in Wales and what is their understanding of its different aspects?
  2. What changes and continuities have primary school pupils encountered in their everyday experiences of learning in the classroom and school life in general as a result of the reforms?
  3. To what extent have primary school pupils been consulted and/or involved in the implementation of the new curriculum in practice and what form has this taken?

Research design and methods:

Ethnography (fieldwork & participant observation); Participatory child-centred workshops; Pupil focus groups; Scrapbook diaries and Semi-structured teacher interviews.

Areas of research application:

This project might contribute to the research informed (evidence-based) policy making. Also, it can promote pupilsā€™ voice and their democratic participation in shaping Welsh educational system.