Communication and collaboration: The paradox of the new competency-based curriculum in Kenya
Keywords:Communication and collaboration, Competency based curriculum, Curriculum implementation, Engagement, Parental empowerment, Parental involvement, Parental sensitization.
Successful implementation of any curriculum is built on the foundation of teamwork among all stakeholders. The new competency-based curriculum in Kenya encourages teachers and parents to cooperate and communicate in order to implement the curriculum effectively. Being a new innovation, the channels of communication and collaboration used to involve parents in their children’s education have not been empirically documented. The purpose of this study is to explore communication and collaboration between teachers and parents for effective implementation of the competency-based curriculum in Kenya. Schramm’s interactive model of communication was adopted as a theoretical framework for this study. This study adopted a qualitative approach that used a grounded theory research design based on a relativist–interpretivist paradigm. The study focused on teachers and parents in 395 primary schools in Vihiga County. Purposive and snowball sampling strategies were used in selecting 12 teachers and 20 parents. Data was collected using interviews and analysed inductively using the grounded theory method of analysis through the constant comparative technique. The study established that teachers and parents were reported to be using several communication channels. These channels proved ineffective because each one used them separately. These frequently led to breakdowns in communication and insufficient teacher-parent cooperation in the implementation of the curriculum. Therefore, this study suggests using a number of complementary communication and cooperation methods. It is hoped that the implementation of the findings of these studies will enhance parent-teacher communication and collaboration.