Milan Matijević, Siniša Opić and Goran Lapat: Teachers’ assessments of certain curricular determinants in Primary school

Teachers’ assessments of certain curricular determinants in Primary school
Milan Matijević, Siniša Opić and Goran Lapat
Faculty of teacher education University of Zagreb,  Savska c. 77, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

There  is  a  clear  prevalence  of  equipment  and  spatial  arrangements for traditional teaching from the front of the class in Croatian classrooms. During such instruction, pupils mostly sit, listen and watch. Further, it is evident that primary school classrooms feature several elements pointing to the use of constructivist didactics, and include attempts at adjusting the space and equipment to the developmental needs of pupils in middle childhood. A research team called “School and Classes for the Net Generation” organised several examinations of the assessments of curricular determinants in Croatian primary and secondary schools. The aim of this study is to examine the assessments of changes that happen in school and in classes (or those that could happen) under the influence of new didactic understandings and digital education technology. A specifically constructed questionnaire was used on a sample of primary education male and female teachers (N=214), which is representative for Central Croatia, since the data were collected through individual surveys in schools located in the City of Zagreb and in eight counties. The questionnaire contained 50 statements that the respondents had to assess on a Likert-type scale. In this paper, we shall present only part of the results relating to the pedagogical and curricular characteristics of the teaching methods and didactics of primary education. Differences in assessments were tested in terms of the working experience of primary education teachers. Primary education teachers recognise the characteristics of constructivist didactics and modern developments in the theory of education and the theory of school quite well. Most agree that it is important to organise classes in which the pupils are more active than the teacher, and that any curriculum is regarded as implemented if pupils are actually active. Most respondents hold that classic textbooks will soon be replaced by modern digital multimedia sources of knowledge. Teachers agree that all pupils should be provided with an opportunity to exercise their abilities in the best possible way, bearing in mind that everyone has different talents.
Keywords: digital media, curriculum, net generation, primary education, primary education teachers