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A major curriculum reform was implemented in Maldives in 2015. Little is known about how the new curriculum has been used and implemented in classroom teaching. This qualitative multiple-case study aims to examine the teacher-tool relationship of six teachers teaching sixth grade English and the factors that shape the teacher-tool relationship. The teachers were situated in four schools with distinct contexts – a densely populated urban context, a sparsely populated island with multi-grade classrooms, an island dependent on fishing and an island dependent on tourism. Data collected include three video-recorded observations of each teacher as well as post and pre-observation interviews. Brown’s Design Capacity for Enactment Framework (DCEF) was used as a basis to see whether teachers offload, adapt or improvise the curriculum. In addition, an analysis of the descriptive data, across and within the cases was done to identify factors that shape the way teachers use the curriculum. The analysis revealed that teachers use the curriculum in distinctive ways and included multiple layers of offloading, adapting, improvising and omitting. The way teachers use the curriculum varies from one teacher to another, from one lesson to another, and from one activity to another. Curriculum tool features, individual characteristics as well as the island context played significant roles in shaping how teachers use the curriculum in their teaching. The results of the study can provide curriculum developers with a different perspective in designing curriculum tools, particularly to create flexible affordances within the curriculum to allow for differing teacher and locational characteristics.
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