University of Oulu

Tikkanen, L., Pyhältö, K., Pietarinen, J. et al. Lessons learnt from a large-scale curriculum reform: The strategies to enhance development work and reduce reform-related stress. J Educ Change 21, 543–567 (2020).

Lessons learnt from a large-scale curriculum reform : the strategies to enhance development work and reduce reform-related stress

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Author: Tikkanen, Lotta1; Pyhältö, Kirsi1,2; Soini, Tiina3
Organizations: 1Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 1B, P.O. Box 9, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
2Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University, Virta (Åkerlundinkatu 5), 33014, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-02


Sustainable school development is suggested to result in both meaningful learning and enhanced well-being for those involved in the reform work. The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the relations between the strategies utilised in school development work, school impact of the reform and burdening in the context of curriculum reform in Finland. Altogether 550 district-level stakeholders responsible for curriculum reform at the local level responded to the survey. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was utilised to explore the interrelations between the reform implementation strategy, collective proactive strategies of well-being, as well as reform-related stress and the perceived school impact of the reform. The results showed that the top-down–bottom-up implementation strategy was related to the school impact of the reform and to the use of collective proactive strategies and reduced levels of stress. Collective proactive strategies also contributed to lower stress levels and enhanced school impact. The results indicate that the top-down–bottom-up implementation strategy provides an effective way to promote sustainable school reform in terms of enhancing the collective and cumulative learning and reducing burdening of those involved in the reform.

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Series: Journal of educational change
ISSN: 1389-2843
ISSN-E: 1573-1812
ISSN-L: 1389-2843
Volume: 21
Issue: 4
Pages: 543 - 567
DOI: 10.1007/s10833-019-09363-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki. Funding was provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Grant No. 6600567) and the Academy of Finland (Grant No. 295022).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.