Furthering innovation in English as a foreign language curriculum has been a concern for the Colombian educational system for many years. Nevertheless, the major attempts at the national level continue to fail. Through this phenomenological study of 12 participants at a an urban public school in grades 6-12 I attempted to answer the phenomenological question, “What were the lived experiences of key stakeholders involved in implementing an aligned curriculum at an urban public school in a northern city in Colombia, South America? “The theoretical framework that guides this study included innovation, the theory of policy attribution, and the learner-centered philosophy. The study employed Moustakas’ modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi’s-Keen method of phenomenological analysis and van Manen’s (1990) hermeneutic approach to phenomenology. The researcher collected the data through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and reflective diaries. Seven themes emerged from the data: (a) aligned curriculum and political aims, (b) awareness of the significance of affectiveness, (c) a sense of ownership and lifelong learning, (d) communication as the cornerstone of implementation, (e) ability to face uncertainty and challenges, (f) ability to create transformational leadership, and (g) transcendence toward innovation. The study highlights the feasibility of curriculum innovation at the secondary level with key stakeholders’ commitment and full potential.


Curriculum Innovation, Aligned Curriculum, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Lived Experience, Bracketing

Author Bio(s)

Pedro Aguas holds a Master’s degree in Education from Universidad del Norte, Colombia and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, U.S. He currently works as full time professor at Universidad de Cordoba, Colombia. He also works as a researcher of the research group AHEAD at Universidad de Cordoba. Please direct correspondence to aguaspedro@yahoo.com.


I would like to express my gratitude to Doctor James Lane, my reviewer, for his guidance and encouragement to complete this project. I am especially indebted to University of Phoenix for giving me the opportunity to participate in a writing journey. I would also like to extend my thanks to Anthony Sernus, an English teaching assistant at Universidad de Córdoba for his practical recommendations. Finally, I wish to thank my children, Angie and Héctor for their understanding throughout this journey.

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