How is curriculum developed?

BEFORE:

I think that school curriculum is developed based off the area that it is being developed for. A group of members who represent the province, and then each division or even school come together to decide what is important. Different aspects such as geography, culture, history and many other ideas are specific to the region and thus would play a role in the information that the students are taught and tested on. Each area will also have their own beliefs on different topics and those too would have an effect on how they develop the curriculum.

AFTER:

Curriculum has been determined as what the students are expected to know. It also sets importance to what the teachers should be teaching. It is largely influence and created through politics. While creating it little attention is given to the public because they are more interested on the political views. While creating curriculum they do so with 5 different things in mind: issues, actors, processes, influences and then results. Then they look at the very broad objectives and the very specific objectives.

When making decisions it is very seldom based off of facts, but rather interests. Curriculum is also made by those who are often experts on the topics creating it very difficult for typically teachers to be able to teach it successfully. Although I think it is good that experts are creating it, I think they need to try and create it in such a way that makes the delivery of the content more user friendly. This will allow teachers to have more success, which will allow the students to have more success too.  Curriculum also takes a long time to create causing it to become outdated and stay outdated for a long time before new curriculum is actually piloted and then implemented. This process is often so drawn out that teachers become so used to the “old” ways that new ways become very difficult to adapt to a teach.

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How My Educational Philosophy Was Influenced

This week I have been challenged to think more about my educational philosophy and who has had an influence on it. Maria Montessori is one individual that has a philosophy that is similar to what I believe in. Her philosophy is that educators should have a child centered approach to their planning and lessons. This allows for teaching to begin to be inclusive.

Montessori said that the greatest sign of a success for a teacher…is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” I think that this statement holds true in a couple different ways. One way is that students are all being included and successful in the classroom. Another thing is that the teaching and learning is being controlled by the students and they are connected to their learning and engaged in all the content.

Possibilities for creating an inclusive classroom include no one feeling left out because they are either behind or ahead in the content being taught. Lots of people think that an inclusive classroom is focus on those with some type of disability, but it should also be aimed towards those who have exceptionalities too.  The students requiring different adaptations should be met where they are at so that they want to continue learning and don’t just give up because they think they will never succeed. On the other hand those who are excelling should be given more challenging content so that they are not held back from there potential and sitting in class bored all the time.

Student controlled learning created possibility for a lot of success. If the students are enjoying the tasks and information they are given they will be way more likely to fully apply themselves to the content. Something that may be a challenge for this is accommodating all the different ideas and interests in your class while still covering the curriculum requirements.

This relates to my educational philosophy because I think that creating an inclusive classroom is one of the most important things. I also think that by making your teaching student centered will allow more of the exploration of learning to be done by the students creating an indirect teaching approach.

Ralph Tyler’s Influences on Curriculum Today

Throughout my schooling experiences I have never had to stop, take a step back, and question or analyze the ways in which the curriculum or content of each course was provided to me. This class leaves me constantly thinking about the ways my teachers taught and ways in which we can improve on for the future. During my education experience I had been taught in both the old curriculum, and the new curriculum. At first it was a weird change, and the teachers were uncomfortable in teaching, but as it was practiced more I think it seemed to be a better way to approach the content.

As a student in elementary, secondary, and now post-secondary education every outline for learning has been much the same. At the start you are given a broad view of what you are all about to learn, then you delve deeper into the subject matter, and it all eventually results in a test of the knowledge you picked up. And this is the way in which the Ralph Tyler rationale looks at how education should be done. Everything was very structured in terms of the information you were given and tested on as well as the different topics you were required to research and learn more about on your own.

Tyler is all about the content and how it is being taught and I think this is one limitation. It does not give much room to welcome the difference each student brings to the class when they walk through the door. It also does not give space for creativity. Classrooms need to be able to create an environment in which everyone’s ideas, and differences are accepted, whether it is a physical or intellectual disability, or a difference in learning style. Another limitation to Tyler’s rationale is that it is teacher centered, this means that the students do not get to contribute to what they are learning in each lesson.

A benefit to Tyler’s rationale is that is provides a simple start to developing a lesson plan, or a yearly plan for your classes and the curriculum you are required to teach. It provided a base line to work from. This can allow the educator to start to generate ideas and plans on where they are going to go with the school year. Another benefit is that is can be applied to all age groups and all subject matters.

Tyler’s rationale was and continues to be used a model used in curriculum and school all over. I think educators today are doing a better job at looking at the needs of the students, different learning styles, and the values of the school or community. Although the model does not take account for those typed of adaptations they are still very important to be considered.

 

Should common sense be questioned?

Kumashiro defines common sense as what is the “right way” to do things in a particular region or culture. Traditions on how different concepts are performs are considered normal, especially in education, and anything done differently is considered incorrect. However, the way one area or group does things, may be considered completely foreign or wrong to another group.  For example, In the reading “Introduction. The problem of common sense.” what the Americans considered the right way to educate was completely foreign to the people of Nepal. Nepal taught the way Americans use to so they went in with a feeling of superiority and tried to change the way things were done because they considered their ways to be better.

I think it is important to pay attention to common sense because sometimes things that become natural or habit can often be improved or become socially unacceptable. One example is that education used to be very strict and did not welcome student’s opinions, thoughts or ideas or the ways in which each student may learn best. Today what the students think and ways in which makes each and every individual successful are a huge focus and goal the educators are aiming for. I believe that although common sense is important, that it is also important to keep an open mind to ideas and concepts that are forever evolving and changing.