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Curriculum Design Theories and Practice

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Laurie Johnston

on 18 April 2017

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Transcript of Curriculum Design Theories and Practice

Curriculum Design Theories and practice
There are forests of theories about Curriculum Design but essentially there are four different approaches:

Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.
Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.
Curriculum as process.
Curriculum as praxis.

In a number of respects these different bodies of curriculum theory and practice link to the four main forces in Western curriculum-making in the twentieth century: the liberal educators; the scientific curriculum makers; the developmental/person-centred; and the social meliorists (those that sought more radical social change) (after Kliebart 1987).

We shouldn’t push the similarities too far – but there are some interesting overlaps – and this does alert us both to the changing understanding and to shifting policy orientations over time.

For the moment we are having to operate within a policy environment that prizes the productive, the traditional, standards and the technical. Where next?
The national curriculum
1. Overview
2. Key stage 1 and 2
3. Key stage 3 and 4
4. Other compulsory subjects
1. Overview
The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, as well as religious education and sex education.
The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.
Other types of school like academies and private schools don’t have to follow the national curriculum. Academies must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, maths and science. They must also teach religious education.

What tools and processes should be used in designing a whole curriculum? (Proto-typing, small and larger scale try-outs etc.)
How should the process be organized? How can it be divided over different functions within a team?
What theories on design are available and helpful for designing a whole curriculum?
How can the intentions of the designers be communicated to teachers and students?
Learning Activities:
What criteria do we have for well designed problems? What kind of activities should a well designed problem invoke?
Does a designer need teaching experience to be able to design educational activities? What other qualities are necessary?
What theories and heuristics are available for designing activities that start with real-world problems but are meant to invoke more general concepts?
What role can project-based activities play in a curriculum? What are the limitations?
What is the role of assessment in a curriculum?
What is the mutual influence of curriculum design and assessment design?
What influence has assessment (tests) on classroom teaching?
How are curriculum design and professional development connected?
How, and under which circumstances should teachers be involved in the design of curricula?
How much freedom should a curriculum offer to the teacher?
How should innovations in education be designed and implemented? What role can research play in these processes?
First we must understand that a curriculum is always subject to pressures and is always about judgements
What is to be taught, what has worth, what does not?
Witness agonising over music, maths, art etc.
Amongst the pressures are:
The curriculum is subject to many external pressures and restraints
Constructing the curriculum involves many stakeholders
the process of translating the curriculum in to classroom practice needs careful consideration
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