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Curriculum: Foundations Principles and Issues Chapter 2

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Transcript of Curriculum: Foundations Principles and Issues Chapter 2

Curriculum: Foundations, Principles and Issues
Chapter 2

In what way is philosophy the main curriculum source?
In curriculum philosophy can be viewed as (A) the origin of curriculum development or (B) philosophy and curriculum can depend on each other, along with other processes, within curriculum development. Dewey viewed philosophy as the meaningful framework, crucial for the start and the implementation of curriculum. To him the educational system is like a laboratory where philosophic differences are put to the test (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 30).

Ralph Tyler’s curriculum framework consists of five elements to form create the purpose of school. He felt strongly that curriculum philosophy within schools directly influences the social aspects of the educational program(Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 3).

According to Goodland, before the curriculum philosophy and goals, the purpose of education must be established .He believes school should focus on the nation-state, the social order, but Western society emphasizes growth as individuals. Dewey and Goodland preferred education that improves individuals as well as a society. For generational progress this is to be a never ending process, better education children promotes a better society in general (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 30).

Reflection: With this all shared, philosophy can be viewed as the main curriculum source because it sets the foundation of the purpose of what and how education is to be implemented, along with the expected outcomes of better individuals who will hopefully create a better society. Today I can see how various approaches to philosophy and curriculum are imbedded within curriculum. I think over time philosophical views on curriculum have been introduced and bits and pieces have been added to current curriculum as time goes on. These beliefs take place in curriculum and within the classroom. I remember when classrooms were more teacher focused. Students were to be quiet and pay attention, mimic what the teacher expected you to learn from her and be able to do. Current curriculum has gotten away from that approach but it does have its place. Now teachers are being asked to guide students into becoming critical thinkers. They are to work in groups and have more discussion, but the teacher is still there to be a model when needed and facilitate higher order questions to guide thinking and learning. With the ultimate goal of learning, someone’s philosophy is the source that guided this change from teacher focused to collaborative learning. There is no absolute wrong or right, just trial and error to find best practice, therefore, giving validation to Dewey’s thought of education being a laboratory.




The matrix shows the differences in knowledge and values of idealism, realism, pragmatism, and existentialism. Idealism and pragmatism lean towards a more traditional way of separate content learning. However, idealists relate ideas to concepts and give hierarchy to more abstract subjects. Realists believe in the reading, writing, and arithmetic as educational basics, with engaging lessons that include logic and abstract thought, valuing the arts and science subject matter. Pragmatists and existentialists do not center curriculum around separated content matter. They both accredit learning through experiences of the learner. Pragmatic curriculum combines subject matter, while existentialist curriculum allows learners to freely choose the subjects and experiences they partake in (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 31-33).

Reflection: As an educator, I can relate to how all of these philosophies have influenced the educational system today. There are curriculums that are separated by content, yet there is integration of subject matter. There are curriculums that are more focused on student choice. Relevant to idealism, even though teachers are trained to create rigorous lessons, there is a foundation of right there or recall questions that directly relate to the content being taught. Recall questions today are considered to be the lower level, easiest to answer type of questions. Yet, those types of questions are a stepping stone toward more higher order questioning that does require more critical thinking. When planning lessons at my school we are to list a variety of depth of knowledge questions, not just recall or right there, to make sure we are preparing students to be critical thinkers. I have also noticed that the course learning objectives for this graduate course have an order of knowledge, processes, and reflection. In relation to realism, the three R’s are still the foundation of what school is all about, and when students come to school teachers have the challenge of teaching students how to think, and not just give them answers to everything. We have all had to learn the scientific method that directly relates to pragmatism. A step further, science lessons now have their own format, 5E, which focuses on inquiry and teachers facilitating learning through exploration for students. There are even Montessori schools that strongly promote student choices within learning , not a rigid curriculum or teacher that tells them what they need to learn at every moment. This philosophy seems directly related to existentialism. Though different, these philosophies are still a part of current curriculum.

Can schools promote equality and excellence at the same time?

Excellence and equality are seen within our schools, and depending on your viewpoint, possibly coincide with each other. Equality is defined as giving all students equal access to an appropriate education. Excellence is defined as student success, regardless of economic background. I feel, that it is possible for excellence and equality to coexist in schools at the same time. Each district provides free education to ALL students, regardless of race, gender, economic class, disability, etc. Within each school, students are provided with equal opportunities to learn and demonstrate progress. With that being said, although we provide equal opportunities, student outcomes depend on many factors. (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 47). Many teachers feel that students with special needs, have an unfair advantage when given modifications such as modified assignments or modified grading. But, in reality, it levels the playing field for these students and gives them the same opportunity for excellence. Although this is something that should be happening within our schools, I don't feel that teachers are always equal. At times, and without purpose, teachers have predetermined views of students based on their backgrounds. Once these views are in place, students are treated differently. Equality and excellence in schools can exist, and many districts are constantly making sure this is happening.


In terms of content and methods, what are the differences among perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and reconstructionism?

Chapter 2 focuses on four main educational philosophies: perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and reconstructionism. When looking at content and method, it is clear to see that there are many differences among the educational philosophies. Perennialism, which is rooted in realism, defines curriculum as being subject centered. Perennialists rely on traditional values and knowledge from the past (Ornstein & Hunkins, p.34). Teachers are seen as an authority figure, and instruct through oral expression, discussions, and lectures. Essentialists feel that core subjects such as English, science, math, etc. are the key content areas. Instruction is delivered through explicit teaching of traditional values (Ornstein & Hunkins, p.48). Progressivists view content as changing, to meet individual cultural differneces. Progressivisits emphasize problem-solving skills and scientific method (Ornstenin & Hunkins, p.39). Teachers value input from students, as instruction is student centered. reconstructionism, has a focus on changing and reconstructing society. (Ornstein & Hunkins, p.48). Content that is rooted in personal expression, is held above other subjects, according to reconstructionists. Teachers and students have the responsibility of making changes.
Each philosophy has its own set of standards, in regards tl content and method. It is up to the educator to determine which philosophy follows their own beliefs.
How does philosophy influence curriculum workers?
Philosophy is a belief system held by and individual or group of individuals. Naturally what we believe and value is a reflection of our background and experiences (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 29). In curriculum, I believe an educator’s passion for what they believe about creating the best education possible for our youth greatly influences their actions. That belief system is how curriculum creators determine the mission and vision for schools, what content is important, and methods used to facilitate learning.

Like the diversity of our students, educator’s can have diverse backgrounds and philosophy. We have to be open to holding true to our beliefs, but also be willing to broaden our knowledge and consider the perspective of others, as we would have them to our own. Division in philosophy can cause issues within the work place. Those who are very opinionated can cause a lack of cohesion among the staff. Those with a lack of philosophy and focus in curriculum can show inconsistency in their role, which can lead to not much being accomplished for themselves or the students.

Reflections: One way I can relate to division in philosophy is the idea of teaching with test scores as the main goal. Often there are administrators who have an ultimate goal of raising test scores. I believe good teaching practices that help grow the whole child, socially, academically, and emotionally, should be the ultimate goal. Progress in all these areas will show itself in end of year testing. A state norm should not determine the value of a child. However, there are schools where teachers are put under pressure to make the end of year test a daily focus, it could even mean their job. This can cause them to pay less attention to the needs of the whole student, and/or those struggling students, and focus on those who show more potential to pass state tests. Making the high achievers priority can make the overall school look good as far as testing is concerned. With most likely good intentions, this prioritizing of testing philosophy can have a negative influence.

Which philosophical orientation appears most contrary to mainstream education?

I believe that existentialism is most contrary to education today. Existentialists advocate that students be free to choose how and what they study (Ornstein and Hunkins, pg. 32). Under the philosophy of existentialism, students are learn from the experiences that they create for themselves. With this view, students do not respect authority or accept the view point of others. While students try to unknowingly take on the philosophy of existentialism, this is not the world of today. We all have to follow rules of authority, such as legislatures, policemen, principals, teachers, and parents. Furthermore, the 21st century relies and thrives on the viewpoint of others. Decisions are not made solely by one person. This philosophy does not represent today's America.
Which philosophical orientation is likely to most influence the curriculum field in the future? Why do you think so?

Ornstein and Hunkins (2013) said usually, a school reflects several philosophies. This diversity enhances the curriculum dynamics. Based on the curriculum in North Carolina and Lenoir County, I think that Pragmatism and Progressivism are the philosophical orientations that will most influence the curriculum field of the future. The philosophy of pragmatism focuses on individual interaction with an environment that is always changing. It is made of inquiry based experiences. Students are taught to find the 'how' and not the 'what'. This thought process falls in line with the country's forge to innovation. Under the Pragmatism philosophy, there is no knowledge of any particular subject, just experiences that allow students to adjust to change. Students are provided with problem solving activities that prepare them for the real world. Progressivism comes form pragmatism. It is based on the educational, social, and political reforms in the 1900s. The Progressivism belief is that students should be prepared to live in a democratic society. Students need specific skills like the scientific method, problem solving, cooperation, and self discipline to carry on the nation's work. Students' education was based on interdisciplinary learning where they are guided on 'how to think' not 'what to think'. Also, they should be able to come to their own conclusions about analyzed and interpreted data.

Pragmatic and Progressive learning is relevant, student centered learning where children can work collaboratively and learn from their experiences. In the future, students will need to be innovative, quick, critical thinkers, and problem solvers who can work with others and lead the country. Curriculum like STEM and Common Core focuses on procedures and is comprised of the necessary skills that students need for leadership. These programs are across the country and enable us to compete with the rest of the world.
Ornstein, A. & Hunkins, F. (2013) Curriculum, Foundations, Principles, and Issues (6th ed.).
United States of America: Pearson Education
Reference List

Reflections
Can schools promote equality and excellence at the same time?

Excellence and equality are seen within our schools, and depending on your viewpoint, possibly coincide with each other. Equality is defined as giving all students equal access to an appropriate education. Excellence is defined as student success, regardless of economic background. I feel, that it is possible for excellence and equality to coexist in schools at the same time. Each district provides free education to ALL students, regardless of race, gender, economic class, disability, etc. Within each school, students are provided with equal opportunities to learn and demonstrate progress. With that being said, although we provide equal opportunities, student outcomes depend on many factors. (Ornstein & Hunkins, p. 47). Many teachers feel that students with special needs, have an unfair advantage when given modifications such as modified assignments or modified grading. But, in reality, it levels the playing field for these students and gives them the same opportunity for excellence. Although this is something that should be happening within our schools, I don't feel that teachers are always equal. At times, and without purpose, teachers have predetermined views of students based on their backgrounds. Once these views are in place, students are treated differently. Equality and excellence in schools can exist, and many districts are constantly making sure this is happening.

In what ways are reconstructionists both realistic and idealistic? Mainstream and radical?

The basics of Reconstructionism is rooted in "socialistic and utopian ideas of the 19th century." (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013). This is one way that Reconstructionism can be seen as idealistic. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Reconstructionism was viewed as idealistic due to the fact that it was geared toward upper and middle class. Reconstructionists can be viewed as realistic in the sense that they now focus on improving society as a whole, and not just specific economic class. Since society is constantly evolving, curriculum must follow suite, and make changes accordingly. Reconstructionism projects thoughts from the past, to promote change for the future. This is seen as a mainstream view. Reconstructionists also have radical views as they empower and encourage teachers and students to break away from the norm and incorporate change.
Reconstructionism can be seen in many different views, as it is constantly changing to achieve the ultimate goal, a collaborative society.
After reading this chapter, I feel as though I have gained knowledge of the many different philosophies, ideas, and views on curriculum and education. This weeks reading, has continued to make me question my ideas and views on education. This chapter brought to light, the fact that each philosophy has the same outcome, to foster an ever changing society. I learned through the reconstructionists and perennialists view, that curriculum needs to enhance our society and focus on reaching all levels of people. I feel that as a society, we tend to put more emphasis on the upper/middle class. Based on the information I learned this week, as educators, we need to make sure we are actively engaging all levels of students. Education is necessary to produce active members of society, and curriculum should be based on a multitude of factors, including making changes when appropriate. Allison
In what ways are reconstructionists both realistic and idealistic? Mainstream and radical?

The basics of Reconstructionism is rooted in "socialistic and utopian ideas of the 19th century." (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013). This is one way that Reconstructionism can be seen as idealistic. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Reconstructionism was viewed as idealistic due to the fact that it was geared toward upper and middle class. Reconstructionists can be viewed as realistic in the sense that they now focus on improving society as a whole, and not just specific economic class. Since society is constantly evolving, curriculum must follow suite, and make changes accordingly. Reconstructionism projects thoughts from the past, to promote change for the future. This is seen as a mainstream view. Reconstructionists also have radical views as they empower and encourage teachers and students to break away from the norm and incorporate change.
Reconstructionism can be seen in many different views, as it is constantly changing to achieve the ultimate goal, a collaborative society.


Which philosophical orientation is likely to most influence the curriculum field in the future? Why do you think so?

Ornstein and Hunkins (2013) said usually, a school reflects several philosophies. This diversity enhances the curriculum dynamics. Based on the curriculum in North Carolina and Lenoir County, I think that Pragmatism and Progressivism are the philosophical orientations that will most influence the curriculum field of the future. The philosophy of pragmatism focuses on individual interaction with an environment that is always changing. It is made of inquiry based experiences. Students are taught to find the 'how' and not the 'what'. This thought process falls in line with the country's forge to innovation. Under the Pragmatism philosophy, there is no knowledge of any particular subject, just experiences that allow students to adjust to change. Students are provided with problem solving activities that prepare them for the real world. Progressivism comes form pragmatism. It is based on the educational, social, and political reforms in the 1900s. The Progressivism belief is that students should be prepared to live in a democratic society. Students need specific skills like the scientific method, problem solving, cooperation, and self discipline to carry on the nation's work. Students' education was based on interdisciplinary learning where they are guided on 'how to think' not 'what to think'. Also, they should be able to come to their own conclusions about analyzed and interpreted data.

Pragmatic and Progressive learning is relevant, student centered learning where children can work collaboratively and learn from their experiences. In the future, students will need to be innovative, quick, critical thinkers, and problem solvers who can work with others and lead the country. Curriculum like STEM and Common Core focuses on procedures and is comprised of the necessary skills that students need for leadership. These programs are across the country and enable us to compete with the rest of the world.

Which philosophical orientation appears most contrary to mainstream education?

I believe that existentialism is most contrary to education today. Existentialists advocate that students be free to choose how and what they study (Ornstein and Hunkins, pg. 32). Under the philosophy of existentialism, students are learn from the experiences that they create for themselves. With this view, students do not respect authority or accept the view point of others. While students try to unknowingly take on the philosophy of existentialism, this is not the world of today. We all have to follow rules of authority, such as legislatures, policemen, principals, teachers, and parents. Furthermore, the 21st century relies and thrives on the viewpoint of others. Decisions are not made solely by one person. This philosophy does not represent today's America.



Reflection


As I read the text, a few things came to mind. The first thought was that many philosophies were written based on the demands and events that were happening in the country. As different events happened, the expectations of society changed which means beliefs of the country were affected. The second thought that came to mind was that America has always needed to be the most powerful country in the world. This does not come without consequences. This idea trickles down to children because they will be the ones to run the country when we no longer are able. During the process of evolution in society, we all become a product of the change, good or bad. Those products also become our children that we teach everyday. Their needs determine the curriculum and how it is implemented. I realized that the effect is a never ending cycle that will determine the philosophies of the next generation to come. Tracie

Reflections
After reading this chapter, I feel as though I have gained knowledge of the many different philosophies, ideas, and views on curriculum and education. This weeks reading, has continued to make me question my ideas and views on education. This chapter brought to light, the fact that each philosophy has the same outcome, to foster an ever changing society. I learned through the reconstructionists and perennialists view, that curriculum needs to enhance our society and focus on reaching all levels of people. I feel that as a society, we tend to put more emphasis on the upper/middle class. Based on the information I learned this week, as educators, we need to make sure we are actively engaging all levels of students. Education is necessary to produce active members of society, and curriculum should be based on a multitude of factors, including making changes when appropriate. Allison


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