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Society Centered Curriculum: Why Should It Be Used in our Sc

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Denise Cherry

on 16 April 2014

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Transcript of Society Centered Curriculum: Why Should It Be Used in our Sc

How is Society-Centered Curriculum Different from Others?
With society-centered learning there is a sense of reaching out to the community and getting outside of the classroom (Ellis, 2004). Both knowledge- and learner-centered engagement takes place mainly in the classroom (Ellis, 2004).
The assessments for society-centered learning would be more project-based than the assessments for learner- and knowledge-centered curriculum. (Ellis, 2004).
Learner- and Knowledge-centered learning focus more on the individual learner while society-centered learning focuses on the whole group (Ellis, 2004).
Society-Centered learning does not focus on the traditional subjects of learning but does prepare students more for a future of working with others for a common goal (Ellis, 2004). This helps to better prepare students for future careers (Ellis, 2004).
Knowledge-Centered learning is more teacher centered (Ellis, 2004). The teacher provides the knowledge to students. With society-centered learning and learner-centered learning, teachers take on the role as facilitator and let students discover the knowledge themselves (Ellis, 2004).

Society Centered Curriculum: Why Should It Be Used in our Schools?
The society-centered curriculum attempts to address social concerns and community issues. This model stems from the belief that learning and schoolwork do not have to occur in isolation or in a vacuum. We can learn valuable skills and knowledge, and still help create a better world at the same time.
This style of learning promotes:
--Group work
--Compassion and empathy
--Community involvement
-- Better understanding of democracy

“Participation is the key…especially in real world activity” (Ellis, 2004, p. 73).
What is the Student Work Style?
This model focuses more on the group than on the individual.

Students work with each other and with the community at large to help solve larger problems.

Problems Taken From the Real World
The questions and challenges presented to students in a society-centered curriculum aren’t pulled from textbooks…

They are pulled from the real world, and the answers to those questions don’t just earn students good grades but directly benefit the society around them.

What is Its Purpose?
What Does this Style of Learning Promote?
Teacher's Role
The teacher must ensure that all students are understanding the skills and knowledge necessary to meet common standards, but are also working together towards a common goal.

“The teacher’s role is that of facilitator” (Ellis, p. 75)

Learner Centered
Teacher as facilitator

Knowledge Centered
Teacher as scholar/learner
Teacher-directed curriculum
Variety of teaching strategies
Society Centered
Problem-solving units
Subject matter disciplines as tools
Community resource people
Team planning/teaching/learning
Learner Centered
Incidental education (things that happen along the way)
Knowledge Centered
Mastery of subject matter
Student as novice learner

Society Centered
Group projects
Cooperative efforts
Leadership opportunities

Learner Centered
Nurturing creativity
Playful atmosphere
Freedom of movement
Atmosphere of trust

Knowledge Centered
Clear academic focus
Traditional discipline
School as workplace

Society Centered
Classroom/school as democracy
Real world as learning laboratory

Learner Centered
Growth oriented
Formative emphasis
Knowledge Centered
Formal examinations
Standards-based assessment
Society Centered
Real world outcomes
Citizenship and leadership development
Applied knowledge and skills
Group reflection
Social growth
Learner Centered
Sudbury Schools
The Exploratory Experiences for Elementary Schools
Reggio Emilia Education
Knowledge Centered
E.D. Hirsch Junior's Core Knowledge Curriculum
Mortimer Adler's Paideia Curriclum
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Society Centered
The Foxfire Curriculum
The United Science and Mathematics for Elementary Schools (USMES) Approach
So why should we use the Society Centered Approach?
• Perfect combination of individual choice backed by the support of the academic disciplines.

o Integrated studies combine real-world problems and school based knowledge

• Fosters citizenship and ideals of a Democratic society by preparing and engaging students in their community

o Students who leave are ready for civic engagement

• Creates the leaders of tomorrow!

o Justice, teamwork and collaboration, compassion, and a wish for change and betterment.

• Teaches students how to be responsible individuals all the while

Still Not Convinced?
Hear it from a student who attended such a society-centered school:

"For two years I was a part of the magazine class; as a result, I have experienced all the emotions that go along with it - the tears of angst that come with lost or crashed disks, the frustrations of a computer that just won't cooperate, the nerves before the first interview, the thrill of a good interview, and the incredible pride after seeing your name in print for the first time. Working on the magazine has also given me many opportunities to give presentations about the class at several colleges, universities, and conferences. With each interview and speech, I have gained something that no other class could have given me - the confidence and assurance I needed to go from being the most timid, shy person in my class to being a leader among my peers. The skills and opportunities I have obtained through working for The Foxfire Magazine are assets that will help me throughout my life." —Lacy Hunter Nix

The foxfire fund, inc.. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.foxfire.org/magazine.html

Learner Centered
Focus on the individual
Personal growth and development
Learner interest
Emphasis on affect

Knowledge Centered
Subject matter from academic disciplines
Organized scope and sequence

Society Centered
Search for social relevance
Education for citizenship

Thank you
We would like to thank the School Board for allowing us to present to you today. We hope you have a clearer picture of what Society Centered learning is all about and that this will be a new direction you are considering to take for our school.
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