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MAT 644: Chapter 1-The Field of Curriculum
Transcript of MAT 644: Chapter 1-The Field of Curriculum
Our approach to curriculum reflects our perceptions, values, and knowledge.
Some approaches can be viewed from a technical/scientific perspective that coincides with traditional theories.
Others are nontechnical/nonscientific perspectives evolved from avant-garde and experimental philosophies.
The Definition of Curriculum
There are 5 basic definitions of curriculum that centrally reflect the approach to curriculum (p. 8-9)
Curriculum is a plan for achieving goals, a range of a learner’s experiences, a system for dealing with people. Curriculum can also be defined as a field of study with its own foundations, knowledge, domains, research, theory, principles, and specialists, and it can be defined in terms of subject matter (math, science, English, and so on).
Foundations of Curriculum
There is debate regarding curriculum’s meaning, foundations, and knowledge domains.
Some people believe that the field of curriculum lacks purpose and direction.
Theory and Practice
Theory often establishes the field’s framework and helps researchers analyze data, organize concepts and principles, and speculate about the future.
Practice is the applied procedures, methods, and skills. It involves selecting strategies and rules that apply to various situations.
By AM Muteti
The Field of Curriculum
Logical and perspective, it relies on technical and scientific principles and includes models and step-by-step strategies for formulating curriculum.
It is usually based on a blueprint or plan that coincides with goals and objectives that are evaluated by learning outcomes.
This is the oldest and most common curriculum approach.
This approach considers the school as a social system in which students, teachers, curriculum specialists, and administrators interact.
It is an offshoot of the behavioral approach and relies on a plan, rational principles, and logical steps.
Curriculum and instructional leaders are managers who are less concerned about content than about organization and implementation.
It stems from a managerial view that emphasizes organizing people and policies in curriculum.
Sometimes referred to as curriculum engineering, this approach includes school "engineers"to plan the curriculum’s stages and structures.
The academic approach attempts to analyze and synthesize major positions, trends, and concepts of curriculum.
It addresses much more than subject matter and pedagogy; it covers numerous topics that are usually historical, philosophical, social and political.
This approach focuses on the personal and social aspects of curriculum.
Arts, humanities, and health education are just as important as math and science. Each child has considerable input into the curriculum in the humanistic approach which makes curriculum committees bottom up instead of top down.
It largely extends from the humanistic approach.
Reconceptionalists are typically more interested in theory than practical applications and focus on education’s larger ideological issues.
Domains define the field’s internal boundaries.
There is debate over the domains of curriculum and how to validate and rate their importance. Some of the top ranked practices for curriculum include curriculum philosophy, curriculum theory, and curriculum research.
How curriculum is planned, implemented, as well as what people, processes, and procedures are involved in constructing the curriculum.
A system of curriculum development can be open or closed.
The way we arrange curriculum's major components to provide direction, guidance, and a basic framework.
The way people design their curriculum is partly a product of their view of curriculum.
Roles of Curriculum Workers
The term curriculum worker encompasses anyone involved in curriculum development, implementation, or evaluation.
The Teacher and Curriculum
There are two main conceptions about the role a teacher should have in curriculum:
The teacher should be involved in every phase of curriculum making, including developing, implementing, and evaluating curriculum.
Others advocate for a teacher specialist in a more top-down approach.
The Principal and Curriculum
There is a general consensus that the principal should be a leader in curriculum and instruction, but there is considerable disagreement regarding a principal’s specific roles.
The Student and Curriculum
Some curricularists believe that curriculum making should begin with “diagnosing the needs of students”.
In the past, child and activity centered instruction which allowed for considerable student input.
Others believe that the bottom-up approach with the student playing a major role in curriculum planning would be inconsistent and difficult to assess.