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stewart ellis

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Curriculum

Based on a presentation by:
Laffyette Mitchel Amanda Tan
Megan Remedios Raquel Yeo

1. What is curriculum?
2. Definitions of curriculum
3. The 8 aspects of curriculum
4. The 4 levels of curriculum
5. Curriculum planning
6. Activity
According to Portelli (1987), there are more than 120 definitions of the term!
What is
Derives from the word's Latin roots
Used historically to describe the subjects taught during the classical period of Greek civilization

Interpretation of the word broadened in the 20th century to include subjects other than the classics

Education-based personnel such as teachers, principals and governors.

External bodies, parents and university-based specialists.

Industry and community groups

Government agencies and

Who is involved?
Definition 5:

Curriculum is what students' construct from working with the computer and its various networks, such as the internet

Students can construct their meanings as they locate sources on the Internet, explore issues and communicate with others
Definition 3:

Curriculum is all the planned learning for which the school is responsible

Planned learning = Long written documents specifying content, shorter lists of intended learning outcomes, or general ideas of what students should know
Definition 1:

Curriculum is the "permanent" subjects that embody essential knowledge

Every Child Matters

Key stage tests in reading and maths

Subjects not tested are not worth knowing?
Definition 6:

Curriculum is the questioning of authority and the searching for complex views of human situations

Consistent with Socratic maxim "the unexamined life is not worth living"

Postmodernist definition
Definition 4:

Curriculum is the totality of learning experiences so that students can attain general skills and knowledge at a variety of learning sites

Emphasis on learning rather than teaching
Definition 2:

Curriculum is those subjects that are most useful for contemporary living

A balanced curriculum should be concerned about contemporary living skills like critical thinking, problem based learning, and social skills (Rothstein, Wilder & Jacobsen, 2007)

Curriculum must include higher-order skills such as teaching students to think critically and to communicate complex ideas clearly (Wilson, 2002)
Which definition of curriculum do you think is the best fit in your work?
What were the cultures of your schools, how has this influenced you to this day?

What is the culture of your department? How does it affect how you teach?

What is the culture of your classroom? How does it affect your students?
8 Aspects of Curriculum
Some examples...
Curriculum Planning
4 Levels of Curriculum
8 Aspects of Curriculum
Planned activities that are allocated in the timetable.
(e.g. Academic subjects, CCAs, etc.)
Refers to activities that take place outside of school hours.
Participation is voluntarily
(e.g. Trips, Class cohesion, Community activity etc.)
Refers to curriculum predetermined in the syllabuses.
Refers to the reality of the students’ experiences.
What is not taught in school, left out, or neglected
Things that pupils learn that are not overtly included in the planning of school experiences or even in the consciousness of those responsible for such planning
(E.g. Philosophies, values, culture of the school, etc.)
Designed primarily by the governments, leaders, subject specialist from national professional organisations, and representatives from interest groups

Created based on the need of the society and its cultural influences
National Education subjects like Social Studies and Civic and Moral Education (CME) in schools

Drug and Sex awareness education in countries like USA, Canada & Britain

Refers to the modification of the societal curriculum at the school level due to the influence of the school's philosophies, subject offered, lesson plans and other written documents
Some schools do not follow the conventional sex education guidelines due to religious stand against abortion and contraceptives

Religious schools have compulsory chapel sessions and devotion time during curriculum time
Refers to the deliverance of curriculum content to students by school leaders and classroom teachers

It has to be acknowledged that human prejudice will influence and "modify" the curriculum when it is being taught to students
May not be 100% effective to all students as it does not consider individual needs of the students' ability

Hence, it gets further modified when taught to different students
Refers to the curriculum that is felt by students themselves

Highly subjective as in depends on how the student internalizes the curriculum
Some students may see the value of a community programme whereas others might find it a waste of time and choose not to fully engage in the activities
# Goals, strategies, specific tasks, schedules and outcomes for courses/content

# Planners are mainly policymakers and politicians
- Major in theater, dance, music, and the visual arts

- uses mainstream subject to teach Arts

The maths curriculum incorporates principles of design
science teachers use musical instruments to study sound and stage lighting to demonstrate the properties of light
Boston's Arts Academy
Refers to the advertised educational menu
Text material persuades

Materials and the structure of the classroom influence values that are not recognised by students or teachers (Vallance, 1973 - 1974)
This advertised menu does not exhaust what schools teach

The culture of the classroom and the school socializes children to values

The structure of the classroom + demands from teachers affects the expectations of students and shapes the content of what they learn (Jackson, 1968)
Goals: Teaching children to read and write, to do mental arithmetic and learn something about the history of the country

- Goals known to public
- School offers to the community an educational menu
- Advertises what it is prepared to provide
Do you think the choices below foster negative or positive competition?

Students provide teachers with what the teacher wants or expects

Exacerbated by programmes that use behaviour modification techniques

E.g. Competition in school
Compliant behaviour
Implicit curriculum of the school is manifested in more subtle ways

Can you think of any examples of implicit curriculum?

Can you think of anything missing?
Implicit curriculum is usually considered as having an entirely negative impact

It could however have some positive attributes:


Willingness to work hard on tasks that are not immediately enjoyable

The ability to defer immediate gratification in order work for distant goals

These form no formal part of the curriculum, yet they are taught in school
Factors to note when planning school programmes:

When various subjects will be taught

Amount of time devoted to the subjects

E.g. Arts curriculum vs. Science curriculum
System of rewards and punishments, grading, praising, shaping behaviour, socialising, setting expectations.
Purpose of reward system: To make children perform based on the reward

Increase or decrease the size or attractiveness of the reward to bring out the desired behaviour at the lowest cost

Modifies a child’s behaviour to comply with goals that the child had no hand in formulating and that might not have any intrinsic meaning
Reward System
The intellectual processes that schools promote and neglect
Implications of explicit curriculum
What does the timetable teach students?

The content or subject areas that are present and absent in school curricula
Two major dimensions:
Reflect on an experience of when you learned something in school that was outside the classroom

...Or should young people continue to let their curriculum to be planned for them?
Should we be given a choice of what we want to study when we are younger?
How different do you think the informal curriculum is for;
Since teachers and pupils are human, the realities of any course will never fully match up to the hopes and intentions of those who have planned it.
This helps us to appreciate gaps in theory and practice.
Anticipates the knowledge, skills, and abilities that today's students will need in order to function effectively in tomorrow's society

Preserves and transmits to students the culture and traditions of the past

Social values produced in texts may contribute to implicit curriculum and contradict what is explicitly taught
Is there a way to avoid instilling certain perceptions?
What can we do about it?
E.g. Law, anthropology, the arts, communication, economics
Why do we put an emphasis on certain subjects as compared to others?
Referring to the implicit curriculum educational theorist Elliot Eisner said:

"what they teach may be among the most important lessons a child learns".
- Proportion of time dedicated to arts subjects as compared to science subjects is relatively small

- Arts subjects are generally taught in Friday afternoons rather than in the morning

- In the morning, students are fresh, they can cope with the rigors of reading and maths

- In the afternoon, arts subjects can be used as a form of reward, break from demands of thinking

- Reinforces the belief that the arts do not require rigorous and demanding thought

- Arts = unimportant aspect of the school programme?
Implications of implicit curriculum
Motivates children to learn extrinsically that they will be rewarded in some way by the teacher

Implicit messages reinforce rather than challenge existing mainstream social values
A curriculum can nurture holistic skills in learners
Ultimately, the curriculum is only as effective as the deliverers and the recipients
The planned curriculum may not always reap the intended results
Reflect on what extra-curricular activities you did
What activities do you offer on your course?
How does your practice vary from the curriculum?
What is missing from your curriculum?

What skills are not taught that you think should be?
What do pupils learn that are not overtly included in the planning (E.g. Philosophies, values, culture of the school, etc.)
We are all familiar with the word... but what does it mean?

Write a definition of curriculum
Who is involved in designing a Curriculum?
Student living off site
Residential student
On-line student
What do you think is missing?
Fostering compliant behaviour
Teaches punctuality, a preview of the ordered world

Helps builds a hierarchy of values
Athletic competition
Formal grading practices
Differentiation of classes into ability groups
What rewards do you offer to achieve desired behaviour?
What is the explicit curriculum in your subject area?
What skills do believe will be needed in the future?
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