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CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
Dr. M. P. Chhaya
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO My uncle and aunt Harsukhray & Ranjanbala
Preface Curriculum Is a Set of Influences Which Envelopes and Shapes Children’s Lives in The Classroom This book attempts to explain a rationale for viewing, analysing and interpreting the curriculum and instructional programme of an educational institution. It is not a textbook, for it does not provide comprehensive guidance and readings for a course. It is not a manual for curriculum construction since it does not describe and outline in detail the steps to be taken by a given school that seeks to build a curriculum. This book outlines one way of viewing an instructional programme as a functioning instrument of education. The teacher is encouraged to examine other rationales and to develop his own conception of the elements and relationships involved in an effective curriculum. The rationale developed here begins with identifying four fundamental questions, which must be answered in developing any curriculum and plan of instruction. These are: 1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided those are likely to attain these purposes? 3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organised? 4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? This book suggests methods for studying these questions. No attempt is made to answer these questions since the answers will vary to some extent from one level of education to another and from one school to another. Instead of answering the questions, an explanation is given of procedures by which these questions can be answered. This constitutes a rationale by which to examine problems of curriculum and instruction. This book does not suggest any one approach to curriculum research and development, but to put a great deal of diverse material into a new overall framework. The aim is to give teachers an initial ‘sense’ of the field of curriculum studies and a ‘feel’ for its concerns and complexities. It provides a springboard for further study and reflection rather than a definitive all-encompassing account. The purpose is to provide teachers with a mode of inquiry that will allow them to explore curriculum designs and to consider how these influences might be used to achieve educational purposes. Our goal is to have classroom teachers become expert designers in their own right; because it is the classroom teacher who converts curriculum blue prints into classroom instruction. School committees and superintendents set policy and manage the curriculum enterprise from a distance, but it is the teacher who is at the hub of activity. It is the classroom teacher’s leadership, which determines the realisation of curriculum in fact. Curriculum plans are most effective when they are made and applied from the bottom up rather than from the top down. To me, a curriculum consists in: ‘the planned structuring of the educational ideals of a school in accordance with the psychological needs of the pupils, the facilities that are available, and the cultural requirements of the time’. M.P.Chhaya
Preface...............................................................................................................................iii CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT..................................................................................i AND......................................................................................................................................i CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.....................................................................................i Preface ..........................................................................................................................iii Content...............................................................................................................................iv Chapter 1............................................................................................................................1 The Scope and Purpose of Curriculum Studies..............................................................1 Introduction....................................................................................................................1 ..............................................................................................................................................8 Chapter 2............................................................................................................................8 Conceptions of Curriculum...............................................................................................8 Traditionalist conceptions and functions of curriculum............................................8 Progressivist conceptions and functions of Curriculum...........................................11 The collateral curriculum or hidden curriculum......................................................13 A unitary conception of curriculum...........................................................................14 Influences on curriculum conceptions.......................................................................14 Ideologies of education................................................................................................15 ............................................................................................................................................18 Chapter 3..........................................................................................................................18 Curriculum Development................................................................................................18 Planning modes............................................................................................................19 Steps used in planning.................................................................................................20 ............................................................................................................................................24 Chapter 4..........................................................................................................................24 Curriculum Design...........................................................................................................24 The objectives model and its variants........................................................................24 2. The Process model....................................................................................................28 3. The Situational Model.............................................................................................29 ............................................................................................................................................32 Chapter 5..........................................................................................................................32 Organising Learning Experiences for Effective Instruction........................................32 What is meant by Organisation..................................................................................32 Criteria for effective organisation..............................................................................33 Elements to be organised.............................................................................................34 Organising principles...................................................................................................35 The organising structure.............................................................................................36 The process of planning a unit of organisation.........................................................37 ............................................................................................................................................40 Chapter 6..........................................................................................................................40 The Curriculum in Operation and in Context..............................................................40 Time and its allocation.................................................................................................40 Time and curricular intentions...................................................................................42 Organisation of subject matter...................................................................................42
v Curricular milieu................................43 Schemes of work and syllabuses........43 Teaching and the operational curriculum.................................................................44 ............................................................................................................................................46 Chapter 7..........................................................................................................................46 Curriculum Evaluation...................................................................................................46 Basic notions regarding evaluation............................................................................46 Evaluating a curriculum project................................................................................47 Sample evaluation models...........................................................................................48 Making an evaluation design......................................................................................51 Using the results of evaluation....................................................................................55 ............................................................................................................................................57 Chapter 8..........................................................................................................................57 Improving the Curriculum..............................................................................................57 Factors affecting curriculum improvement...............................................................57 ............................................................................................................................................65 Chapter 9..........................................................................................................................65 Paths to School Improvement.........................................................................................65 The magic bullet approach..........................................................................................65 The comprehensive-connected approach...................................................................67 Segmental approaches impede renewal.....................................................................68 Impact of effective schools research...........................................................................69 Improving teaching and learning...............................................................................69 Creating support for curriculum change...................................................................71 Continuous curriculum development.........................................................................71 ............................................................................................................................................73 Chapter 10........................................................................................................................73 Classroom management..................................................................................................73 Managing inappropriate behaviour in the classroom .............................................73 Honour levels and positive recognition......................................................................75 Some classroom techniques.........................................................................................78 Appendix 1........................................................................................................................83 How a school staff may work on curriculum building.................................................83 Appendix 2........................................................................................................................85 What preparation do curriculum practitioners need?.................................................85 References.........................................................................................................................88
Chapter 1 The Scope and Purpose of Curriculum Studies
Introduction Recent years have seen a great interest in what is taught in schools and what ought to be taught there. This interest has arisen for a number of reasons. There have been changes in society, in its attitudes and values. There have been moves towards greater social equality and away from social discrimination of all kinds, whether on the grounds on sex or colour or creed. Social relationships are now less constrained and less authoritarian than once they were. Alternative, and less conventional, ways of living together in society have become acceptable. Changes in society and in people’s views about what is permissible and what is not are only two areas of change which affect what people think should be taught in schools. Economic and technical changes also influence what people think the content of education should be. This century, developments in science and technology have been largely responsible for the rise in material prosperity, which most Western countries have enjoyed, and on which they continue to depend. Because of this knowledge of science and very recently, technology has come to be considered as essential an ingredient in the education of most children as reading, writing and mathematics. Science and technology have not only brought prosperity, they have also brought problems – problems of pollution and the potential destruction of the world in which we live. At the heart of such problems lie moral issues about how man should use his knowledge and the resources of the world in which he lives, and how he should treat his fellow men. ‘Should we not teach the young how to confront such problems?’ has been a
2 question raised by many educationists in recent years. This has been behind the attempts to have social studies and moral education taught in schools, and has influenced the development of humanities courses. Interest in the content of education, in the curriculum, is not simply a contemporary phenomenon. It has many historical counterparts. Over 2000 years ago Plato was interested in what the leaders of an ideal state should be taught, and so have been many philosophers and statesmen since, when they came to consider the educational problems of the society. The reason for their interest is simple: the content of education, the curriculum, is at the heart of the educational enterprise. It is the means through which education is transacted. Without a curriculum education has no vehicle, anything through which to transmit its messages, to convey its meanings, to transmit its values. It is mainly because of the crucial role, which the curriculum plays in educational activities that it is worthy of study. The meaning of curriculum Scholars in the curriculum field have sometimes become lost in arguments about the semantics of curriculum definitions. A definition commonly used during the thirties and forties was “the curriculum of a school is all the experiences that pupils have under the guidance of that school.” A counter definition, generally considered to be too broad, was “a child’s curriculum in a given day of his life is all that he or she experiences from the moment of waking to the moment of falling asleep.” The other definition of the curriculum is “the planned and guided learning experiences and intended learning outcomes, formulated through the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experience, under the auspices of the school, for the learner’s continuous and wilful growth in personal-social competence.” Persons have interpreted the term ‘curriculum’ very differently over the years. Oliva (1988) provides us with an interesting range: Curriculum is that which is taught in school. Curriculum is a set of subjects. Curriculum is content. Curriculum is a set of materials. Curriculum is a set of performance objectives. Curriculum is that which is taught both inside and outside of school directed by the school. Curriculum is that which an individual learner experiences as a result of schooling. Curriculum is everything that is planned by school personnel. To define curriculum as ‘what is taught in schools’ is of course, very vague. Persons often talk about the ‘school curriculum’ in this general way and they tend to mean by this the range of subjects taught and the amount of instruction time given to each in terms of hours or minutes. Curriculum defined as “content’ is an interesting emphasis and brings into question another term, namely the ‘syllabus’. A ‘syllabus’ is usually a summary statement about the content to be taught in a course or unit, often linked to an external examination. This emphasis on WHAT content to be taught is a critical element of a ‘syllabus’ but a
3 ‘curriculum’ includes more than this. For example, HOW you teach content can drastically affect what is taught. Also, the extent to which the students are sufficiently prepared and motivated to study particular content will affect very greatly what is learnt. Curriculum is quite often defined as a product – a document that includes details about goals, objectives, content, teaching techniques, evaluation and assessment, resources. Sometimes these are official documents issued by the government or one of its agencies and which prescribe HOW and WHAT is to be taught. Of course, it is important to realise that a curriculum document represents the ideal rather than the actual curriculum. A teacher may not accept all aspects of a written curriculum and/or be unable to implement a curriculum exactly as prescribed due to lack of training and understanding. There can be gaps between the intended, ideal curriculum and the actual curriculum. It may be that the level and interests of the students, or local community preferences, may prevent a teacher from implementing a curriculum as prescribed. A curriculum is defined as a ‘set of performing objectives’ or student learning, which is a very practical orientation to curriculum. This approach focus upon specific skills or knowledge that it is considered should be attained by students. Proponents of this approach argue that if a teacher knows the targets which students should achieve, it is so much easier to organise other elements to achieve this end, such as the appropriate content and teaching methods. Few would deny that strength of this approach is the emphases upon students. After all, they are the ultimate consumers and it is important to focus upon what it is anticipated that they will achieve and to organise all teaching activities to that end. Yet it must also be remembered that this approach can lead to an over emphasis upon behavioural outcomes and objectives which can be easily measured. Some skills and values are far more difficult to state in terms of performance objectives. Also, a curriculum document, which is simply a listing of performance objectives would have to be very large and tends to be unwieldy. To define curriculum as ‘that which is taught both inside and outside school directed by the school’ indicates that all kinds of activities that occur in the classroom, playground and community comprise the curriculum. This emphasis has merit in that it demonstrates that school learning is not just confined to the classroom. However, it should be noted that the emphasis is upon ‘direction’ by the school, which seems to indicate that the only important learning experiences are those which are directed by school personnel. Few would accept this statement and so it is necessary to look at other definitions. To define curriculum in terms of ‘what an individual learner experiences as a result of schooling’ is an attempt to widen the focus. The emphasis here is upon the student as a self-motivated learner. Each student should be encouraged to select those learning experiences that will enable him/her to develop into a fully functioning person. However, it should be noted that each student acquires knowledge, skills and values not only from the official or formal curriculum but also from the unofficial or hidden curriculum. The hidden curriculum is implicit within regular school procedures, in curriculum materials, and in communication approaches and mannerisms used by staff. It is important to remember that students do learn a lot from the hidden curriculum even though this is not intended by teachers. The definition, which refers to curriculum as ‘everything that is planned by school personnel’ is yet another orientation, which emphasises the planning aspect of curriculum. Few would deny that classroom learning experiences for students need to be
4 planned although unplanned activities will always occur (and these can have positive or negative effects). This definition also brings to bear the distinction between curriculum and instruction. It may be argued that curriculum is the WHAT and instruction is the HOW, or another way of expressing it – ‘curriculum activity is the production of plans for further action and instruction is the putting of plans into action’ The definition presupposes that some conscious planning is possible, and indeed desirable, and there are some important elements, which are common to any planning activity, regardless of the particular value orientation. It also assumes that the learning activities experienced by students in classroom settings are managed and mediated by teachers so that intended outcomes can be reconciled with practical day-to-day restrictions. Aims, Objectives and the Curriculum Subjects studied and activities provided in schools are there for a reason. In the most general terms, they are there because it is believed they will serve worthwhile purposes and are likely to achieve intended and desired ends. The major purpose of the subjects to be studied is to provide ‘a basis for the future development of your mind, including your various skills’. The training in different ways of learning, thinking and acquiring knowledge is a means to this end. It is not the end in itself. The end is a basis for continuing intellectual development, which is taken to include the capacity to exercise a range of relevant skills. The end or aim is not assured of achievement, of realisation. It is what is hoped for, what is intended as the outcome of the endeavour. It is clear that the curriculum serves a purposive function, which is broad in scope, and that constituent part of the curriculum – subject studied or activities provided – are the means through which worthwhile purposes may be achieved. The intended ends of studying subjects, the different ways of learning, which they help to develop, the skills and capacities engendered by learning experiences, are the objectives of the curriculum. They are not the overall purposes or aims, which the curriculum is intended to serve. Much has been made of the distinction between the aims, which the curriculum serves and the objectives through which the aims may be achieved, because of the strong emphasis on objectives. When placed in the correct perspective, as means not final ends, curriculum objectives can be valuable aids in curriculum planning but only after the overall purposes of the curriculum are made explicit. Teasing out the aims that a curriculum serves comes not from a consideration of the activities or subjects which comprise the curriculum but from a study of the reasons given for justifying the selection of subjects to be studied or activities to be experienced. In most cases the reasons are rooted in particular conceptions of education – in beliefs about what education is. Conception of education and the curriculum Views about what education is for are not fixed and permanent. They are subject to change and, because this is so, views of what should be taught in schools are also subject to change. At the beginning of this century the goal of education for the most of the population was universal literacy. Today education aims at very much more even at the primary stage – as social, moral, aesthetic, physical, intellectual and ‘personal’
5 development. Language and literacy have a role to play in the achievement of all these aims. More than change is responsible for differing views of education. There are the beliefs, strongly held, about what aims education should serve. There is the belief that in essence education is the transmission of culture –the means where by a society ensures the continuity of values from one generation to the next and so conserves itself. A contrary belief holds that it is not the function of education to help conserve society but to enhance to the maximum the individual’s potential. There are other beliefs too, for example, the function of education in servicing the ‘expert’ society with skilled manpower. It is these beliefs about the nature of education and its aims, which set the context for decisions about what to teach, and even about how much to teach it. This is because beliefs about what education is encompass beliefs about what knowledge is, about knowing, about meaning and about how learning takes place. One ideology prominent in primary education asserts that knowing is an active process in which the child must be caught up; that knowledge is what has meaning for the child at the child’s stage of development; and that learning takes place by a process of exploration and discovery. In contrast a very different ideology, especially dominant in traditional middle school education, asserts: a) that knowledge is organised in subjects; b) that knowing is the acquisition of the ordered information within these subjects; c) that meaning is acquired from an understanding of the principles which govern ways ordering the information within specific subjects; d) and that learning takes place by submitting oneself to the discipline of the subject. Moreover the best kind of learning is that which requires ‘depth’ and comes from the study of a few subjects. Curriculum development In theory, at least, the curriculum is developed from particular views as to what education is. In practice, beliefs about the nature of education are mixed – more a matter of relative emphasis than complete reliance on one view to the exclusion of others – and much a matter of habit and history. What was taught yesterday tends to be taught today unless conscious efforts are made to change it through developing alternatives. The planning and creation of alternative curricula is what curriculum development is about. Its end products are a range of intended curricula comprising proposals for what ought to be taught in schools. The processes of curriculum development range from small-scale modifications of current practices to large-scale innovations in which new curricular possibilities emerge. The development of this project begins with a general point of view about what should be taught and proceeded to develop the means to give these ideas a practical realisation. This happens through the employment of some media. This material becomes the focus of teaching and learning of skills and capabilities, attitudes and values which are considered worthwhile in that they will lead to a better understanding of mankind’s problems. The development of new points of view about what should be taught is surrounded by contention. New curricular possibilities have to compete with already established
6 assumptions about what should be taught in the schools. From the time when a new curricular possibility emerges to its implementation in the schools may be as long as fifty or more years. It is also the case that some potential curricular innovations are never realised, as was the case with the movement to establish Citizenship as a subject in the secondary school curriculum. Understanding the issues involved in activities concerned with curriculum development is a crucial area of the curriculum studies. Without an understanding of the issues teachers remain at the mercy of events, of unnoticed assumptions, of unrecognised influences and of the prejudices of habit and practice. Equally important to an understanding of the process of curriculum development is an understanding of what happens to intended curricula as they are worked upon in schools and classrooms. The curriculum in operation It is only when the curriculum is enacted, given meaning through teaching, that it finally becomes a reality for pupils. It is through the operations of teaching and learning which follows that intended curricula are realised. However, between intention and realisation there are many decisions to be taken and issues to be resolved, and there are many factors that constrain the best efforts of teachers to achieve the aims of curriculum. At a selfevident level are the abilities of the children, their eagerness to learn, and the support they receive from home. There are the numbers of the children, which a teacher has to manage, the physical conditions of school and classroom, and there is the skill and the experience of the teacher. These factors and many more make the realisation of the intended curriculum problematic. At a less obvious level, the teacher’s perception of what was intended by the curriculum developers and his ability to shape his teaching so as to facilitate the achievement of their intentions add to the difficulties in realising the objectives and the aims of the curriculum. It is in the unnoticed assumptions which teachers make about teaching and learning and in their habits and practices that the problem may have its roots. The factors such as how intended curricula are enacted, how they become operational, the factors which may affect them and result in unintended effects, are all important to study. It is in the school and the classroom that students of the curriculum must look to see what the curriculum is, and in doing so to begin to appreciate just how complex is the task of giving reality to the aims and objectives (and conceptions of education) which it was developed to convey. Curriculum evaluation Curriculum evaluation is seen as essentially concerned with judging curricula through processes of measurement or valuing or a combination of the two. In the past, curriculum workers have placed greater emphasis on measurement; they have been concerned to assess the extent to which the aims and objectives of curricula (skills, capabilities, attitudes etc.) have been achieved. In this form curriculum evaluation has employed various types of assessment – tests, scales, inventories and examinations – and has attempted to quantify its results. It has focussed on the output of operational
7 curricula, comparing this with the intentions embedded in intended curricula. It has tended to deal in quantifiable evidence, more than in values. However, more recently, the centrality of values in evaluation has been stressed. Values enter into the determination of curricular aims and objectives, into the means proposed to achieve these and into the interpretation of any measurement process that may be employed. Values are involved in the understandings, meanings, interpretations and motivations of those concerned with curriculum development and operational curricula. A particularly important aspect of evaluation is congruence or the establishment through judgement of the extent to which values embodied in conceptions of education are incorporated in intended curricula. This is a more reflective process than a measurement process. It is usually less deliberately exercised than the process of measurement and tends to be overlooked. Another important form of evaluation judgement is ‘curriculum appreciation’ which takes into account both facts and values. It aims to make a judgement about whether what is taking place is what is wanted, to consider the worthwhile ness of the educational process (including the role which the curriculum plays in it) and to decide whether or not to propose changes. Curriculum theory There are two types of curriculum theory – prescriptive and scientific. The aim of the first one is to provide guidance for curricular practices. The aim of the second is to provide description, explanation, understanding and, if possible, prediction. The second takes curricular practices as they are. The first strives to move curricular practices toward a desired pattern. Prescriptive curriculum theory draws on the findings of scientific curriculum theory if it finds them useful. In turn scientific curriculum theory may take prescriptive curriculum theory as an object of theorising if it promises to enhance the understanding of what the curriculum is and how it comes about. Purpose of curriculum studies The following reasons may be offered for studying the curriculum: 1. The central role which the curriculum plays in the educational process makes it important that we should know as much as possible about how curricula come into being and function. Here the concern of curriculum studies is to improve our understanding of an important part of the educational enterprise. 2. The concern to improve the curricula can be provided with practical backing from a study of the curriculum development and planning processes. 3. The need to monitor the effects of curricula can be better served by a clearer understanding of how curricula are intended to function and of the factors, which affect their actual implementation. For these and other reasons the study of the curriculum promises to be useful to teachers who have to enact the curriculum and to pupils and society whom it is intended to benefit.
Chapter 2 Conceptions of Curriculum
Curricula embody perspectives from human culture considered important enough to merit systematic transmission. But unlike oral transmission of culture in technologically ‘primitive’ societies, curricula are found in specific institutional settings such as schools, colleges and universities. They are part of educational systems. As such they also embody beliefs about education; they invest the educational enterprise with different kinds of meaning. Embedded in them are conceptions of education – of what the enterprise is about and how it often taken-for-granted, these embedded conceptions give form to curricula, result in different curricular emphases and lead to very different practices in school and classroom. Such conceptions constitute an input into the curriculum development. An examination is made of the conflicting conceptions and functions of the curriculum as reflected in conflicting educational ideologies or philosophies. Traditionalist conceptions and functions of curriculum 1. Curriculum as the cumulative tradition of organised knowledge During the early years of the twentieth century, most educators held to the traditional concept of curriculum as the body of subjects or subject matters set out by teachers for students to cover. Many traditionalists found such a definition far too broad, for it allowed room for any new subject to be added and any established subject to be deleted from the curriculum. Holding that there are permanent or essential subjects or bodies of knowledge, these traditionalists contended that any conception of curriculum must embrace these particular studies. In their view, any concept of curriculum that does not
9 reveal what the body of subjects or subject matters should consist of is meaningless. Adding to the confusion, such terms as course of study and syllabus were also being used synonymously with curriculum. The perenialist position holds that the curriculum should consist principally of the ‘permanent studies’ – the rules of grammar, reading, rhetoric and logic, and mathematics, and literature. The three R’s rightly recognise and state the studies, which are proper in elementary education, because they require no special knowledge or experience for their comprehension. The perennialist or classical humanist devalues the dynamic nature of knowledge, the modern scientific studies, and the practical application of knowledge. Another problem with perennialism is its fundamental premise that the sole purpose of education should be the cultivation of intellect, and that only certain studies have the power. Grammar disciplines the mind and develops the logical faculty. Correctness in thinking may be more directly and impressively taught through mathematics than in any other way and the permanent studies cultivate the intellectual virtues. Essentialists believe that the mission of the school is ‘intellectual training’ and this is to be accomplished through a curriculum concentrated on ‘the fundamental intellectual disciplines in five great areas: 1. Command of the mother tongue and the systematic study of grammar, literature and writing; 2. Mathematics; 3. Sciences; 4. History; and 5. Foreign language.’ Although the essentialist, unlike the perennialist, recognises the place of the modern laboratory sciences in the curriculum, the essentialist places the modern social sciences, vocational education, physical education, art, music, and other non-academics studies at the lowest priority levels in the curriculum. The first duty of the school is to provide a standard programme of intellectual training in the fundamental disciplines. 2 Curriculum as an instructional plan or course of study One of the most longstanding conceptions of curriculum is that of instructional plan or, a course of study. The most systematic application of this concept of curriculum was made through the disciplinary curriculum reforms. Although the method claimed for the implementation of the discipline-centred curriculum was to be that of inquiry learning, the method of inquiry (or discovery) became little more than a slogan, especially when many of those responsible for creating the disciplinary curriculum packages sought to make them teacher proof. Curriculum revision encompasses four distinct components: (1) Determining the precise boundaries of the educational unit, (2) Identifying the subject matter within the unit, (3) Embodying the subject matter in material form (textbook, laboratory and classroom materials, and other learning aids), and (4) Preparing teachers in the subject matter and use of materials. In effect, the curriculum was seen as synonymous with the course of study. Beauchamp points out that curriculum include at least one of the following four elements: (1) an outline of the culture content to be taught,
10 (2) a statement of goals and/or specific objectives, (3) a statement of the purposes for the creation of the curriculum and the ways in which the curriculum is to be used, and, more rarely, (4) an appraisal scheme. 3. Curriculum as measured instructional outcomes—A technological production model The new instructional technology and the growing trend toward standardisedachievement testing have given impetus to conceiving of the curriculum in terms of test results. With schools and teachers being evaluated according to student scores on standardised tests, there has been an increasing tendency for teachers to teach to the test. Hence the test not only provides the quantitative data on the outcomes of instruction, but also exerts a powerful influence on instructional processes and very largely determines the curriculum. In effect the curriculum is seen as the quantitatively measured outcomes of instruction. Such a conception of curriculum reduces the schooling process to a technological system of production. The conception of curriculum as a plan is extended considerably further by Popham and Baker, who define curriculum as all planned learning outcomes for which the school is responsible, and that curriculum refers to the desired consequences of instruction. The distinction between ends and means is not difficult to make, and can help the teacher greatly in his instructional planning. This view is highly mechanistic, for the focal point is the ends and the assessment of the end products; only those end products that can be measured quantitatively as behavioural objectives are considered legitimate. Curriculum is reduced to ends, and instruction is reduced to means. Although those curriculum writers who see curriculum as ends are in sharp conflict with those who regard curriculum as instructional content, each group shares the notion of the dualism between curriculum and instruction, between ends and means. However logical such a distinction may appear in theory, it leads to serious conceptual and practical difficulties. To separate curriculum from instruction, or to separate subject matter from method, is to make the same error as in separating knowledge from that which it renders our actions intelligent. Thus, to see the curriculum merely as ends is like conceiving of getting to a destination without having to take the trip. The conception of curriculum as a technological system of production is also embodied in performance contracting. The early 1970s witnessed a revival of the conception of the school as a production system not unlike an industrial plant. Under the banner of accountability, the schools were pressured to adopt the techniques of industrial plant management in assessing their efficiency through quantitative inputoutput measures. Curriculum as cultural reproduction Functioning as a kind of academic federation of critical theorists, revisionists, neomarxists, anarchists, and radical reconstructionists left portrayed the school curriculum as cultural reproduction—a selection of studies or subject matters designed to maintain the existing social order.
11 The perennialist sees the function of curriculum as preservation and transmission of the cultural heritage in terms of the great exemplars of Western civilisation. Whereas the perenialist sees this as constituting a powerful curriculum, the new academic left, in couching curriculum as cultural reproduction, is negating the power of the school curriculum. Progressivist conceptions and functions of Curriculum The need for a radically new conception of curriculum was the inevitable result of a number of forces: 1. changes in the conceptions of knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge; 2. changes in the knowledge of the learning process as a result of the child-study movement; 3. and the need to link formal school studies with the life of the learner and the changing demands of the larger social scene. Nevertheless, in the process of rejecting traditional conceptions of curriculum, progressive educators were far from universal agreement as to how curriculum should be defined. Moreover, traditional conceptions of curriculum have remained influential to this day. 1. Curriculum as knowledge selection from the experience of the culture Although the conception of curriculum as the cumulative tradition of knowledge, as exemplified by perennialist and essentialist educators, is an essential part of the human race experience, it is only a limited part of such experience. Such experience embodies not only the cumulative tradition of knowledge but also the total culture of a society. Dewey’s mandate for recognising the vital importance of transferring and reconstructing th3e cultural experience through the curriculum is reflected in the definition of curriculum. A sequence of potential experiences is set up in the school for the purpose disciplining children and youth in-group ways of thinking and acting. This set of experiences is referred to as the curriculum. Thus, to Dewey, by virtue of educating the rising generation, the school is serving to develop the potentials of the future society. Although Dewey recognised the importance of encompassing in curriculum the codified experience of the culture, to Dewey such experience is not an end point but a turning point in the continuous reconstruction of knowledge and society. The increasing specialisation of knowledge made the curriculum more remote from pervading personal and social needs and problems. During the early decades of the twentieth century, emerging social reforms and the new demands for education reforms called for a closer relationship between the curriculum and life. Newer and wider conceptions of curriculum were the inevitable result. 2. Curriculum as modes of thought Dewey saw reflective thinking as the unifying process in curriculum—the mode of thought so vital to productive citizenship in a free society. Dewey clearly stressed that
12 this was not to be confused with disciplinary inquiry, which is abstract, specialised, and remote from practical applications in the affairs of living. Phenix observed that education should be conceived as a guided recapitulation of the processes of inquiry, which gave rise to the fruitful bodies of organised knowledge comprising the established disciplines. According to Belth, the curriculum is considered to be the increasingly wide range of possible modes of thinking about men’s experiences —not the conclusions, but the models from which conclusions derive, and in context of which these conclusions, these so called truths, are grounded and validated. Unaccountably, a number of leading educators failed to recognise the difference between disciplinary inquiry and Dewey’s conception of reflective thinking. To Dewey, learning is learning to think, but the child’s style of thinking is qualitatively different from that of the adult scholar. Dewey also warned that the “so called disciplinary studies” raise the “danger of the isolation of intellectual activity from the ordinary affairs of life.” Although Dewey did not confine his conception of curriculum to modes of thought, he saw reflective thinking as the means through which curriculum elements are unified. To Dewey, reflection is not merely confined within specialised domain of knowledge but is extended to social problem solving. Thought is not divorced from action but is tested by application. Dewey viewed curriculum as more than the transmission of established modes of thought and the validating of so-called truths within disciplinary boundaries. Curriculum as experience Dewey wrote: The scheme of a curriculum must tale account of the adaptation of studies to the needs of existing community life; it must select with the intention of improving the life we live in common so that the future shall be better than the past. In their battle to make the curriculum more relevant to the life experience of the learner, some romantic progressivists went so far as to advocate that virtually all school learning activities be centred around the felt needs and the interests of the child. Dewey stressed the need to develop and conceive of various studies as exemplifying the reflectively formulated human experience. He observed that when personal fulfilment is severed from intellectual activity freedom of self expression turns into something that might better be called self-exposure. A definition by Caswell and Campbell states that the curriculum is composed of all the experiences children have under the guidance of teachers. The curriculum is now seen as the total experience with which the school deals in educating young people. These emerging definitions were a sharp break from the traditional conception of curriculum. The recognition that what pupils learn is not limited to the formal course of study but is affected, directly and indirectly, by the total school environment, called for a broad definition of curriculum as guided school experience. The implication was that everything that influences the learner must be considered during the process of curriculum making. The concept of curriculum had broken loose from its academic moorings and moved on out into the total programme of activities that was to serve the individual learner while under the guidance of the school. Another problem with such broad definitions is that they do not differentiate between educative and other kinds of experience (non-educative and mis-educative) that students have in school setting. Most significantly, the concept of curriculum as guided learning experience conceives of the teaching learning process as integral to curriculum. However,
13 no explicit mention is made of knowledge in most definitions that regard curriculum as guided learning experience. The dominant view among contemporary curriculum theorists regards curriculum and instruction as separate and distinct realms. The unprecedented curriculum reforms of the late 1960s which sought to modernise the curriculum in terms advanced scholarship in the disciplines, actually induced a reversion to the traditional subject-centred conception of curriculum. With curriculum reforms during the modern era being confined to each of the separate disciplines, the reformers favoured a subject-centred definition. With a mounting body of research revealing that extracurricular activities, and even patterns of informal student association in school life have powerful influences on educational growth, educators were impelled to see the educational institution as a uniquely comprehensive environment for linking codified knowledge to the life and growth of the learner. The curriculum – instruction dualism The contention that curriculum and instruction are two separate realms has gained widespread acceptance among contemporary curriculum theorists. The emergence of this dualistic view stems from several developments. The curriculum – instruction dualism has emerged as a veritable doctrine for the curriculum field. According to Macdonald, they are essentially two separate action contexts, one (curriculum) producing plans for further action; and the other (instruction) putting plans into action. He further insisted that until such time as there can be common agreement upon at least the basic phenomena we are labelling, there will be little chance of making conceptual progress. It is difficult to see how much a definition and the notion of curriculum and instruction as two distinct realms will help curriculum workers make conceptual progress. The collateral curriculum or hidden curriculum In recent years education has given increasing attention to the hidden curriculum, or the discrepancy between what is intended and what is actually experienced. The tendency has been to couch the hidden curriculum negatively, although its power may indeed be positive. It appears to be more productive to use the term collateral curriculum rather than hidden curriculum. The collateral learning will have a more powerful and enduring impact on the learner’s present and future behaviour than the target subject matter. Indeed, most of the factual information learned in school is readily forgotten soon after the examination, whereas collateral learning as connected with attitudes, appreciation, and values can be far more enduring. Collateral learning must not be regarded as something outside the curriculum or as merely an incidental or accidental outcome of the curriculum. Desirable collateral learning is much more apt to occur if it is treated as integral to the planned and guided learning experiences that comprise the curriculum. Similarly extra class activities should not be considered as outside the curriculum. If the curriculum is so conceived as to correlate such activities with those more directly connected with the formal course of study, the possibilities for realising the desired
14 learning outcomes of the curriculum are enhanced enormously. As noted by Pollard and Tann, the hidden curriculum is implicit within regular school procedures, in curriculum materials, and in communication approaches and mannerisms used by staff. It is important to remember that students do learn a lot from the hidden curriculum even though this is not intended by teachers. A unitary conception of curriculum The emergence of the curriculum field as a distinct subject of study has given rise to many conflicting conceptions of curriculum. No single definition can satisfy all parties concerned because the different definitions reflect the different schools of thought in the curriculum field—as well as changing conceptions of organised knowledge, the learner, the educative process, and the larger social situation. Curriculum has been variously defined as: (1) the cumulative tradition of organised knowledge, (2) the instructional plan or course of study, (3) measured instructional outcomes (technological production system), (4) cultural reproduction, (5) knowledge selection/organisation from the culture, (6) modes of thought, and (7) guided living/planned learning environment. Each definition reflects a particular and often conflicting perspective and fails engender a full meaning of curriculum. Some definitions are so narrow that they convey a restricted and only partial meaning of curriculum. Other definitions are so broad that they fail to distinguish between the function of the school from that of any other agency having some sort of educative function. Nevertheless, curricularists may utilise a definition to describe the orientation of the work in the field. Dewey offered a definition of education as “that reconstruction or reorganisation of experience, which adds to the meaning of experience, and which increases ability to direct the course of subsequent experience.” We can define curriculum as: that reconstruction of knowledge and experience that enables the learner to grow in exercising intelligent control of subsequent knowledge and experience. Influences on curriculum conceptions The fact that certain conceptions of curriculum occur widely in some countries and to a much lesser extent in others, can be traced to the influences that various individuals and groups can exert on educational decision-making. The term ‘group’ is often used to indicate that individuals or groups consider that they have the expertise and/or are directly affected by certain decisions and must be part of the decision-making process. Many groups could be cited but major ones include: • Political leaders • Religious leaders • Head office officials
15 • • Teachers Business groups/employees
Political leaders are very concerned about schools and the curriculum in that they expect children to understand their country’s rules and institutions and to be committed participants when they attain adulthood. They exert control over the curriculum of schools using such measures as establishing academic standards and examinations, providing national curriculum guidelines, and requiring training programmes for teachers. Religious leaders can have an enormous influence over the types and levels of schools that are provided for children and the nature of the curriculum practised in these schools. Religious beliefs can influence in particular the amount of effort that students are prepared to devote to their studies and the extent to which families encourage and promote intensive study and commitment to learning in their children. Most education systems retain head office or central administration divisions to enable strategic policy decisions to be about such matters as staffing, buildings, curriculum and standards. The degree of centralisation/decentralisation varies enormously from one system to another. In a highly centralised education system, curriculum documents and syllabus statements are specified in great detail and implementation procedures in schools are explicitly stated and systematically monitored. In such a situation a head office is obviously a very important stakeholder. Teachers are also major stakeholders. The majority of teachers have chosen teaching as a career and take very seriously their responsibilities to provide for the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual growth of their students. They receive some training in curriculum planning skills but they are constantly under pressures of time due to the daily demands of the classroom situation. Where there is intense competition for goods and services, employers expect their employees to be not only literate and numerate, but also to have well developed problemsolving and social skills. The media often criticise the basic skills levels of newly employed youth. Employers tend to be extremely critical of schools and maintain that insufficient rigour and standards are required. Ideologies of education Educational ideologies represent different clusters of beliefs, values, sentiments and understandings but all purports to explain what education is. They employ their own combinations of concepts and metaphors which give insight into how they view education and which give their adherents a sense of what is right and natural for children in schools. Ideologies constitute systems, which give meaning to the complex and diverse practical enterprise of teaching and provide general guidelines towards which this enterprise can be directed. It would be a mistake to identify anyone educational ideology exclusively with any particular social class, economic or political group in a society. An ideology may draw the bulk of its adherents from such a group, it may help serve that group’s interests but many of its beliefs about education may be held by members of other groups. Again not
16 every individual concerned with education can be identified exclusively with one ideology. Frequently individuals’ conceptions contain elements from more than one ideology, often in uneasy association with one another, but with one being predominant. Four-fold classification of major educational ideologies – conservative, revisionist, romantic and democratic – is adopted here. 1. Conservative ideology: It values stability, continuity with the past and the transmission of the nation’s cultural heritage. It stresses the centrality of initiating the young into this precious inheritance and the necessity of elite to preserve and extend culture excellence. It employs concepts such as standards, high culture, folk culture; it uses metaphors such as structure, inheritance, and apprenticeship. It takes a hierarchical, differentiated view of knowledge with some aspects such as pure mathematics, the study of literature and classics being regarded as far more worthwhile than others. It does not take such knowledge equally accessible to all but support a differentiation of curricula for the elite and non-elite. It favours a subject-centred curriculum for the able, an emphasis on ‘basic skills’ in the primary school, a teacher dominated pedagogy and a conception of ‘objective knowledge’ to which children have to accommodate. 2. Revisionist ideology: It values modernisation, efficiency and the expansion of education to produce a skilled labour force. Educated manpower is regarded as one of the nation’s greatest assets in international economic competition. An effective up-dated curriculum is seen as an essential component of the nation’s ability to compete. Vocational relevance, efficiency, evaluation and renewal are some revisionist key concepts. Metaphors such as pools of ability, untapped resources and wastage are used to argue for an expanded educational system, which will make the maximum use of the nation’s resources. This ideology values scientific and technological studies and aims to make these available to any pupil provided he has the ability. Childhood is essentially a preparation for later roles in society. Children’s achievements are the result of IQ plus motivation. Knowledge structures are objective and teaching is to be adult managed. 3. Romantic ideology: It centres on the individual rather than the nation, on the present rather than the past or the future, on the child rather than the adult. It stresses the importance of the young coming to understand themselves and their environment in their own terms; it stresses spontaneity, variety of first hand experience and diversity of response. Its key concepts include self expression, play, creativity, active involvement, children’s needs and interests, and learning by experience. It employs a rich variety of metaphors such as growth, harmony, discovery, and cultivation. It does not recognise a hierarchy of knowledge forms and takes a subjective view of knowledge with children as constructors of their own reality. It advocates teaching as a process of mutual exploration between near-equals; it views childhood as valuable in its own right and children as seekers after their own meanings. 4. Democratic socialist ideology: It values equality, and supports change in education (and the wider society) in order to realise this. It stresses the importance of creating a common culture and a genuine democracy in which all
17 social classes can participate on equal terms. Its concepts include equality of educational opportunity, relevance, continuing education and democratic participation. It talks of opening doors to knowledge, providing access to the higher culture for all and building on a common core of meanings. Common schools and a common curriculum feature prominently as part of its platform. Teaching is seen as open to negotiation between teacher and pupil; knowledge is objective but needs constant reinterpretation in contemporary terms. All pupils require access to these knowledge structures, though the importance of their everyday experience and common sense knowledge is also acknowledged. Such ideologies encapsulate the views of different groups, each seeking to make its particular view of education. The meaning accorded ‘education’ in any society varies according to the salience of ideologies and their ability to attract public and professional support. The relative prominence of any one ideology is not simply the result of the inherent persuasiveness of its views nor the activities of its adherents. Ideological factors interrelate in very complex ways with social, technological and other cultural factors. As these factors and their interrelationships change so does the salience of ideologies and views as to what and how the young ought to be taught. The struggle among ideologies can be viewed as a ‘political’ one in the sense that it influences the distribution, exercise and justification of power in society. It is a struggle for power to define education and to transmit particular beliefs and values to the young. It represents a struggle for control over the educational system, which is itself a major agency for controlling social groups. Curricula are seen, then, as not concerned with transmitting part of the cultural stock, but as helping control people through exposing them to particular vales and beliefs. Curricula, then, are more than inert bodies of information; they have considerable cultural and political significance. As society changes, so proposals are put forward by individuals or groups for changes in what ought to be taught the young. Such proposals are created from scratch but are based on understandings, beliefs and values shared by those according roughly similar meanings to ‘education’. In the process of translation into more detailed proposals for intended curricula they are inevitably changed, distorted or elaborated; they are subject to constraint and compromise. Yet despite this they shape the form and direction taken by proposals for new course of study or pattern of educational activity.
Chapter 3 Curriculum Development
“Let me show you our curriculum,” said the principal to the visitor in his school. Proudly the principal removed from his desk a mimeographed document that told teachers what to teach, subject by subject. The visitor scanned the document and replied, “Now let me see your real curriculum.” “What do you mean?” the principal asked. “I mean that I must spend at least a few hours in your school. I need to visit several classrooms at random. I want to stand aside in the lobby as the children move through it and wander through the dining hall while children are eating and while they are talking freely. I want to attend a school assembly and would like to visit the library and then follow the children out to the playing field while they are under teacher’s supervision and while they are on their own. By doing these things I will get at least a limited view of your real curriculum.” What does this dialogue between principal and a visitor suggest? It suggests a number of ideas about a school curriculum: 1. The curriculum cannot actually be reduced to a lifeless sheet of papers. 2. The curriculum belongs in two categories: that of objective reality and that of mode and style. The curriculum should be viewed as a product and also as process. The two categories become interrelated. 3. A given curriculum has a life span, determined largely by its usefulness and timeliness. A curriculum may be revised at intervals so that its usefulness and timeliness may be increased.
19 4. The real curriculum no matter how formally and carefully planned it is alleged to be has aspects of the unplanned. 5. The curriculum, being of the human spirit, is active and changing. It is affected by wishes, thoughts, and restraints. Curriculum includes both formal and informal aspects of schooling, what one learns (content) and how one learns (process), and products or outcomes in the forms of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes, appreciations, and values. Thus, the curriculum involves what happens in classrooms, auditorium, gymnasium, dining hall, and school lobby and school sponsored community service, field trips and work experienced programmes. Curriculum improvement refers not only to improving the structure and the documents of the curriculum but also to stimulating learning on the part of all the persons who are concerned with the curriculum. These persons include students, teachers, classroom helpers, supervisors and administrators, and parents and community members. Obviously, curriculum improvement deals directly with the improvement of the people. Planning modes As it is with many concepts in education, that of curriculum development is not easy to grasp and impossible to pin down definitely. It is elastic with a range of meanings from one, which involves almost every type of educational change to one, which refers to the specific processes of planning a course of study. Owen discusses forms of organisation and instruction such as microteaching, team-teaching, non-streaming and vertical grouping in his examination of the management of curriculum development. Johnson, on the other hand, views curriculum development as the process whereby a set of learning outcomes are derived for an educational institution, but does not see it as being concerned with how much outcomes are to be realised in the context of the classroom and the school. Both these positions seem inappropriate: one legislates too strictly the area of concern, the other readers it too loose and ill defined. Here a middle course has been adopted. The term ‘curriculum development’ is considered as comprising those deliberately planned activities through which courses of study or patterns of educational activity are designed and presented as proposals for those in educational institutions. Such courses intended curricula necessarily include selections from a society’s stock of meanings and embody a variety of views, implicit or explicit, about purposes, knowledge, children, society, teaching and learning. The conceptions of education held by individuals participating in the development enterprise and the ideologies to which they subscribe play a crucial role in influencing how such courses are designed and presented and how they are received by teachers and pupils. No matter what ideologies are involved, curriculum development implies a degree of systematic thinking and planning in which individual decisions about content, teaching and learning are taken, not in isolation, but in relation to an overall design or framework. At one extreme curriculum development may result in curriculum innovation, where radically new proposals are produced with far reaching implications for teacher-pupil transaction. On the other hand, curriculum development may just result in the modification and reshaping
20 of current courses of study with few new components but with a clearer articulation of the various elements comprising the course. Choice of modes can be influenced more subtly by the rationale that underlines an attempt of curriculum improvement. The most common rationale relies basically on four classical foundations of the curriculum – philosophy, learners and learning, society and culture, and subject matter. Curriculum planners sometimes add interpretation, which includes ways of knowing, thinking skills, decision making, problem solving, valuing, and concept development. Departing from traditional subject matter, a second rationale – the experimental – features learner-centred ness and activities that especially develop the individual and frequently are chosen by individual learners. This rationale has led to the planning of Montessori schooling, open education systems, mini-courses, schools without walls, and extensions of the humanities and the arts. A third rationale – the technical is marked by terms like systems, production, and management. A natural concomitant of similar perspectives in business and industry, the technical rationale is analytical, systems-oriented, and behaviourally centred. From it have arisen computer-assisted instruction, performance contracting, and competencybased education. A fourth rationale has its bases in pressure brought by school boards, local administrators, influential community members, state legislators, professional associations, givers of grants, the courts, scholars, business firms, and civic organisations. The interaction of these groups with one another and with school systems results in many kinds of curriculum plans, which differ from community to community. These wisely differing rationales give rise to very different planning modes. Steps used in planning There are several steps that may be used in planning. A given situation may not require all these steps or may not require them in order in which they are listed below. Nevertheless, all of them are eligible for inclusion in the planning process. They are surveying the scene, assessing needs, identifying and defining problems, recalling accepted aims and goals, making and evaluating proposals, preparing designs, organising the work force, supervising the planning process, utilising the products of planning, applying evaluation means, and anticipating the future. Surveying the scene Surveying the scene involves knowing what makes a particular school system the same as other systems and what makes it markedly different from the rest. Included in the curriculum scene are tradition, expectations, people, funds or scarcity thereof, school system organisation, and several others features. Assessing needs Needs can be thought of in two ways. The first is singular: need for any change. The second, or plural, form expresses the needs of pupils and teachers. Pupils have their recognisable educational needs; teachers have needs related to performing their work effectively and improving their own functioning.
21 Identifying and defining problems As a result of assessing needs, planners can identify problems of teaching and learning. Additional problems not initially identified in the needs assessment may be discovered as the planning process proceeds. Any curriculum problem that is deemed worth solving and that can be managed should be defined to clarify its meaning and implications. Recalling accepted aims and goals Aims and goals that, when formulated, had the support of a broad constituency in the school system should be reviewed and used as guides whenever curriculum planning is done within that system. Two questions should arise as each new curriculum proposal is made: How does this proposal accord in general, with one or more aims or goals our school system has accepted? And from which goal or goals can we generate objectives that are specific to our proposal? Making proposals and evaluating them The most promising problems can form the basis for making proposals for curriculum change. Some of the proposals can eventuate in carefully developed designs. Proposals can be evaluated informally by determining whether they conform to aims or goals and then formulating critical questions about them, which are then answered by the most competent school system personnel and, if possible, by outside consultants. Preparing designs Designing that capitalises on the most promising proposals usually follows steps like these: Stating programme or project objectives, identifying evaluation means, choosing a type of design, selecting learning content, determining and organising learning experiences, and evaluating the programme or project summatively. Organising the work force Organising the work force requires finding the best available personnel to perform the designated tasks, and then judging how to organise these personnel so that their talents are used well. Constant scouting or inquiry among present staff members is needed for personnel search. Occasionally, new personnel can be brought in to provide certain necessary abilities. The identified personnel are then organised into study groups and committees to do the most difficult part of the planning and to perform the easy tasks too. Supervising the planning process Planning cannot proceed smoothly without direction. Central steering committees often make policy and arrange for resources. Daily direction usually comes, however, from leaders such as curriculum co-ordinators and school principals. Utilising the products of planning Whatever has been planned needs to be implemented. Implementation or the act of putting plans to intelligent use usually is done by classroom teachers. Because that
22 which is new or different is likely to be puzzling, teachers need help and encouragement from supervisors who know what to expect in the implementation process. Applying evaluation means Applying evaluation means could be called applying the test of reality and other tests. Many projects and programmes look good on paper, but the crucial question is “Do they work?” This question often yields offhand judgements, only, some of which are valid. The validity of a judgement can be checked by formal evaluation of the project or programme. It is impossible to tell what a plan has accomplished in action without applying appropriate evaluation means. Anticipating the future The future begins with the feedback of information regarding the apparent success of a plan. This information includes data from formal evaluation as well as little items of news about the experiences that the teachers and pupils have had with the plan. When conditions change rapidly, as when the details of subject matter change, the plan should be revised. Looking to the future can be systematised by projecting revision schedules in subject matter fields and other curriculum areas. The planning steps described above can be put into place only if an organisation is developed for allocating and assigning people and material resources. Experience in curriculum planning offers several guidelines that are helpful in organising people and materials. • Start small by involving only a few persons at first. • Choose these people carefully. They should be interested, able persons who are eager to see the schools improved. • Hold planning sessions when they are needed, having due regard for the time schedules of the planners. • Give credit to the planners, rewarding them sensibly and openly. • Provide the planners with necessary time, resources, and materials. • Fix responsibility for the subparts of the planning operation. • Establish time limits for completing the portions of the work, but do not rush the participants. • Help the planners see what is important by personally emphasising the important as opposed to the trivial. • Have some criteria for determining what is to be done. For example, the first proposals should be of the right size and complexity to be pursued successfully. • Encourage participants to get the job done well – without stress – remembering that what happens during the first attempt will colour or condition subsequent attempts. Curriculum planning is most likely to succeed if certain expectations are kept in mind: • Person in local schools and school systems should accept responsibility for planning. This responsibility should be distributed among numbers of people. • Feelings of personal security and worth, as well as satisfactory interpersonal
23 relations are essential. Adequate time, facilities, and resources should be provided. Curriculum workers should attempt to solve problems that seem real and important. Effective communication about plans, policies, procedures, and achievements should be established and maintained among persons who have a stake in the projects. Curriculum development should be considered a continuous, normal activity and not a stop-and-start activity. All persons affected by a given project should be involved in it in some way. Nothing of real importance should be undertaken without developing an understanding of its purpose. Continuous evaluation of improvements should be built into the design of each project. Balanced must be achieved in both the types of activities to be performed and their positions on the ongoing experience of learners. Consistency must be maintained between the means and the ascribed ends of each project.
• • • • • • • • •
Persons who undertake curriculum improvement should not accept that great changes would necessarily occur within a period of a few months. Initially, growth may come only in the form of people’s sensitisation to themselves, to one another, and to the nature of the curriculum and its changes. Values, attitudes, and skills change to some extent almost immediately, but progress of lasting significance takes time. An interesting way of projecting the curriculum into the future is to raise questions concerning how the curriculum is to be viewed. Answers to the questions may suggest metaphors such as: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) the curriculum as medicine for educational ills; the curriculum as a greenhouse that encourages growth; the curriculum as a route for travelling to a destination; the curriculum as a means of production; and the curriculum as a resource for developing and using human abilities.
Chapter 4 Curriculum Design
The task of creating new courses of study or new patterns of educational activity for pupils in schools requires curriculum design. The design of such intended curricula involves a multitude of factors – ideological, technical, epistemological, and psychological, to name but the some. Developing curricula in a systematic way, as opposed to piecemeal, one-off modifications to current practice, is still relatively new and in consequence is both tentative and primitive. Three principal curriculum design models have been produced to further this enterprise. It is important to note that these three – the objectives, the process, and the situational models – do not describe how curricula are in fact designed but make recommendations for design. Their recommendations or prescriptions involve differing conceptions of the teaching/planning task, and all three are in need of further refinement and elaboration. The following guidelines provide frameworks through which conceptions of education can be given tangible form as curriculum proposals. The objectives model and its variants
25 The design model, greatly influenced by behavioural psychology and systematised into a coherent rationale by Tyler has directed a great amount of theorising and practical activity, especially in USA. The Tyler rationale as it has been called, centres on four major stages, which Tyler considers essential in the development of any curriculum. The first of these involves getting clear about goals i.e. what it is hoped the curriculum will achieve. According to his view, if such goals are to be clearly formulated, vaguely stated aims are not sufficient. Statements of goals need to indicate both the kind of behaviour to be developed in the pupil and the area of content in which the behaviour is to be applied. Such closely formulated statements of intent are termed as ‘objectives’. It is very important to note here that such objectives are to be specified before the remaining components of the design model are considered (i.e. objectives are to be pre-specified). In the light of such objectives the learning experiences offered children are selected at stage two. As a third stage these experiences are organised to reinforce one another and to produce a cumulative effect. The last stage is that of evaluation, which examines the extent to which the objectives are realised in practice, thereby indicating in what respects the curriculum is effective and in what respects it requires modification. This basic four-stage model (Figure 4.1), which is cyclic in that evaluation feeds back to objectives, is often termed ‘the rational planning’ model on the grounds that it is rationale to specify the ends of an activity before engaging in it. An alternative term sometimes used is ‘means-ends’ planning.
2. SELECTION OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES
1. AIMS / OBJECTIVES 3. ORGANISATION OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES
4. EVALUATION OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES Figure 4.1
The ‘Tyler’ model for curriculum planning
Since its formulation much work by educationists such as Popham, Mager and Gronlund has been concentrated on making the first stage as clear-cut as possible in order to provide clear goals towards which pupils and teachers can work and in order to facilitate the measurement and evaluation of the results of the curriculum. Both of these concerns have led to an emphasis on behavioural objectives which specify in terms of observable behaviours what a pupil should be able to do, think or feel as a result of a course of instruction. For the purpose of assessing whether or not they have been achieved such objectives have to be specific, measurable and unambiguous.
26 A group of psychologists have produced two taxonomies to aid in the identification, description, classification and measurement of educational objectives. They distinguish three broad areas or domains: the cognitive concerned with intellectual abilities and operations, the affective concerned with attitudes, values and applications, and the psychomotor which covers the area of motor skills. Within the cognitive domain six broad levels of understanding (each with subdivisions) are classified, ranging from objectives concerned with simple recall of specific facts to objectives involving the evaluation of complex theories and evidence (Figure 4.2). Objectives in the affective domain range from those concerned with attending to phenomena to those indicating commitment to a philosophy of life. Bloom and his fellow workers have not produced a psychomotor classification, though others have attempted to provide one. By means of such classifications Bloom hopes to promote greater clarity in thinking about behavioural objectives, a more exact language for communicating about objectives and a more effective means of evaluating objectives so classified. Figure 4.2, Levels in the cognitive and affective domains and sample objectives
Cognitive Domain Level 1 Knowledge ‘To make pupils conscious of correct form and usage in speech and writing’ ‘Knowledge of a relatively complete formulation of the theory of evaluation’ Comprehension ‘Skill in translating mathematical verbal material into symbolic statements and vice versa’ ‘Skill in predicting continuation trends’
Application ‘The ability to predict the probable effect of a change in a factor on a biological situation previously at equilibrium’ Analysis ‘Skill in distinguishing facts from hypotheses Synthesis ‘Ability to tell a personal experience effectively’ ‘Ability to propose ways of testing hypotheses
Level 4 Level 5
Level 6 Evaluation ‘The comparison of major theories, generalisation and facts about particular cultures’ Affective Domain Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Receiving (attending) ‘Attends carefully when others speak in direct conversation, on the telephone, in audiences’ Responding ‘Finds pleasure in reading for recreation’ Valuing
‘Assumes responsibility for drawing Level 4 Level 5 reticent members of the group into conversation’
Organisation ‘Forms judgements as to the responsibility of society for conserving human and material resources’ Characterisation by a value or value-complex ‘Readiness to revise judgements and to change behaviour in the light of evidence’
The influence of Tyler and the rational planning model is most clearly seen in a design model offered by Wheeler. This model (Figure 4.3) has five basic stages. The first of these is extremely complex as general aims embodying broad conceptions of education are analysed into ultimate goals, mediate goals, proximate goals and specific classroom objectives. These provide the direction required for the selection of learning experiences, the selection of content, the organisation and integration of learning experiences and content, and the final evaluation stage which enables the designer to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum and hence to make modifications to it next time round. Its close similarity to the basic Tyler model is obvious. Kerr’s views are very much in tune with the rational planning approach. ‘For the purpose of curriculum design and planning it is imperative that the objective should be identified first, as we cannot, or should not; decide ‘what’ or ‘how’ to teach in any situation until we know ‘why’ we are doing it. Perhaps the most extreme elaboration of Tyler’s basic model is Merritt’s eight stages AOSTMTEC, comprising: (1) aims, (2) objectives, (3) strategies, (4) tactics, (5) methods, (6) techniques, (7) evaluation, and (8) consolidation.
Figure 4.3 Wheeler Curriculum Process Model
2. SELECTION OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES 1. AIMS, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 3. SELECTION OF CONTENT
4. ORGANISATION AND INTEGRATION OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES AND CONTENT
Rational planning models based on objectives have come in for considerable criticism. The have been attacked for taking a very restricted view of rationality: ‘determining ends first, then determining means’ is rationale in some contexts, but not always in curriculum design. Here, it is argued, ends and means cannot always be
28 divorced; certain ends presuppose certain means and vice versa. Content and learning experiences cannot always be separated, nor can aims and content. Of all the components in such models, objectives (especially behavioural objectives) have attracted most criticism. The objectives can be classified as originating in general philosophical considerations, specific discipline considerations, and practical considerations. Perhaps the most telling general objection is that such important outcomes of education as understanding, appreciation and knowledge cannot be fully translated into clear-cut observable behaviours capable of measurement. Only low-level mental operations such as the recall of specific facts or the performance of certain physical skills can be unambiguously specified beforehand. The idea of translating general aims into specific objectives runs into other philosophical difficulties, where this involves specifying subsets of skills or items of knowledge. The ideal of no ambiguity is also regarded as false; objectives cannot have exact, true and real meaning, because the meaning of words depends on the way they are used, and the way they are used does vary. Objectives have also been criticised for doing violence to the nature of teaching which is an on-going activity has ends-in-view which are constantly changing, nor does the notion of pre-specifying objectives before teaching take into account the autonomous nature of teacher or pupil who inevitably interpret educational processes in an individual way. Even two of the foremost critics of design through objectives accept that behavioural objectives have a part to play though necessarily a limited one. Eisner suggests that three broad types of objectives can usefully be employed in curriculum design, only one of which (instructional objective) specifies the outcomes of a curriculum in behavioural terms. Expressive objectives can be used to describe learning situations intended to evoke personal responses from pupils, and type three objectives used to detail problematic situations, with the solutions to these problems being left to the pupil initiative and justification. Stenhouse suggests that education in schools necessarily comprises at least four processes: (1) induction into knowledge, (2) initiation into social norms and values, (3) training, and (4) instruction. He argues that the objectives model is appropriate for both training and instruction but breaks down when it comes to inducting pupils into knowledge. The latter involves getting pupils on the ‘inside’ of the knowledge forms, getting them to think creatively and to make considered judgements. According to Stenhouse, knowledge is not something to regurgitate, but something to think with. Education as induction into knowledge is successful to the extent that it makes the behavioural outcomes of the students unpredictable. Improvement from education comes not from teachers being more precise about objectives but from them analysing and criticising their own practice. 2. The Process model Stenhouse developed the process model framework for curriculum design. He argues that a process model is more appropriate than an objective model in areas of the curriculum, which centre on knowledge and understanding. Basically he contends that it is possible to design curricula rationally by specifying content and principles of procedure rather than by pre-specifying the anticipated outcomes in terms of objectives. It is possible to select
29 content on the grounds that it represents a particular form of knowledge, which is intrinsically worthwhile. Content can be selected to exemplify the most important procedures, the key concepts and the criteria inherent in a form or field of knowledge. The justification for choosing such contest rests not on the pupil behaviours to which it gives rise but on the degree to which it reflects the form of knowledge, which itself needs no extrinsic justification. In areas of the curriculum such as the arts or philosophy general aim can be couched in terms of ‘understanding’ principles of procedure or ‘appreciating’ particular art forms. Planning rationally involves devising teaching methods and materials, which are consistent with the principles, concepts, and criteria inherent in such activities. In this design the process is specified, i.e. content being studied, the methods being employed and the criteria inherent in the activity. The end product produced by pupils is not specified beforehand in terms of behaviours but can be evaluated after the event by the criteria built into the art form. Stenhouse illustrates how such a model can be applied to the planning of curricula in any form of knowledge. If you define the content of a philosophy course, define what constitutes a philosophically acceptable teaching procedure and articulate standards by which students’ work is to be judged, you may be planning rationally without using objectives. Stenhouse has illustrated how such a design can be also used in an area of the curriculum, which has no one specific form of knowledge underpinning it. This project aims at developing in pupils an understanding of social situations and human acts and the controversial value issues which they raise. It deals with themes such as War, Poverty, Education, and relation between the sexes. It operates a discussion-based form of teaching in which the group of pupils critically examine evidence as they discuss such issues under the chairmanship of a teacher who aspires to be neutral. In the project behavioural objectives are absent. The teacher does not seek to promote any particular point of view or response in his pupils. In place of objectives the emphasis is on defining acceptable principles of procedure for dealing with such issues e.g. principles concerned with protecting divergence of opinion within the group, with developing critical standards by which evidence can be appraised, with extending the range of relevant views and perspectives accessible to the group. Stenhouse acknowledges that a process model is far more demanding on teachers and thus far more difficult to implement in practice, but it offers a higher degree of personal and professional development. In particular circumstances it may well prove too demanding. 3. The Situational Model If the objectives model has its roots in behavioural psychology and the process model in philosophy of education, the third major framework for design has its roots in cultural analysis. Skilbeck’s model locates curriculum design and development firmly within a cultural framework. It views such design as a means whereby teachers modify and transform pupil experience through providing insights into cultural values, interpretative frameworks and symbolic systems. The model underlines the value-laden nature of the
30 design process and its inevitable political character as different pressure groups and ideological interests seek to influence the process of cultural transmission. Instead of making recommendations in vacuum it makes specific provision for different planning contexts by including as one of its most crucial features a critical appraisal of the school situation. The model is based on the assumption that the focus for curriculum development must be the individual school and its teachers, i.e. that school-based curriculum development is the most effective way of promoting genuine change at school level. The model has five major components: (1) Situational analysis which involves a review of the situation and an analysis of the interacting elements constituting it. External factors to be considered are broad social changes including ideological shifts, parental and community expectations, the changing nature of subject disciplines and the potential contribution of teacher-support systems such as colleges and universities. Internal factors include pupils and their attributes, teachers and their knowledge, skills, interests, etc., school ethos and political structure, materials resources and felt problems. (2) Goal formulation with the statement of goals embracing teacher and pupil actions. Such goals are derived from the situational analysis only in the sense that they represent decisions to modify that situation in certain respects. (3) Programme-building which comprises the selection of subject-matter for learning, the sequencing of teaching-learning episodes, the deployment of staff and the choice of appropriate supplementary materials and media. (4) Interpretation and implementation where practical problems involved in the introduction of a modified curriculum are anticipated and then hopefully overcome as the installation proceeds. (5) Monitoring, assessment, feedback and reconstruction which involve a much wider concept of evaluation than determining to what extent a curriculum meets its objectives. Tasks include providing on-going assessment of progress in the light of classroom experience, assessing a wide range of outcomes (including pupil attitudes and the impact on the school organisation as a whole) and keeping adequate records based on responses from a variety of participants (not just pupils). Skilbeck’s situational model is not an alternative to the other two. It is a more comprehensive framework, which can encompass either the process model or the objective model depending on which aspects of the curriculum are being designed. It is flexible, adaptable and open to interpretation in the light of changing circumstances. It does not presuppose a linear progression through its components. Teachers can begin at any stage and activities can develop concurrently. The model outlined does not presuppose a means-end analysis at all; it simple encourages teams or groups of curriculum developers to take into account different elements and aspects of the curriculum-development process, to see the process as an organic whole, and to work in a moderately systematic way. Very importantly, it forces those involved in curriculum development to consider systematically their particular context, and it links their decisions to wider cultural and social considerations. Sockett advocates a process of curriculum design through structure. He sees only limited usefulness in the objectives model (mainly in the area of skill development), but
31 does view the process model as valuable. He believes that curriculum design and development have to be slow, piecemeal and uncertain, since there are multitudes of interacting factors involved and since the activities of those party to the enterprise are largely habitual. Curriculum design involves understanding the structure of the curriculum as it presently exists (or in Skilbeck’s terms analysing the situation). A first stage is to be clear about the focus of attention when anticipating change, for example, by focussing on the science curriculum of the middle school. Then in the light of the problem, information has to be gathered about current practices, attitudes, perceptions, influences and constraints. In this way the shape or design of the curriculum is clarified. Changes are introduced if current practices cannot be justified or if the proposed new practices are considered to offer justifiable advantages. Such changes need not be planned by objectives; they can be designed by paying attention to different aspects of the structure, to principles of procedure or to content. Conclusion The models outlined here are all prescriptive, recommending how the activities of curriculum design ought to be conducted. They constitute guiding frameworks through which beliefs, values and assumptions concerning educational purposes, subject matter, learning and teaching are combined so as to produce intended curricula. These models point up the complexities of the enterprise and the varied purposes, perspectives, and assumptions in curriculum studies. Several needs and demands affect curriculum designing. Among them are an insistence that the schools teach values, morals, and ethics; that children with a variety of impairments be taught better than they have been heretofore; and that the children who are gifted and talented be offered better programmes of instruction. Several terms now in common parlance among curriculum workers suggest some of the possible future emphases in designing: • the systems approach, • the humane school, • educating a more diverse population, • achieving equity with excellence in schooling, • and restructuring schools so that they really improve.
Chapter 5 Organising Learning Experiences for Effective Instruction
We have been considering the kinds of learning experiences useful for attaining various types of objectives. These learning experiences have been considered in terms of their characteristics but not in terms of their organisation. Since learning experiences must be put together to form some kind of coherent programme, it is necessary for us now to consider the procedures for organising learning experiences into units, courses, and programmes. What is meant by Organisation Important changes in human behaviour are not produced over night. No single learning experience has a very profound influence upon the learner. Changes in ways of thinking, in fundamental habits, in major operating concepts, in attitudes, in abiding interests and the like, develop slowly. It is only after months and years that we are able to see major educational objectives taking marked concrete shape. In order for educational experiences to produce a cumulative effect, they must be so organised as to reinforce each other. Organisation is thus seen as an important problem in curriculum development because it greatly influences the efficiency of instruction and the degree to which major educational changes are brought about in the learners.
33 In considering the organisation of learning experiences we may examine their relationship over time and also from one area to another. These two kinds of relationships are referred to as the vertical and horizontal relations. When we examine the relationship between the experiences provided in the fifth class geography and in the sixth class geography we are considering the vertical organisation. Whereas, we consider the relationship between the experiences in fifth class geography and fifth class history, we are considering the horizontal organisation of learning experiences. Both of these aspects of relationships are important in determining the cumulative effect of educational experiences. There will be depth and breadth in the development of geographic concepts, skills, and the like in the vertical organisation of learning experiences. The horizontal organisation of learning experiences reinforce each other, provide for larger significance and greater unity of view and thus be a more effective educational programme. Whereas, if the experiences conflict they may nullify each other, or if they have no appreciable connection, the student develops compartmentalised learning.
Criteria for effective organisation There are three major criteria to be met in building an effectively organised group of learning experiences. These are: continuity, sequence, and integration. Continuity refers to the vertical reiteration of major curriculum elements. For example, if in the social studies the development of skills in reading social studies material is an important objective, it is necessary to see that there is recurring and continuing opportunity for these skills to be practised and developed. This means that over time the same kinds of skills will be brought into continuing operation. In similar fashion, if an objective in science is to develop a meaningful concept of energy, it is important that this concept be dealt with again and again in various parts of the science course. Continuity is thus seen to be a major factor in effective vertical organisation. Sequence is related to continuity but goes beyond it. It is possible for a major curriculum element to recur again and again but merely in the same level so that there is no progressive development of understanding or skill or attitude or some other factor. Sequence as a criterion emphasises the importance of having each successive experience build upon the preceding one but to go more broadly and deeply into the matters involved. For example, sequence in the development of reading skills in social studies would involve the provision for increasingly more complex social studies material, increasing breadth in the operation of the skills involved in reading these materials and increasing depth of analysis so that the sixth class social studies programme would not simply reiterate the reading skills involved in the fifth class but would go into them more broadly and deeply. Correspondingly, sequential development of a concept of energy in the natural sciences would require that each successive treatment of energy would help the student to understand with greater breadth and depth the meaning of the term energy in its broader and deeper connotations. Sequence emphasises not duplication, but rather higher levels of treatment with each successive learning experience. Integration refers to the horizontal relationship of curriculum experiences. The organisation of these experiences should be such that they help the student increasingly to
34 get a unified view and to unify his behaviour in relation to the elements dealt with. For example, in developing skill in handling quantitative problems in arithmetic, it is also important to consider the ways in which these skills can be effectively utilised in social studies, in science, in shop and other fields; so that they are not developed simply in isolated behaviours to be used in a single course but are increasingly part of the total capacities of the student to use in the varied situations of his daily life. Correspondingly, in developing concepts in the social studies it is important to see how these ideas can be related to work going on in other subject fields so that increasingly there is unity in the student’s outlooks, skills, attitudes and the like. These three criteria, continuity, sequence, and integration are the basic guiding criteria in the building of an effective scheme of organisation of learning experiences. Elements to be organised In working out a plan of organisation for a curriculum, it is necessary to identify the elements of that curriculum, which serve as the organising threads. For example, in the field of mathematics the organising elements have frequently been concepts and skills. That is to say, mathematics teachers have identified certain basic concepts in mathematics of such major importance that they have become elements to be developed beginning in the early years of the mathematics programme and extending through to the later years of the curriculum. For example, the concept of “place value” in a number system represents a very basic idea in understanding our methods of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This concept is understood at a relatively low level in the elementary classes but can be developed into a much broader and deeper concept by the end of middle classes. This would be one element that could serve as an organising element in achieving continuity and sequence. This element might also be useful element in developing integration since the concept of the place value of a number system might be carried over to appropriate applications in shop, in social studies, in science and in other fields. Correspondingly, a skill in mathematics may be the ability to solve problems involving common fractions. This skill may be developed at a relatively low level in the middle school and may become increasingly deeper and broader in its implications and operations through the high school or college. Hence, this element too may serve as a thread in the organisation of learning experiences. In planning the curriculum for any school or any field, it is necessary to decide on the types of elements, which most effectively serve as threads to use in the organisation. Elements are major long-range items and not specific facts or specific habits or highly particularised matters, which would not permit of development over the years and would not provide opportunity for extensive relationships to various other fields in the school curriculum. In working on the curriculum in any field, it will be necessary to identify elements that are relevant to and significant matters for that field as well as for the total curriculum. Then, of course, when the organising elements have been selected they are to be used so as to provide for continuity, sequence and integration. That is, these elements should be planned to appear throughout the length and breadth of the instructional programme.
35 Organising principles It is not only necessary to recognise that learning experiences need to be organised to achieve continuity, sequence, and integration, and that major elements must be identified to serve as organising threads for these learning experiences, it is also essential to identify the organising principles by which these threads shall be woven together. For example, the concept of the interdependence of all peoples may begin in the primary grades with recognition on the part of the learner that he is dependent upon his parents, upon the milkman, and upon others, and they in turn are dependent upon him in certain limited respects. How shall this concept then be broadened and deepened to provide for greater sequence and integration over the years? One organising principle might be to extend the concept by increasing the range of persons, which the student recognises as being interdependent with him. For example, ha may extend his concept of interdependence to include people in other cities, in other states, and in other nations. Another organising principle might be the extension of this concept so as to broaden the range of respects in which people are interdependent. That is, to recognise interdependence in economic matters, interdependence in social matters, interdependence in aesthetic matters and the like. No doubt both of these organising principles as well as others may be required to provide an adequate basis for developing this important concept over the years, but these two principles illustrate the problem involved. Organising principles are needed that can serve as a basis for planning the respects in which the broadening and the deepening of major curriculum elements in the programme will take place. In identifying important organising principles, it is necessary to note the criteria, continuity, sequence, and integration apply to the experiences of the learner and not to the way in which these matters may be viewed by someone already command of the elements to be learned. Thus, continuity involves the recurring emphasis in the learner’s experience upon these particular elements; sequence refers to the increasing breadth and depth of the learner’s development; and integration refers to the learner’s increased unity of behaviour in relating to the elements involved. This means that the organising principles need to be considered in terms of their psychological significance to the learner. One of the most common principles of organisation used in school curricula is the chronological. On this basis, for example, history courses are commonly organised so that the student sees the development of events over time. Although this is an easy scheme of organisation for other fields, like literature, art, social studies, it need to be examined pretty carefully to see whether it really provides the psychological organisation, which broadens and deepens the learner’s command of the elements involved in this organisation. Quite frequently a chronological organisation is not satisfactory from this point of view. Since there are so many possible organising principles, it is important that in working upon any particular curriculum possible principles of organisation are examined and decisions made tentatively to be checked by actual tryout of the material to see how far these principles prove satisfactory in developing continuity, sequence and integration.
36 The organising structure Thus far we have been considering the ways of putting experiences together so as to provide for effective organisation. It is also necessary to consider the main structural elements in which the learning experiences are to be organised. Structural elements exist at several levels. At the largest level of the structural elements may be made up of: (a) specific subjects, like geography, arithmetic, history, handwriting, spelling and the like, or (b) broad fields, like social studies, the language arts, mathematics, the natural science and the like, or (c) a core curriculum for general education combined with broad fields or with specific subjects or (d) a completely undifferentiated structure in which the total programme is treated as a unit, as is found, for example, in some of the curricula of the less formal educational institutions, like the boy scouts or recreation groups. At the intermediate level, the possible structures are: (a) courses organised as sequences, such as social science I, social science II, social science III, when these three courses are definitely planned as a unifying sequence, or (b) courses that are single semester or year units without being planned or considered as a part of longer time sequence. In the later category would be ancient history in the eighth class, modern European history in the ninth class and American history in the tenth class, when each of these courses is treated as a discrete unit not having a part-whole relationship to the total history programme. Correspondingly, typical ninth class algebra does not build upon eighth class arithmetic, nor does tenth class geometry build upon ninth class algebra so that we can think of these courses as discrete unit courses rather than viewing them as a sequential organisation at the intermediate level. At the lowest level of organisation, we have structures of several possible sorts: (a) Historically, the most widely used structure at the lowest level was “the lesson” in which a single day was treated as a discrete unit and the lesson plans for that day were more or less separate from other lessons, which were plans for other days, (b) A second common structure is the “topic”, which may last for several days or several weeks, (c) Increasingly, a third type of structural organisation is to be found at this lowest level, commonly called “the unit”. The unit usually includes experiences covering several weeks and is organised around problems or major student purposes. So far as the present evidence is concerned, it appears that each of these different organising structures may have certain values under different conditions. However, it is possible to indicate some of the advantages and the disadvantages of each of these organising structures. From the standpoint of the achievement of continuity and sequence the discrete subjects, the discrete courses for each semester or year, and the discrete lessons all impose difficulties that make vertical organisation less likely to occur. There are too many boundary lines from one structure to another to assure of easy transition. Vertical organisation is facilitated when the courses are organised over a period of years in larger units and in a larger general framework.
37 Correspondingly, to achieve integration is difficult if the organising structure is composed of many specific pieces, since the tendency is to arrange the elements of each piece into some more unified form, but to work out the relationship of each of the pieces to each other becomes more difficult as more pieces are involved. Thus, fifteen or sixteen specific subjects in the elementary school present more hazards in achieving integration than an organisation, which has four or five broad fields like the language arts, the social studies, health and physical education and the like. A core curriculum provides even less difficulty in achieving integration so far as the interposition of boundaries between subjects is concerned. From the standpoint of achieving desirable organisation, any structural arrangement that provides for larger blocks of time under which planning may go on has an advantage over a structural organisation, which cuts up the total time into many specific units, each of which is to be planned with some kind of transition and consideration of the work of other units. At the other extreme, an undifferentiated organisation of the school day imposes certain difficulties. The fact that various types of competence are desired in the school faculty and the fact that children need to shift from one activity to another before they become fatigued make it necessary to divide the school day into periods of varied activity and providing contact with more than one adult. This variety is likely to be more difficult in a structure that involves a completely undifferentiated organisation. The process of planning a unit of organisation Although a great many ways of attacking the development of organisation are now in use, in genera, they involve the following steps: (1) Agreeing upon the general scheme of organisation; that is, whether specific subjects, broad fields, or core programmes are to be used. (2) Agreeing upon the general organising principles to be followed within each of the fields decided on. This may mean, for example, that in mathematics the general scheme adopted involves an increasing abstraction of algebraic, arithmetic, and geometric elements, which are treated together year after year in place of the principle of treating arithmetic elements first then algebraic, and finally geometric. Or, it may mean an agreement in the social studies on the developments of problems beginning with the community and moving out into the wider world rather than the decision on the use of organising principle bases upon purely chronological considerations. (3) Agreeing upon the kind of low-level unit to be used, whether it shall be by daily lessons or by sequential topics or by teaching units. (4) Developing flexible plans or called “source units” which will be in the hands of each teacher as he works with a particular group. (5) Using pupil-teacher planning for the particular activities carried on by a particular class. This general operative procedure is increasingly used by various curriculum groups. The development of preliminary flexible plans or so called “source units” has its purpose the provision of a great deal of possible material from which the teacher can select that to be used with any particular group. These plans are flexible enough so that
38 they permit modification in the light of the needs, interests and abilities of any group; and they are inclusive enough to cover a wide range of possible experiences from which those that are most appropriate for a given group may be selected. A typical source unit includes a statement of major objectives expected to be obtained from the kinds of learning experiences outlined, a description of a variety of experiences that can be used in attaining these objectives, an outline in some detail of the culminating experiences that can be used to help the student at the end to integrate and organise what he has got from the unit, a list of source materials that will help in the development of the unit, including books and other references, slides, radio programmes, pictures, recordings, and the like, and an indication of the expected level of development of the major elements that operate as the organising elements in this particular curriculum. This is necessary to prevent duplication on the one hand, and to avoid undue omission or big jumps in student development on the other hand, which are too great for the student to attain. In outlining the suggested learning experiences it is very necessary not only to consider experiences that are inherently related to the organising principle of the unit but also to care for the varying needs and the interests of the individuals likely to be in this grade and also to provide for each individual learner variety enough to stimulate continuing interest and attention to prevent boredom. In listing source materials it is essential to recognise the varied kinds of materials that can be used, not only the verbal but the non-verbal ones, not only those that can be used at home, on field trips, in community activities and the like. It is also important to recognise of culminating experiences, which help to tie together the varied experiences provided throughout the unit. This facilitates integration and aids the student in organising his own understanding, attitude and behaviour generally. It is difficult to suggest the possible schemes that may serve to organise source units. Some source units are organised around big ideas, but in the main, the more successful ones have been organised around problems, particularly in the sciences and the social studies. In the aesthetics field, teaching units have often been organised around something to be done, or in some cases, a series of appreciation experiences, which are neither problems nor big ideas. There is still opportunity for a great deal of creative work in developing highly effective schemes for constructing source units in the various fields of the school curriculum. As the source unit represents the preplanning that has gone on, so a great deal of planning must also be carried on while the units are actually being used. Each group of children may represent differences in background, in particular interests, in needs, that will involve considerable variation from one group to another. The value of having pupils participate with teachers in planning the more particular things to be done by that class is largely in giving the student greater understanding and meaning to his learning experiences as well as increasing the likelihood of his being well motivated. During such pupil-teacher planning, selections of activities will be made from among the many suggestions appearing in the source unit and there may also be additions made where children see possibilities in the unit, which were not foreseen by those who planned the original source unit. As a result, the particular plan followed by each group will represent some variation from the original source unit and will never include all the possible materials suggested in the source unit itself.
39 It can be seen that planning the organisation of curriculum experiences involves both a great deal of preplanning and also planning as the work goes on, but it is only in this way that it is possible to get the greatest cumulative effect from the various learning experiences used.
Chapter 6 The Curriculum in Operation and in Context
A curriculum, whether developed anew or remaining virtually unchanged over the years, embodies educational intentions – knowledge to be introduced, skills to be learned and attitudes and values to be acquired. For these intentions to be realised teaching and learning have to take place – the intended curriculum resulting from curriculum development has to be operationalised. The way in which teaching is done, the psychological conditions under which learning takes place, together with the social and institutional setting in which they are enacted, influence what curricular intentions are achieved. Different teaching-learning ‘milieus’ affect the meaning acquired by pupils from their curricular experience. Time and its allocation Of the many factors influencing the modifications, compromises and accommodations, which accompany the translation of intended into operational curricula, time and its allocation are of crucial importance. Time is a major influence on the shape of operational curricula in all schools, whether it is an open primary school with an integrated day or a tightly timetabled comprehensive school catering for both examination and non-examination pupils. This is the least elastic factor with which the
41 operational curriculum has to make an accommodation: There is only so much of it in the school day, week and year. How to use it for curricular purpose is a decision, which in most schools involves the head, usually in consultation with the staff, and is one which indicates the value placed on particular curricular activities. The valuation is not always put into practical application; rather it roughly accords with the educational purposes to be served. Decisions about time may be merely routine to carry out the allocation of time that has been made previously. If so, such decisions conform to previously accepted valuations about what is to be taught. There are two basic ways in which curricular time may be allocated: (a) in units of lessons or periods, some of which may be doubled or blocked as whole mornings or afternoons, and (b) wholistically, as in the ‘integrated day’ in the primary school, where time is spent much more flexibly by individuals or small groups (and occasionally the whole class) on learning within broad subject areas or from purposefully designed educational activities and materials. Whichever way curricular time is used, the amount of time spent on a subject or an educational activity tends to represent a valuation of that subject or activity. The relationship between time and value is not an exact one. Some subjects and activities require more time than others do, not because they are necessarily considered more valuable, but because their activities require more time in which to develop. Art, craft and games are examples. English and mathematics, however, more time allocated them because they are considered more valuable to educational development, and the valuation placed on them is as strong in the infant school with its emphasis on number and language work as in the secondary school. But timetabled time has other effects. It may result in the fragmentation of pupils’ educational experience (eight different lessons in different parts of the school in addition to a variety of breaks). The small unit of time used as the time-table currency of many secondary schools not only results in the fragmentation of curricular experience but because of the complexity involved in apportioning the units among subjects and teachers it requires central control of time-tabling, leaving little or no flexibility in the use of time by teachers or subject departments. It is necessary for more open time-tabling in the secondary school based on larger blocks of time with teachers responsible for how it is to be used, and with an encouragement to leave ‘slack’ or uncommitted time for activities that cannot be foreseen in advance. In those primary schools where time is used flexibly under an integrated day or open classroom regime, it sometimes happens that time is not devoted to those subjects or activities thought to be marginal to the curriculum or over which the teacher is uncertain. Religious education, science and drama are examples. The point to stress is that there are costs and benefits to be charged to any way of allocating time. Such costs and benefits affect the quality and range of curricular experience that are provided. There may also be other consequences. Teaching children to stop and start to a bell may be conditioning them to the workplace, the demands of institutions beyond the school. Some would argue that the school is modelled on the capitalist factory, and within the school the allocation of time is not the servant of the curriculum but of the factory and the office. However, studies of the allocation of curricular time and of its effects in operation have been too few to yield firmly based generalisations about its overt and covert consequences.
Time and curricular intentions As time in curriculum is afforded to subjects and activities, it not only confers educational status on them, but also gives practical legitimacy to educational intentions. When English appears on the secondary school time-table or when a teacher in an open primary school fosters some language work with an individual or small group, this means that English (or language work) is worth spending teaching time on because it will ……. and here each subject or activity has both its justification and its claims to have practical effects. These are the educational objectives for which it is the vehicle: the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values, which it seeks to realise. English, for example, makes claim to develop several distinctive modes of communication and understanding. The Bullock report speaks of expressive, poetic and transactional language as distinguishable modes of communication that it is the purpose of English in schools to develop. Science makes other claims: to be taught as a major human activity, which explores the realm of human experience, maps it methodically but also imaginatively, and by disciplined speculation, creates a coherent system of knowledge. The claims of subjects vary with time and circumstance. As an illustration, history was taught to working-class children in the nineteenth century by means of stories of great men and women, its purpose being to foster two dispositions: love of country and morality of service, both essential in a period of imperial power. Today, now that imperial ambitions are frowned upon, history is taught with other ends in view, especially understanding the how and why of human behaviour in the past and its relationship to contemporary problems. The claim that ‘classics’ provided a complete education could not be supported in a world of increasing technological sophistication, and partly because their claim to develop the intellect was critically assessed with the results that maths and science made equal claims in this respect. Today, it is generally acknowledged that many subjects because of their particular modes of picturing reality and of truth seeking can make a contribution to the development of rationality. Organisation of subject matter Curricular objectives may be pursued in practice not only through the allocation of time but also by the decision to treat subjects as discrete entities (Geography, history, physics and so on) or as larger wholes (the humanities, the arts and sciences). In the latter case subjects are integral to an area of study and what matters are usually the problems or the concepts rather than the specific information, which is provided. In an integrated course such as humanities, the behaviour of the teacher as ‘neutral chairman’ is as important as the thematic organisation of the subject matter around topics such as war, law and order, and relation between the sexes etc. Another, distinguishable approach is one where disciplines are chosen not to be studied in themselves but for the light, which they cast on a topic. It must be an interdisciplinary approach.
43 The terms ‘integration’ and ‘inter- disciplinary’ have been used loosely by a variety of writers, and much effort has been expended in discriminating what is meant by the terms. It is clear that dissatisfaction with the conventional curriculum has arisen and so schools have explored alternative organising principles on which to base their curricular policies. Calls for ‘balance’, ‘breadth’ and ‘relevance’ in the curriculum are other such principles. However, only a minority of schools uses the integration of subjects to any substantial extent. What are needed are studies of how schools come to adopt and implement policies based on integration or inter-disciplinary work. Curricular milieu Educational objectives of schools are facilitated not only by the allocation of time and by the general organisation of subject matter but also by the curricular milieu created i.e. by the curricular ways of life to be followed in realising particular emphasis of schools. These two factors – curricular emphasis and way of life – are two major dimensions of the operational curriculum. But schools tend to emphasise either pupils as individuals or as members of society. In the first case stress may be laid on intellectual autonomy, personal development, the cultivation of self confidence, spontaneity and openness to experience – what has been termed ‘self-actualisation’. In the second case schools emphasise instructional and social skills and attitudes such as punctuality, respect for property and a readiness to accept social conventions. These differing emphases are not new. They have a long history in education best summed up in the concern for character development versus the concern for fitness for society. Each emphasis calls for a particular setting for its achievement, a specific milieu in which it may be realised. The first setting is monastic, set apart from the world and subject to a higher discipline – that of academic subjects or of the teacher as an authority. The second is within the world, focussing on the technical and moral problems of society, involved in its tensions, with the teacher as instructor in basic skills and friendly guide to the ways of the world. Few schools in practice simply exhibit one combination of curricular emphasis and milieu. Most have to make some accommodation with the capabilities of their staff, with the aspirations of parents and pupils and with the underlying structure of society, each of which may lie in very different directions from those being pursued by the schools. Nevertheless, at the level of curricular policy, schools through their heads and staff strive to create a certain curricular ‘climate’ in which teaching take place. Of course, expediency can sometimes be the governing criterion rather than any thought out, justifiable curricular policy, Schemes of work and syllabuses Whether or not schools have carefully considered, explicit curricular policies, they do at least have a notion of what ought to be going on when teaching is taking place. Such notions are often, though not always, conveyed through syllabuses and schemes of work.
44 In primary schools the importance of schemes of work has varied over time. Some years ago, they were considered restrictive of both pupils and teachers activities. Recently, however, many schools have begun to develop such schemes, but the latter are not always detailed, nor are they to be found in every primary school. Sometimes schemes are directly related to curriculum projects adopted by schools or to sets of textbooks or structural teaching materials used by particular classes. Sometimes the place of detailed formulations is taken by discussion at staff meetings or by incidental indicators of what should be taught gleaned from conversations among staff members. There has been little or no research into how primary school teachers plan their curricula or into how they use their much-prized professional autonomy, which has expanded to fill the gap caused by its restrictive influence on the curriculum. At the secondary level, syllabuses are not regarded highly by teachers. They concentrate most on subject matter, content and teaching methods to be employed tend to play an intermediate role. Secondary teachers’ main concern is to know what they have to teach. The same factor is of high priority when planning a course of study. Schemes of work and syllabuses along with curriculum aims and objectives form part of a means-ends model of education. Syllabuses tell the teacher what content to cover; objectives indicate what his coverage of content is to achieve. There are, however, other views, which assert that what matters is the ‘quality’ of curricular experience provided, not where it leads. This experience may lead in many directions for pupils depending on personal disposition and opportunity. Many art educators hold such a view, as do some advocates of primary education. For such educationists the purpose of the curriculum is to provide pupils with an opportunity to engage in educational encounters – in art to develop aesthetic ideas out of an encounter with materials; in the primary school to explore materials in an enriched environment and out of this exploration to discover ideas of language and number. For such a curriculum the availability of appropriate media and suitable materials is essential and flexibility in its use is critical. Teaching and the operational curriculum Sound curricular policies, timetables that reflect them and schemes of work, which support them, are all part of the operational curriculum. They provide the enabling framework for the curricular life lived in classrooms, at the heart of which are teaching and learning. The acts of teaching are many and various. They include keeping order, organising pupils and materials, interesting pupils in what they have to learn, providing activities through which to consolidate and exercise what has been learned, and assessing how well it has been learned. The way in which a teacher puts these acts together, articulates and paces them creates a curricular ‘culture’. How he conceives his role and that of his pupils gives this culture a certain ambience or atmosphere. If, for example, the teacher closely directs the work that pupils are to do, gives them no scope to bring to it elements from their own background and determines how the work is to be done, then the classroom culture will be heavily authoritarian. Curricular life for the pupil will be teacher-directed, lived in the language of the teacher and the pace he sets. In practice the curricular culture of science teaching is less clear-cut, though there is a tendency for teachers to develop, and feel at home with, one style of teaching,
45 especially if they have not had opportunity or the motivation to practice alternative styles. Teachers as much as pupils need a variety of curricular experience and therefore their learning are to show flexibility in use. What may be true of science teaching may not be true of teaching history or of teaching seven-year-olds in the primary school. Other dimensions may be more important in creating curricular cultures. There are, however, other ways of describing the curricular culture of classrooms. Barnes, for example, uses a communications model and distinguishes between ‘transmission’ teachers and ‘interpretation’ teachers. The former believes that knowledge is contained in academic subjects, the content of which is verified against objective standards or criteria. These teachers judge what their pupils do in accordance with these criteria and use their job as one of correcting the pupils’ work so as to bring it more and more into line with the standards of the subject. Pupils are regarded as novices, yet to be taught how to think and understand. On the other hand, ‘interpretation’ teachers believe that what matters are pupils’ abilities to organise thought and action so as to come to understand what they are experiencing as science or history. Pupils, they believe, do not start from ignorance but are knower, yet to appreciate what criteria may be applied to give their understanding order and form. ‘Interpretation’ teachers see themselves, not as authorities, but as mediators of the interaction necessary to pupils’ understanding of experience. It is advisable to use the concept of curriculum negotiation whereby teachers and pupils (as well as teachers and other teachers) work out a mutually acceptable programme and mode of teaching. The form, which curriculum negotiation may take, ranges from confrontation at one extreme to consultation at the other. With confrontation pupils may be forced to learn. With consultation they will have a clear say in what they learn and how they will learn it. It is rare for either extreme to apply. Rather, norms and rules for the negotiation of the curriculum are accepted by teachers and taught. Their nature and this may vary with what is being taught, will characterise the curricular culture of classrooms. Yet another way of viewing the way in which curricular culture of classrooms comes about is in asking how teachers function to define the everyday realities of life in classrooms. Much work remains to be done on how the curricular cultures of classrooms develop and function; though quite clearly more than just the behaviour of teachers influences them. There are the forms of pupil grouping employed, the persistent individuality of pupils, the pressure of outside agencies, especially the examination boards, the multitude of practical constraints and the clamour of public opinion and great debates. Certainly curricular cultures are extremely complex, as is the evaluation of their processes and outcomes. What is taught seems to be both much less than is intended and in some of its effects much more than is foreseen.
Chapter 7 Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation may be defined as a broad and continuous effort to inquire into the effects of utilising educational content and process to meet clearly defined goals. According to this definition, evaluation goes beyond simple measurement and also beyond simple application of the evaluator’s values and beliefs. Teachers, administrators, and other school personnel commonly think of evaluation in three terms: (1) the evaluation of pupil progress by teachers in classrooms; (2) the evaluation of schools and school systems by outside agencies; (3) and the evaluation by the state departments of education and by the board of examination. Basic notions regarding evaluation The process of evaluation is essentially the process of determining to what extent the educational objectives are actually being realised by the programme of curriculum and instruction. However, since educational objectives are essentially changes in human beings, that is, the objectives aimed at are to produce certain desirable changes in the behaviour patterns of the student, and then evaluation is the process for determining the degree to which these changes in behaviour are actually taking place.
47 This conception of evaluation has two important aspects. In the first place, it implies that evaluation must apprise the behaviour of students since it is change in these behaviours, which is sought in education. In the second place, it implies that evaluation must involve more than a single appraisal at any one time since to see whether change has taken place, it is necessary to make an appraisal at an early point and other appraisals at later points to identify changes that may be occurring. Since evaluation involves getting evidence about behaviour changes in the students, any valid evidence about behaviours that are desired as educational objectives provides an appropriate method of evaluation. This is important to recognise because many people think of evaluation as synonymous with the giving of paper and pencil tests. ‘Judgement’ is the key term in discussion of curriculum evaluation. Judgements have to be made about what to evaluate, how and with what end in view. But before going into what, how and why of evaluation one thing should to be made clear. If the process of curriculum evaluation is to be understood, it is necessary to appreciate the close relationship between what is being evaluated and the form that the judgement takes. A simple example will illustrate the point. Evaluating the skill of a marksman in a tournament requires that he is judged as to how well he can hit a target, at what distance and with what accuracy. Evaluating the quality of a work of art calls for judgement of a quite different kind. Failure to recognise that a different kind of judgement is required in each circumstance would, to say the least, lead to difficulties. Unfortunately, the field of curriculum evaluation has been free from just such difficulties. This is because of the differing forms in which curriculum evaluation has been cast – because of the differing models or metaphors, which have characterised it. Evaluating a curriculum project A curriculum project is a part of a whole curriculum programme. The process often used in evaluating a curriculum project can best be expressed in a series of steps: (1) The first major step is to define the goals of the project. This step usually has two components – making a workable statement of the goals of the project and identifying quantitative measures to be used in evaluating performance relative to the goals. Great care is needed in stating the project goals. It is found that the goals as first stated by programme and project planners often bear only a slight resemblance to what the programme or project in fact does. (2) The second step in the process is to collect the data necessary for determining the project’s effectiveness. The data may include findings about pupil characteristics; about the nature of the project and the processes used in it – its duration and the varied treatments it provides groups of pupils. (3) The third and final step is to determine the cost effectiveness of the project. Here, levels of progress toward achieving the project’s goals are noted against amounts of resources used in reaching these levels. If pouring in additional resources produces no better results, the maximum extent of desirable resource input has been reached.
48 Sample evaluation models An evaluation model is a widely applicable format in which the major elements in a programme or project evaluation are expressed in such a way as to make their functions and interrelationships clear. The following are samples of evaluation models. The Scientific model First define educational objectives and secondly give them an operational (preferably behavioural) definition. These have been crucial tenets of scientific curriculum evaluation. On them have been based blueprints for the construction of measuring instruments, the application of which has enables curriculum evaluation to take place. The extent to which the objectives have been achieved has been accepted as a measure of the effectiveness of the curriculum. The process ascertaining this measure of effectiveness has been termed the process of curriculum evaluation. The scientific approach to curriculum evaluation could not be applied in its simplest form and lead instead to a greater deal of further work aimed either at elaborating and clarifying details of the scientific approach or at specifying more closely and carefully where and why it could be applied. There have been few direct applications of the scientific model of curriculum evaluation. These have been mainly in science and mathematics. The decision-making model An influential development of the scientific approach to curriculum evaluation was to extend it into a decision-making model. In this model, at the centre of the evaluation process is the decision-maker whose concern is to improve the curriculum. The process of evaluation is to supply the decision-maker with relevant empirical information about the curriculum in operation, and about its intended ends, i.e. what is to be achieved. These worthwhile ends or objectives are derived from the values implicit in the educational aims that the curriculum is to serve: a clarification of the value position to be adopted is thus seen as much a part of the evaluation process as that of collecting data. A further stage in the evaluation process is the development of an array of alternative ways (options) of achieving desired outcomes form among which the curriculum decisionmaker may choose the one, which seems the best to fit the circumstances, which he faces. The choice made is assumed to lead to the desired improvement. Others have produced variants of the decision-making model. Johnson, for example, using a logical tree approach, has laid out the process of evaluation as one of ‘YES: NO’ decision points starting from ‘Were intended outcomes achieved?’ and working back to ‘Was curriculum selection valid?’ Stake’s model The basis of Stake’s model lay in the two dimensions of intents and observations and the three bodies of data – antecedents, transactions and outcomes. Evaluation required that data should be gathered on: i) the antecedent intents i.e. what the curriculum developers had in mind in developing
49 ii) the intended transactions i.e. what events were intended to take place when a curriculum was transacted iii) the intended outcomes i.e. what was to result from the intended curriculum – the skills and attitudes it was intended to develop iv) the observed antecedents i.e. what classroom events were taking place before the new curriculum was implemented, especially the conditions of the teacher-pupil transactions v) the observed transactions i.e. the actual activities engaged in when transacting the curriculum vi) the observed outcomes i.e. the results actually achieved through the transacted curriculum Stake’s argued that arising from the application of this model, data would have to be produced not only by educational measurement specialists but also by social and political scientists and historians who routinely study opinions, preferences, and values. But for him data gathering was not the end of evaluation; having clinically conducted his evaluation, the evaluator could not then wash his hands of it and leave others to judge its meaning and value. The evaluator’s responsibility involved saying whether or not the +curriculum was marching expectations (or intents). Stake’s contribution was to widen the evaluation perspective by drawing attention to the importance of both intentions and observations in the enterprise and by re-emphasising judgement as the goal of evaluation. Even so, his approach was still heavily measurement-oriented, and theoretical. Although these categories are useful in a general sense, they are not close enough to curricular phenomena to be immediately helpful; they do not direct an evaluator precisely enough to the phenomena he is supposed to look at. The new evaluation This approach was concerned more with the qualitative aspects of teacher-childcurriculum encounters than with quantitative estimations of how far curricular goals had been achieved. The focus of attention was to be the diversity and complexity of the learning milieu – nothing less than the culture in which curricula were embedded. The stance of the evaluator was to be that of the anthropologist, concerned with description and interpretation rather than with measurement and prediction. This new approach to evaluation has been called ‘hermeneutic’ – concerned with understanding rather than with explanation. It aims to provide descriptions of learning processes and outcomes not in relation to pre-specified criteria of success but in relation to how participants judge the educational worthwhile ness of curricular experiences. In providing their description the new evaluators take a structuralist rather than empiricist stance, taking the view that ideas and meaning matter more than events and facts. They seek to discover what meanings those engaged in the operational curriculum give to their curricular encounters and to search for an appropriate mode of reporting these meanings truthfully. What they appear to be seeking is value-free evaluation The models of the new education thus draw on art as well as on anthropology for their informing metaphors. They reject the language and methods of the pure sciences and the technology of measurement, and because they have not fully developed their approach, nor have they published much by way of example. A more balanced view
50 would be to appreciate just what strengths and weaknesses different models of evaluation possess, where they may be best applied, and how very limited remains our capacity to evaluate the curriculum in all its diversity and complexity, especially at the level of education system. The eight year study The purpose of the study was to determine whether the secondary school curriculum could be freed from domination by the colleges. The study attracted attention because it was ambitious and extensive and because the curricula of high schools were criticised for being so monolithic. Within the thirty high schools included in the study, questionnaires, tests, inventories, scales, logs and checklists were administered. These and other instruments were designed and used as part of a seven-step format suggested chiefly by Ralph Tyler, who directed the research: 1. Establishment of goals or objectives 2. Classification of the objectives 3. Definition of the objectives in behavioural terms 4. Identification of the situations in which achievement of the objectives could be shown 5. Selection or creation of measurement procedures 6. Collection of data about pupil performance 7. Comparison of findings with the stated objectives. The seventh step in this format could lead to revision of the objectives, thus making the evaluation process a live, cyclical one. The Provus evaluation model Provus identified five stages of evaluation. Stage I has its task obtaining a definition of the programme based on the programme content taxonomy. The steps within it are represented by certain questions: Is the programme defined? If not, is a corrective action adequately defined? Is the corrective action installed? If not, is a corrective action defined for securing installation? Is the corrective action so defined now installed? The theme of stage I is, then, definition of the programme. The theme of stage II is the installation of the programme. Concerning implementation of this scheme, the same questions that formed the steps in Stage I may be asked. Stage III has as its theme process. Here the key question is “Are the enabling objectives being met?” The theme of Stage IV is product or outcomes, with the key question being “Are the terminal products achieved?” Finally Stage V consists of costbenefit analysis. Practitioners have further clarified Provus’s five steps or stages as relating respectively to (1) the quality of the curriculum design; (2) the faithfulness or care with which the designed programme is installed; (3) the processes used in installing and implementing the programme; (4) the products or results of the programme; and (5) the cost of the programmes considered against the benefits derived. The Provus plan has been called a discrepancy model because it compares performance with standards to determine whether a discrepancy exists between the two. This model, complicated and system-oriented as it looks at first, has the advantage of appealing to practising school administrators who wish together hard evidence.
The EPIC model Another good model is EPIC or Evaluative Programmes for Innovative Curriculum. The model is pictured as a cube, one panel of which is behaviour, which is subdivided into the cognitive, the affective and the psychomotor. A second panel is instruction, which has within it organisation, content, method, facilities and cost. A third panel is institution, which has the following parts: student, teacher, administrator, educational specialist, family and community. The users of EPIC reckon with five categories of variables: Category I – prediction sources, calling for examination of types of instruction; Category II – descriptive variables, including instructional techniques and institutional constraints; Category III – objectives; Category IV – behaviour, instruction and institution, as specified in the cube; and Category V – criteria of effectiveness, requiring analysis of all data collected. Evaluation of programmes and projects is a decidedly complicated operation. It would be convenient if evaluators in school systems could use one or more standard models and rest assured that these would fir their situations. Unfortunately, each available model was originally devised to meet the demands of a particular situation. Therefore, models prove useful mainly in offering suggestions as to how evaluators might solve their own problems of design and implementation. All of the above mentioned models follow presumably logical steps that are to be taken in sequence. Some of them borrow steps from the procedure called systems analysis, which follows an eight-step pattern. The steps are stating need, defining objectives, indicating major constraints, developing a number of alternative systems, selecting the best alternative or alternatives, putting a chosen alternative into operation, evaluating the resultant system, and receiving feedback to create modifications. Evaluation models can prove useful in making clear distinctions among the intended curriculum, the implemented curriculum and the attained curriculum – that is, distinction among “what we thought we wanted to do,” “what we tried to do,” and “what our pupils actually learned.” Making an evaluation design An evaluation design is a specific plan for attaining a set of objectives by following a series of implementation steps. Making a suitable design is not easy. There is no ideal design. The validity of the data collected under the terms of almost ant design is subject to question. Some of the widely used designs are the following. The true experimental design The pupils involved in the experiment and the pupils in a control group are randomised (randomly divided), and the teachers are selected for their similarities according to established criteria. Randomisation is meant to decrease error, but it is notably difficult to achieve. After randomisation, the experimental pupils are given the special curriculum treatment prescribed in the terms of the project, while the control group receives no
52 special treatment, continuing with the customary subject matter content and educational practices. Then, evaluation of specific learning outcomes and other outcomes is conducted for both experimental and control groups by using the same evaluation strategies and instruments for both groups. Whenever the true experimental method can be utilised, it should be selected because of its relative freedom from error and because of the confidence that evaluators usually place in it. The non-equivalent design This design uses a control group that is not equivalent to the experimental group – that is, no randomisation is undertaken. Collect both pre-test and post-test data, by using multiple curriculum treatments with experimental groups in contrast to the treatment received by the control group, and by making across-the-board comparisons of outcomes for groups of pupils rather than for individual pupils. Thus, more than one experimental group is formed; pre-tests are given to all the experimental groups and to the control group; differing curriculum treatments are given to the experimental groups and, of course, to the control group; and all groups (experimental and control) receive the post-test. This design is often selected when parents might object to dramatic and obvious experimentation with their children and when evaluators foresee difficulty in assigning teachers, some of whom might affect outcomes negatively. The time-series design In this design no randomisation is attempted and no control group is established. If timeseries project is expected to cover two years of schooling, the pupils involved in the project are tested, inventoried and observed during the first half of the first year, as the project gets under way, are given a special curriculum treatment throughout the two year period. They are tested, inventoried and observed every six monthly. This design has the advantage of providing some basic data quickly, of permitting comparisons to be made within the population, and of allowing the evaluators to plot progress over a reasonable period of time (if needed the period may be extended for more than two years). Naturalistic designs Here, data are gathered by means of four major strategies. The first strategy is observation by skilled observers to answer the question “What is happening here?” The second is description, which should be an actual portrayal of the situation that has been observed. The third strategy is interpretation, which is accomplished by discovering meaning relative to theoretical, historical, socio-economic, or other standards. The fourth strategy is judgement of the worth and importance of what has been done, in answer to questions like “Was it worth doing?” and “How well was it done?” This type of activity is sometimes referred to as naturalistic evaluation. It capitalises on human abilities. In answering questions about what is true and what is valuable, naturalistic evaluation encourages the participation of people in making intelligent judgements. The more the participants practice evaluation strategies with understanding and care, the greater the quality or validity of the results. Although naturalistic evaluation has strengths, it also has weaknesses. The strength is the presence of informed and skilled viewers, who can act as translators and interpreters and can thus help other viewers make wise judgements. The weaknesses are: there is no
53 assurance that what one critic sees will be standards of criticism in themselves easily be less than what can be tested. even similar to what another critic sees; necessarily vary; and what can be seen may
Some guidelines School personnel should • know what is, and what is not, being evaluated; • know what kinds of continuing information are available from the project centre regarding evaluation procedures and data; • know what materials, procedures and suggestions are recommended and are available for evaluating according to the objectives of the project; • use appropriate techniques and devices and employ properly trained observers in assessment programmes; • conduct assessment on continuing bases. • Assessment must be sufficiently precise and comprehensive to yield the data necessary for competent judgements. Keep the following questions in mind: • Do we have initial data on learners – their achievement, their motivation, and their personalities? • Do we have initial data on teachers – their strategies, their motivation, their knowledge, and their personalities? • Do we have these data at many stages during the implementation of the project? • What happens to learners as people and to learners as learners as a result of the project? • What happens to teachers as people and to teachers as teachers? • Are the changes which we expected occurring? Why or why not? • Do changes justify the time and funds expended? The guidelines are worded to express the expectation that worthwhile evaluation in an ongoing procedure throughout the life of a project and not merely an end-of-the-line operation. Some principles about decisions on curriculum • Curriculum decisions should be made for valid educational reasons, not for specious or non-educational ones. • Curriculum decisions of a permanent nature should be made on the basis of the best available evidence. • Curriculum decisions should be made in a context of broadly conceived aims of education. • Curriculum decisions should be made within a context of previously made decisions and of needs for additional decision making so that balance and other important curriculum considerations may be safeguarded. • Curriculum decisions should be made by achieving a resolution of forces originating in the nature and development of learners, the nature of learning processes, demands of the society at large, requirements of the local community, and the nature and structure of subject matter to be learned.
54 • Curriculum decisions should be reached co-operatively by persons who are legitimately involved in the effects of the decisions, with full participation being accorded those persons who are most concerned with the effects. • Curriculum decisions should take into account new facts of human life such as the proliferation of knowledge and a need for a new sense of unity within our diversity. • Curriculum decisions should take into account the many differences among learners, especially with reference to their potential for development, their styles of thinking, their ability to withstand pressures, and their need for education in values. • Curriculum decisions should be made with a realistic view of certain organisational or engineering matters that can affect the quality of the decisions themselves: correlation versus separation of subjects, the distinction between the curriculum content and pupils’ experiences, and the uses of time. • Curriculum decisions should be made with some forethought about ways in which they may be communicated and shared. • Curriculum decisions should be made only with reference to subject matter and pupil experiences that cannot be offered as satisfactory outside the school. The control of evaluation So crucial to the process of schooling is the curriculum that all those who have an interest in it have also a concern for curriculum evaluation. Systems of education are controlled by bureaucracies whose function is to administer them. Their function is allocative – to make available to schools resources in accountable ways. Their concern is with the efficient provision of a service, a basic part of which is to ensure that certain standards of education are achieved. To the administrator curricular evaluation is a means through which he can monitor the system for which he is held responsible and so keep his policymaking informed. But system of education also serve clients – parents and pupils – who are concerned that young people develop valued skills, abilities and attitudes, which will serve them in many roles, which they will be called to perform. For them curriculum evaluation is a means for assessing whether what schools teach is likely to provide capabilities, which they value. Their concerns would appear to be primarily with instrumental capabilities and also with moral and social development. What is taught in schools is estimated by parents and young people in terms of values, with utility being a major criterion. Those responsible for making the curriculum a practical reality have their perspective. Teachers and head-teachers evaluate curriculum not only in terms of needs of the school and classroom in which the curriculum is to be transacted, but also in terms of defensible educational criteria, e.g. validity, significance, learn-ability. Others concerned with schools and what is taught in them have different perspectives. Inspectors, educationists and educational researchers are concerned with specialised professional attributes of what is taught to which they bring their own brand of expert critical appraisal. Finally, there is the wider society concerned with the distribution and accessibility of education to its citizenry. Society has a view through its political agencies of how education should be distributed. This view or political ideology will tend to determine the structure of the educational system and thus the shape of intended curricula. For
55 governments and politicians curriculum evaluation serves to reflect the progress that is being made towards a desired distribution of education. Evaluation to monitor standards, to value, to test practicalities and estimate professional validity, to inspect and to analyse, and to check progress may all be used as means of control. Using the results of evaluation Since every educational programme involves several objectives and since for almost every objective there will be several scores or descriptive terms used to summarise the behaviour of students in relation to this objective, it follows that the results obtained from evaluation instruments will not be a single score or a single descriptive turn but an analysed profile or a comprehensive set of descriptive terms indicating the present student achievement. These scores or descriptive terms should, of course, comparable to those used at a preceding date so that it is possible to indicate change-taking place and one can then see whether or not educational progress is actually happening. It is, therefore, essential to compare the results obtained from the several evaluations instruments before and after given periods in order to estimate the amount of change taking place. The fact that these are complex comparisons, that they involve a number of points and not a single score, may complicate the process, but it is necessary for the kind of identification of strengths and weaknesses that will help to indicate where the curriculum may need improvement. It is not only desirable to analyse the results of an evaluation to indicate the various strengths and weaknesses, but it is also necessary to examine these data to suggest possible explanations or hypotheses about the reason for this particular pattern of strengths and weaknesses. When hypotheses have been suggested that might possibly explain the evaluation data, the next step is to check those hypotheses against the present available data, that is, against additional data that may be available, and to see whether the hypotheses are consistent with all the data then available. If they appear to be consistent with the available data, the next step is to modify the curriculum in the direction implied by the hypotheses and then to teach the material to see whether there is any actual improvement in student achievement when these modifications are made. If there were, then it would suggest that the hypotheses are likely explanations and the basis for improving the curriculum has been identified. What is implied is that curriculum planning is a continuous process and that as materials and procedures are developed, they are tried out, their results appraised, their inadequacies identified, suggested improvements indicated, there is re-planning, redevelopment and then reappraisal. In this kind of continuing cycle, it is possible for the curriculum and instructional programme to be continuously improved over the years. In this way we may hope to have an increasingly more effective educational programme rather than depending so much upon hit and miss judgement as a basis for curriculum development.
56 Other values and uses of evaluation procedures • One of the uses of evaluation procedures is identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum programme. • It is a powerful device for clarifying educational objectives. • It has a powerful influence upon learning. • Evaluation procedures also have great importance in the individual guidance of pupils. It is not only valuable to know about students’ background but also to know about their achievement of various kinds of objectives in order to have a better notion of both their needs and their capabilities. • Evaluation can also be used continuously during the year as a basis for identifying particular points needing further attention with particular groups of students and a basis for giving individual help or planning individual programmes for students I the light of their particular progress in the educational programme. • Evaluation becomes one of the important ways of providing information about the success of the school to the school’s clientele. Ultimately, schools need to be appraised in terms of their effectiveness in attaining important objectives. This means that ultimately evaluation results need to be translated in terms that will be understandable to parents and public generally. Only as we can describe more accurately the results we are attaining from the curriculum are we in a position to get the most intelligent support for the educational programme of the school. Increasingly, we must expect to use the curriculum procedures to determine what changes are actually taking place in students and where we are achieving our curriculum objectives and where we must make still further modifications in order to get an effective educational programme.
Chapter 8 Improving the Curriculum
Changes for curriculum improvements are produced at several levels of operation. Improvements can be accomplished by substitution, alteration, variation, restructuring, or value orientation change. To improve a reading programme, teachers might simply substitute a new series of readers for the current series because the newly adopted series had superior features. They might alter the curriculum by adding thirty additional minutes each day to improve the results. They might try variation by importing a reading programme from other successful school system. They might restructure the reading programme by organising teams of reading specialists, classroom teachers and other aides for better instructional impact. They might, even, attempt value orientation change, asking classroom teachers to turn routine reading instruction over to computer-assisted instruction. Although, the five levels may appear to be separate and distinctive, more than one of them may be used at any time to promote a curriculum improvement. Factors affecting curriculum improvement The following four factors seem to be effective for curriculum improvement: Establish suitable climate and working conditions Climate and working conditions result from many little actions and influences such as (a) the general attitudes of participating personnel, (b) the quantity and the quality of the personnel, (c) the presence of peer tutors and helpers, (d) the physical resources and materials with the staff members, and (e) the absence of undue and detrimental pressure and influence.
(a) Attitudes of participants Some of the following attitudes of participating personnel may be helpful in planning curriculum improvement. (i) Acceptance of people’s right to feel and express legitimate dissatisfaction with curriculum Those who strive to progress in their work feel some dissatisfaction with what they are presently doing. Legitimate feelings of dissatisfaction lead not to arbitrary complaining but to affirmative steps that eventually result in satisfaction. Curriculum workers should seek to learn the exact causes of dissatisfaction felt by their peers and subordinates and should encourage co-workers who feel dissatisfaction to channel it constructively into new activity. (ii) Acceptance of the contributions of many kinds of people to improving the curriculum All who are qualified to belong to a faculty group may be expected to have unique contributions to make as individuals. They should also be able to make certain contributions in concert with other members of the group. Curriculum workers should provide ample opportunity for people to express themselves and to offer their own talents in performing commonly approved tasks. (iii) Willingness to permit other persons to work on problems they themselves identify as worthy of attention The principal who is concerned with his or her own problems is often certain that the teachers wish to help solve them. The teachers have their own problems and may soon become impatient or even hostile if they are forced to help solve the principal’s imposed or imported problems. Curriculum workers should help teachers clarify and solve the problems that the teachers themselves perceive as being well worth solving. The same teachers are then likely to greet with favour occasional opportunities to help solve problems for which they feel no direct personal concern. (iv) Open-mindedness about new educational decisions and practices School personnel are acting presumptuously when they cling to ideas merely because they are supported by tradition. To some persons, open-mindedness means having no experimental attitude, a willingness to use the ‘method of intelligence’ – commonly called the problem-solving method – in dealing with educational problems. To others, it implies merely an attitude of ‘wait and see’ while other staff members try new practices. Whatever the degree of an individual’s personal involvement in a project, open-mindedness is necessary to the project’s success and to prospects for future experimentation. (v) Willingness to work with others to achieve common ends through commonly agreed upon means This attitude affects all members of every working group – leaders and followers. However significant the contribution of the talented person working alone may be, well co-ordinated groups usually prove wiser in plotting the means and ends of projects. Curriculum workers should become well acquainted with procedures that facilitate the group work and should become competent in leading groups of differing sizes and kinds.
59 Studies of attitude change in teachers reveal that humanely conducted staff evaluations can serve as a starting point. Also, arranging helpful contacts with other persons – fellow teachers, counsellors, consultants and community members – can offer new perspectives. (b) Quantity and quality of personnel A stimulating, friendly climate and helpful working conditions are aided by the presence of able personnel in sufficient numbers to accomplish worthwhile tasks. Surveys of the staffing of the schools and school systems usually reveal that more work is being accomplished by limited numbers of persons than even the most conservative of personnel analysts expect. Often these persons are discharging responsibilities that should not be theirs or are discharging their responsibilities in ineffective ways. In spite of the fact that present-day schools are frequently understaffed in the fields of supervision and curriculum services, the quality of assistance that class teachers are receiving could be improved in at least three respects: • The very best available persons should be utilised to discharge each major responsibility. Some times the teachers are made part time specialists in the fields in which they may have received only limited preparation. • The role of the school in the total community should be examined at intervals. This determines whether all the functions of the school have adopted truly belong to an educational institution. • Special teachers should be assigned in different, more helpful ways. Varied and sometimes questionable uses are being made of special teachers in subjects such as physical education. Specialists should ask themselves a key question: “How can we provide the greatest long-term help to classroom teachers in helping them to become competent identifiers and eradicators of common subject difficulties?” Two additional sources of personnel to improve teaching and learning are (1) the staff of universities, state departments of education, board education offices, and school systems other than one’s own and (2) well-informed lay persons who give advice strictly within their own specialities. These two sources provide part-time consultants who may be called upon for a few hours or days of assistance at almost any time. Many school systems maintain resource files of community citizens who volunteer their help in instructional fields ranging from the physical sciences and the arts to citizenship education. The classroom teachers are usually the best judges of which lay persons are most effective in reaching pupils with the content they have to teach. Of course, no substitutes have been found for competent classroom teachers who work patiently and insightfully with children day after day. The quality of the schools depends chiefly on the quality of the classroom teachers who teach in them. The morale of able teachers can be improved by reducing the load of clerical and custodial duties that now burden many of them. Obviously professional employment carries with it responsibility for certain routine operations, but studies of the duties of the classroom teachers often reveal numerous and sometimes unnecessary clerical and custodial loads. An enlightened school administration seeks to free competent persons for activity at their highest level of performance. School officials will need to be more
60 certain than they are at present that advantage. teachers are using their time to maximum
(c) Peers tutors and helpers It is possible to increase the personnel resources of a school geometrically by preparing a cadre of pupil tutors and helpers who teach their peers and learn by teaching. Such a programme tap the strengths of youngsters, many of them may otherwise have become bored and obstructive. Young people can often surpass teachers in communicating with other young people. For this reason some schools involve all the pupils they can in teaching and helping. Certainly the adoption of peer teaching can lead to restructuring of teacher responsibilities and of the uses of building space and time. Peer teaching and helping should not end with pupils. The idea of collaboration includes interaction among adults for teaching and learning within schools and school systems. The days of the reclusive teacher should be long gone. We cannot admire teachers who erase their chalkboards quickly lest other teachers or supervisors borrow and disseminate their ideas. If knowledge is the wealth of school systems, it should be shared at least within the systems. (d) Availability of physical resources and materials Studies of working conditions in schools have revealed that teachers feel satisfaction in having varieties of usable instructional materials at hand and in understanding how to use them. When materials and equipment accord with the requirements of the instructional programme, and when the persons who use materials and equipment have a major part in choosing them, the usefulness of these resources is usually ensured. The school that seeks to improve the curriculum for its pupils, searches continuously for materials and equipment that will best take into account the range of individual differences the school encounters. The principal of a school of this sort tries to make physical resources quickly available to teachers by arranging for purchase of materials as they are needed and by moving them to points of use as speedily as possible. One of the major complaints of classroom teachers is that administrators fail to move materials to a reasonable schedule. An additional hazard of school administration is the tendency of principals to become overzealous about amplifying systems and electronic machinery generally and thus to spend precious funds in purchasing equipment that teachers would gladly trade for materials of more direct use to them. (e) Absence of undue pressure and influence Studies of teacher morale clearly show that the effectiveness of a school can be ruined by the conniving and betrayal of irresponsible politicians. Promises that are made and not kept are one of the major sources of trouble. The government controlled schools in the hands of municipal and state government officials experience more political interference with schools and teachers. The unfortunate effects of undue influence and pressure should be reduced and avoided at almost any cost. Research and experience show that if curriculum changes are really to go into effect, varied actions must be taken to support teachers, personnel must be designated
61 to do the supporting, and ample time process to be completed. must be allowed for the effectuating
Achieve and maintain appropriate tempo A second major action that facilitates curriculum improvement is achieving and maintaining appropriate tempo. Curriculum workers are soon compelled to learn that the timing of curriculum improvement activities is vital. Their fundamental problem is one of maintaining balance between gradualism and rapidity. Many school systems work so gradually at improvement that they scarcely make any effort to improve at all. The opposite of extreme gradualism is excessive and ill-founded speed. Many a noble experiment has come to grief because its supporters have moved ahead of the rank and file of classroom teachers. Careful watching of the forces that promote or impede improvement provides the only real guide to appropriate speed. Good timing results from responding cautiously to questions like these: • Are we ready for this change? • How fast can we comfortably move? • How does the speed at which we are effecting this change relate to the speeds at which we are making other changes? • If we are not ready for a significant, timely change, how can we develop readiness for it? • Are there any ideas and actions that could be helped in sparking change? Tempo of change or improvement relates directly to the thoughtfulness with which improvement is sought. For instance, a group of teachers may write a course-guide during six weeks of occasional meetings with little effect on the practices of other teachers who are later introduced to the guide. Instead an in-service project requiring three years may be directed to the same ends and the improvement resulting from it may be profound and long lasting. The distinction between the two activities is not only in time expended but also in careful, early considerations of the kinds of activities that might make a genuinely lasting difference. One of the major functions of leadership is to emphasise the importance of certain projects in relationship to other projects. Those that are really important to teachers’ growth usually deserve the most time for completion and the most pre-planning of the procedures by which they will be affected. Further more the time of their initiation must depend chiefly on how soon they have to be accomplished and on the number and nature of other tasks that must be performed. Specific problems of tempo Practitioners of curriculum planning often encounter problems that affect the tempo of their work. One of these is taking on too much because they fail to recognise the varying sizes of the different tasks. Curriculum planners need to estimate the amount of time particular tasks deserve. If the tasks are large, one, two, or three of them may be all that a school can undertake within a year. Usually some tasks look small and others look large. Of course, both big and small tasks are being under taken in most school systems at the same time. It is important to keep the total number and total size of tasks small enough that curriculum study can be thorough rather than superficial. A second problem of tempo relates to the manageability of projects. Some projects are so large or complicated that they simply cannot be dealt with by the personnel of a single
62 school system. Significant experimentation with the uses of computers, for example, usually requires large-scale financing and the co-operation of several school systems. Unwise selection of projects that are too large or too involved not only leads to frustration among personnel, but also wastes their valuable time. A related difficulty is selecting projects that make no real difference in instructional improvement. Many tasks being performed today are unevaluated, so little is known about their relative or intrinsic worth. One may make expensive arrangements of personnel and materials, demonstrate the materials, and advertise them widely, and still not know whether the changes make a difference to learning. Time spent on unevaluated demonstrations may easily be tome stolen from other, more demonstrably useful projects. Finally, tempo is affected by injudicious rescheduling of tasks that have been performed on one or more occasions previously. Teachers become frustrated when curriculum leaders seem to “ride” their own hobbies, calling for restudies of given educational problems at too-frequent intervals. Careful pacing of tasks is a special need in those school systems in which curriculum study has been under way for many years. The rule may be summarised as follows: Not too fast, not too slow, not too carelessly planned, not too big, not too insignificant, not too recently considered. This is obviously a rule easier to state than to live by, but it is extremely relevant to the process of improvement. Select among a variety of activities A third major action that assists the process of curriculum improvement is to select among a variety of activities directed toward improvement. The provision of varied activities has been referred to as a shotgun approach. When a shotgun is fired, no one knows exactly what will be hit by the pallets. Similarly, curriculum improvers who use varied activities are sometimes unsure who will be attracted to and will be most affected by each of several activities. The best that we can do is to narrow many possibilities to a few according to ascribed purposes and the exercise of good judgement. Curriculum improvement can be equated in many respects with supervision, inservice education, or staff development. Accordingly, the activities used in these three connecting avenues to school quality are fundamentally the same. They exist in some profusion under these headings: group activities, contact with individuals, and use of literary and mechanical media. Some of the activities are under their appropriate headings: GROUP ACTIVITIES Committees Study groups Workshops Conferences Work conferences Clinics CONTACT WITH INDIVIDUALS Interviewing and counselling individuals, Observation of individual teachers in classroom and elsewhere, Assistance to the teacher in LITERARY AND MECHANICAL MEDIA Written bulletins Research reports Policy statements Course guides Computer printouts Bulletin boards
63 Institutes Courses Seminars classroom, Demonstration teaching by individual teachers or supervisors, In-service advisement of individual teachers, Directing reading. Tape recordings of meetings and decisions, Educational television
Curriculum workers appear to spend most of their time in activities of a group-work nature. They spend the second most amount of time interacting with individuals. In the future they will probably give more attention to the third category – literary and mechanical media – as the application of technology increases the possible uses of mechanical media. Many curriculum leaders hold that, of all the separate activities, workshops and conferences with individuals achieve most satisfactory results. Build evaluation procedures into each project A fourth major action to help the process of curriculum improvement is building into each project, from its very inception, procedures for evaluating the effects of the project. This action is taken so infrequently that the quality of both old and new educational practices usually goes un-assessed. After a while, the accumulation of unevaluated practices becomes so large that no one can defend with assurance the ways in which schools are operated. If the chief end of curriculum improvement is improvement of pupils’ engagements in learning under auspices of the school, the significance of every important step toward this end is evident. The evaluation may, because of the pressure of time and work, be done quite informally, but it should be done nevertheless. The presence of evaluation data lends assurance to practitioners, and it supplies evidence to the people who pay school costs and want to know whether money is being well spent. Evaluation is meant to gauge the extent to which objectives of a project or activity have been achieved. A desirable relationship between evaluation and objectives appears in Figure 8.1. The diagram suggests that as soon as the objectives of a project are stated, ways of evaluating the achievement of the objectives should be considered.
FIGURE 8.1 The relationship among major parts of a curriculum project Objectives Evaluation
64 Activities then should be chosen for their pertinence to the objectives and also with reference to possible means of evaluation. The thinking process should follow this sequence: from objectives to evaluation to activities that are useful in achieving the objectives and have effects that can be properly be evaluated. Too often, curriculum workers think of activities first and then either ignore or defer consideration of objectives and evaluation. Four well-recognised actions by change agents move the curriculum toward improvement: seeking a more helpful climate and working conditions striving to achieve an appropriate change tempo. Sponsoring varied activities will contribute to improvement, and specifying effective evaluation procedures.
Chapter 9 Paths to School Improvement
A good school is in a constant state of renewal, which is to say it is always improving. How is a principal or supervisor to wend through the maze of often conflicting reform proposals and provide leadership in the right direction? The magic bullet approach Most proponents of school improvement promulgate a single idea or method to give a new lease on life to the schools. Collegiality among the school faculty, autonomy for individual schools in curriculum decision making, new organisational restructures, national education standards, multiculturalism, and gender equity proposals are some examples. Those who promote a singular approach are likely to be impatient with other approaches and to convey the notion that there is only one path to school improvement. There is a wrong tendency to suggest that those who follow any other approach to school improvement are off track. Proponents of what might be called a single-factor path to reform see their proposal as a complete answer. Reformers tend to use their own field of interest as a lens for viewing schools. Thus, those with an interest in-group dynamics advocate developing collegiality among the faculty, as the improvement approach. Those whose interest is teaching propose the school faculties study generic teaching skills and the styles of outstanding teachers. Those who believe that the application of research findings is the answer to school improvement propose that school faculty familiarise themselves with
66 research on effective schools. Each total prescription for school improvement approach is treated as a magic bullet – a by advocates.
New organisational structure Educational structuring was a popular idea for improving schools in the 1990s. Restructuring had its origins in business, industry, and government. In business and industry, restructuring was a code word meaning reorganisation for the purpose of slimming down the size of the organisation and making it more efficient. But downsizing may often left companies without experienced people who helped contribute to the success of the organisation. Some such structural innovations in education have had similar effects. Financially strapped school systems have justified the downsizing of their central office staff on the alleged ground that teachers should be granted independence to develop their own curricula based on the needs of their own students. This has left teachers without the supervisory support necessary for improving curriculum and instruction. In education, restructuring has had a broader meaning than in the business world. In education, the issue in restructuring is school improvement. Strategies for restructuring include smaller schools, school choice, local autonomy, national curriculum standards in subject areas, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In a critique of restructuring, Newmann points out that the proposed structural changes are not part of a coherent plan, and he points to the need for linking changes together. The reason they are not connected is that they were never intended to be. Each proposal is viewed by its advocates as the way to renew schools. Hence, instructional improvement is seen and treated as entirely separate from curriculum improvement. Not only is there the pervading problem of segmental and disjointed programmes, but many of the ideas and strategies are in conflict. How are such conflicts to be avoided in school improvement efforts? As Newmann points out, the answer lies in focussing on curriculum development – improving learning opportunities for all students. Educators must wage a constant battle to keep the curriculum—what is taught and how—as the focus. School size and curricular gain The story of school size and its relation to curricular improvement is a most interesting one. Education leaders were well aware of the advantages of school consolidation and reorganisation for improving educational opportunities. When two or more districts—each hardly able to support its own one-room rural school—combined, the result was speedily obvious in a larger school with improved educational services, facilities and resources. In the larger cities the story was vastly different. Population increased concurrently with the development of education, which had its greatest momentum in urban sections. From the start, urban centres demanded larger educational facilities than did rural areas. The huge size and factory-like atmosphere of urban schools and the need for smaller schools that will give students more personal attention, was a major factor. Schools within schools The problem confronting educators is how to recognise schools so that they are smaller and yet preserve the curricular advantages of large schools. There has been a
67 solution: schools within schools. The school of several thousand students was divided into smaller schools, housed within the existing buildings. The houses are organised vertically so that students are connected with one house during their high school years. Each house has its own faculty and counsellors, and provides a curriculum of general education or unified studies—those learning that all educated members of a society hold in common. Specialised studies are taken in other units. In general, one is able to identify three advantages to the school-within-a-school plan. The first is more opportunity for faculty to get to know students and give them individual attention. This is important for all students but particularly in urban schools, which may have as many as 5000 students, many of whom are considered at risk. A second advantage is that the houses can share the library, laboratories and other central resources that school must have if they have to offer educational services of high quality. A third advantage is that teachers have a greater opportunity to work together with a given population of heterogeneous students throughout the high school years. Although educators continue to point to the industrial climate of full-size high schools as an unfavourable environment for at-risk youth, relatively few urban high schools have adopted the house plan. Distinctive versus cosmopolitan schools Schools like individuals have their own personalities. Some reformers considered that by developing distinctive characters, schools could renew themselves. According to RAND, designing schools with distinctive character is the key to educational improvement and the basic premise is variety and not uniformity. The focus on difference blurs the fact that good schools are alike in many ways. All good schools expose all youngsters to the richest possible experiences, and also connect the schools with the children’s own experiences. The field of education has generated a core of approved practices from research that all good schools should follow. There is a universal quality rather than a limited scope that characterises good schools. The cosmopolitan school, not the special interest school, is required for renewal. The comprehensive-connected approach Curriculum frameworks require a coherent strategy for their implementation. The strategy includes providing improved programmes of teacher education, staff development to help teachers understand and implement the new procedures, peer teaching and the creation of networks to link teachers and scholars. If solutions are to be sustained, problem solving involves multifaceted strategies deriving from an ecological or environmental perspective. The education environment should be supportive, not contradictory. Teachers should be encouraged by their supervisors to base their teaching on the body of approved practices in the curriculum field, whether or not those practices happen to support present policies. The ecology of curriculum renewal Clearly the way to reform is not with a linear top-down approach. A number of education theorists have given school renewal a biological turn by viewing those
68 involved as part of an ecosystem. John Goodlad uses an ecological model in which policy makers at state and local levels, teachers, administrators and others are concerned with an array of broad educational goals and the application of approved practices for reaching them. Relationships among the individuals and groups in the ecology of schooling are multiple rather than linear, and the main concern of policy makers is to provide teachers with what they need for reaching the goals rather than with a punitive, intimidating atmosphere. Policy makers at the state level and local level must provide a supportive environment at the school level. From experience we know that this is the only way that continuous, effective curriculum-development activities at the school level will take place. As everyone knows the support often fails to materialise. According to Goodlad, the way the people are now linked is ineffective for two closely related reasons: (1) top-down, one way directives are the approach to ‘improvement’ and (2) there has been a ‘pathological emphasis on accountability’, each individual is concerned with the adequateness of the behaviour of those at some other level or unit. The model that has been followed for so long in the world of schooling is the factory-production model; top-down directives are concerned with the production of high test scores. As Goodlad points out, a healthy school is concerned with more than test scores because the society wants schools to meet personal-social growth and vocational goals as well as academics goals. High test scores can never be an indicator of school health. A healthy school is a renewing school, continuously checking what it does against knowledge about how students learn and teachers teach and changes in the larger society —the wider environment, which is part of the ecosystem of schools and we had better not forget it. A new kind of policy Recent education policies reflect the recognition that top-down strategies for curricular improvement are ineffective. There has been a discernible movement in many school systems toward an organic system of organisation, which is a concept similar to Goodlad’s ecological model. There has been much interest in involving teachers in a collaborative effort to improve the curriculum. For the first time in many years, this critically important approved practice in the literature has become formulated into a policy. Segmental approaches impede renewal A problem with segmental approaches is that they tend to deal with specific techniques, procedures, practices, or programmes targeted for one population group or level of schooling, making curriculum articulation more difficult. Preoccupation with one group may cause the problems of other groups to remain unaddressed. This is shortsightedness in its most virulent form. The problems of one group do not remain their own, but affect other youngsters as well as us all. Kindergarten through twelfth grade students is part of an ecological community, in interaction with the environment of the school and with each other and the wider ecosystem outside schools.
69 The problem of professional isolation The problem of extreme professional isolation has implications for curriculum; without the support of professional cohorts, programmes for curriculum innovation and renewal are unlikely to be sustained or even initiated. Many principals and teachers lack the formal and informal professional support networks that physicians, lawyers and architects have. Urban principals feel particularly isolated. District administrators and supervisors must initiate informal networks for principals where they do not exist. Isolation in the social organisation means more than being separated in space. It means being deprived of one’s opportunity to develop and use one’s creative intelligence; teachers should build on one another’s constructive ideas. There were other kinds of isolation in schools that need to be dealt with by administrators. Among them are the isolation of the school from the real social real world in the curriculum, and the isolation of knowledge from its necessity to the learner—that which makes it valuable personally and socially. Knowledge acquired because someone decides that certain facts are important “is mere information, which is rarely in command when called for.” Today schools engaged in renewal continue in various ways to deal with the problem of isolation in all its various forms. Impact of effective schools research Christopher Jencks concluded that the character of school’s output depends largely on a single input, namely the characteristics of the entering children, and that every thing else is either secondary or completely irrelevant. The other research study of England suggests that student behaviour, attitudes, and achievement are appreciably influenced by their school experiences and by the quality of the school as a social institution. Furthermore, the differences in the outcomes of schools in the study were related to specific school characteristics—such as the availability and use of curriculum resources, instructional strategies and faculty collaboration on school wide problems. Researchers investigating schools with high achievement levels found that these schools had a strong principal who supported a climate of achievement. This was fine, on the face of it. Achievement for these children meant something different than for other people’s children. It meant lower-level skills rather than critical-thinking skills. A good principal was by implication someone who could raise pupils’ basic skills levels. Because the tests were narrowly focused, curriculum improvement was not an issue. Principals and teachers could help children to pass the tests by means of drill and this could be done most economically and efficiently with worksheets and without the help of other staff.
Improving teaching and learning Some proponents of decentralisation became so concerned with each school developing its own unique character that they neglected and even argued against a role for the central office in curriculum improvement. Leadership from the central office is of
70 critical importance for a coherent curriculum district wide. It has been noted that while the unique needs of each school may require differences in curricula from one school to another, those in central office who are responsible for all student learning can work in tandem with the school to ensure that the total system is in harmony. The point cannot be overemphasised that if schools are to renew themselves, renewal must begin with the curriculum. Curriculum frameworks The tendency among the most progressive states and school systems has been to establish curriculum frameworks to provide focus for the improvement of teaching and learning in classrooms. Such frameworks are infinitely preferable to lists of competencies or topics to be covered by schools at a given grade level. The idea of the frameworks is to provide schools with a comprehensive and integrative view of what teaching should look like in a particular subject. Instead of long lists of topics for each grade, the framework simply states broadly the concepts and generalisations that students should come to understand over a given period of time. It has been noted that the frameworks are strikingly different from the fragmented subject matter objectives of a generation ago. Although some states view the curriculum in terms of content areas, some views learning as interdisciplinary by nature to foster interdisciplinary learning. The curriculum-improvement document can be organised into broad areas such as developing creativity, reasoning and problem solving, communication and the development of social responsibilities. Frameworks as opportunities According to Resnick, research on higher-level learning and constructivist views of knowledge conclude that students learn best when given an opportunity to incorporate what they are studying into their own experience. The point of importance is that the idea continues to be supported by research on cognitive learning and that integrative curriculum frameworks can have great influence in its implementation. Curriculum frameworks present a genuine opportunity for curriculum improvement. Schools should not be given step-by-step guides to follow; they need broad functional outlines of what students should understand and be able to do. Schools need integrative curriculum frameworks. Teachers who are knowledgeable about a curriculum area should have a major responsibility in developing the frameworks and in fitting the parts into the whole curriculum. However, the education agency is responsible for establishing criteria, co-ordinating the work of committee members, bringing them into contact with the best sources of knowledge and material in each curriculum area, and assisting them in obtaining the needed expertise and resources. The responsibility for putting the framework in the hands of the teachers and principals and helping them with implementation resides with the central office. Frameworks should be revised at scheduled intervals; but looking for better methods of implementing the frameworks should be a continuous process. Realising the opportunities A curriculum framework is an opportunity for curriculum renewal but is only an opportunity. The implementation of frameworks in classrooms requires that school
71 systems provide support for teachers to help them implement the integrative ideas and new methods. The assistance must be sustained, providing time for teachers to attend in-service education sessions is not enough. Most administrators support formal staff development activities by providing teachers with released time to attend a training course. School systems generally balk at offering teachers follow-up time for observing other teachers who practice and use the new approaches. Principals prefer the less expensive means of having teachers use their own preparation or lunch time to observe other teachers. Research on staff development indicates that teachers need to feel successful in using a new or approved practice or they will not use it. Teachers, like anyone else, tend to do things in which they are successful and avoid the other things. They become easily discouraged when a new approach does not work. School systems can ensure that their investment will have optimal influence when they (1) provide staff-development courses that include follow-up sessions and/or continuing school visits by the course instructors, (2) prepare teachers as facilitators to provide more immediate help for colleagues as problems develop, and (3) provide teachers with released time to observe and to confer with other teachers who have demonstrated success with the new approaches. Creating support for curriculum change Schools where teachers are their own initiators of curriculum improvement are no accident. Teachers talk to one another about problems and work together to develop new teaching methods. These schools have an organic form of organisation where members view themselves as working toward a common goal and continually adjust their work through interaction with others in solving problems facing the organisation. In a mechanistic system of organisation, by contrast, the goals of the organisation are broken down into abstract individual tasks and members pursue their own tasks in isolation. An organic system fits with teachers’ efforts to devise problems and units of work that interconnect the various studies and that engage students in the development of skills and concepts that cross through the entire curriculum. An organic system is a realistic reflection of the reality that students are not uniform and has special as well as common needs and interests. These reasons would be enough to make the organic model appropriate for the schools. Improving teachers’ knowledge and skills requires continual participation by individual teachers with others in trying to find better ideas and methods. Central offices have a responsibility for encouraging communication and collaboration among professional staffs and others who can help teachers learn new practices. Continuous curriculum development A fundamental principle of curriculum improvement is that it is both continuous and cumulative. The idea is to build on, not demolish, the gains of preceding eras. According to Goodlad, one characteristic of a renewing school is that it has an agenda of cumulative curriculum improvement. The professional staff should generate, strengthen, and update the agenda as needed. A record should be kept about the progress of curriculum-
72 improvement efforts—successes and failures. Efforts can be vastly enlightened and constructively directed if school staff knows what happened in previous efforts to deal with a curriculum or instructional problem. The record should be kept in a place where it is readily accessible to teachers and administrators. The school library is one suggestion where a professional collection might be maintained. The body of research and experience in curriculum point decisively to five co-relates of an effective and continuous curriculum-improvement programme: 1. Design and function. The curriculum is more than the sum of the parts. The structure of a curriculum determines its function. Consequently, structural connections need to be made among all of the various studies so as to build a truly inter-related curriculum that reveals the interdependence of knowledge. This requires a macro-type approach to curriculum development. 2. School climate. There is a healthy and supportive school climate for teachers and children. Adequate funds are provided for released time and resources for planning and teachers have an infrastructure of support. In renewing schools, teachers and principals are continually and critically seeking ways to transform their schools into more attractive and stimulating learning environments. 3. Opportunity. All students, whether gifted or at risk of school failure, are provided with optimal opportunities to learn and access to a rich and stimulating curriculum. The faculty of renewing schools are, at heart, environmentalists. That is, they believe that talent emerges through opportunity and cultivation by teachers and parents. This is not a new idea. It is believed that many high-calibre minds remained undeveloped through lack of stimulation. Successful people are nurtured by parents and teachers. There is no shortage of ability, only of opportunity. By using a gifted and talented strategy with disadvantaged children, teachers following accelerated schools model have found that the youngsters at risk can be brought into the educational main stream. Many of the at-risk students have turned out to be gifted and talented. 4. World view. School staff is outward looking; they are continually looking for better teaching strategies and ways of organising the curriculum. For professionals, the search is endless. There is a sense that no matter how satisfactory things may seem, improvements are always possible. School staff is effective consumers of the professional literature and they get around. They visit other schools and attend conferences, sharing newly acquired ideas and strategies with colleagues. Faculty meetings are concerned with what is going on in the educational field and implications for improving the school programmes. 5. Problem solving. Curriculum development is seen by the entire school staff as an on going process of problem solving. Problems are seen as opportunities and not as obstacles to progress. These co-relates are criteria of evaluation that a school faculty can and should apply to their school.
Chapter 10 Classroom management
Managing inappropriate behaviour in the classroom Are there ways to prevent misbehaviour? The atmosphere of the classroom has much to do with student behaviour. The setting should be appealing, with attention given to varying the physical features and the schedule to prevent boredom in both the teacher and the student. Teachers should let students know specific dos and don'ts: which behaviours are expected or desired and which will not be tolerated. Then teachers must consistently reinforce the desired behaviours while ignoring or in some other way extinguishing the undesirable ones. What about establishing rules? Some teachers make too many rules, and the children, confused or frustrated, ignore them. Teachers should establish only a few rules and should specify the consequences for not following them. How can teachers increase student motivation for academic? One approach could be to make one activity contingent on another: Students can earn time in one favoured activity by performing well in another. Students having difficulty in
74 one subject area could serve as tutors to younger students in that same skill, dependent upon the older child's satisfactory performance. Classroom privileges such as helping to distribute papers can also be made contingent on performance. What about token economics? This approach, in which pupils are given a mark for rewards redeemable at a later time, can help students learn. However, token economies are usually costly. In addition, results of research investigating whether or not performance is maintained after the system is removed have been discouraging. How can teachers decrease unwanted behaviour? Teachers can reward a student when a specified behaviour does not occur, or when it occurs below a designated frequency or duration level. Differential reinforcement of other behaviours is a way to decelerate behaviour when behaviours other than the target behaviour are systematically reinforced. Overcorrecting is another possibility. Teachers instruct students to correct the inappropriate behaviour and execute the act within a natural sequence of events. For example, in one case a child who mouthed objects was told "no" and required to brush his teeth and wipe his lips with a washcloth each time he put a potentially harmful or unhygienic object in his mouth. Situation involves actually giving students more of the event that the teacher ultimately wishes to eliminate. The classic example of this technique involves a hospital resident who hoarded towels. Staff began giving her towels-up to 60 per day-until she voluntarily returned more of them and ceased the hoarding. What role does punishment play in classroom management? Punishment can be defined as a technique that decelerates the frequency of behaviour when it is given contingent on that behaviour. Reprimands, frowns, reminders and other subtle expressions can serve as punishment, and can be very effective when used appropriately. A possible disadvantage of punishment is that its effects may over generalise, eliminating more behaviour that originally intended. Another difficulty is that the student might associate the technique with the person who administered it, causing ill feeling toward the teacher. What about taking something away to decrease unwanted behaviour? Teachers can take away the opportunity to obtain reinforcement, attention or a portion of some event contingent on target behaviour. These three procedures are also known as timeout, extinction, and response cost. Timeout can involve physically removing a student for short periods from the reinforcing event or area. Ignoring tantrums is a withdrawal of attention that may lead to extinction of the problem behaviour. Taking away tokens or points for disobeying rules is an example of response cost.
75 If a teacher can’t concentrate on individual problems are there group methods that will work? • Independent group contingencies. Each student receives the same consequence for stated behaviour, as in staying after class for out-of-seat behaviour. Although easy to administer, this approach does not take into account individual student differences. • Dependent group contingency: The same consequence is given to all members of a group. In order to receive the consequence, a selected member must perform at or better than a specified level. One student's behaviour can influence the group's consequence. This approach can improve peer group behaviour at the same time. A program in which a student accumulates free time for the entire class by on-task behaviour may encourage fellow students to support his appropriate activity and not engage him in off-task interaction. • Group consequence, contingent on group: The entire class is considered as one group. An example is making free time dependent on appropriate behaviour: an individual's inappropriate activity reduces the entire class's reward. This approach might be effective when several individuals are behaving inappropriately. However, repercussions might occur if group members feel unduly punished due to the behaviour of an individual student. What are some general guidelines for managing inappropriate behaviour? 1. Examine the events that maintain students' behaviour. 2. Keep data to determine whether or not an approach is working. Compare behaviour during baseline and treatment phases. 3. Consider a variety of techniques. 4. Combine approaches to be more effective. For example, a teacher might praise appropriate behaviour while ignoring inappropriate behaviour. 5. Concentrate on teaching new behaviours and deal with inappropriate ones only to the extent that they interfere with the individual's or group's learning.
Honour levels and positive recognition Honour Level One students are youngsters who rarely get into trouble. To qualify for Honour Level One, a student must not be assigned to detention or sent to Time-out at all in the last 14 calendar days. Problems on school buses and other situations involving discipline also disqualify a student from Honour Level One. The school plans special privileges and activities for students on Honour Level One. These may include well-publicised events, such as recreational periods, extended lunchtime breaks, etc. It is also recommended that a school include some "spontaneous" or "surprise" activities. These might include field-trips, group games, etc. Usually 70% to 80% of the students will qualify for Honour Level One. Honour Level Two students are youngsters who may have only had one or two problems in the last 14 calendar days. Some of the extra privileges awarded Honour Level One students may also be awarded to Honour Level Two Students.
76 Typically 20% to 30% of your students qualify for Honour Level Two.
Honour Level Three students are youngsters who seem to have more difficulty staying out of trouble. They will have had three or more problems within the last 14 calendar days. Honour Level Three students will not receive the extra privileges that the Honour Level One's and Two's enjoy. Often they are excluded from activities as are the Honour Level Fours, but these students might negotiate the right to participate. Generally only about 5% or fewer of your students will be on Honour Level Three. Honour Level Four students are youngsters who consistently get into trouble at school. Fortunately, this is a very small group. Schools using The Honour Level System have reported that this group rarely exceeds 5% of the students. Youngsters on Honour Level Four usually do not participate in any of the extra activities that the other students enjoy. For example, one school asks them to sit in a study hall during school assemblies and makes them ineligible to attend dances or athletic events. They do not negotiate, as do the threes. The 14 day window When determining any Honour Level, we only take into account a student's discipline record for the last 14 days. No matter how much trouble a youngster may get into, there is always a way to work back up to Honour Level One. Each day is a new day, and the Honour Level is recalculated. Problems that occurred more than 14 days ago do not affect the calculation. Students who have fallen from Honour Level One are notified the day they make it back. And as they progress upward through the Honour Levels, they are encouraged and reminded that they are improving. Progressive stages of consequence It would be nice if positive recognition was all that was required to encourage appropriate behaviour in children. In actuality, negative consequences are an important part of behaviour modification. Most schools have some system of consequences already in place and operating. Students are sent to the office, asked to stay after school, required to write notes to their parents, and in extreme situations suspended from school for one or more days. The success of such negative consequences varies from school to school. Psychologists tell us that the best behaviour modification systems include both positive recognition and appropriate consequences. Furthermore, such a discipline system must be perceived as fair and equitable as possible. The Honour Level System provides you with the tools you need to do just that. Both recognition and appropriate consequence are easily administered with the aid of your office computer. A system of fairness exists whereby each student will feel that he or she is treated the same as any other. A system of progressive discipline uses several stages of consequence. Each one is more significant than the one that comes before it. As a student moves from stage to stage, the disciplinary action taken by the school becomes more severe. Your own staffs choose the actual consequences for your school. The following are sample stages:
77 1st infringement:15 minute Noon Detention; nd 2 infringement:30 minute Noon Detention; 3rd infringement: After School Detention; 4th infringement: In school Suspension; 5th infringement: Saturday School; 6th infringement: Suspension from School. You may use up to seven stages of consequence. The Honour Level System provides for both forward and backward movement through these stages of consequence. Forward movement occurs as any individual student is cited again and again for infractions of school rules. We prefer to say: "fails to meet behavioural expectations."
Time heals the wounds The mechanism for moving back to lower stages is time. If a student can stay out of trouble and show that there is a general change in behaviour, he or she should move to lower stages of consequence. When determining the appropriate stage of discipline, the computer will examine the record of behaviour for the last fourteen days. The computer does not exclude weekends, holidays, or student absences. It examines fourteen days of the calendar. The term “3rd infraction" refers to the third infraction within a window of time that is only fourteen days long. Your system may assign a student to after school detention two or three times in a row if the frequency of his or her infractions is about once every three or four days. It does not assign the fourth stage of consequence after the fourth infraction if the first infraction was more than 14 days in the past. The only way in which this child can reach lower stages of consequence is to decrease the frequency of citations. He or she will need to go more days in a row without problems. Because no special provision is made for non-school days, weekends and school holidays help a student get to lower stages. The long winter and summer breaks effectively move each student to Honour Level One and the lowest stage of consequence so that every one has a fresh start at least twice during the school year.
Classroom management profile Answer these 12 questions and learn more about your classroom management profile. The steps are simple: • Read each statement carefully.
78 • • • Write your response, from the scale below, on a sheet of paper. Respond to each statement based upon either actual or imagined classroom experience. Then, follow the scoring instructions below. 1= Strongly Disagree 2= Disagree 3= Neutral 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly Agree
(1) If a student is disruptive during class, I assign him/her to detention, without further discussion. (2) I don't want to impose any rules on my students. (3) The classroom must be quiet in order for students to learn. (4) I am concerned about both what my students learn and how they learn. (5) If a student turns in a late homework assignment, it is not my problem. (6) I don't want to reprimand a student because it might hurt his/her feelings. (7) Class preparation isn't worth the effort. (8) I always try to explain the reasons behind my rules and decisions. (9) I will not accept excuses from a student who is tardy. (10) The emotional well being of my students is more important than classroom control. (11) My students understand that they can interrupt my lecture if they have a relevant question. (12) If a student requests a hall pass, I always honour the request. To score your quiz, Add your responses to statements 1, 3, and 9. This is your score for the authoritarian style. Statements 4, 8 and 11 refer to the authoritative style. Statements 6, 10, and 12 refer to the laissez-faire style. Statements 2, 5, and 7 refer to the indifferent style. The result is your classroom management profile. Your score for each management style can range from 3 to 15. A high score indicates a strong preference for that particular style. After you have scored your quiz, and determined your profile, read the descriptions of each management style. You may see a little bit of yourself in each one. As you gain teaching experience, you may find that your preferred style(s) will change. Over time, your profile may become more diverse or more focused. Also, it may be suitable to rely upon a specific style when addressing a particular situation or subject. Perhaps the successful teacher is one who can evaluate a situation and then apply the appropriate style. Finally, remember that the intent of this exercise is to inform you and arouse your curiosity regarding classroom management styles. Some classroom techniques
79 Here are some techniques that you can use in your classroom that will help you achieve effective group management and control. • Focusing. Be sure you have the attention of everyone in your classroom before you start your lesson. Don't attempt to teach over the chatter of students who are not paying attention. Inexperienced teachers some-times think that by beginning their lesson, the class will settle down. The children will see that things are underway now and it is time to go to work. Sometimes this works, but the children are also going to think that you are willing to compete with them. You don't mind talking while they talk. You are willing to speak louder so that they can finish their conversation even after you have started the lesson. They get the idea that you accept their inattention and that it is permissible to talk while you are presenting a lesson. The focusing technique means that you will demand their attention before you begin. That you will wait and not start until everyone has settled down. Experienced teachers know that silence on their part is very effective. They will punctuate their waiting by extending it 5 to 10 seconds after the classroom is completely quiet. Then they begin their lesson using a quieter voice than normal. A soft-spoken teacher often has a calmer, quieter classroom than one with a stronger voice. Her students sit still in order to hear what she says. • Direct Instruction. Uncertainty increases the level of excitement in the classroom. The technique of direct instruction is to begin each class by telling the students exactly what will be happening. The teacher outlines what he and the students will be doing this period. He may set time limits for some tasks. An effective way to manage this technique with the first one is to include time at the end of the period for students to do activities of their choosing. The teacher may finish the description of the hour’s activities with - "And I think we will have some time at the end of the period for you to chat with your friends, go to the library, or catch up on work for other classes." The teacher is more willing to wait for class attention when he knows there is extra time to meet his goals and objectives. The students soon realise that the more time the teacher waits for their attention, the less free time they have at the end of the hour. • Monitoring. The key to this principle is to circulate. Get up and get around the room. While your students are working, make the rounds. Check on their progress. An effective teacher will make a pass through the whole room about two minutes after the students have started a written assignment. She checks that each student has started, that the children are on the correct page, and that everyone has put their name on their papers. The delay is important. She wants her students to have a problem or two finished so she can check that answers are correctly labelled or in complete sentences. She provides individualised instruction as needed. Students who are not yet quite on task will be quick to get going as they see her approach. Those that were distracted or slow to get started can be nudged along. The teacher does not interrupt the class or try to make general announcements unless she notices that several students have difficulty with the same thing. The teacher uses a quiet voice and her students appreciate her personal and positive attention. • Modelling. "Values are caught, not taught." Teachers who are courteous, prompt, enthusiastic, in control, patient, and organised provide examples for their students through their own behaviour. The teachers send mixed messages that confuse students and invite
80 misbehaviour. If you want students to use quiet voices in your classroom while they work, you too will use a quiet voice as you move through the room helping youngsters. • Non-verbal cueing. Non-verbal cues can also be facial expressions, body posture, and hand signals. Care should be given in choosing the types of cues you use in your classroom. Take time to explain what you want the student to do when you use your cues. • Environmental Control. A classroom can be a warm cheery place. Students enjoy an environment that changes periodically. Study centres with pictures and colour invite enthusiasm for your subject. Young people like to know about you and your interests. Include personal items in your classroom. A family picture or a few items from a hobby or collection on your desk will trigger personal conversations with your students. As they get to know you better, you will see fewer problems with discipline. Just as you may want to enrich your classroom, there are times when you may want to impoverish it as well. You may need a quiet corner with few distractions. • Low-Profile Intervention. Most students are sent to the principal's office as a result of confrontational escalation. The teacher has called them on a lesser offence, but in the moments that follow, the student and the teacher are swept up in a verbal maelstrom. Much of this can be avoided when the teacher's intervention is quiet and calm. An effective teacher will take care that the student is not rewarded for misbehaviour by becoming the focus of attention. She monitors the activity in her classroom, moving around the room. She anticipates problems before they occur. Her approach to a misbehaving student is inconspicuous. Others in the class are not distracted. While lecturing to her class this teacher makes effective use of name-dropping. If she sees a student talking or off task, she simply drops the youngster's name into her dialogue in a natural way: "And you see, David, we carry the one to the tens column." David hears his name and is drawn back on task. The rest of the class doesn't seem to notice. • Assertive Discipline. This is traditional limit setting authoritarianism. When executed it will include a good mix of praise. This is high profile discipline. The teacher is the boss and no child has the right to interfere with the learning of any student. Clear rules are laid out and consistently enforced. • Assertive Messages (A component of Assertive Discipline): These messages are statements that the teacher uses when confronting a student who is misbehaving. They are intended to be clear descriptions of what the student is supposed to do. The teacher who makes good use of this technique will focus the child's attention first and foremost on the behaviour he wants, not on the misbehaviour. "I want you to ..." or "I need you to ..." or "I expect you to ..." The inexperienced teacher may incorrectly try: "I want you to stop ..." only to discover that this usually triggers confrontation and denial. The focus is on the misbehaviour and the student is quick to retort: "I wasn't doing anything!" or "It wasn't my fault ..." or "Since when is there a rule against ..." and escalation has begun. • Humanistic Messages (These messages are expressions of our feelings): Structure these messages in three parts. First, a description of the child's behaviour. "When you talk while I talk ..." Second the effect this behaviour has on the teacher. "I have to stop my teaching ..." And third, the feeling that it generates in the teacher. " ... which frustrates me."
81 A teacher, distracted by a student who was constantly talking while he tried to teach, once made this powerful expression of feelings: "I can not imagine what I have done to you that I do not deserve the respect from you that I get from the others in this class. If I have been rude to you or inconsiderate in any way, please let me know. I feel as though I have somehow offended you and now you are unwilling to show me respect." The student did not talk during his lectures again for many weeks. • Positive Discipline. Use classroom rules that describe the behaviours you want instead of listing things the students can not do. Instead of "no-running in the room," use "move through the building in an orderly manner." Instead of "no-fighting,” use "settle conflicts appropriately." Instead of "no-gum chewing," use "leave gum at home." Refer to your rules as expectations. Let your students know this is how you expect them to behave in your classroom. • Make ample use of praise. When you see good behaviour, acknowledge it. This can be done verbally, of course, but it doesn't have to be. A nod, a smile or a "thumbs up" will reinforce the behaviour.
• Circulate throughout the room--staying in one place means a "blind spot" on some behaviour like playing with an item in the desk (yes, they can maintain eye-contact with you and do this). If kids know you might catch them doing something else, they are less likely to get off task. • Be consistent with your expectations and follow through. Post class rules and refer to them when broken. • Have a daily routine posted somewhere in the room on word cards or a sheet of paper. Go over this each morning so they will be aware of special events or other changes. • Remind students of their manners if needed. You can reward those that do something nice for someone without being asked etc. If everyone respects each other, shares, and listens, you will have a pleasant working environment. • Make "I have" and "Who has" statements and questions on index cards. For instance, I have "Your school". Who has the third planet from the sun? There should be a card for each member of the class and each "I have" statement answers a "Who has" question. Make the questions from the topics being studied or in the early grades just basic knowledge. This helps novice readers pick up some new words. You can time the students to see how quickly they can complete the cards correctly. Make new cards as needed. • Describe an object/event and allow students to guess what it is. Perfect for review. Challenge the class to see if they can beat their last record of working quietly. Reward the group if they beat their old time. Perfect for when you have to run next door. Clapping patterns (students imitate until you have everyone's attention) "Give me five" (all students raise their hand in the air and face you) "Countdown" ring a bell and count down from five or ten (depends on activity) Flip the lights on and off • Write "recess", "snack", or whatever an important event is and erase letters as needed for poor class behaviour. When all letters are erased that event is not allowed.
82 • Individual stickers that are marked out for poor behaviour resulting in certain consequences 4 or 5 cards in different colours that represent different consequences Examples: Warning, loss of 5 minutes of recess, loss of whole recess, loss of privilege (fieldtrip etc.), and timeout room/principal
Appendix 1 How a school staff may work on curriculum building
If a school-wide programme of curriculum reconstruction is undertaken, it is necessary that there be widespread faculty participation. The instructional programme actually operates in terms of the learning experiences, which the students have. Unless the objectives are clearly understood by each teacher, unless he is familiar with the kinds of learning experiences that can be used to attain these objectives, and unless he is able to guide the activities of students so that they will get these experiences, the educational programme will not be an effective instrument for promoting the aims of the school. Hence every teacher needs to participate in curriculum planning at least to the extent of gaining an adequate understanding of these ends and means. In a small faculty, the staff may work as a committee of the whole in conducting studies of the learners, studies of life outside the school and in examining the reports of subject specialists. The entire staff, when small, may also operate as a committee of the whole to formulate the philosophy of education and to work out a statement of psychology of learning. Then the staff, as a whole, can use these results in selecting the objectives for the school. They can also conduct their deliberations in the group as a whole regarding the general organising framework to be used. Finally, the planning of the learning experiences for particular courses will normally be done by those who are to teach them, but even in this step, teachers of the same subject at other grade levels and teachers in related fields will be found helpful in planning. Furthermore, the staff as a whole, when small, may serve as a reviewing committee for these detailed plans. A similar procedure is applicable to the planning of the evaluation programme. Larger schools will find it necessary to operate as special committees, some making studies of the learner, others studying contemporary life, others examining reports of subject specialists. Drafting committees may be used to formulate initial drafts of philosophy and psychology, but these drafts will need to be studied, discussed and revised as a result of consideration by the entire staff. For such deliberations the staff will usually divide into groups small enough for active discussion. The selection of objectives and the deliberations regarding the general organising framework to be used can also be done by one or more committees, than reviewed by the entire staff. As with smaller staffs, the planning of the learning experiences for particular courses can be participated in by all those who are to teach them, and each planning group may also include teachers of the same subject at other grade levels, and teachers in related fields. However, special reviewing committees will need to be formed to review and co-ordinate the detailed instructional plans. Although a school-wide attack is preferable in getting a rational revision of the curriculum, improvements can be made if only a part of the instructional programme can be dealt with. Thus, curriculum building can be undertaken for a single subject like mathematics, or a single grade, like the ninth, or even for the courses offered by an individual teacher. Within the limits in which the curriculum is to be rebuilt, the same general rationale can be used. However, a partial attack must be planned with relation to the other parts of the instructional programme, which are not to be modified.
84 Another question arising in the attempt at curriculum revision by a school or part of a school is whether the sequence of steps to be followed should be the same as the order of presentation in this syllabus. The answer is clearly “No.” The concern of the staff, the problems already identified, the available data are all factors to consider in deciding on the initial point of attack. In one school, participation by the staff in a programme of child study may provide an entering wedge in studying the learner, in another school the results of a follow-up of final class may focus attention upon identifiable inadequacies in the present programme, which will lead easily to systematic study. In another situation, the deliberations over a school philosophy may provide an initial step to an improvement of objectives, and then to study of the learning experiences. The purpose of the rationale is to give a view of the elements that are involved in a programme of instruction and their necessary interrelations. The programme may be improved by attacks beginning at any point, providing the resulting modifications are followed through the related elements until eventually all aspects of the curriculum have been studied and revised.
Appendix 2 What preparation do curriculum practitioners need?
To be an effective curriculum practitioner, what do you need to know and what should you be able to do? From the following inventory of needs and requirements one would know what is needed in the preparation of curriculum practitioners. The fifty-item inventory is divided into two parts. The first part, labelled Knowledge/Understanding, lists cognitive learning that constitute the underpinnings of further preparation. This further preparation involves education and practice in an arena – Skill/Competence – in which one masters those learning that can not be derived from education directed toward knowledge and understanding. Cognitive learning can be acquired in the courses and seminars available in the university. Skill learning to make you competent on the job can be gained through internships sponsored by colleges and universities, as well as under the auspices of regional, association, and university institutes. AN INVENTORY OF PREPARATION NEEDS In the arena of knowledge/understanding, curriculum practitioners need: 1. To understand children and youth as learners in school 2. To know the community environments from which youngsters come to school 3. To know the demands that the society at large places on schools 4. To understand the cultures represented by the pupils in our schools 5. To understand psychological principles (e.g., concerning motivation to achieve) that affects pupils’ ability and desire to learn 6. To know subject content that is pertinent to teaching and learning in schools 7. To know how subject matter can be taught effectively 8. To be aware of new developments and trends in individual subjects 9. To know how the process of curriculum change and improvement can work 10. To be aware of actions that can be taken to improve, rather than merely change, the curriculum 11. To know how to fit curriculum to learners, as opposed to fitting learners to curriculum 12. To be aware of current and possible systems of school organisation and administration 13. To know how to direct enterprises in curriculum planning 14. To know functional methods of instructional supervision 15. To know how to conduct simple educational research 16. To understand the historical foundations of and events in movements toward curriculum improvement 17. To understand possible uses of computers and other machines for curriculum planning 18. To know alternative ways of making curriculum plans
86 19. To understand ways of restructuring schools to achieve educational improvement 20. To be familiar with the ideas of differing schools of educational philosophy 21. To know what curriculum plans to propose for youngsters of different levels of ability and for youngsters with special handicaps 22. To be able to recognise the presence or absence of sequence, balance, and other features of a suitable curriculum 23. To know one’s philosophical beliefs about human potential and schooling 24. To be able to recognise valid research data and conclusions 25. To know where to find help with difficult curriculum problems In the arena of skill/competence, curriculum practitioners need: 1. To be competent in reading and understanding the literature on teaching, learning and the curriculum 2. To be competent in writing cogently and at length about curriculum matters 3. To be able to state clearly worthy aims, goals and objectives of schooling 4. To be able to answer the questions of teachers and other people about the details of the curriculum 5. To be skilled in working with parents and other community members of differing backgrounds, abilities and cultures 6. To be skilled in conferring with teachers and curriculum specialists about difficult aspects of the curriculum 7. To demonstrate competence in proposing and developing original curriculum designs 8. To exhibit skill in directing and bringing to completion varied planning enterprises 9. To be competent in teaching other professionals and lay people to plan 10. To be skilled in leading differing groups 11. To demonstrate skill in practising methods of instructional supervision 12. To be able to speak convincingly to the public about curriculum proposals 13. To demonstrate skill in counselling co-workers and assistants 14. To show competence in planning and implementing in-service and staff development programmes 15. To show familiarity with available instructional materials 16. To be capable of helping teachers and others devise new and different instructional materials 17. To be competent in creating criterion-referenced tests 18. To be skilled in scheduling and co-ordinating curriculum improvement activities 19. To demonstrate skill in reconciling viewpoints of fellow planners and in identifying and over coming barriers to planning 20. To be able to work with officials of state or national educational agencies in the interest of curriculum improvement 21. To demonstrate skill in facilitating regional and state evaluations of the curriculum and of the improvement programme 22. To be able to guide curriculum planners tom significant sources of evidence
87 23. To be skilled in representing one’s school system at professional conventions and meetings of lay persons 24. To demonstrate skill in working with learners in classrooms to show the worth of new curriculum plans 25. To demonstrate grace and ease at social and professional functions where the reputation of the school counts You may use this inventory as you wish, adding to it or subtracting from it at will. It may prove useful for self-analysis, or it may form a basis for group discussion. Sufficient preparation will help you advocate valid curriculum plans and proposals and thereby make lasting contributions to a significant field of endeavour.
Alex Molnar, John Zahorik Bell, Daniel Bellack, Arno A, Kliebard Bobbitt, Franklin Brameld, Theodore Brandt, Ronald S Bruner, Jerome S Casciano-Savignano, C Jennie Coleman, James S Colin Marsh, Paul Morris Connelly, Michael, Clandenin Corey, Stephen M Cremin, Lawrence A Cubberley, Edwood P Davis, Ed. Dewey John Dewey John Dewey John Dewey John Dewey John Dewey John Doll, Ronald C Doll, Ronald C Doll, Ronald C, Passow, Harry Elmore, Richard, Fuhrman English, Fenwick W Giles, McCutchen and Ze chiel Glatthorrn, Allan A Golby, Michael, Greenwald, Jane Goodlad, John A Goodlad, John I Goodman, Paul halverson, Paul M Harap, Henry Hill, John C
Curriculum theory The reforming of general education Curriculum and evaluation How to make a curriculum Patterns of educational philisophy Content of the curriculum The process of education Systems approach to curriculum & instructional improvement Equality of educational opportunity Curriculum development in east Asia Teachers as curriculum planners Action research to improve school practices The transformation of the school Changing conceptions of education Teachers as curriculum evaluators The child and the curriculum The educational situation The school and society Democracy and education Philosophy of education The sources of a science of education Supervision for staff development Leadership to improve schools Organising for curriculum improvement The governance of curriculum Curriculum management for schools, colleges, business Exploring the curriculum Curriculum leadership Curriculum design and implementation A place called school The ecology of school renewal New Reformation balance in the curriculum The changing curriculum Curriculum evaluation for school improvement
89 Hlebowitsh, Peter S Howard Jones Jackson, Philip W Jacobs, Heidi H John McNeil Kindvall, Cox, Richard C King, Arthur R, Brownell, John A Leithwood, Kenneth A Martin, David S McClure, Robert M Miel. Alice Miles, Mathew B Miller, John P Pajak, Edward Radical curriculum theory reconsidered Curriculum development in a changing world Handbook of research on curriculum Curriculum design and implementation Curriculum: The teacher's initiative Evaluation as a tool in curriculum development The curriculum and the disciplines of knowledge Studies in curriculum decision making Curriculum leadership: Case study for programme practitioners The curriculum: Retrospect and prospect Changing the curriculum Innovation in education The holistic curriculum The central office supervisor of curriculum & instruction In search of excellence
Peters, Thomas J, Waterman Pratt, David Curriculum: Design and development Purnell, Susanna, Hill, Paul Time for reform Robert Gower, Marvin Five essential dimensions of curriculum design Scott Schaefer, Robert J The school as a centre of inquiry Sergiovanni, Thomas J, Supervision: Human perspectives Robert J Silberman, Charles E Crisis in the classroom Skeel, Dorothy, Hagen, The process of curriculum change Owen Skinner B F The technology of teaching Smith, Othanel, Stanley, Fundamentals of curriculum development William Stratemeyer, Florence B Developing a curriculum for modern living Synder, Benson R The hidden curriculum Taba, Hilda Curriculum development, Theory and practice Tanner, Daniel Curriculum history Tanner, Daniel, Laurel History of the school curriculum Tanner Tanner, Daniel, Laurel Supervision in education: problems and practices Tanner Tanner, Laurel N Critical issues in curriculum Taylor, Colin Richards An introduction to curriculum studies Thorndike, Edward I Thr principles of teaching Tyler, Gagne, Scriven Perspectives of curriculum evaluation Tyler, Ralph W Basic principles of curriculum and instruction Van Til, William Curriculum: Quest for relevance
90 Warwick, David Whitehead Wilhelms, Fred Wilhelms, Fred Winters, Marilyn Zais, Robert S Curriculum structure and design The aims of education What should the schools teach? Evaluation as feedback and guide Preparinf your curriculum guide Curriculum: Principles and foundations
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