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Curriculum Terms and Concepts

Curriculum Terms and Concepts

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Curriculum Terms and Concepts

Digging deeper into curriculum development "Development" describes the process of curriculum-making. "Design" describes the end result, or the product of curriculum development. This page offers a more academic or scholarly approach to these topics. It is optional.

The steps of curriculum development Different perspectives on development Participants in curriculum development process Curriculum Designs

The Steps of Curriculum Development?
FOUR STEPS TO CURRICULUM: "The Tyler Rationale" 1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? 3. How can they be organized? 4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? For an overview of these steps and how they relate to the development of web-based curriculum and lessons, see Cunningham and Billingsley chapter 1. #1: What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? What AIMs, GOALs, and OBJECTIVEs should be sought? Educational objectives become the criteria for selecting materials, content outlined, instructional methods developed, and tests prepared.

How to write objectives

describe the steps necessary for creating complete Web-based curriculum modules Example nonpreordinate objective: "Students will attend a Shakespeare play.compute the selling price of an automobile given information about list price. It is necessary to specify the content to which this behavior applies. students will be able to: . taxes. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? Criteria for selecting experiences... facilities available within and . Or: Upon completion of this module. are they: y y valid in light of the ways in which knowledge and skills will be applied in out-of-school experiences? feasible in terms of time. see Cunningham and Billingsley. 2. rather than statements of change for students. concepts.Objectives often incorrectly stated as activities the instructor must do. options. Objectives can be indicated as generalized patterns (To Develop Appreciation.. this approach does not specify what the students are expected to do with these elements such as apply them to illustrations in his/her life or unify them in a coherent theory explaining scientific deliberation." For more on aims and goals. staff expertise.. Should specify the Kind of Behavior and the Content or Area in which the behavior is to operate. Objectives are also listed as topics. however.. To apply Dewey's theory of the child and the curriculum to the process of developing a curriculum module. and destination charges . Examples: To create a simple web page using a text editor. Chapter 2.) These are more goals than objectives. or generalizations.construct a timeline showing the relationship among at least 20 major events in the Roman empire . To develop broad interests..

. social. "true")? what is interesting? o note: student may not even KNOW his own interests what is useful? what is learnable? what is feasible? For more on selecting good educational experiences and content. 3. see Cunningham and Billingsley Chapter 3. How can the educational experiences be organized? Education experiences must be organized to reinforce each other. expressive.y y y y y y y y outside of the school.refers to the vertical reiteration of major curricular elements. consequential y y y y y what is valid (authentic.having or conveying a meaning. notable. horizontal organization Continuity .important. and spiritual domains? Curriculum Content Criteria for selecting content: y y what will lead to student self-sufficiency? what is significant? o Two definitions of "significance": 1. community expectations? optimal in terms of students' learning the content? capable of allowing students to develop their thinking skills and rational powers? capable of stimulating in students greater understanding of their own existence as individuals and as members of groups? capable of fostering in students an openness to new experiences and a tolerance for diversity? such that they will facilitate learning and motivate students to continue learning? capable of allowing students to address their needs? such that students can broaden their interests? such that they will foster the total development of students in cognitive. Vertical vs. affective. suggesting or implying deeper or unstated meaning 2. psycholmotor.

This image summarizes the steps of the Tyler Model. (There is some evidence that this is not the best way to teach--that students are more likely to learn if specific skills or topics are introduced first.refers to experiences built upon preceding curricular elements but in more breadth and detail. we arrange educational experiences from easiest to hardest. and from most general to more specific. Sequence emphasizes higher levels of treatment. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? This question concerns evaluation.unified view of things. Integration . (This is based upon the notion that WORKERS will have higher productivity if they do the same thing over and over again.Reading social studies materials continued up through higher grades Sequence . .) Generally. related to the "social efficiency" theories of Frederick Taylor.) 4. Solving problems in arithmetic as well as in other disciplines. Most institutionalized education is MASS education: we want to be able to teach GROUPS instead of individuals. We aim for educational effectiveness and EFFICIENCY. which we will discuss in the Assessment of Educational Sites module. Most education is DEPARTMENTALIZED. because we expect someone trained in a specific topic to be more likely to be able to teach that topic.

In discussing "development. analysis o means/end analysis o usually "preordinate" (or preordained) objectives o emphasis on efficiency o the "Chicago School" o extremely influential approach .Different perspectives on curriculum development (These notes are from my "Curriculum Development and Learning Theories" class at Northeastern. "design" describes the end result. Curriculum development produces curriculum designs. "development" describes the process of curriculum-making. To access the notes for an entire semester. or theproduct of curriculum development.) In Ornstein and Hunkins. visit my course materials page. Development can be articulated as a series of steps." it is possible to describe several competing "approaches" to development. Ornstein and Hunkins categorize these approaches as technical-scientific. nontechnicalnonscientific Ornstein and Hunkins stress the value of finding a "middle ground" between these approaches y Technical-scientific approach o curriculum as plan or blueprint o definable process o activity." such as: y y y y y "aim" "rationale" "audience" "objectives" etc. such as: y y y y define educational purposes construct activities/experiences that can meet these purposes organize activities/experiences evaluate whether purposes have been met (These are the "steps" in the Tyler Rationale) Designs can be articulated or described as an arrangement of curricular "elements" or "components. or task.

and transactional nature of curriculum stress focus on LEARNER. selection of learning experiences 6. objectivity. is not a "program" but a way of designing. subjective. competencies.. logic  t-s approach abstracts knowledge from context  t-s approach overemphasizes articulation of aims  t-s approach too linear  t-s approach takes modernism too seriously stress personal." (Source) nontechnical-nonscientific approach questions some assumptions of technical-scientific approach:  questions universality. showing that curriculum development is an iterative process This approach has found new life since mid-1980s as "Outcome-based Education" or OBE:  "Outcome-Based Education (OBE) means organizing for results: basing what we do instructionally on the outcomes we want to achieve. organization of content 5. involving deliberation of the nature of curriculum and its value Hunkins also adds "feedback loops" among various steps.") . dehumanizing o o o o o Tyler approach modified by others. especially Taba. therefore. Outcome-based practitioners start by determining the knowledge. OBE. organization of learning activities 7. heuristic. formulation of objectives 3.. specification of content 4. delivering. aesthetic. diagnosis of needs 2. and qualities they want students to be able to demonstrate when they finish school and face the challenges and opportunities of the adult world. who listed 7 steps: 1.. not on "products" of education view learning as holistic student as participant in curriculum development denies logical positivism may stress "nonpreordinate" objectives (open-ended outcomes: "Students will be transformed through their participation in the high ropes course. and documenting instruction in terms of its intended goals and outcomes..o criticized as too linear.. evaluation and means of evaluation Taba also wanted TEACHERS to be primary curriculum developers Hunkins adds initial step of "conceptualization and legitimation..

highlighting changes in position 5. explaining positions 4. chaos." Examples:  Glatthorn's Naturalistic Model  Assess the alternatives  Stake out the territory  Develop a constituency  Build the knowledge base  Block in the unit  Plan quality learning experiences  Develop the course examination (or other assessment tools)  Develop the learning scienarios  The Deliberation Model  "deliberation is the essential process engaged in curriculum development. negotiating points of agreement 6. Through deliberation. and make meaning. University of Limerick) for sample of this perspective  McKernan writes: "It is not the goal of teaching to produce results. highlighting agreement/disagreement 3. public sharing 2."  celebrate social dimension of curriculum work  acknowledges circularity of development process  involves acknowledgement of eternal "incompleteness" of curriculum  Proceeds generally from PROBLEM to PROPOSALS to SOLUTION (with CONTEXT)  Noye's six-phase deliberation model 1.See SOME LIMITATIONS OF OUTCOME-BASED EDUCATION (link doesn't work 6-30. but to create an experience in which the student can arrive at creative encounters. allowing order to "emerge" curriculum should help students search for "instabilities" . individuals engage in curriculum decision making. be drawn out. adopting a decision  Hunkins "Conversational Approach"  Free association  Clustering Interests  Formulating Questions or Curricular Focuses  Sequencing Questions or Curriculum Focuses  Constructing Contexts for the Focuses  Post-positivist/post-modern methods embraces uncertainty. cac) by JIM McKERNAN.

In recognising the inconsistency between his anticipation and the outcome. p. 7)  "But if he invests himself . he concedes a discrepancy between what he was and what he is." (Kelly. Oxford:Pergamon. G.] Perspectives in personal construct theory.the most intimate event of all . dislodges the man's construction of himself. and EMERGENT quality of curriculum Participants in curriculum development process Possible participants teachers students principals curriculum specialists associate superintendent superintendent boards of education lay citizens federal government state agencies regional organizations . but emphasize the social. a biological cell is primarily concerned with renewing itself.in the enterprise.curriculum should aim for 'dissipative structures' rather than specific ends  "Autopoiesis refers to the characteristic of living systems to continuously renew themselves and to regulate this process in such a way that the integrity of their structure is maintained. A Brief Introduction to Personal Construct Psychology. E [1980]." (Jantsch. A succession of such investments and dislodgements constitutes the human experience. Bannister [ed. to the extent that it differs from his expectation or enlarges upon it. Whereas a machine is geared to the output of a specific product. the outcome. [1970]. London: Academic Press. In: D. The Self-Organising Universe. p. 18) These theories do not result in a specific model (usually).

objectives subject-matter learning experiences evaluation approaches Some curricula also include: o o o o o o needs assessment rationale audience pre-requisites materials discussion of learning theory Relationship between "curriculum" and "instruction" Doll: instructional planning is part of curriculum design concerned with learning experiences Horizontal and Vertical Organization Horizontal deals with scope and integration: side-by-side arrangement of activities o Vertical deals with sequence and continuity: logitudinal placement of activities o Notion of "spiral curriculum" o Design Dimensions o o Scope: breadth and depth of content Sequence: how do experiences ensure continuity?  issue of whether to get sequence from subject field or developmental stages  sequence principles:  simple to complex  pre-requisite learning (part to whole)  whole to part (overview followed by specifics)  chronological learning (world-related) .educational publishers testing organizations professional organizations other groups Curriculum Design What are the "parts" of a curriculum. and how do they interrelate? Most curricula include: o o o o aim. goals.

and the procedures. In centering activities on subject-matter. is often highly abstract. Experts tend to utilize schemas and categorizations (taxonomies) which have little apparent relationship to the experiences of the uninitiated. In each case. or problems at the center. designers have to avoid the possibility that activities will not ³fit´ with a given learner or set of learners. interdisciplinary concepts or themes. Either a particular subject-area. . including assessment Balance between:  child-centered and subject-centered curriculum  needs of individual vs those of society  needs of common education vs specialized education  breadth and depth of content  traditional vs. The following sections discuss each category of activitity. Subject-centered Many learning activities in schools emphasize subject-matter or academic disciplines.o o o o content-related learning-related learner-related utilization-related Continuity: recurrence. or particular processes can serve as this organizing center. innovative content  needs of unique range of pupils regarding learning styles (added by CAC: balanced with need for teachers to have consistent expectations for all)  different teaching methods and educational experiences  work and play  community and school     Types of curriculum designs In developing specific learning activities for a given set of objectives. the broader themes of a discipline. the sequence in which the subject-matter is most easily and naturally learned). the correlations among two or more subject areas. curriculum designers need to look for ways of linking subject-matter to students own experience. the characteristics of the subject-matter. the learners. repetition Integration (linkages among subject-matters)  takes place "only" within learners  driving focus on "theme-based" schools Articulation: inter-related of aspects of curriculum (vertical or horizontal). This possibility results from the fact that subject-matter. Trying to teach 10 year olds about insects utilizing the schemas utilized by entomologists may be counterproductive. at least as formulated my subject-matter or discipline experts. dictate the kinds of activities that will be selected. curriculum designers need to decide whether they want to place the subject-matter. Therefore. and concentrate on the developmental structure of the subject-matter (that is. conceptual structures or relationships which are found within or among the subject-matter.

The inter-relationships among the subject areas and topics involved in the broad field or in the specific implications of an overarching theme can be the basis for activities in which students compare and contrast related areas. history or sociology students may write research papers that utilize primary source materials. skills. inquire. Learner-centered Dewey¶s emphasis on native impulses of the child (socialize. such as ³Colonialism´ or ³Rituals. In this case. or interdisciplinary subject areas.´ ³decision-making. such as ³Science. Students engage in activities that imitate the activities of scholars in the field. Bruner). The Renaissance. Ancient Greece. Technology. chemistry students will perform key experiments from the history of chemistry.´ ³computer programming. These broad fields. World War II) will look at the facts.Designers who are developing a curriculum organized around a given subject-area (for example. One way around this problem is to center activities not on a given discipline but on a broad field including several disciplines. and plan activities that will lead students from their prior experiences into mastery of the elements of the subject area. For example. that subject area. along with a menu of activities or essential questions designed to foster student inquiry into relationships the exist among these resources. or encompassed by. developing interdisciplinary understandings and metacognitions which can serve to organize the complexity of real-world knowledge. concepts. students need to learn the relationship between science. The problem with discipline-centered curriculums is that they are likely to ignore the knowledges and skills that lie between and among the various disciplines but which may be central in the lives or futures of the students.´ Darwinism. For example. and holism than strict disciplinary studies. A variant of the subject-area-centered curriculum is one that is focused on a discipline.´ The various concepts. allow for more correlation. which merge several separate ³fields´ into an interdisciplinary subject area. the center of the curriculum is the conceptual structures and processes that define the discipline and inform the work of people within the discipline.´ Each of these processes can involve a wide variety of subject-matters or specific problems and issues. or literature students will write. and skills related to.´ general science. and culture. A variety of activities can guide students toward increasingly sophisticated models of the process²models that include the ways in which the process is varied to meet differing goals.´ or ³questioning. or Political Economy. integration. or overarching themes. edit. and Society. technology. Obvious examples are ³social studies. create) Negotiated curriculum Interest-centered curriculum Freierian dialogic education Hunkins: disrupt the status quo of students¶ understanding . Broad fields can also be defined around conceptual clusters. (cf. A final way that subject-matter can be the organizing center of a curriculum is to focus on certain processes. construct. and integrated mathematics. these relationships are usually ignored by the sciences themselves. such a ³problem-solving. and attitudes related to these clusters of concepts can be ³mapped´ utilizing a concept map or ³web´ (O+H p 248) which can then serve as the template for the development of a web site. Web sites designed to support interdisciplinary or thematic units might include a wide selection of resources. and perform their own plays.

personal responsibility (Carl Rogers) Confluent education: strive to blend subjective and intuitive with the objective Curriculum should provide students with alternatives from which they can choose what to feel Participation.Humanistic Can emphasize development of fully-functioning students. quoted in O+H p 262). if anything. past. what shall be our goals. economic. perceiving. awareness. social reconstructionism. feeling. educators potentially affect social change through curriculum development Engages learner in analyzing severe problems facing mankind Furthering the good of society Example problems (Clift and Shane. doubt and faith. nonauthoritarian Development of self as most important objective Transcendent education Concept of wholeness of experience Give students opportunity to take a journey. awe. becoming. 257) Problem-centered Planned prior to arrival of students. present. valuing. and reverence (O+H p. and military systems? What. are we willing to relinquish. through focus on subjective. especially television? What shall be made of psychological. and in what order? . and how shall we reduce the gap between the ³haves´ and ³have-nots´? How can we maximize the value of mass media. and electronic approaches to behavioral modification? What steps can we take to ensure the integrity of our political.: What policies shall govern our future use of technology? At a global level. to reflect on that journey. and how can we reach them? What shall we identify as the ³good life´? How shall we deploy our limited resources in meeting the needs of various groups of people? How shall we equalize opportunity. creativity. growing (Maslow). and to relate that journey to others. emphasizes dispositions of humans for hope. wonder. chemical. future. but willing to adjust to fit needs of students Problem can be interdisciplinary Life situations core designs social problem/reconstructionist designs Social problems. curriculum encourages the tapping of personal resources of self-understanding. self-concept.

it appears that curricula in schools are not the result of careful design deliberations. . In most school districts. Do you agree with this statement? Does it describe your school district's overall curriculum? What barriers exist to paying more attention to curriculum design? Return to Curriculum Terms and Concepts module. overall curricular designs receive little attention.And. Robert Zais has noted that many courses in the schools curricula are really the result of current 'educational' fashion and not careful deliberations about design. what honorable compromises and solutions shall we make as we contemplate the above questions? Issue for discussion: Ornstein and Hunkins write (p. Curriculum often exists as disjointed clusters of content organized as particular items that frequently duplicate and/or conflict with other items. 237-38): Even though design decisions are essential.

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