Week 13: Blog Reflection: Curriculum and Instruction EDCI 506

development

retreived from: http://www.moe.gov.tt/curriculum_process.html

 

In today’s schools students, I believe, are being taught the essential curriculum.  These “essential influenced curriculum” includes English, mathematics, science, history, foreign languages and geography.  These subjects are deemed as necessary for students to complete upon graduation.  This way students have the essential knowledge needed to deal with situations and ideas that may arise in their future.  Currently there are several approaches to curriculum development.  Curricula may be subject-center or student centered.

Subject centered curricula has many different styles of creating a curriculum.  Schools may use a subject-area approach, perennialist approach, essentialist approach, back-to-basics approach, or core approach.  Each one of these approaches focuses on the subject matter as the main focus.  Therefore these curriculums are tailored around the subjects that the student’s needs to learn in order to graduate and become the best students possible.  A subject-area approach uses the textbook as a master plan for how students should learn. The textbooks are organized in a way to organize thoughts and ideas of the subject.  Subject-area approach treats “each subject as a specialized and largely autonomous body of knowledge.  Perennialist focus on the logic in the elementary level then classics at secondary level, whereas Essentialist focus on the high-school curriculum (English, science, math, geography, foreign language, history) in order to keep up with today’s knowledge and what the children will need to know in the future.  The back-to-basics approach “connotes a heavy influence on reading, writing, and mathematics”.  A core approach also focuses on the basic subjects in order to create a knowledgeable body of students. Student centered curriculum, as its name sounds, places the student as the most important factor in creating a curriculum.  Approach may be activity based, relevant curriculum, humanistic approach, free schools or alternative schools or value centered curriculum.  Each one of these styles of developing curriculum makes sure that the student is learning in the best way possible perhaps through experiences, or through the values instilled upon the students by the teacher. (Ornstein, 2011)

Teacher may choose to use the direct instruction model.  This model “emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teacher tasks (Ornstein, et al.) .”  These direct instruction lessons are often scripted.  The teacher leads the lesson which is then followed with the students practicing the lesson and then immediate teacher feedback.  This type of instructional method is often found in schools suffering under NCLB.  Outside sources may help schools to develop a curriculum focusing on direct instruction in order to make sure the students are learning what they need to be learning in order to pass the SOL or any other standardized test.  Non-direct instruction is often the type of instruction that you will see if inquiry-based learning is prominent. Through inquiry-based learning students are able to construct a response from what they were able to gather without the scripted lesson of the teacher.

As a future history teacher I will be using student-centered approach to curriculum in order to make sure that all my students are engaged throughout the learning process.  History can often be thought of as boring and drawn-out.  It’s important for me to change the idea of a history class in my student’s mind.  Instead of sitting and listening to a scripted lesson from the textbook, I want to be able to have my students interact with myself and each other through jigsaw activities, learning centers and technology.  In order for my students to do their very best I need to make sure that I am following the subject curriculum developed by the school and department head , especially if my class has a SOL at the end of the year.  I would use to my advantage, the department head and administrators for any questions that I might have.

 

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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