Curriculum Overview By: Jackelyn Garcia-Rodriguez CIT-0609 Nova Southeastern University
What Is Curriculum?• In my opinion, curriculum can be defined in many ways.• Curriculum comes from the Latin “to run a course”, therefore, if a definition is formulated from this literal translation, curriculum should then be defined as the course of study students must go through in order to achieve success in life. In my opinion, this would include every experience students encounter throughout their school years, including the Arts and extra curricular activities.• With this, constant changes to the curriculum would also be pertinent, as life and it’s demands are constantly changing and being challenged.
What Is Curriculum? Cont…• “Curriculum…is built, planned, designed, and constructed. It is improved, revised, and evaluated.”(Oliva & Gordon, 2013. P.3), so it is in the greatest interest of student’s across America that those changes in fact can occur on a continuous basis, so that improvements are constantly being made in our education system.
What is Curriculum? Cont…• Curriculum has also been defined as a set of topics, subjects, or courses that are predetermined by national and state education experts, in efforts to set a guideline for teachers that will ensure students meet the highest standards in education and standardized tests.
What is Curriculum? Cont…• Several terms such as, spiral, comprehensive, and core are added to the word curriculum to refer to different types and delivery methods.• For example, core curriculum is referred to the central mandated subjects that basically determine the student’s academic achievement.• Spiral curriculum will be a delivery method in which topics are revisited within or throughout grade levels.• Comprehensive curriculum is referred to a set of subject areas that include the arts that should be part of a student’s schooling experiences.
Curriculum & Instruction• Curriculum and instruction go hand in hand. The relationship between the two is one that is closely related as the delivery of the curriculum would constitute as instruction.• The way in which curriculum is delivered will determine if the student will achieve what curriculum intended the student to achieve.• The term instruction is usually referred to as teaching and it is the direct result of lesson planning , on which the teacher carefully plans ahead the delivery, tools, and resources that will be used in order to instruct the preset curriculum.
Bases for Curriculum Planning • Throughout the past several decades, the content and delivery of curriculum across schools in the United States has changed significantly. • Major events in the United States legislation have brought on some of those changes in the bases for curriculum planning and have affected the classrooms directly.
Bases for Curriculum Planning• The 1989 National Goals, or what was later called Goals 2000 in 1994, was in my opinion a set of goals that shifted our government’s focus back to education and set the building blocks for what would later follow.• Those goals set the tone for what would eventually constitute the national No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, the Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Education program ( VPK), and recently the Common Core State Standards Initiative, that has embarked almost the entire nation to teach to the same high standards.
Bases for Curriculum Planning, Cont…Some bases for curriculum planning that should be considered would be those that affect the institutions and those that affect the people directly. Some examples are:1. Current and reliable research2. Differences amongst learners3. Educational goals and standards4. Changes in real-life expectations and challenges5. Cruciality6. Functionality7. Observability
Criteria to Plan, Develop, and Implement Curricula• In my opinion, school culture or it’s philosophy and climate should be important factors influencing the development and implementation of curriculum in our schools.• A school’s location and demographics, including community’s economic status, and ESE population are all criteria that should also be considered.
How can values affectcurriculum planning? • Values and educational philosophies can alter significantly the planning and development of specific curricula. This is why a school’s mission and philosophy should be taken into account when curriculum is instructed and implemented. • However, curriculum planners should always keep in mind the entire community, it’s social needs and demands, as well as national, state, and local issues when considering curriculum development.
How can values affect curriculum planning? A Few Examples …Moral values are also relative and subject to the community and culture at hand. Teachers are no longer expected to teach students core curriculum only, but moral issues that will enable them to become compassionate and contributing citizens.When teaching a community that values self worth, equality amongst all community members, and productivity, curriculum will be inevitable altered in order to conquer these goals.
How can values affect curriculum planning? A Few Examples Cont…• Education Philosophies will also change and influence curriculum development.• Idealism, Realism, Experimentalism, and Existentialism are all philosophies that differ greatly in the way they see education and it’s purpose for humanity.• Curriculum may also be influenced by budget cuts and the values of the current government as education is concerned.
How can values affect curriculum planning? A Few Examples Cont…• In a section within the NEA website titled Voices from the Classroom, letters from teachers explaining why comprehensive curriculum is important are featured. These letters compel the reader to do away with the idea of replacing subjects like Music and Art with further Reading and Mathematics interventions. It argues that liberal arts in many cases motivate students to stay in school and achieve better results in their academics.• Similarly, the National PTA organization website, has also issued a position statement where they state their support towards the inclusion of programs that promote public awareness of the arts and art education.• In a school where comprehensive curriculum is a priority as a school philosophy, instruction will inevitably be influenced.
How can values affect curriculum planning? A Few Examples Cont…• According to an article posted on the American Federation of Teachers ( AFT) website, lack of “layering” in the implementation of mathematics in the US is what has caused the lack of improvement in student’s mathematical achievement when compared to other countries.• In high achieving countries “The number of topics that children are expected to learn at a given grade level is relatively small, permitting thorough and deep coverage of each topic. For example, on average, nine topics are intended in the second grade. The U.S., by contrast, expects second-grade teachers to cover twice as many mathematics topics. As a result, the U.S. curriculum is accurately characterized as "a mile wide and an inch deep.” (Schmidt, 2003)• If this philosophy was taken into consideration when planning curriculum, curriculum development and its implementation would both be influenced by it.
ConclusionIn conclusion, curriculum development and its implementation is a collective effort by all stakeholders, guided by national and state standards in hopes to provide our nation’s children with the necessary tools to become productive citizens and successful human beings.
References• National Goals Education Panel.(2002).Complete Information for All Goals. Retrieved on September 2nd, 2012 from: http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/negp/page3-1.htm• Oliva, P., Gordon, W. (2013). Developing the Curriculum. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.• Schmidt, Willliam ( 2003). The Role of Curriculum. Retrieved on January 19th, 2013 from: http://www.aft.org/newspubs/periodicals/ae/fall2005/schmidt.cfm• Comprehensive Curriculum (2002-2013).V oices from the Classroom. Retrieved on January 19th, 2013 from: http://www.nea.org/home/12957.htm