Point/Counterpoint Position. Power point Presentation ED503-Educational Psychology Dr. Donna Cady
Should the curriculum be standardized for all?
Supporters for a standardized curriculum seek to establish a plan of instruction that indicates structured learning experiences and outcomes for students. It specifies the details of student learning, instructional strategies, the teachers’ role, the context in which teaching and learning take place and more recently, everything that affects what happens in the classroom and consequently affects student learning (Berkas & Pattison, 2000).
Adler as cited in Noll(2010) stated democracy is best served by a public school system that establishes uniform curriculum objectives for all students.
Marzano (2002) contended that the curriculum must be general, liberal and equal for all, regardless of any student experiences at home.
Ravitch as cited in Berkas & Pattison(2000) stated ”standards can improve achievement by clearly defining what is taught and what kind of performance is expected
Opposition to a standardized curriculum for all
Students come from a variety of backgrounds and learning experiences. Learning(2007) noted, some people are more right brain and some are more left brain and some curriculum fits better with some learning styles than others. One standard is not beneficial for all.
Kohn(2001) stated that standards are more problematic when three things are true:
1. When they consist of lists of specific content, teachers must adopt a “bunch of facts” mode of teaching that discourages depth of understanding.
2. Meaningful education is compromised when standards are chosen on the basis of whether they lend themselves to measurement.
3. We should be aware of standards that are top-down mandates… standards based reform is undemocratic.
I support a standardized curriculum to act as a set of guidelines for instruction. However, I am opposed to a strict application of these standards on all students. As stated in Marzano(2002) the solution of some portion of standard education and some portion of electives and specialization offers a balance to students.
Reigeluth as cited in Berkas & Pattison (2000) noted, that the quest for the attainment of high standards by all students in conjunction with current research on teaching and learning calls for a “customized approach (learning-focused) to education” rather than a standardized approach… (a sorting-focused system),” From a curriculum-development perspective, such an approach necessitates knowing where each learning experience fits in a given unit of field of endeavor, as well as how all experiences and units fit in the big picture of what students should know and be able to do.
A standardized education has some benefits for students and teachers. It serves as a guideline to ensure that each student is learning the same topics. However, because no two students are the same, the ability to customize the learning approach of the curriculum ensures that all students have a fair opportunity to be educated at their individual learning level and not a uniform structure that would impact students who have not developed to the required level. Educators cannot adapt a one size fits all approach. Flexibility is needed to enable educators to personalize curriculum to meet the students needs.
Berkas, N. & Pattison, C. (2000) Critical issue: Integrating standards into the curriculum.
North central regional educational laboratory. Retrieved on May14, 2010