Teacher as curriculum interpreterand designer Assume that the curriculum prescribes content thatyou DO NOT AGREE with- can you, as professionalteacher, adapt the curriculum as you see fit, or evenignore the curriculum?
Case today: Just follow the road ofleast resistance! Charles Darwin: The organisms inhabiting Earth todaydescended from ancestral species. Theory of evolution- part and parcel of the LifeSciences school curriculum.
Case: Just follow the road of lessresistance! Teaching controversial contentCase dealing with the teaching of evolution (and whyhumans do not have tails- or can they?)
Summary of case John Wilson was slightly worried about how to teachthe evolution section of the Life Sciences curriculum,since he knew that may people reject the theory basedon religious beliefs. John arranged an informal meeting with Sarah, whomhe knows from his university days, and who is teachingat their neighboring school. He asked her how she approach evolution in her class.
• “John, to be honest, I follow the road of less resistance. In my first yearof teaching evolution, I taught it very factually, and focused a lot on theevidence for evolution. Parents protested bitterly, and I had a veryunpleasant meeting with the principal. Since then I have decided togive the children what the parents want. I obviously teach the contentspecified in the curriculum, but I start out by telling the learners thatevolution is a highly speculative theory, that the evidence that scientistsproduce are doubtful, and that we all agree that evolution is nonsense,and that we all honour God as creator…”• “I just can’t do that, Sarah!”, John responds, confused and concerned.
• Despite Sarah’s suggestions, John decided to teach the evolution sectionwith the necessary academic rigour, and he showed the learners beautifulPowerPoint slides on the evidence for evolution. He also invited thelearners to consider evolution as a theme for their projects for the scienceexpo.• John was called to the principal’s office. Bongani’s parents (Mr. and MrsGumede) came to complain about the fact that John taught evolution.• Mr. Gumede said, and John could hear the anger in his voice, “It is alllies. Don’t you realize that most of the learners and parents in thisschool are Christians? l use the Holy Bible as a compass in life. Andaccording to the holy book, God created the earth, and all livingcreatures on the planet. And on the sixth day, God created humans tohis image. And now you teach these young people that we developedfrom ape-like ancestors, Mr. Wilson! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MYSON? You teach kids that God is not the creator, but that lifedeveloped because of processes such as... um...”
• “Yes, that’s right, natural selection. Tell me, are you a Christian, Mr. Wilson?”,Mr. Gumede asked.• John was shocked by the outburst, that he struggled to speak.• “Mr. Gumede, with all due respect, I do not think you have any right to ask meabout my religious views. That is a personal issue, which does not have anyrelevance to my job as a teacher.”• “No, John, you are wrong,” the principal responded. “This school prescribes toChristian principles. Mr. Gumede is therefore entitled to know what your beliefsare”.• John was severely reprimanded by the principal.• “John”, the principal ordered, “you are not allowed to open the doors to theschool hall this afternoon. The EXPO is cancelled. Learners should beinstructed to collect their projects. But, before that, I will personally inspect allthe exhibitions tomorrow morning. All projects that relate to evolution will bedestroyed. I will not allow that the Christian nature of my school is tarnished.You are excused.”
Seven roles of teachers Learning mediator Interpreter & designer of learning programmes Leader Scholar, researcher and lifelong learner Has a community, citizenship & pastoral role Assessor Learning area and subject specialist
Today’s lecture focus on:The teacher as aninterpreter anddesigner of learningprogrammes andmaterials.
What is a curriculum? Eisner (1985): A series of planned events that areintended to have educational consequences forstudents. Fraser (1993) describes curriculum as the inter-relatedtotality of aims, learning content, evaluationprocedures and teaching-learning activities,opportunities and experiences, that guide andimplement the didactic activities in a planned andjustified manner.
Aspects of the curriculum The official, explicit curriculum: officially prescribedcurriculum. The curriculum in practice: How the curriculum isexperienced on the ground. Can be referred to as theunofficial curriculum as implemented by a teacher,where it is actually taught and learned. There are manyfactors that can interfere with the teacher’s ability toimplement a curriculum exactly as prescribed. List factors that can interfere with theimplementation.
Aspects of the curriculum The covert curriculum: There are implicit (not speltout but suggested) aims of the curriculum, to developcertain values and attitudes in learners. The “hidden” curriculum
The Saber-Tooth Curriculum A famous satire on curriculum development Tells the story of a prehistoric tribe which decided tointroduce systematic education for its children.
What is a satire? A novel/play in which topical issues or evil are held upby means of ridicule
The first great educational theorist andpractitioner: New Fist Hammer Maker , a.k.a. New Fist
New Fist’s curriculum Realised that kids play around with no real purpose
Educational goal: What things must tribesmen know in order to livewith: full bellies, warm backs, and minds free from fear?
Saber-tooth curriculumOur tale begins with an examination of a vignettefeaturing a school system with a curriculumreferred to as Saber-Tooth:1. Fish-grabbing with the bare-hands
Saber-tooth curriculumOur tale begins with an examination of a vignettefeaturing a school system with a curriculumreferred to as Saber-Tooth:1. Fish-grabbing with the bare-hands2. Woolly-horse clubbing; and
Saber-tooth curriculumOur tale begins with an examination of a vignettefeaturing a school system with a curriculumreferred to as Saber-Tooth:1. Fish-grabbing with the bare-hands2. Woolly-horse clubbing; and3. Saber-tooth tiger scaring with fire
Disaster strikes! A new ice ageapproached. A glacier came down themountain range, and thewater became muddy. No more catching fishwith bare hands!
Saber-tooth curriculum• The country grew wetter and unsuitedto wild wooly horses.• The new dampness in the air gave thesaber-tooth tigers pneumonia to whichthey succumbed. The best tiger scaringtechniques thus became only academicexercises, good in themselves,perhaps, but not necessary for tribalsecurity.
Saber-tooth curriculum• New subject:Instead of “fish-grabbing withbare hands”,rather “UsingNets to catch fish”
Wooly horses The stupid wooly horses all migrated to the openplains. A new subject was introduced: catching antelope withsnares.
Saber-tooth tigers all died of pneumonia. BUT: a new danger: Ferocious glacial bears arrived, and they were notafraid of fire!
Solution: bear pits An inventor dug a deep pit in a bear trail, covered itwith branches, so that bears would fall into the pit,and die.
Universal principle: The curriculum should (a) be relevant, and(b) change to meet the needs of: (1) learners and, (2) society. Reflect on this in a post-apartheid South Africa.What do we learn from this satire (the saber-toothcurriculum)? Discuss in your small groups.
Hendrik Verwoerd said: "There is no place for [the Bantu] in theEuropean community above the level ofcertain forms of labour ... What is the use ofteaching the Bantu child mathematics when itcannot use it in practice? That is quiteabsurd.” Hendrik Verwoerd (8 September 1901 – 6September 1966) was Prime Minister of SouthAfrica from 1958 until his assassination in 1966.
The new curriculum (NCS and later CAPS) isbased on Constitution Every child can learn and achieve We need to prepare EVERY learner for the workplace Address the wrongs of apartheid.
Tyler, Stenhouse and Freire’s viewson curriculum
Curriculum Models• Are based on a body oftheory about teaching& learning.• Are targeted to needs& characteristics of aparticular group oflearners.• Outline approaches,methods & proceduresfor implementation.
The Tyler Model ofCurriculum Design• The nature &structure ofknowledge• The needs ofthe society• The needs ofthe learnerknowledgesocietyLearnerneeds
The Steps of Curriculum DevelopmentFOUR STEPS TO CURRICULUM: "The Tyler Rationale"1. What educational purposesshould the school seek to attain?2. What educational experiencescan be provided that are likely to attainthese purposes?3. How can they be organized?4. How can we determine whetherthese purposes are being attained?
Lawrence Stenhouse• Stenhouse responded to Tyler’s ideas byarguing that it was not so simple, andthat outcomes for complex knowledgecould not be specified in advance.• Teachers are professionals whosedecision to change a plan in response tolearners should be respected.
Stenhouse (cont.)• A curriculum should provide areas ofknowledge and guidelines for teaching, but bewritten like a suggestion and not like aprescription.• The curriculum should be descriptive ratherthan prescriptive, and subject to ongoingchange.• Curriculum is a process that cannot bepredetermined, and it changes with the contextand people involved.
Paolo Freire• Freire added a political perspective byarguing that we need to look at thehidden aspect of the curriculum andrecognise that a curriculum is nevervalue-neutral, but has the power tooppress or liberate learners.• “Pedagogy of the oppressed” or a“pedagogy of hope” an important aspectof Freire’s work.
Freire How is Freire’s views relevant to South Africa?
Case: Just follow the road of leastresistance! Discuss the case again in your groups. Consider thefollowing:1. The official curriculum VS the curriculum in practice2. Tyler’s views that the curriculum should address theneeds of the learner and society. Should societal values(e.g. religious views) not be the main concern?3. The views of Stenhouse- does a teacher have the right toadapt the curriculum as he/ she sees fit?4. Suppose that you were in John’s shoes. How would youhave handled the situation?