John Goodlad's Contribution to American Curriculum


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A historical perspective detailing John Goodlad's contributions. Eventually, he authored an award winning book in support of education called "A Place Called School" in 1984.

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John Goodlad's Contribution to American Curriculum

  1. 1. Decisions and Levels of Decision-Making Processes and Data-Sources By John I. Goodlad with Maurice N. Richter Jr.
  2. 2. The Author – John I. Goodlad <ul><li>Canadian born 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>Earned Ph.D. at University of Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Authored, Co-authored, or edited over 30 books. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1964, wrote The Changing School Curriculum – an overview of the content centered reform movement in curriculum and an examination of the related problems and issues. </li></ul><ul><li>1984, wrote A Place Called School – selected The Distinguished Book of the Year by Kappa Delta Pi. </li></ul><ul><li>Asserted that the purpose of education was to develop the individual and collective democratic character. </li></ul>
  3. 3. How Is A Rational Curriculum Built? A Derivative Model <ul><li>Educational Aims are created from values. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One must make a beginning, and to make a beginning is to accept certain assumptions; values are embedded in assumptions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objectives created from educational aims. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning opportunities from objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Process is logical and deductive – this is too simplistic, other data sources impact curriculum design. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Values = Aims Reasons to be Concerned <ul><li>Institutions may not contribute to the achievement of pre-selected aims (values) or, some schools may be better suited to the attainment of these aims. </li></ul><ul><li>Students may possess the values before they come to school. </li></ul><ul><li>Aims may be ideal but unrealistic given certain constraints. </li></ul><ul><li>Present learning opportunities may contradict selected aims and increase the likelihood of its removal from local curriculum. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ralph Tyler: Basic Principals of Curriculum (1949) <ul><li>Director of famous Eight Year Study to determine which type (progressive schools vs. project based schools) of school produced the most prepared students. Progressive (Dewey) style schools received unfavorable critiques. </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental Question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple data-sources are necessary to build a curriculum. Each source has its own values and deserve consideration. Three sources – the students, society, and subject matter specialists should each contribute to the curriculum. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodlad contends that curriculum begins simultaneously with values and data sources as opposed to Tyler. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodlad suggests that philosophy should be used to determine the levels of irrationality in curriculum. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recommend informal and formal checks on the curriculum at all levels to check against initial values espoused. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Evaluation <ul><li>A means of checking each step in the curriculum planning process. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check backwards: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assess learning opportunities in relation to educational objectives. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assess objectives in relation to aims. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assess aims in relation to values. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Careful evaluation forces validation and justification. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Levels of Curriculum Decision Making <ul><li>In primitive cultures, this process was simple – related to survival and passing of essential skills. </li></ul><ul><li>More and more complicated in modern society. </li></ul><ul><li>The organizing center is deduced from the objective. The organizing center is a description of the stimulus to which the student is to respond. Some responses are not visible, therefore, an evaluation is necessary to reveal the success or failure of the organizing center. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many organizing centers can be derived from one educational objective. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives are the primary data-source for organizing centers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similarly, objectives are derived from educational aims which are / were set by the controlling agency (Board of Education). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Board makes societal decisions to represent the larger constituency. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Levels of Decision Making II <ul><li>The Board delegates the responsibility of checking the learning opportunities they devise to a manager or administrator. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This derivative process is done to determine whether the selected educational aims are appropriate or not. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boards typically acknowledge the evaluation is better done by a competent expert. (Thin-slicing is done more accurately by experts – unless the context is pressure filled or otherwise uncertain – Blink ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The new level of decision making introduced is called the institutional level. A transaction takes place between teachers and Board with Director of Curriculum in the middle. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Institutional Level <ul><li>Formulation of Educational Objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create illustrative learning opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use research to make effective curricular decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demands specialized knowledge. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows school board to be concerned with more general matters. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authors recommend that schools create a well-established process of rational curriculum decision making process at this level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This would ensure that societal decisions rationally enter institutional decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents outside pressure group(s) from determining the ends and means of education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authors suggest that school boards should state their major aims in general terms and the Director of Curriculum works with teachers to determine the specifics of instruction. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Hierarchical Word Choice <ul><li>Refinements of Mager (studied under Tyler) – Instructional Level. </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomies developed by Bloom (predecessor of Tyler) used at the Institutional Level. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Rational Curriculum Planning <ul><li>Sanctioning body (district taxpayers) must assume responsibility for creating educational aims and their attainment. </li></ul><ul><li>The board, through a transaction, assumes responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The board should devote its energies to maintaining a dialogue and inquiry to define educational ends. (Systems Thinking) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tremendously difficult task, time consuming, may lead to inappropriate conclusions, could result in loss of votes – board members are likely to concentrate on more practical matters. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thus, educational personnel at institutional and instructional levels of decision making have no clear data-source to guide their daily actions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blame for this usually falls on the educators. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Levels of Curricular Decision Making III <ul><li>Federal – significant direct or indirect role (ESEA / NCLB). </li></ul><ul><li>State – state legislatures and state education departments are major contributors in curriculum development. </li></ul><ul><li>Local – respond to community issues to influence curriculum. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very little research at the time of writing done to determine which level is best suited to create curriculum. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authors were suspect of the irrationality encroaching on curricular decision making. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political influences enter the various levels (transactions) of curriculum. Hence, curriculum is exposed to the inherent impact of politics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New data-sources enter the decision making process which may be illogical. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new category / level of curriculum is introduced – the ideological level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions, decisions, data-sources and derivations be set forth rigorously. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hard research data is (1964) is missing to support the rational curriculum planning process and it is much needed. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Questions <ul><li>Our curriculum has become very national – how has that impacted student learning? Teaching? Leadership? Attitudes (parent, student, teacher, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Can we anticipate a trend toward child based curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>Has this (nationalization) resulted in a more rational process? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Conant correct today in his thoughts about high schools smaller than 750 students? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it wise to separate core and non-core (elective) curriculums for discussion purposes? </li></ul><ul><li>What influences lead to the consolidation of curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the values of the state test designers? Could they (or do they) articulate those values? </li></ul>