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Learning Curriculum


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Learning Curriculum

  1. 1. The Learning Paradigm - Barr and Tagg (1995) ……the ‘instructional paradigm’ confuses a means (instruction) with an ends (learning). ……a college’s purpose is not to transfer knowledge but to create environments and experiences that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves, to make students members of communities of learners that make discoveries and solve problems.
  2. 2. What is the Learning Paradigm? Teamwork & Collaboration “Learning about Solving Authentic learning” Problems Students Making Decisions & Taking Technology as tool Student Centred for enhanced Responsibility Learning in a learning ‘Learning Organisation’ Learning as Respect for “Active Cognition” Affective Factors Teacher as Focus on ‘Multiple Mentor/Coach Learning Styles’
  3. 3. “Guiding Principles……………” Learning Focused Innovation • Student Centered • Open-Mindedness • Action Orientated • Forward Looking • Outcomes-Based • Reflective • Collaborative Learning • Continuous Improvement • Life-Long Learning • Quality Processes Teamwork Integrity • Common Goals • Say what we mean • Open Communication • Do what we say • Mutual Support • Honesty • Win-Win Attitude • Sincerity • Respect Differences • Transparency
  4. 4. Willimon and Naylor (1995) presented their readers with this reflection from a senior at the University of Michigan: So you get here and they start asking you, “What do you think you want to major in?” “Have you thought about what courses you want to take?” And you get the impression that’s what it’s all about – courses, majors. So you take the courses. You get your card punched. You try a little this and a little that. Then comes GRADUATION. And you wake up and you look at this bunch of courses and then it hits you: They don’t add up to anything. It’s just a bunch of courses. It doesn’t mean a thing. (1995)
  5. 5. Willimon and Naylor’s student was essentially passing judgment on the way most HEIs answer the fundamental questions that need to be continually asked of any curriculum: • What should students be learning and doing across the curriculum? • What do students bring to the curriculum? • How do students experience the curriculum? • How do we know that learning is taking place and what elements of the curriculum are making a difference in our students? Like many questions in education, these ones are so often ignored because they are so important.
  6. 6. The dominant understanding of the term curriculum in higher education has been strongly linked to that of syllabus and knowledge fields. These understandings see curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted (Smith, 2000), and the link with the concept of syllabus has meant that more traditional conceptualisations of curriculum have also become synonymous with the idea of a “teaching plan”.
  7. 7. In many HEIs today, the term “curriculum” has come to mean little more than “…a basket of instructional bricks to be stacked in any order” (Tagg, 2003: p.25). Programmes themselves are frequently little more than a collection of courses that are “delivered” and on which content is “covered”.
  8. 8. Harvard Professor and Dean of Harvard College, Harry Lewis, has thrown light on the reasons for this: …universities have forgotten their larger educational role for college students. They succeed, better than ever, as creators and repositories of knowledge. But they have forgotten that the fundamental job of undergraduate education is to turn eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds into twenty-one- and twenty-two-year-olds, to help them grow up, to learn who they are, to search for a larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college as better human beings. (2006)
  9. 9. Developing Curriculum FOCUS FOCUS What should teachers teach? What should students learn? NATURE NATURE Content-Driven & Teacher-Centred Outcomes-Based & Learner-Centred PRIORITIES PRIORITIES 1. Organising & Teaching Content 1. Designing Learning Experiences 2. Learning About Content 2. Facilitating Learning 3. Assessing Knowledge 3. Assessing ‘what students can do with what they know’
  10. 10. Curriculum needs to begin where it ends – with the learning of individual students and with the learning of academics and educators about how this can best be realised. The starting point for teaching staff in higher education is not to follow the latest trends in curriculum renewal; it is to uncover our own beliefs and assumptions about learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum.