Curriculum and Instructional Materials DevelopmentBy: Prince Lure Sy Stern de Real
1. They say childrens memory are kind of tabula rasa “a blank tablet”. According to SVS, our brain needs knowledge acquisition, challenges to enhance our memory, experiences to sustain information and changes for realization and analization of things based from the outside forces. When I was a young girl I am really fond of watching movies with great heroes, something that is more likely to become adventurous for the character that is playing the role, and definitely shows self-defense. I love Bruce Lee as the old version and Jackie Chan for the young version. Both are great martial artist and moving pictures character that made me think of becoming an action star in the future, so I enrolled Mixed martial art. As time pass by, my ideology started to fluctuate upon seeing a nurse in her perfect white dress with matching white headress. Another thing, my father wanted me to take up nursing as a career, so that was the time that I do wanted to become a nurse not until I graduated in high school. My few close friends would like to enroll in engineering courses so as my bestfriends. I wont enjoy my schooling unless without them so I enrolled in that same course that my friends had influence me. I was able to exercise my degree for few years before my marriage. To cut the story short, I was stock as a housewife for 10 long years without exercising my profession. I really believe that fate was created even before we decide for our self, only that we need to choose among those ways which we believe is exactly our own purpose in this world. It does mean that since my entire career travel, I wasn’t exactly into teaching but come to think of fate, so as teaching was not yet my bowl of fruits but indeed my son needed a personal teacher and a look-out that drives me to enroll units in teaching to get near the room he was in everyday, for he is not attending his classes if I am out of his sight. It was not an easy task but definitely this decision strikes two stone at the same time. I was able to constantly guide my son and I was able to earn another degree. My son graduated in high school and that was fine for me. I thought all of which were such an amazing experience but an opportunity knocks once at my door, I saw an ad for vacancy, I apply then I was hired. Hired as what? As a tutor for a newly established tutorial center. That was the first time I realize that I was already a teacher. Sounds abrupt but that’s the fact. Another challenge fall on my shoulder when my colleague and I decided to put up our own tutorial center on which we are managing at the present moment. Things are really unpredictable, even though we are great decision maker; we sometimes fall into deciding what should be and not what’s necessarily right for us. We became the developer, the scientist and specialist of our own future that builds us into better persons. As I project our curriculum ideological development in the future, referring to my present career, I project that it would involve most technological advancement in educational support with its services fully beneficial to student, parents, community and to the Department of Education while serving the whole wide world.
2. The curriculum philosophy I wish its mine was the school of thought that focuses on the principle that the society is in need of a constant reconstruction or change. In this sense I am acquiring Reconstructionism as a view in Education. Education is a means of redressing social inequality: wealth, class, gender and ethnic background should be immaterial in determining a child’s chances of success. Private education and other forms of selection, streaming, etc, raise unwanted barriers. Not The curriculum should be freed from particular cultural biases that privilege children from particular backgrounds: subjects and activities should therefore be pluralist, multicultural, and free from stereotypical assumptions. It is because all of us have the chance and should be given a chance of being properly educated in the sense of pure education and proactive learning. I believe that the main purpose of schooling is to educate each of us with proper knowledge that would lift us from the difficulty of living in materialistic sense of idea and to avoid being hurt by anybody in illiteracy sense of idea. We believe that idiots are easily fooled but illiterate are mostly taken advantage. So sad that we need to emulate our every self with education that suits us some purpose in life. We are living in this world that is full of innovation and surprises. We can’t actually claim why these things happen and why are we suffering, enjoying and thinking all over again. Doing our daily routine was such a boring and tiring work if we ought not to enjoy the way it is. That’s because we are traveling a cycle of life. Compare many other knowledge we should acquire, it’s in Mathematics that the people of the world is really considering. Next in line are those of other major and minor subjects that would definitely support the usefulness of Mathematics in the human knowledge. The usefulness of Mathematics to life of human being is the greatness of Science to people. Therefore I would like to conceptualize that Science and Math are the most worthwhile school of knowledge. I am a learner centered mentor; I believe that it is how the child understands your teachings that he/she could definitely learn more than what is thought to them. So there enters what we call experiential learning when they themselves try to seek answer to their own questions by examining things personally based on experience. This is because children are the survivor of knowledge, what they acquire will be useful in the future in which would be useful to the next generation. That is why acquiring traditional knowledge is as good as learning the modern knowledge because it is in past that we have acquired the present. I view teaching as knowledge are developed and applied in more than one area of study. I viewed learning and teaching in a holistic way that reflects the real world, which is interactive. The most preferred instructional I am using is what we call experiential learning and significant learning. These are few practices that is really beneficial to many. Learning via hand on hand experience is quiet an advantage and learning what is significantly important is a practical way of learning. I am not closing doors to other learning opportunities, what I want to point out here is the purposefulness of knowledge being acquired. Understanding the culture and belief of each learner through written output about themselves and a simple one on one talk would help a lot in knowing what’s and why’s about the student. That’s how will I accommodate diverse learners. Let’s talk about social justice, well, it is not actually my concerns but let me share some factual ideas about it. When we say social justice it speaks about socialization that involves legal worth. I might not be a total kin observer but I am updated when it comes to socialization. Social justice helps people understand their worth as a person. It helps them analyze things related to their social capabilities and incapability’s. In our modern society, there are lots of social injustices. Our society is full of moral conflicts that degrade our human value as a person. That doesn’t count for social justice but it should be given an attention for morality of a person matters when social justice is spoken about. The present society is facing with problems involving racial discriminations, poverty, war, ecological destruction and ecological inhumanity. In this case we need to cure the illness that our present society is now suffering and that we need to reconstruct our philosophy and value system. Making the people ready for the future change. Ideas presented by Karl Marx really inspired me a lot and influences me in the formulation of my curriculum philosophy.
3. As a manager that manages a tutorial center, we consider our services as a support in education. So as to help lighten the academic burden to schools, teachers, parents and students, we are helping by giving advance lecture and follow-up to lessons taught in each school our tutee was enrolled. In the same case, we are teaching based on PELC so we are not worried of being behind or be out of track when it comes to teaching because we based it on standard teaching and learning. Going back to what we are discussing, about its implementation, the main example I could have given as an example is the module we are preparing for future use. The teaching will be based on standard curriculum but is more updated, advance and enhance as most technology will necessarily applies into it.
4. For me it should be developmental, why? Come to think of it, when we say develop there is necessarily a change, so If there is some change there is new knowledge acquisition. Let me remind that our present society is full of change and surprises because of constant innovation. Therefore things are considered innovative if it is developmental because it suggests constant development. No matter how evident your ideals are if it stays what it was for the 10 developing years then there must be missing with your curriculum. According to Karl Marx, the curriculum will be clearly being understood if a change is evident. I BELIEVE it is the most conventional way to use.
5. My personal stand about curriculum integration is a process by which one learns to make relationship and see relationships. Skills and knowledge are developed and applied in more than one area of study. “The integrated curriculum is a great gift to experienced teachers. It's like getting a new pair of lenses that make teaching a lot more exciting and help us look forward into the next century. It is helping students take control of their own learning.” (M. Markus, media specialist, quoted in Shoemaker, September 1991, p. 797) “I'm learning more in this course, and I'm doing better than I used to do when social studies and English were taught separately.” (Student, quoted in Oster 1993, p. 28) This teacher and student express an increasingly widespread enthusiasm for curriculum integration. We better off now that we have integrated these subjects. While not necessarily a new way of looking at teaching, curriculum integration has received a great deal of attention in educational settings. Based both in research and teachers' own anecdotal records of success, educational journals are reporting many examples of teachers who link subject areas and provide meaningful learning experiences that develop skills and knowledge, while leading to an understanding of conceptual relationships. In keeping with this thematic definition, Shoemaker defines an integrated curriculum as education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association to focus upon broad areas of study. In the integrative curriculum, the planned learning experiences not only provide the learners with a unified view of commonly held knowledge (by learning the models, systems, and structures of the culture) but also motivate and develop learners' power to perceive new relationships and thus to create new models, systems, and structures. Another term that is often used synonymously with integrated curriculum is interdisciplinary curriculum. Interdisciplinary curriculum is defined in the Dictionary of Education as "a curriculum organization which cuts across subject-matter lines to focus upon comprehensive life problems or broad based areas of study that brings together the various segments of the curriculum into meaningful association" (Good 1973). The similarity between this definition and those of integrated curriculum is clear. Jacobs defines interdisciplinary as "a knowledge view and curricular approach that consciously applies methodology and language from more than one discipline to examine a central theme, issue, problem, topic, or experience" This view is supported by Everett, who defines interdisciplinary curriculum as one that "combines several school subjects into one active project since that is how children encounter subjects in the real world combined in one activity." These definitions support the view that integrated curriculum is an educational approach that prepares children for lifelong learning. There is a strong belief among those who support curriculum integration that schools must look at education as a process for developing abilities required by life in the twenty-first century, rather than discrete, departmentalized subject matter.
6. The organization of schooling and further education has long been associated with the idea of a curriculum. We explore curriculum theory and practice and its relation to informal education. The idea of curriculum is hardly new - but the way we understand and theorize it has altered over the years - and there remains considerable dispute as to meaning. It has its origins in the running/chariot tracks of Greece. It was, literally, a course. In Latin curriculum was a racing chariot; currere was to run. A useful starting point for us here might be the definition offered by John Kerr and taken up by Vic Kelly in his standard work on the subject. Kerr defines curriculum as, 'All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school. This gives us some basis to move on - and for the moment all we need to do is highlight two of the key features: Learning is planned and guided. We have to specify in advance what we are seeking to achieve and how we are to go about it. The definition refers to schooling. We should recognize that our current appreciation of curriculum theory and practice emerged in the school and in relation to other schooling ideas such as subject and lesson. In what follows we are going to look at four ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice: Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students - product. Curriculum as process. Curriculum as praxis. It is helpful to consider these ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice in the light of Aristotle's influential categorization of knowledge into three disciplines: the theoretical, the productive and the practical. It is the work of two American writers Franklin Bobbitt (1918; 1928) and Ralph W. Tyler (1949) that dominate theory and practice within this tradition. In The Curriculum Bobbitt writes as follows: The central theory [of curriculum] is simple. Human life, however varied, consists in the performance of specific activities. Education that prepares for life is one that prepares definitely and adequately for these specific activities. However numerous and diverse they may be for any social class they can be discovered. This requires only that one go out into the world of affairs and discover the particulars of which their affairs consist. These will show the abilities, attitudes, habits, appreciations and forms of knowledge that men need. These will be the objectives of the curriculum. They will be numerous, definite and particularized. The curriculum will then be that series of experiences which children and youth must have by way of obtaining those objectives. This way of thinking about curriculum theory and practice was heavily influenced by the development of management thinking and practice. The rise of 'scientific management' is often associated with the name of its main advocate F. W. Taylor. Basically what he proposed was greater division of labor with jobs being simplified; an extension of managerial control over all elements of the workplace; and cost accounting based on systematic time-and-motion study. All three elements were involved in this conception of curriculum theory and practice. For example, one of the attractions of this approach to curriculum theory was that it involved detailed attention to what people needed to know in order to work, live their lives and so on. A familiar, and more restricted, example of this approach can be found in many training programmes, where particular tasks or jobs have been analyzed - broken down into their component elements - and lists of competencies drawn up. In other words, the curriculum was not to be the result of 'armchair speculation' but the product of systematic study. Bobbitt's work and theory met with mixed responses. As it stands it is a technical exercise. However, it wasn't criticisms such as this which initially limited the impact of such curriculum theory in the late 1920s and 1930s. Rather, the growing influence of 'progressive', child-centred approaches shifted the ground to more romantic notions of education. Bobbitt's long lists of objectives and his emphasis on order and structure hardly sat comfortably with such forms. The Progressive movement lost much of its momentum in the late 1940s in the United States and from that period the work of Ralph W. Tyler, in particular, has made a lasting impression on curriculum theory and practice. He shared Bobbitt's emphasis on rationality and relative simplicity. His theory was based on four fundamental questions: Like Bobbitt he also placed an emphasis on the formulation of behavioral objectives. Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students' pattern of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statements of objectives of the school should be a statement of changes to take place in the students(Tyler 1949: 44). As what I have observed its impact was that, Education sorts pupils into a large underclass and an elite ruling class; the elite are given a suitable “high culture” that distinguishes them from the rest, and are given suitable social and other skills to manage and rule, while the underclasses have a compliant and accepting attitude inculcated through school. Education is essentially a utilitarian activity, and should be linked to the needs of the nation to maintain and perpetuate itself. In the current situation of relative economic decline, this requires a break with traditional educational values. Education had reasserted the traditional national values, and transmits the heritage of a golden age, when the nation was homogeneous and values were not contested. The national (English) heritage has been unnecessarily diluted by moral relativism and increasing social fragmentation and diversity. Education is a commodity: if it has value, then a free market will determine what is provided, at what price, and who will purchase it. Freeing the organisation of colleges and the content of the curriculum will ensure that what societies, individuals, firms and families want will be provided more efficiently. Education provides a ladder of opportunity by which bright working class children can aspire to move up the occupational and social ladder away from their origins. Education has to be a utilitarian activity, and should be linked to the needs of the society to maintain and perpetuate itself, economically and socially. In the current situation of relative economic decline and social change, this requires new educational values. Education is to develop the whole student in a variety of areas of experience, at a pace and in a direction that is governed by the learner’s predisposition, and harnessed to the speed of their learning. As an educator, I believe that students learn best when curriculum contents are related to each other and connected to real-life experiences. As schools demand high standards for all students, it is increasingly important that we engage students in real-world problem solving as they gain the knowledge and skills required of them. I should also be well aware of the myriad of external factors that influence and sometimes impair student learning. Students are often unmotivated to become serious learners. In many incidences, students do not seem to retain the knowledge and skills presented to them in the classroom, and that seems be given importance. (Books and articles read are listed on bibliography at the end pages.)
7. Although students may never meet them or hear of them, but curriculum specialists play a vital role in shaping the classroom. They may monitor the progress of students and teachers in order to provide feedback and recommend improvements. They may be in charge of choosing technology and books that belong in the classroom. Curriculum specialists make decisions that affect learning throughout a school. Curriculum specialists are often unseen in the classroom, but play a big role. According to the College Board, curriculum specialists help develop programs and train instructors. They work on developing and ordering materials, such as textbooks, for the classroom. They help schools meet government standards. Specialists also measure student's learning and will recommend improvements when necessary. They may specialize in a single school subject. As technology becomes a dominant force within the classroom, curriculum specialists decide what educational technology is most beneficial for learning. They may also have frequent meetings with colleagues, instructors and school administrators. According to the Occupational Information Network, curriculum specialists are also known as instructional coordinators. The curriculum-instructional specialist is defined as one whose primary concern is the improvement of learning opportunities through the provision of instructional leadership. The supervisor, as the instructional or program specialist, has the role of decision-maker, consultant, and specialist in advising administrators, teachers, and other professional personnel. Responsibilities include curriculum development, instruction, and staff development. The curriculum-instructional specialist serves as a member of a management team charged with the responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating an educational program relevant to the needs of the student population in a school and/or school system.
8. I will try to explain first my stand before ranking the four types of knowledge as it was defined. The first is that the plan or programme assumes great importance. For example, we might look at a more recent definition of curriculum as: ‘A programme of activities (by teachers and pupils) designed so that pupils will attain so far as possible certain educational and other schooling ends or objectives. The problem here is that such programmes inevitably exist prior to and outside the learning experiences. This takes much away from learners. They can end up with little or no voice. They are told what they must learn and how they will do it. The success or failure of both the programme and the individual learners is judged on the basis of whether pre-specified changes occur in the behavior and person of the learner (the meeting of behavioral objectives). If the plan is tightly adhered to, there can only be limited opportunity for educators to make use of the interactions that occur. It also can deskill educators in another way. For example, a number of curriculum programmes, particularly in the Philippines, have attempted to make the student experience 'teacher proof'. The logic of this approach is for the curriculum to be designed outside of the classroom or school, as is the case with the National Curriculum in other country. Educators then apply programmes and are judged by the products of their actions. It turns educators into technicians. Second, there are questions around the nature of objectives. This model is hot on measurability. It implies that behavior can be objectively, mechanistically measured. There are obvious dangers here - there always has to be some uncertainty about what is being measured. We only have to reflect on questions of success in our work. It is often very difficult to judge what the impact of particular experiences has been. Sometimes it is years after the event that we come to appreciate something of what has happened. For example, most informal educators who have been around a few years will have had the experience of an ex-participant telling them in great detail about how some forgotten event brought about some fundamental change. Yet there is something more. In order to measure, things have to be broken down into smaller and smaller units. The result, as many of you will have experienced, can be long lists of often trivial skills or competencies. This can lead to a focus in this approach to curriculum theory and practice on the parts rather than the whole; on the trivial, rather than the significant. It can lead to an approach to education and assessment which resembles a shopping list. When all the items are ticked, the person has passed the course or has learnt something. The role of overall judgment is somehow sidelined. Third, there is a real problem when we come to examine what educators actually do in the classroom, for example. Much of the research concerning teacher thinking and classroom interaction, and curriculum innovation has pointed to the lack of impact on actual pedagogic practice of objectives. One way of viewing this, is that teachers simply get it wrong - they ought to work with objectives. I think we need to take this problem very seriously and not dismiss it in this way. The difficulties that educators experience with objectives in the classroom may point to something inherently wrong with the approach - that it is not grounded in the study of educational exchanges. It is a model of curriculum theory and practice largely imported from technological and industrial settings. Fourth, there is the problem of unanticipated results. The focus on pre-specified goals may lead both educators and learners to overlook learning that is occurring as a result of their interactions, but which is not listed as an objective. The apparent simplicity and rationality of this approach to curriculum theory and practice, and the way in which it mimics industrial management have been powerful factors in its success. A further appeal has been the ability of academics to use the model to attack teachers. I believe there is a tendency, recurrent enough to suggest that it may be endemic in the approach, for academics in education to use the objectives model as a stick with which to beat teachers. 'What are your objectives?' is more often asked in a tone of challenge than one of interested and helpful inquiry. The demand for objectives is a demand for justification rather than a description of ends. It is not about curriculum design, but rather an expression of irritation in the problems of accountability in education (Stenhouse 1974: 77). I have decided that the following ideals should rank accordingly like this; (1) learning experience, (2) content, (3) values, (4) skills.
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Tyler, R. W. (1949) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.