Through the completion of my graduate program in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and a plethora of skills which I have used and found valuable in my seventh grade English classroom. My outlook on student learning and my empathy towards students has also been positively affected by the program. These learning opportunities have led me to become a better educator both inside and outside of the classroom.
Curriculum refers to planned approaches to teaching and learning, an area of study or topics, which fit together according to predetermined criteria that are guided by theoretical and philosophical beliefs about the nature of learners and about the kinds of knowledge that should be taught (Lim and Genishi, 2010; Marsh, 2009). Curriculum therefore represents a set of goals that represent the aims of education for children; in essence it represents a value statement of what a society aspires for its children (Spodek and Saracho, 2003). Curriculum assumes many labels and perspectives in different countries, such as ‘core subjects’, ‘foundation subjects’ or ‘key learning areas’, depending on the aim or purpose of education in each country.
In 1949, a small book had a big impact on education. In just over one hundred pages, Ralph W. Tyler presented the concept that curriculum should be dynamic, a program under constant evaluation and revision. Curriculum had always been thought of as a static, set program, and in an era preoccupied with student testing, he offered the innovative idea that teachers and administrators should spend as much time evaluating their plans as they do assessing their students.
Definitions for curriculum are many and varied. Broad sweeping statements claim that curriculum is what is taught in various subjects and the amount of time given to each. While a more specific view is that curriculum are performance objectives for students that focus on specific skills or knowledge (Marsh, 2010). Marsh (2010, p. 93) defines curriculum as “an interrelated set of plans and experiences” that are completed at school. The curriculum used in education can have various interpretations, it may refer to the curriculum as a plan that encompasses all the learning that is planned and directed by the school. Cu...
Excellent curriculum should be useful to students and feel natural. Every teacher should consider how useful their curriculum is. As Kohn states, it is pointless to teach students useless things (170). Students can often sense when information and activities are not good preparations for the real world. One way to solve this problem is by allowing curriculum to originate from the natural activity of the learning environment as often as possible (Levy 34). As Levy would agree, the more naturally a project is developed, the more interesting it will seem. Everyday activities can be turned into learning opportunities (Levy 34). It is necessary to develop new projects every year because when students sense that what they are completing something new, they will be more excited about the opportunity to try something new (Levy 35). Combining multiple disciplines and multiple intelligences into lessons gives students several ways to understand the same information. By creating opportunities to develop basic skills in the context of meaningful and purposeful activities, students are more likely to succeed (Levy 35).
Reflection 1: What is curriculum? According to Marsh (2010) curriculum is “An interrelated set of plans and experiences which students complete under the guidance of the school or early childhood settings. ”(p. 93).
I want to teach students more than just the material; I want students to be able to apply skills learned in the classroom, to the real world. An important factor in teaching is to teach life skills as well as giving students the tools to survive in the real world. Teachers are like role models; at least we should look at ourselves in that way. Our job is to aid our students in becoming functional individuals in society and our experiences can be used as a guide. Taking an active part in my students learning is essential to me. Posing questions encourages students to think. This gives the students an opportunity to analyze, discuss, synthesize and apply the material in real life.
A curriculum is a compilation of study materials that are used at all grade levels, classroom and homework assignments and a set of teacher guides. It could also include a list of prescribed methodology and guidelines of teaching and some material for the parents etc. It is generally determined by an external governing body. However, there are some cases where it may be developed by the schools and teachers themselves.