The domain of curriculum calls for the maintenance of professionalism and the establishment of accountability standards that ensures that the graduate acquires the appropriate behaviors and skills for a fruitful practice in the real world of curriculum work, which is significant to the success of the schools in the implementation plan. Numerous department and colleges dealing with educators has the responsibility of providing the necessary leadership and help schools in improvement initiatives by the establishment of criteria for the emerging specialists in curriculum. Knowledge bases are integral factors of disciplines. They assist in the development of frameworks that would identify the main components responsible for characterization of disciplines, which help the scholars and practitioners in accessing the basic knowledge in a certain discipline. There has been existence of significant transitions as efforts for identification of the knowledge base that could be operational. The knowledge bases that relevant to curriculum studies could be conceptualized as classical research domains; topical categories, and paradigms of education for the teacher.
Knowledge bases encompass varied way for identification that are necessary for professional educators that are essential for practice. This knowledge base could be developed from numerous source documents including textbooks, which summarizes the main principles and the available concepts from theories, researches, and practices. The knowledge bases are responsible for the provision of theoretical frameworks, which comprises of the fundamental knowledge, and current researches.
Philosophical Perspective of Curriculum
There are four cardinal philosophical perspectives employed in the enhancement of educational curriculum. Each of these educational philosophies has a close relationship with either one or many of the existing world philosophies. These educational, philosophical systems are presently utilized in every classroom in, the entire world. The existing philosophical perspective in education includes; Progressivism, Perennialism, Reconstructionism, Essentialism. All these philosophies greatly emphasizes on the content that should be taught, and their curriculum aspect.
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The Reconstructionist Curriculum
Reconstruction curriculum was employed after the identification of the problem that the students faced as far as interpretation and evaluation of social problems is concerned. There was the need for commitment of the issues that were being discussed and encouraged in the taking of action as concerning constructive changes. The curriculum was based on economic and social factors as well as the social services. Reconstruction meant that the curriculum had involved the students in the critical analysis of the international, local, and the international community. The issues that were involved included; environment degradation, crime, poverty, political oppression, war, hunger, and unemployment among others.
This policy was prompted after the realization of the numerous injustices that are in the society and the prejudices in terms of gender, socioeconomic status, and race. The schools has the responsibility of training the students against the practice of these injustices and even go a step further in the providing the resolution of the existing problem. The students should be equipped with the necessary information that would assist them in the courageous examination of the controversial issues. The students were expected to be equipped with the necessary skill of coming to consensus on various issues, thereby encouraging the implementation of group work.
This curriculum was expected to be changing constantly to accommodate the developing issues in society. The students should be equipped with the necessary awareness concerning the global issues and the relationship between countries. The curriculum should emphasize on issues that enhance the global cooperation and mutual understanding. In order to deliver effectively on the existing intention of the curriculum, teachers are the prime agents of any social change, internationalism, and the renewal of various cultures. Therefore, reconstuctionist curriculum played an extremely vital role in emphasizing on social sciences than it did on science. These social sciences included; ethics, history, philosophy, sociology, religion, political science, poetry, and economics (Tanner, 1980).
The Progressive Curriculum
The progressive curriculum gives much emphasis on the social and the study of natural science. The teachers have the responsibility of introducing their students to the social developments, technological, and new scientific studies. The teacher should be able to broaden the learner’s personal experience; this can be enhanced by employing the use of the present community life in their teaching. The curriculum is centered on one’s abilities, interests, and experience since; it is believed that one is better placed to understand the content of whatever they are being taught if the content is relevant to an individual’s life. The teachers are expected to plan their lessons more so, if the lessons that they are about to teach would heighten the student’s curiosity and even prompt the students to think outside the box and knowledge construction. For instance, apart for the normal reading of books by the students, the students should be engaged in fieldworks, which sharpen their interaction with the society and nature (Heslep, 1997).
The teachers should come up with ideas that would help in the enhancement of students’ interaction with each other. This helps in the development of social virtues that could include tolerance and cooperation with it comes to the difference in people’s point of view. The curriculum also advocates on the importance of teacher’s diversity. The teachers should not only be confined into doing a single discrete discipline at a given time but, also should introduce other lessons that would mix numerous different subjects. The teachers have the responsibility of exposing the student to curriculum that is seen to being more democratic and acknowledges the citizen’s accomplishments regardless of their cultural background, gender, and race. Progressive curriculum aims at making schooling both useful and enjoyable to the students, as well as the teachers. The school, home, and workplace should blend in the generation of persistent, useful learning skills in life. Progressivism intends to end the boredom and monotony that have existed for many years. The students are expected to deal with the problems that exist in real life.
Essentialism emphasizes on instilling the students with the “essentials” of the required knowledge in academics as well as developing one’s character. William Bagley used this educational philosophy in the 1930s, later in the 1950s it was again used Admiral Rickover and Arthur Bestor. It gained numerous criticism after its introduction in the USA with the argument being on it rigidity.
The fundamentals essentialism curriculum calls for the teaching of mathematics, literature, history, foreign languages, and natural science. This curriculum goes against the teaching of life adjustment, vocational and various that could be seen to watering down the academics content. The students who are in the elementary level are expected to be equipped with skills on writing, measurements, and reading. The students are not expected to dwell much in the subjects that deal the development of one’s creativity such as music and art. The curriculum expects the student to have a deep understanding concerning a body of data and fundamental techniques, which gradually truncates from less to skills that are more sophisticated and detailed understanding. The student can only proceed to the next class after proving to competent with the required material (Hunkins, 1998).
This curriculum is rigorous academically, for either the slow or the fast learners. The students are provided with a set of common subjects, which does not consider the students interest or skills. The system also advocates for long school day, as well as the academic year. There is also in the cooperation of challenging textbooks. It goes further in calling for classrooms orientation by teachers, who have a role of being the students intellectual and moral role models.
The system advocates of the teacher-centered operation. The teacher has the full mandate of deciding the most significant area to teach regardless of the students’ interest since it diverts attention and time from learning the subjects that are academic. The teachers put more emphasis the results of the tests scores, they then use this in their evaluation of the students’ progress. The students are taught with the aim of making them culturally literate, which helps to possess a working skill about the events, ideas, people, and institutions that are crucial to society. It is the expectation of the essentialists that once the students are through with their education, with will has possessed the necessary skills and disciplined with practical minds with will help them in the application of knowledge in the setting of the real world. There is immense emphasis regarding discipline for the smoothing learning of the school situation. The students are equipped with necessary discipline in regards to the authority governing the society and the school. Finally, the teachers should possess a high level of maturity and education, for effective transmission of knowledge to their students.
The 19th Century Educators
In the 19th century, there was the development of nationalism in Europe. This development brought along the belief that the power of education could be employed in the shaping of individuals and nations. They eventually came up with the development of the national school systems. It also helped in the changing of the attitude that people had towards women, and by the end of the 19th century, some countries had introduced secondary schools for women. These countries include Germany and France. The issue of coeducation was only among the extremely liberal educators. In the 19th century, small children who after the age of 10 or 11, most of them stopped schooling only attended the European elementary schools; the only ones who continued with the school were the few bright ones. The common subjects that were studied were reading, religion, arithmetic, and writing. This education was of low quality since the teachers did not have the required experience; most of the people who taught did so since they could not access any other job.
The concern of various educators in the 19th century for individual development and welfare soon encompassed the children were had been considered uneducated initially. The Italian physician Maria Montessori introduced a school for the mentally retarded children in the year 1870 to 1952. The materials and the technique she employed were so effective that most of the children were able to learn on how to read and write just as the other children. In the early 1900s, Montessori was assigned to run children’s houses; it entailed children of ages between 3 to 7 years old. Here, she gave much emphasis to individual development and freedom. As regards to freedom, the children would be independent of other people as much as possible. The children were taught on practical tasks; for instance, cleaning their classrooms and dressing themselves. They were also provided with materials that would help them to see and correct their mistakes, making them independent of their teachers (Mackenzie, 2007).
Curriculum is affected by numerous factors. All these factors are aimed at meeting the requirements of the 21st century learners, which is both for the corporation learning centers and organized academic learning. The required curriculum calls for the selection of learning goals, and coming up with knowledge delivery models and at the same time developing assessment methods for a group and individual’s progress. The effect of politics on a certain curriculum comes in where the government funds the public and private, educational institutions. The funding also helps in hiring of qualified personnel, establishment, and maintenance of equipments and facilities. The environmental effects include the world's awareness concerning revision and abolishing pollution persist affecting curriculum growth.
The existing approaches to curriculum development are divided in two aspects. The first aspect of curriculum development involves the individual’s initiative. This is whereby one an individual is self-driven into driving a faculty into greater heights without any external support. The second approach is a collective means of developing the curriculum. Here, it becomes every person initiative to pursue the faculty into greater heights.
The process of changing a curriculum is not an abrupt process but rather it is a gradual effort where the involvement of numerous faculties, planning time, and professional development comes in handy. One of the most effective approach of by a certain faculty developing dialogue and access positive feedback from other faculty members, at this point, they might come up with probable goals and go to the extent of suggesting their final solution. Once a certain faculty is cognizant with the set targets and solutions, they can invite a professional who could be in charge of increasing the faculty understands about schooling and sustainability. Another method could be through accessing the available disciplines and grade levels and requesting the educators on the identification of a method that could be employed in the addressing of concepts, attitudes that could have a relation with sustainability, and skills required ( Glatthorn, 2009).
Once there is an agreement about changing of the curriculum, time is extremely essential. The faculty requires the administrational support where it should agree on improving the existing curriculum. They also need to set aside enough time for planning. A mandatory commitment of 3 to 5 years timeline in charge of various transformations and allocation for time for planning and professional growth, which enables the faculty to use collaborative and thoughtful methods to avoid unexpected additional burdens (Wiles, 2009).
In conclusion, numerous department and colleges dealing with educators has the responsibility of providing the necessary leadership and help schools in improvement initiatives by the establishment of criteria for the emerging specialists in curriculum. They assist in the development of frameworks that would identify the main components responsible for characterization of disciplines, which assists the scholars and practitioners in accessing the basic knowledge in a certain discipline. The common philosophical perspectives in education include Progressivism, Perennialism, Reconstructionism, and Essentialism. Reconstruction curriculum was introduced after the identification of the problem that the students faced as far as interpretation and evaluation of social problems is concerned. This curriculum dealt on the economic and social factors as well as the social services. The progressive curriculum gives much emphasis on the social and the study of natural science. Here, the teachers have the responsibility of introducing their students to the social developments, technological, and new scientific studies as well as broadening the learner’s personal experience. Finally, essentialism curriculum, calls for the teaching of mathematics, literature, history, foreign languages, and nature? Its curriculum goes against the teaching of life adjustment, vocational and various that could be seen to watering down the academics content. The teacher has the mandate of deciding the significant area to teach regardless of the students’ interest since; it diverts attention and time from teaching the subjects are required. The teachers put more emphasis the results of the tests scores; they then use this in their evaluation of the students’ progress.
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