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Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw- Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Chapter 6 Curriculum and Standards: What Will I Teach?

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Presentation on theme: "Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw- Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Chapter 6 Curriculum and Standards: What Will I Teach?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw- Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Chapter 6 Curriculum and Standards: What Will I Teach?

2 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? Curriculum is the “stuff” that gets taught in school Curriculum exists in many forms: –Formal curriculum –Informal curriculum –Planned curriculum –Enacted curriculum Curriculum is co-constructed by teachers and students

3 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.

4 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? The goals of the curriculum –Ralph Tyler developed the “Tyler rationale,” or four questions that should be asked before developing a curriculum 1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? 3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? 4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

5 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? The goals of the curriculum –Too often, teachers focus on “what I’m going to do today” and “how I’m going to organize the day” –The “Tyler rationale” examines both long- and short-term goals of the curriculum –Evaluation serves to grade both students and the work of teachers

6 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? Different approaches to curriculum –Essentially four different schools of thought battle for control of school curriculum in the U.S.: Humanists Developmentalists Social efficiency educators Social meliorists (or social constructionists) –Over the years, dominance has swayed among the groups

7 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? Different approaches to curriculum –Humanists Believe that the traditional academic disciplines (history, English, math…) represent the core of what all students should be taught –Developmentalists Believe students should be differentiated by ability; sorting some for college and others for lower level careers

8 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? Different approaches to curriculum –Social efficiency educators Believe schools should focus on preparing students to fit with the needs of the national economy. Also focus on eliminating waste (money and time) in education –Social meliorists Believe schooling should prepare students to build a more just and democratic social order

9 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What is Curriculum? Why Teach This and Not That? The hidden curriculum –Students learn from the official and the taught curriculum Official curriculum: what subject matter, skills, and values authorities expect teachers to teach Taught curriculum: what teachers believe about content and its presentation and what they actually do –Students also learn from the hidden curriculum; in some cases, such as legal segregation, students were taught to feel inferior or superior depending on their race

10 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What Are Some of the Current Debates About Multicultural Education? Advocates for multicultural education claim: –Multicultural education challenges the standard view of a “national identity” by including all races and genders in lessons –Multicultural education challenges racism and helps all students feel like they belong in school –Multicultural education forces educators to look more closely at the curriculum, often finding that it excludes women and ethnic groups of color

11 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What Are Some of the Current Debates About Multicultural Education? Critics against multicultural education claim: –Multicultural education is an attack on a common American identity –Multicultural education may offer too much information, thus making history into an unintelligible muddle of disconnected facts –Multicultural education is only valuable for certain groups of students, such as minorities, or certain disciplines, such as history

12 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Join the Dialogue Can you recall a teacher who reflected a multicultural approach to his or her teaching? What did the teacher say or do? How did students react?

13 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. What Are Some of the Current Debates About Multicultural Education? Banks’ five dimensions of an effective multicultural education program –Content integration –The knowledge construction process –Prejudice reduction –An equity pedagogy –An empowering school culture

14 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Timeline of the standards movement –1983: The federal report, A Nation at Risk, is released –1989: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) releases “Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics” –1990: President Bush presents National Education Goals to Congress –1994: President Clinton presented the same goals to be approved as legislation, resulting in Goals 2000: Educate America Act –2000: NCTM releases revised “Principles and Standards for School Mathematics” –2001: Congress enacts the No Child Left Behind Act Do the Standards Address What Students Need to Know?

15 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.

16 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Join the Dialogue Did you take standardized tests in school? How did you feel about them?

17 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Do the Standards Address What Students Need to Know? Surviving and thriving as a teacher in the midst of the standards debates –For some, such as Christine Sleeter, culturally relevant standards are essential for students, but standardization is unnecessarily rigid for both teachers and students –Deborah Burns and Jeanne Purcell claim that teachers can “own” the standards and incorporate them into their curriculum

18 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. How Do Different Curricula Reflect Different Views of the Purpose of Education? Curriculum differences point to ideological differences –E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Curriculum, compiles what he believes to be a starting point for the core knowledge every student should know –Bob Peterson argues against the Core Knowledge Curriculum, claiming it defines knowledge in small bits of information and focuses on the contribution from mainstream European Americans These teachers seek to foster different senses of identity in their students and as such have different approaches to curriculum

19 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. How Do Different Curricula Reflect Different Views of the Purpose of Education? Many differing views exist about standards and curriculum but, by returning to the “Tyler rationale,” teachers can re-focus on their goals for individual students –1 st step is largely determined at a national and state level (educational goals) –Teachers can find room for originality in implementing the 2 nd and 3 rd steps (experiences and organization) –Much controversy still surrounds Tyler’s last point (evaluation)

20 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Reading: From Affirming Diversity by Sonia Nieto Nieto writes: “[M]ulticultural education is for everyone regardless of ethnicity, race, language, social class, religion, gender or sexual preference” Multicultural education prevents: –Students feeling that something is “wrong” with them due to their race or ethnicity –Students having to choose between family and school Teachers are not to blame for problems of exclusion, as they are “often at the mercy of decisions made by others far removed from the classroom”

21 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Reading: From The Disuniting of America by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger claims that American culture is almost entirely shaped by European culture, but many multiculturalists focus only on European crimes –He claims Europe is also the unique source of individual liberty, popular democracy, and cultural freedom Schlesinger writes: “Our task is to combine due appreciation of the splendid diversity of the nation with due emphasis on the great unifying Western ideas of individual freedom, political democracy, and human rights”

22 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Reading: From Will Standards Save Public Education? by Deborah Meier Debate between Meier– a critic of the standards movement– and Abigail Thernstrom– an advocate for school standards –Meier contends that standardization “turns teachers and parents into the local instruments of externally imposed expert judgment” –Thernstrom maintains that standardization equalizes opportunities between disadvantaged and advantaged students

23 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Reading: “The Core Knowledge Curriculum— What’s Behind Its Success?” by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Core Knowledge guidelines provide specific grade-by- grade objectives for students –Hirsch concedes that Core Knowledge guidelines are not ideal, but rather a starting point, and only constitute 50% of a school’s curriculum The Core Knowledge curriculum works because: –Learning can be fun, but is nonetheless cumulative and sometimes arduous –Effective education requires grade-by-grade shared knowledge –Just as learning is cumulative, so are learning deficits –High academic skill is based upon broad general knowledge –Common content leads to higher school morale, as well as better teaching and learning

24 Fraser TEACH © 2011 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. Reading: “What Should Children Learn?: A Teacher Looks at E.D. Hirsch” by Bob Peterson Peterson found that the Core Knowledge curriculum: –misdiagnoses problems with American education –too closely defines knowledge as only a collection of facts –focuses almost entirely on European American contributions Peterson argues that “good teaching requires a precarious balance between exposing students to lots of information and studying a few topics in depth” Modern education must instead push for a more inclusive definition of American culture and school curriculum


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