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Module p70023 Issues in Curriculum Design

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1 Module p70023 Issues in Curriculum Design
Session 1 Curriculum – Theory to Practice Barry Gransden

2 Starter Activity March 17 What is your definition of ‘curriculum’?
Working with a partner, write an answer to this question in no more than 15 words, and then be prepared to defend it! March 17

3 Curriculum Theory March 17
Marsh, C. (2004) Key concepts for understanding curriculum. Abingdon: RoutledgeFarmer (pp ) Key Questions What should we teach? Why should we teach this rather than that? Who should have access to what knowledge? What rules should govern the teaching of what has been selected? How should various parts of the curriculum be interrelated in order to create a coherent whole? March 17

4 Beyer and Apple (1998), Posner (1998) and Ross (2000) extend the list to include:
What should count as knowledge? Who defines what counts as legitimate knowledge? Who should control the selection and distribution of knowledge? March 17

5 Curriculum Models March 17
Valiance (1982) and Posner (1998) advocate the development of models of curriculum rather than concentrating on producing curriculum theories. This approach is to shift the focus from the end product (the curriculum theory) to the process by which a theory is sought (the process of theorising). If you are interested in curriculum, you might like to become more sensitive to what is in your own work and attempt to establish some appropriate framework to guide what you do. March 17

6 Curriculum Models continued
Examples Prescriptive theorisers (Ralph Tyler and Hilda Taba) – to create models or frameworks for curriculum that improve school practices. Descriptive theorisers (Decker Walker and Joseph Schwarb) – identify how curriculum development takes place, understand the various steps and procedures and the relationships among them. Critical-exploratory theorisers (Elliot Eisner and William Pinar) – understand deficiencies in past practices of curriculum development and replace them with more adequate practices, looking at the curriculum in terms of its diversities and continuities, emphasising what curriculum has been , is and might be. March 17

7 Prescriptive Theorisers
Tyler RW (1949) Basic principles of Curriculum and Instruction,Chicago, University of Chicago Press Curriculum Planning is …” a practical enterprise not a theoretical study. It endeavours to design a system to achieve an educational end and is not primarily attempting to explain an existential phenomenon. The system must be designed to operate effectively in a society where a number of constraints are present and with human beings who all have purposes, preferences, and dynamic mechanisms in operation.” March 17

8 Tyler’s Principles Objectives March 17 Selecting Learning Experiences Organising Learning Experiences Evaluation

9 Descriptive Theorisers
Walker DF (1971) ‘A naturalistic model of curriculum development’, School Review, 80, 1,pp 51-65 Descriptive Theorisers are not directly concerned with providing answers to questions concerning what a curriculum should be but more with how such answers could be arrived at. “To use an analogy, they are concerned with creating a map of the terrain on which curriculum decision making takes place, not with moving specific plots of earth involved in school construction projects. An accurate map may be essential to a good construction project, but where specific roads and structures are built depends on the beliefs and values of the designers of the project, on budgets and the availability of building materials, and on numerous other practical matters that vary from project to project.” (Marsh C. 2004) March 17

10 Walker’s naturalistic approach
Platform Beliefs; theories; aims; images; procedures; benchmarking March 17 Deliberation Which facts are needed? Alternatives? Consequences? Decisions for action? Design Creation of the planned curriculum “Walker’s descriptions of what typically does happen during planning certainly present a highly useful alternative to Tyler’s prescriptions of what should happen.” (Marsh C 2004)

11 Critical-Exploratory Theorisers
Such theorisers are diverse but there are two general approaches: Emphasis on connections of schooling and the existing social order, concerns with issues of domination, exploitation, resistance and what constitutes legitimate knowledge. Emphasis on the personal nature of learning and on people, rather than ideas, as the basis for action. Concern is with the individual experience. They locate the value of curriculum in the experienced curriculum, not on the planned curriculum. March 17

12 Reflections March 17 1. Why might schools support Tyler’s approach?
2. ‘The real world of teaching is messy, indeterminate and problematic, situations arise because of conflicting values (Carr and Kemmis, 1986 p.9) To what extent is the Tyler approach or the Walker approach able to accommodate these situations? March 17

13 The Cubic Curriculum E.R.Wragg (1997)
The multi-dimensional, hyperspace curriculum 4 Propositions Education must incorporate a vision of the future There are escalating demands on citizens Children’s learning must be inspired by several influences Essential to see the curriculum as much more than a collection of subjects and syllabi (syllabuses) March 17

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