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Curriculum Planning: The Human Dimension

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1 Curriculum Planning: The Human Dimension
By Robyn L. Powley

2 Viva le difference Curriculum development is a people process
People have more impact on curriculum development than physical settings and materials Differences in individuals and in groups of individuals Each person has a “role” to play Each person has unique characteristics, history and perspectives

3 The “Cast” The administrator The students People in the community
Especially the “power structure” Politicians—local, state and federal Curriculum workers

4 Administrators Theory X Theory Y
Authoritarian, repressive style, control, task maintenance orientation People dislike work and must be forced to work People lack ambition and avoid responsibility People work to avoid punishment Motivated to meet security needs Theory Y Empowering and giving responsibility, liberating and developmental style People welcome work People seek responsibility People demonstrate self-reliance People become committed when rewarded People are creative in problem solving

5 The Students Secondary and post-secondary students may participate directly in the curriculum planning process Often, the best people to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the curriculum, using surveys and open forums Even without direct student involvement, standardized tests provide inside into the effectiveness of the curriculum Student involvement may lead to more community support

6 Community: Beyond Boards of Education
Parents Can inform of conflicts over controversial issues Review instructional materials for bias and distortion Volunteer and support educators Voters Accountability Expenditures: value for money spent Results: mostly measured in academic achievement

7 Community: Beyond Boards of Education
Leaders and decision-makers Religious Business Scientists and researchers Politicians at local, state and federal levels No Child Left Behind IDEA A natural consequence of the public’s legal power over education in a democratic society

8 Curriculum Workers Teachers Curriculum leader or coordinator
May come from within or outside the teaching staff May be appointed or elected by others curriculum workers Directors of instruction or Consultants

9 The Group Process The Change Process
Four kinds of decisions to be made Planning – determine objective Structuring – design procedures Implementing – Utilize, control and refine procedures Recycling People resist change Safety of the status quo Lack of rewards from change Requirements of time and effort Established school policies

10 The Group Process Interpersonal relations Leadership styles
Hidden agendas Balance between task and ego orientations Inner or outer directed personalities Group influences on individuals

11 The Group Process Leadership skills Communication skills
Keep group focused on the task An agent for change Expert in the subject matter Organizer Team builder Communication skills Oral, written and nonverbal behavior: all have an impact Intended or unintended

12 Barriers Tactics Fear of change on the part of those likely to be affected The group should proceed slowly Reassure those who will be affected. Involve those who will be affected. The changed status must be made more attractive than the old.

13 Barriers Tactics The group must see clear goals before proceeding
Leaders should be most qualified Training in group processes Lack of clear goals Lack of competent leadership Group can’t function as a group

14 Barriers Tactics Lack of research on problems before the group
A history of unsuccessful curriculum effort Negative attitudes from the community The leader should conduct research and interpret research data for the group Leaders provide reassurance that progress is being made Involve parents, citizens, leaders and decision makers

15 Barriers Tactics Lack of resources External pressures:
Laws Accreditation Department of Education Lack of experience or knowledge about a particular curricular problem Tackle this issue at the outset. Determine what human and material resources are needed Brainstorm ways to get the needed resources Learn way to work within the constructed framework Call in consultants or seek additional training for group members

16 Three Roles Played by Group Members
Group Task Roles Initiator-contributor Information seeker Information giver Opinion seeker Opinion giver Elaborator Evaluator-critic Energizer Procedural technician Recorder

17 Three Roles Played by Group Members
Group Building and Maintenance Roles Encourager Harmonizer Compromiser Gate-keeper Standard setter Group observer and commentator Follower

18 Three Roles Played by Group Members
Individual Roles Aggressor Blocker Recognition-seeker Self-confessor Goof off Dominator Help-seeker Special interest pleader

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