Conceptions of Curriculum
When looking at the curriculum, there are several conceptions that are used in defining which type of a curriculum will be used in schools the curriculum conception basically affects the material and teaching techniques that will be used in school.
Depending on how a school or a country wants to educate its students, a school will have to base its curriculum top specific curriculum conception. One or more concepts can be incorporate when formulating the curriculum. Basically the school curriculum plays an important role in determining and shaping the student’s understanding of education and other important issues.
The curriculum Print (1993), in his book discusses the way in which curriculum is understood in terms conceptions. To Print (1993) there are five main curriculum conceptions, these includes
Academic rationalist conception
Cognitive progression conception
Social Reconstructionist conception
Different school and undertake to use one or more than one of the above outlined concepts in developing their curriculum. The choosing of the concepts will depend on the outcome that the school and the teaching professional want to get from students.
Let us briefly examine each one of these conception is some details; (Print 1993) The academic rationalist concept The concept puts a lot of emphasis on knowledge, values and skills that are found in different academic fields. Academic rationalism conception curriculum has a distinctive discipline which is different from other concepts. Many curriculum developers today, use this conception. The concept originates from seven liberal arts that are in the classical curriculum. (Eisner, 1979)
According to Eisner & Vallance, (1974) academic rationalism, is among the oldest conceptions, the conception puts a lot of emphasis on the responsibility of the school to enable the students to share the academic benefits of those who passed on before. The sharing is not limited to the concepts only, but it also includes any work that has resisted the test of time. for those individuals that embrace the academic rationalism conception, being educated to them means being initiated to methods thought that are represent by the different disciplines in the conception.
There fore, the significant aim of understanding the academic rationalism is to pass the knowledge and aesthetics from one generation to another generation. This is attained through education that is organized within academic disciplines that are recognized. (Eisner & Vallance, 1974) Humanistic conceptions This curriculum conception offers opportunities in which to improve an “individual’s self- concept” and to attain self- actualization, this is according to Print 1993. This is the most common in main of the supporting material that is contained in the curriculum documents.
Humanism curriculum conception is a perspective which is founded on the assumption that individuals have an inclination of developing all their abilities that maintaining them. In general humanism conception, tries to facilitate releasing of present capacity and potential in a student. In humanism the understanding is that if some beliefs and specific conditions are already present in an individual, this individual or students will gradually let their self actualizing ability to override barriers that they have created international.
Roger 1961 points out that the tree main aspects in humanism are; Genuineness, unconditional positive aspect; and emphatic understanding. Cognitive processes conception This conception provides students with opportunity and skill or methods to assist them “learn how to learn” and also to give students a chance to employ and improve the different faculties that they have (Print, 1993) Social theory This curriculum conception takes a critical look on the social aspect of education.
One of the main values of the conception is the obligation in penetrating the world of objective knowledge so that one can expose the social relationships which are underlying that are in many cases hidden . social conception believes that knowledge need to applied for emancipatory political objectives. The main objective of the social conception is to nullify the impacts of ideology in that individual perceptions are free from emancipation, the individual are able to visualize beyond and know the reality. (Kemmis, et al 1994) My personal Conception; Technology conception
Personally I will take technology concept, DeVore (1968) defines technology conception as an organization of knowledge and the use of resources in producing outcomes that respond to the human requirements and wants. Thus, this definition characterizes technology as a “body of knowledge” in the past this body f knowledge was being viewed as knowledge of practice. The conception goes on to explain that, the knowledge is used to gives methods of doing activities and show what is really valued through action. Technology is being viewed as a discipline in it self.
The view that technology is discipline is justified by DeVore (1968) monograph that outlines technology as a discipline. DeVore (1968) articulates the points that points out that technology as an intellectual discipline; which is organized body of knowledge that has got structure that unites the different parts of the technology structure. Technology have also stood the test of time thus evidence that it is durable. Technology is cumulative naturally, and also technology relates to the future and provides inspiration and stimulation for other ideas and goals
Bruner (1960) describes technology curriculum conception as a curriculum which is determined by underlying principles of understanding education purposes. To Bruner (1960) the basic learning purpose is economy. The conception views such learning process as permitting generalization thus making knowledge to be used in other contexts apart from the one that the knowledge was gotten from. It also builds the memory in allowing the student to relate what he/she would have forgotten. Thus, this education conception is important and has to be implemented in schools curricula.
(Bruner, 1960) Shaping of education; Curriculum development Curriculum development is formulated for all schools and for various classes in manner that it can be taught and develop the students learning procedures. Depending on the curriculum conception/s that is being used it will shape the way the curriculum is developed. Curriculum development goes a long way to defining the way the education system of a school or a country will be. Curriculum development incorporates all the subjects to be taught and how they will be taught in the education program. Designing of a curriculum
Curriculum conception plays important role in shaping and defining the education system of a country. Much of the reforms in the education sector occur due to embracing various curriculum concepts. For instance, recommendations by the Holmes Group for teach reforms on preparations which are discipline based were based on curriculum conceptions. (Kemmis, et al1994) some of the recommendation by the groups was also to having education program for technology teachers, as technology was endorsed as a discipline in the education curriculum. That it was easy to redesign the curriculum in relations to the proposal by the Holmes group.
In the same line, where school took technology has a discipline and incorporated technology in its curriculum, the discipline has gained respect and in the academic program. (Kemmis, et al 1994) A good example of how technology has shaped education system in schools is in the Maryland State Department of Education, where high school graduation requirement have been changed. Previously, the education standards in the state required that a one semester course be offered for the “practical arts” that could be achieved by a course in technology education or any other course in vocational education, home economic or computer education.
The new standards that have been proposed eliminate the practical arts subjects’ requirements, but, the state department of education has put a new requisite in technology education. The requirements require that a student should take one year in learning technology education in the school before he/she graduates. Therefore technology education has to be elevated top be a main subject. This highly changes the policies and perceptions in the education system and helps to shape education system to be producing a system which embraces technology. (Maryland State Department of Education 1991)
Education system is also shaped by new disciplines that are being brought forward by the curriculum conceptions. Education is dynamic and in order to remain relevant to the requirements of the masses and to solve the daily challenges in the education system it has to keep on evolving to cope up with the new challenges. In the same context newer disciplines in education curriculum have become much more appropriate than the old ones. For example, psychology has become more relevant to the education sector as it gives a good understanding of human nature.
Thus, these conceptions have a direct impact in education systems as they are used in formulating the curriculum being taught in schools which determine the system of education that will be used. (Kemmis, et al 1994) Assessment In order to monitor the progress of students it is important that proper assessments methods has to be formulated and put in place, for the teachers to know the progress of their students in various discipline. Depending on the type of the curriculum conception that is being used in a particular curriculum in school it will determine the kind of assessment methods that will be used in the schools.
Assessment methods are in important in ensuring that the learners are getting what is taught. (Kemmis, et al 1994) Global versus local issues that may impact developing curriculum Globalization plays important role in shaping the education system in the current education institutions. Today, global issues impact students strongly than never before. With the advent of television and internet opportunities to get information from other parts of the world has increased. The significant of education in assisting students in knowing their roles and responsibilities in the global society has increased.
Thus, in formulating the school curriculum it is important that the curriculum should incorporate global issues. Some of the important global aspects that affects curriculum are; human rights, interdependence, conflict resolution, values and perceptions, diversity; sustainable development and social justice. Local issues like, culture, politics and education system will also affect the curriculum developed. (Eisner, & Vallance, 1974) Outlined below is a discussion on how teaching of different subjects can incorporate global dimension in a manner that can ensure that progression by the significant stages of education;
Developing English curriculum In developing the English curriculum, both fiction and non-fiction books from different countries in the world has to taught in schools so that students can learn different cultures in the world and get an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the world issues and them selves. (Eisner, & Vallance, 1974) Developing Technology education curriculum The curriculum will have to incorporate the current global technology trend and give students opportunities to design different products and analyze how these products work.
This will give them also a chance to learn the various needs of people in various cultures and countries. At the same time the students will get an opportunity of knowing how technology can be applied in order to improve and at the same time develop the global society. (Eisner, & Vallance, 1974) Developing History curriculum In formulating history curriculum in relation to global issues, the students can be given an opportunity to learn about the cultural, religious, ethnic and social diversities in the global societies. And related the information they have leant to the different societies and their own.
In doing so, they can then link occurrences in different countries and make a comparison with the lives of those people currently and in the pas. This will highly developed their understanding of those countries and give them an insight on global issues. (Eisner, & Vallance, 1974) Strategic and operations After developing the curriculum it is important to have a clear strategy of how it is going to be implemented and in schools and how it is going to be affected in the learning process. The curriculum developers have to have clear administrative strategy that will be used in administering the new curriculum in schools.
A proper structure should be provided that reflects how schools will practice and carry out the curriculum. The strategy or planning is important for educators and the practitioners in the education system. Strategies sets will ensure that the objectives of the curriculum are achieved. (DeVore, 1968) Proper analysis offers the educators with tools for planning and carrying out operations of the curriculum. Where necessary they can redirect the curriculum operation. In addition, operations will involve the way the curriculum will be implemented.
This involves the teachers of schools and administrators who have to carry out the operations of teaching. The curriculum will only be effectively in operation if the teaching staffs are well prepared and informed about the curriculum. Other wise they may be a hitch in operation of the curriculum. (DeVore, 1968) Conclusion Curriculum remains an important tool in the education system of a country. A curriculum of a school defines the teaching material of a school. In developing the curriculum different curriculum conceptions are used in determining the type of a curriculum that will be used in schools.
Curriculum conception affects curriculum development, assessments methods and curriculum alignments among other issues of the curriculum. Currently global issues also play important role in determining the kind of education curriculum that will be developed in school. In order to give students a more global approach it has become necessary that global issues have to be incorporated in the education system. However, strategic planning and operations have to be well formulated to effectively implement curriculum in schools.
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DeVore, P. D. (1968): Structure and content foundations for curriculum development. Washington, DC: American Industrial Arts Association.
DeVore, P. D. (1964): Technology: An intellectual discipline; Bulletin Number 5. Washington, DC: American Industrial Arts Association.
Eisner, E W. (1979): The three curricular that all schools teach; The Educational imagination.
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Journal of Epsilon Pi Tao, 24 Maryland State Department of Education (1991): Requirements for graduation from high school in Maryland.
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