Curriculum Development

Blog #5

Pre Reading Questions-

How do you think that school curricula are developed? This is an entry point to this topic and whatever you write will be fine.

Before joining this class and having to write this blog I had never truly thought about how the curriculum is developed. I mean sure there are some obvious ways it was developed (common sense), but I had never looked in depth about how it truly came about and what aspects were brought together to make it. My best guess on how it was developed; was that a bunch of White middle-aged men got together and put together a guide to what they thought the right and proper thing for children to learn. I do know teachers can teach a curriculum different and add their own aspects in, but it is made very clear that you still have to follow a specific guideline and make sure you fit everything in that the school system says.

 

How are school curricula developed and implemented? What new information/perspectives does this reading provide about the development and implementation of the school curriculum? Is there anything that surprises you or maybe that concerns you? IMPORTANT – Please write your blog before our lecture as YOUR OPINION will be an integral part of the lecture.

 

After Reading Question- 

While reading the article; many of my views on the educational curriculum did stay the same, but there were a few things that stood out me more than others. We see right away that curriculum is defined as ” an official statement if what students are expected to know and be able to do”. This is something that was very obvious before reading the article, but it makes it more clear that this is what is expected by the government. One thing I was not aware of was how many people take the time to make the curriculum. I thought only a few people would create it. Having so many people with different beliefs and values coming together to create one curriculum seems almost impossible, but it is done. Reading the article let me have a look at how significant politics are when it comes to creating a curriculum. We see different areas that significantly show politics and other areas that are less in-depth. This also has a huge impact on how much the government is involved in this creation. The government has a lot of say on what goes on in the education system, too much if you ask me. I understand that the government should have some say, but for the amount, they are actually in schools and associated with them it is a little too much; if anything teachers should have the most say. All in all; I believe students, parents, and teachers would have better insight when it comes it creating the curriculum. They are in the schools day in and day out. They know what will benefit the children now and in the future. Teachers deal with these children every day, so their opinions and ideas about what the children are learning are very beatifical and crucial for a steady learning environment.

 

 

The “good” Student

Blog #4

 

For many of us in this class, we were those “good” students. These students were the children that sat nicely in their desks, didn’t interrupt the teacher, and answered the teacher when they asked the class a question. These children could also have been known as the teacher’s pet. For myself, I wouldn’t call myself a bad student, but I also wasn’t the child that was the “good”. I liked to have fun with my friends in class, I liked to talk with everyone, and I didn’t sit back and listen to everything the teacher would say. As I list these things off I realize no I was not a great student, but I enjoyed school. I made school fun, I made it enjoyable for the students around me, and I still go the grades I needed to feel proud about myself. The good students are supposed to be the children that get all As and don’t skip class. This means a good student in common sense. Right away when I was asked what a good student is I went right to someone with good grades and listens, but maybe this is completely wrong. Maybe it is the student that comes to school every day even though they are working three jobs and have to go home to take care of other siblings or the child that has mental health issues but still manages to get out of bed in the morning. We as educators need to take a step back and realize that just because one child has an A and the other has a C doesn’t mean the child with the C is any less.

 

In many areas of the world, the good students are supposed to be the white students. They are supposed to get better grades, listen better and in some areas, they are even known to be more “civilized”. We treat the white children with privileges, so why wouldn’t they be stronger learners or want to come to school every day. Students that get treated with respect, and get a proper education want to come to school. When we hear “bad” students; who do you think of? Is It the white female teacher pets that you see in movies, social media, or in your everyday classroom, or is it the child that comes from a one parent home and has to work three jobs?  Why would these students want to come to a place every day where they are already looked at as “bad” before they even have a chance? We as educators need to make a change for the better. No one but us as teachers can change the way classrooms are run, or the way children are treated.

John Dewey & Progressivism

The prompt we were giving for blog number 3 is:

Choose a quotation related to education (choose a quote that is actually from an educational theorist, not just a famous figure speaking about education in broad ways). It might be a quote from lecture or a quote you found independently. In a post, unpack that quote. Think about what it makes possible and impossible in education. What does it say about the teacher, about the student? How does it relate to your own understandings of curriculum and of school? Take this as a dry run for your first assignment!

I have chosen to discuss the educational theorist John Dewey. This was an easy decision for me, because we talked a lot about Dewey last semester in my ECS 100 class. We looked at Dewey as a man of progressivism. Progressivism is defined as support for or advocacy of social reform. From the beginning, we saw the traditionalists and then came the progressivists. In the early 1800s Progressivism did begin to take over, but it has a short coming because we then saw Tyler’s Rationale by the late 1800s. I have decided to talk about, or break down the quote; “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself”. This quote really stood out to me, because we as a society focus so much on the “real world” and by real world we mean after school like school isn’t real at all.

John Dewey focused solely on the students, making them good citizens with feelings and good educational backgrounds. As we see in the quote Dewey obviously feels that education and time in the class room is just as important as time after school. We as teachers need to focus more on feelings, experiences, and learning, rather than math, science, and working for the “Man”. Progressivism is about growing as people. They believe in child development and creating good humans; rather than preparing children for life after school. Dewey and others focused on the students first. It isn’t just about who can fit the most information in their brains and remember the facts. We need to focus more on other areas that contribute to life after school. Teachers are there to guide the children. They are there to guide them into being better citizens, making experiences, and creating a child that can contribute to society.

I believe this way of teaching is crucial. We have to have a happy medium. Yes, we do need to prepare for life after school which will most likely be work, but making experiences and becoming better people can be equally important. We still see progressivism today. In elementary health classes, we talk about how to respect each other, and help each other whenever it is needed, but we still see that traditionalism in the classroom when we learn about math and sciences. We focus on math because “we will use it in everyday life” or that’s what I heard in every math class till grade 12. We have engraved this attitude into children’s minds, so frequently that when a child is not great at math they are considered weak in school or even dumb. This child may not be strong at math, but they could be the most caring child around and that is what progressivists would look at with a deeper understanding. We spend most of our lives in the classroom so how is education not life. Why do we as society down grade school to just be an easy time-consuming part of life. When really it is the time in your life when you grow, have life long experience, and become crucial citizens for society.

 

Tyler’s Rationale

Blog Post 2

I believe everyone can say they have experiences Tyler’s rationale in some form during their schooling. For me I saw this in orginization. If we did not stick to the plan or ciruculum then there seemed to be something wrong. It could have been in testing; making sure all objectives are being met throughout the year, or making sure children know what they are going to learn and how the learning is going to be done. Tyler’s rationale is the basic learning that every child in the school system has learn to cope with and pretend to enjoy. Almost all subjects are the same in elementary school. You start at a basic skill like counting in math, or reading sight words in English, and then progress to adding those numbers and reading books. We have all went through this process at some point in time.

Tyler’s rationale does in fact have some limitations. Some limitations Tyler’s rationale such as how some subjects do not prepare children for life after school, or even high school. We focus on certain elements and go so in depth with them that we sometimes forget the major issues. The curriculums are made so teachers have to test, and establish where your students rank when it comes to what the school system states is the appropriate grade level for children. As stated in the test “Curriculum theory and practice only makes sense when considered alongside notions like class, teacher, course, lesson and so on”. There are also many benefits to Tyler’s rationale as we see in the school system when it comes to basic knowledge or expanding knowledge. There is defiantly structure and management that is presented in Tyler’s rationale. The school system we observe and are a part of today is a very organized establishment; which is very beneficial when I comes to making sure children are being taught the proper curriculum.  Teachers can also benefit from this system. It allows them to have time management, and always have a plan when it comes to what is being taught for weeks on hand.

 

Common Sense

The reading we were told analyze for our first blog post was “The problem with common sense” by Kumashiro. The first question we were giving was “How does Kumashiro define common sense”? Reading through this article I gathered a few points on how common sense was defined. It was defined as something that is questioned if it is done differently than previously. For example, instead of the teacher using force and hitting the kids; words were used. This was questioned by the students, because it was not what they were used to; it was not “common sense”. It was also defined as clear ideas and objectives. It is explained how the students already has an idea of what teaching was supposed to look like and attempting anything different seemed to be outrageous and just did not make sense to them. For the final point of how common sense was defined I noticed that if you did not follow these norms you were judged and talked about like you were crazy; we saw this with the children talking to other teachers about Kumashiros’ teaching methods. All in all, Common sense was defined as something that takes place repeatedly until it becomes a norm, and once someone tried to change that norm it goes unnoticed with no questions asked about how it affects society.

 

Common sense is everywhere. It is used in schools, at your job, and in everyday life. It is important to notice common sense mainly so you don’t look “dumb” or “silly” in certain situations. Although sometimes you have to go out of that comfort zone like Kumashiro did in Nepal. Noticing common sense can be tricky when you have been following by certain rules your whole life. You might have to change the way you speak, dress, and approach people; all because of the area you are in. Paying attention to common sense is very important in some areas of life. Different places around the world have different morals and beliefs, so if you don’t pick up on these things you could be considered disrespectful or rude. You need to always be aware of your surroundings and sometimes change your own views to be respectful.

Goals and Growth

Some of my Goals going into my field experince include:

  • Learn how to build strong relationships with students
  • Learn how to respect all the childrens learning ablities
  • Being able to listen to other teachers ideas
  • Working with other teachers
  • Leave the field experience with a good understanding about teaching and relationships

 

Some areas I grew in include:

  • Going into the field I was nervous about the realtionships I would be able to build qwith the children, but by the end I was able to have a individual realtionship with every child.
  • I was never a great public speaker, but I definalty got a lot better at being able to talk infront of a crowd.
  • I have alwasy been a good listener and good at comprehending tasks, but after this field I beleive I have inproved in this aspect even more.
  • Knowing which children need extra help has been harder for me, but I think i have a better understanding of how to tell when a child needs this help by watching the teacher interact with the children.
  • I really think i have grow in the area of getting children to engage in tasks. Before i couldnt keep kids on tasks, but watching the teaceher i have a better understanding now and can think of different ways to engage children.

A little about Me

My name is Cheyanne Fishley and I am Currently enrolled in Elementary Education at the University of Regina. I Grew up in the small town Balcarres which is an hour East of Regina. My whole life I have grown up on a farm which my family lives on as well as my grandparents and uncle’s family, so family is very important to me. I live sports, being outside, and hanging out with friends. When I was 14 I moved away from home to play hockey, so I grew up faster than most children and learnt a lot of responsiblities. I have wanted to work with children for as long as I remember. Wanting to help and impacted children’s lives is one major reason why I have decided to go into the Education field. I am a very warm and welcoming person so working with young children feels like the best decision for me. My goals for this course is to focus and try my best as i am very nervous about trying to learn a new language.

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