In the following essay, the author will follow up on a previous personal interview that was concluded to answer questions posed around the perceptions and ideologies associated with the topic curriculum. The author will use their experience to answer questions related to this topic. Having a good conceptual understanding of the word curriculum, and how to implement several strategies to support a diverse curriculum, which caters for everyone in a school environment especially those identified as Gifted and Talented and English as Additional Language Registry (EAL).
Keywords: Curriculum Studies, Disciplinary Field, International Baccalaureate Programme
There has been much confusion on the understanding of what a curriculum involves, or entails? Some people consider putting a curriculum in place will involve creating an educational system for example promoting Cambridge, or Pearson Edexcel, others perceive the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) as a brilliant option based on the British Curriculum for all Key Stages 1 - 3 for the Primary Curriculum with access to a variety of one hundred and thirty units to explore that are well written with detailed lessons plans, starter activities and plenaries.
When was the first time you encountered the term “curriculum” and what did you think it meant?
Several conclusions can be drawn when you refer to the term "curriculum" as it meant to the author that "Students gained information, which steered them in the right direction to become educated and responsible citizens, having an understanding of a particular subject, through feeling worthy, accepted and educationally challenged" (M Muller, Personal Interview, December 2, 2020). Other people might agree that a curriculum allows students to excel in a particular area of their education. Giving them options academically to become the best learners, motivators, enthusiasts, and achieving the goals and attainable targets. Principals in schools ensure that they offer exciting curriculums that will ensure every child's educational needs are met.
According to the University of British Columbia (n.d.) who stated that:
Curriculum Studies include but are not limited to investigations into teacher education, the social construction of knowledge, curriculum and instructional discourses, and the role of curriculum and curricular reform in K-12 and other learning environments. Students learn about issues of planning and development, program implementation and evaluation, and pre-service teacher education. Inquiry in the field is multidisciplinary and includes numerous perspectives and orientations such as cultural studies, historical consciousness, poststructuralism, feminism, multicultural education, semiotics, and critical theory" (p. 1).
Have you identified the level, the sector, the grade, the school board and so on involved in your personal and professional definition? If not, try to make it as specific as possible?
The author has taught for twenty years across the three schools (Primary, Middle and Secondary or High School) in different roles and capacities where the school board was included in curriculum development and focusing on innovation. The authors personal definition of word "curriculum" could be outlined as the "opportunity to be educated through a rigorous educational programme to ensure the individual student reach their full potential, the areas involved where different disciplines allows them to flourish into becoming responsible citizens" (Muller, Personal Interview, December 2, 2020). It has also been established that the experienced gained through curriculum development that students identified as Gifted and Talented (G & T) and on the English as Additional Language (EAL) registry educational needs were being catered for in many diverse ways through means of collaborative projects, and the use of various instructional approaches.
The most important factor to consider when compiling an exciting curriculum, is what are the specific needs of that particular school? Are most of the students academically driven and able to set attainable goals and targets that are easily met? What changes would impact them most in a positive way to reach their full potential?
If your definition comes from a personal narrative, then share the details of dates, names, years and such. Perhaps a moment in your teacher timeline contributes to your understanding of the curriculum?
The definition was collated whilst having conversation with a previous lecturer dating back in 1999 in the Faculty of Education, Dr. Aletta Delport, who was extremely passionate about education as a whole. Her philosophy was that every teacher had a purpose in life to create a stimulating and well thought curriculum. Over the years having taught music education, I believe in the following philosophy especially within my own classroom, “I hear, I see and I always remember”, a very powerful statement that teachers sometimes avoid using to remind themselves that when students learn best is when they are challenged educationally. Through using interesting visuals, which undoubtedly contributes to their visual stimulation, they activate them to remember things better and are able to utilise these skills throughout their fives either at Primary, Middle and Secondary levels.
How did the interview participant’s definition from last week inform your understanding of the term? You might want to go back to that person and probe a bit further in terms of his/her understanding versus your own.
The interview with the Physical educator went really well and concluded along with the definition alongside with the author's point of view. It can be summarised that the definition for curriculum aligns with the author's philosophy and outlook. "A curriculum creates opportunities for students to achieve the goals through being taught how to appreciates wanting to learn, which challenges them academically to think critically, evaluate content within a global context and promote International Mindedness, leaving no child behind and making provision for all culturally leaving no child behind and making provision for all culturally minded students. (H. Blake, Personal Communication, December 1, 2020). When teachers realise the potential a child has and what kind of curriculum would suit them best in terms of achieving the goals and objectives outlined to them from the beginning, then you will see changes within academic progress.
Who are the stakeholders involved in determining/creating/constructing your definition? If you can specify, distinguish their roles.
The school philosophy and ideology works in parallel with the understanding of the definition outlined by the author. The stakeholders would include the Head of the School and the Board. They play a pivotal role in the execution of the curriculum, as at different levels through discussion the curriculum is highlighted, discussed, evaluated, and revised to ensure all the childrens educational needs are met and catered for.
Name a few of the researchers/theorists/thinkers we have read so far that would contribute to your curriculum reform?
The following research and theorist would fully contribute my understanding of curriculum reform:
- Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development
- Vygotsky's Theory of Learning, and
- Bloom's Domains of Learning (Stevens-Fulbrook, 2019, p. 1)
These theorists contributed to the overall impact a phenomenal curriculum might offer. Considering the importance of a structured curriculum that challenges a childs on different levels, allows opportunity for that individual to reach their full potential. Working in partnership with the school and establishing great communication channels between the child's home and school environment and intervention plans to protect, guide, help, and assist that child to achieve those attainable goals are very important.