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Curriculum Ideologies lecture 1. Dr. Douglas Fleming Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. There are four basic orientations (or ideologies) in regards to general education curricula: Scholar/ Academic Social Efficiency Learner Centered Social Reconstruction Schiro (2008).

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Curriculum Ideologies lecture 1

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Curriculum Ideologieslecture 1

Dr. Douglas Fleming

Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

There are four basic orientations (or ideologies) in regards to general education curricula:

  • Scholar/ Academic

  • Social Efficiency

  • Learner Centered

  • Social Reconstruction

    Schiro (2008)

Scholar/ Academic Ideology

  • often called ‘rationalist’, ‘traditional’, ‘knowledge-centered’, ‘intellectual’ or ‘canon-centered’.

  • the purpose of education is to impart accumulated knowledge from culture and tradition

  • knowledge is constructed by academic disciplines: hierarchically-based communities searching for objective truths

  • curricula are constructed in ways that impart these truths to a new generation of students

  • all students should be exposed to disciplinary knowledge regardless of their vocational goals

  • an important prerequisite for participatory citizenship, critical thinking and social cohesion

  • often popular in times of political crisis

  • associated with Lester Ward, Charles Eliot, W.E. DuBois, E.D. Hirsch, and Allan Bloom

  • basis of current disciplinary models of secondary school curricula

  • students are being initiated into disciplinary knowledge

  • imparting the basic tenants of the pertinent field

  • but, this is not a matter of inculcating encyclopedic knowledge

  • students should think and behave like novice members of a discipline

  • “participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge” (Bruner, 1966, p.72).

Social Efficiency Ideology

  • often called ‘technological’’, ‘social behaviorist’, or ‘systems-based’.

  • the purpose of education is to develop people who are educated and trained for the needs of society or a specific milieu

  • curricula designed to achieve clearly defined concrete and measurable terminal objectives that are determined systematically and through scientifically-based procedures

  • students learn by doing

  • the focus of instruction is on the mastery of skills and behaviors through practice

  • learning occurs in terms of cause/ effect and stimulus/ response

  • instruction is geared towards specific work or home related purposes

  • there is no need for all students to learn a uniform basic body of knowledge as a prerequisite for more advanced training

  • the selection and sequencing of instructional content is key

  • steps:

    • define appropriate learning objectives;

    • establish useful learning experiences;

    • organize learning experiences to have a maximum cumulative effect;

    • evaluate and revise the curriculum.

  • stress on accountability to stakeholders

  • associated with Franklin Bobbitt, Ralph Tyler and B.F. Skinner

Learner-Centered Ideology

  • often called ‘progressive’, ‘experiential’, ‘child study’, ‘self-actualization’ or ‘humanist’.

  • the purpose of education is to meet the needs of individuals so that they can grow in harmony with their own unique talents, skills and desires.

  • curricula are designed to expose students to contexts and influences that will stimulate growth and the construction of unique forms of meaning.

  • all students are unique

  • pedagogy is centered on the vision of an ideal school which emphasizes first-hand experience, play, experimentation, and hands-on activities.

  • activities often have a focus that extends beyond the wall of the school

  • active democratic citizenship is emphasized

  • associated with John Dewey, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Howard Gardner, Fredrich Froebel, G. Stanley Hall and Francis Parker

  • students are encouraged to become autonomous learners

  • learners are whole people engaged in the construction of meaning (constructivism)

  • learning occurs in stages and is done through many different types of styles

  • teachers are generalists, facilitators, diagnosticians and providers of learning environments

  • “a child’s own instincts… furnish the starting point for all education” (Dewey, 1897, p.77).

Social Reconstruction Ideology

  • often called ‘critical’, or ‘society-centered’.

  • the purpose of education is to help create a more just society.

  • based on an analysis of society as being rife with crisis and inequalities based on problematic constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class.

  • curricula are designed to foster a commitment to societal change that addresses the above inequalities.

  • knowledge is socially constructed through experience

  • people shape their viewpoints through experiences in cultural practices and in the context of societal crisis

  • pedagogy is centered on the vision of an ideal society

  • associated with Lester Frank Ward, A. S. Neill, Ivan Illich, John Dewey, Miles Horton, Paulo Freire, Neil Postman and Charles Weingarten.

  • students should reevaluate their assumptions and viewpoints so that they become committed to societal change

  • activities within school should lead to actions outside of school

  • teachers have a collegial relationship with their students

  • “There is no such thing as teachers and students, but teacher/students and student/teachers ” (Freire, 1970, p.67).

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