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Chapter 6. Curriculum Development: A Guide to Practice Jon W. Wiles and Joseph C . Bondi. Elementary School: Programs & Issues . Which school configuration would you prefer?. Pick one Go to that side of the room Discuss for 5 minutes to brainstorm pro’s and con’s

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chapter 6

Chapter 6

Curriculum Development:

A Guide to Practice

  • Jon W. Wiles and Joseph C. Bondi

Elementary School:

Programs & Issues

Susan Dulong Langley and Diane Modest

American International College

EDC 475 Curriculum Design & Development

February 12, 2013

which school configuration would you prefer
Which school configuration would you prefer?
  • Pick one
  • Go to that side of the room
  • Discuss for 5 minutes to brainstorm pro’s and con’s
  • Be ready to share with the class

K – 5;

6 – 8

K - 8


  • Soup to Nuts (but not much meat…)
    • Examine the factors affecting elementary school configurations
      • Historical
      • Social and cultural
      • Economic
      • Political
    • Compare/contrast the varying levels of attention & resources in developing content in different disciplines
    • Understand the considerations and accommodations needed to ensure equitable access for populations with diverse needs
tic tac toe five in a row
Tic-Tac-Toe ~ Five in a Row
  • Everyone receives a game board and tokens
  • Throughout the presentation, keep an eye out for KEY POINTS (WORDS, PHRASES, IDEAS, ETC.)
  • Cover each key point with a token
  • When you have five in a row (column or diagonal)
    • Raise your hand
    • When called on, announce “Tic-Tac-Toe – Five in a Row”
    • BUT, then be prepared to synthesize those five points into a statement about the related topic.
    • Pick your prize!
  • The 19th Century had a two-tier model: Gr. 1-8 and 9-12
  • The 20th Century went to three tiers: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12
  • The 21st Century’s emerging model is a return to K-8 and 9-12 with 21 large US districts already adopting it.
pro s for k 8
Pro’s for K-8
  • Greater parental choice
  • Better testing achievement
  • Perceived cost effectiveness
  • Smaller, more personal learning environments
  • Lowered secondary school dropout rates
  • Ability to retain community support
  • Seamless grade transitions
  • K-8 alignment of standards
  • Research showing that pre-and early adolescents do better academically and socially in K-8
prek 5 issues
PreK- 5: Issues
  • NCLBemphasis on literacy and testing
  • Standards-based curriculum
  • Impact of immigration
  • Redefined basics of higher standards, benchmarks, and more rigorous curriculum
prek 5 includes
PreK-5: Includes
  • Content
    • National reading, writing, and math standards
    • State standards and frameworks with assessment items and benchmark tests
    • Alignment of curriculum for systematic and sequential instruction of essential learning skills
  • Assessment
    • Academic skills placement tests
    • Performance-based assessments with rubrics
    • Competency-based instruction
    • Portfolio assessment systems
prek 5 program elements
PreK – 5: Program Elements
  • Inclusion
  • Cultural diversity
  • Mobility of parents
  • Socio-economic needs
  • Being all things to all children
prek 5 considerations
PreK – 5: Considerations
  • Struggle between narrow curriculum to testable areas and broader school programming
  • Now with daycare prevalence, earlier socialization function of early grades needs updating
  • Immigration increasing our non-English –speaking populations
  • Cultural and socio-economic diversity
  • School choice pro’s and con’s
  • Balancing increasing academic expectations against developmental exploration needs
elementary school curriculum
Elementary School Curriculum
  • Overview
    • Evolved over past 200 years from narrow (reading, writing, and arithmetic) to broad (variety of learning experiences)
    • Schools are mechanisms for social change; schools become battlegrounds for diverse groups with conflicting interests
    • Elementary schools responding to needs of expanding and increasingly diverse society
american beginnings
American Beginnings
  • Rights; Highest ideals for our citizens
  • No national system; states rights
  • 1647 – Old Deluder Satan Act by Massachusetts Bay Colony to establish schools so men could read scriptures and escape the clutches of Satan
  • 1693 – Legislation for selectmen to levy school taxes with consent of majority of townspeople
  • Discipline along religious lines (ex. Flogging to drive out the devil)
  • Also political purposes; rallying support for new American political system

New England Primer

The primary text – bible verses and other resources to teach reading and number skills

westward expansion and johann heinrich pestalozzi 1801
Westward Expansion and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi- 1801
  • Child growth & development are organic, not mechanistic
  • Narrow curriculum was inadequate to prepare intelligent citizens
  • Teacher training programs
  • How Gertrude Teaches Her Children
horace mann and public school revival 1826 1876
Horace Mann and Public School Revival 1826-1876
  • Prussian influence
  • Grading students on ability
  • Improving methods of instruction and discipline
  • State agency for education
  • Teacher-training institutions
  • Increased funding
  • Enriched curriculum
expansion reform
Expansion & Reform
  • Industrialization of 1876-1930’s
  • Schools became instruments of social change
  • Enrollments doubled
  • New subjects taught
  • School day lengthened
  • World War I resulted in demands for new skills
1918 curriculum change
1918 Curriculum Change
  • Greater literacy training
  • Addition of vocational programs
  • Psychology introduced in teacher training

Woodrow Wilson

1930 s
  • Standardized tests to determine achievement in school subjects
  • Individual and group intelligence tests
  • Differentiation emerged for “slow, average, and above-average” elementary children
1920 s 1950 s progressive movement
1920’s – 1950’s Progressive Movement
  • John Dewey and educational philosophers
  • Schools as agencies of society designed improve democratic way of life
  • Studying home, neighborhood, and community
  • Study familiar to build curiosity about science, geography, and math
  • Learning by doing; Beyond rote to creative activities
  • Build on interests of students
  • Represent real life
1956 sputnik
1956 Sputnik
  • Reexamine purpose of elementary school
  • Censured progressive education as failing to provide necessary skills and knowledge for scientific world
  • Congressional acts gave millions to fund science and math programs, materials, and training
1960 s innovation
1960’s Innovation
  • organizational changes
    • absence of grades
    • open classrooms
    • team teaching
    • however, lack of preparation and confusion of organization means with ends did not produce true change

Pine Run School, PA

1970 s 1980 s
1970’s & 1980’s
  • first enrollment declines
  • retrenchment, funding problems, and dissatisfaction with 60’s experimentation
  • new legislated accountability and increased testing
  • by late 1980’s,
    • enrollment became to grow again,
    • curriculum had expanded in variety of learning experiences
    • but narrowed focus to basic skills of written and oral communication and math;
    • unbalanced curriculum
organizing curriculum
Organizing Curriculum
  • Elementary curriculum is organized around
    • Bases of knowledge
    • Needs of society
    • Human learning and development
1960 s 1990 s
1960’s – 1990’s
  • new programs to accommodate
    • young learners
    • special needs
  • free public kindergarten
  • special education programs for physical and mental disabilities
  • gifted learners
  • nursery programs
  • extended-day centers
  • parent centers
individualizing instruction
Individualizing Instruction

Not simply by rate of progress


  • materials for study
  • method of study
  • pace of study
  • sequence of study


  • learning focus
  • place of learning
  • evaluation of learning
  • purpose of learning
accommodating differences
Accommodating Differences
  • grouping
  • materials of varying difficulty
  • special programs for students at the greatest points away from group norms
  • Flexibility is key
  • Common groupings
    • Whole class
    • Reading level groups (by achievement)
    • Reading need group (by skill need)
    • Interest groups
    • Practice or tutorial groups
    • Research groups
    • Individualization by project or series of lessons
  • Mobility; based on need; a variety of groupings throughout the day
selection of content
Selection of Content
  • Language arts, math, social studies, science, the arts, and health
  • National, state, and local levels help select content
  • Because we do not have a national system, curriculum developers and researchers must fit a variety for the 14,000 school districts in the country
  • Controversial, emotional, and sometimes political
  • Concern of parents before entering school
  • Focus of national rage, research studies, and federal crusade in past 25 years
  • Millions of dollars into development of reading programs
  • Scores available that all work, but still many nonreaders
reading a vast array
Reading: A vast array…


  • Basals
  • Language Experience
  • Individualized Approach
  • Linguistic Approach
  • Phonics
  • Alphabetic Approach
  • Programmed Instruction
  • Flesch Reading Ease Score
  • Wheeler and Smith Index Number
  • Cloze Technique
  • Lorge Grade Placement Score
  • Fry Graph
  • SMOG Grading Plan
  • Space Grade level Score
grouping concerns usually
Grouping concerns – usually….
  • High Ability Groups
    • First when alert, eager
    • Longer time frame
    • Warmer, receptive teacher
    • Criticized respectfully
    • Disciplined with warnings
    • Read 3x as much as other groups and make more progress
    • Read silently 70% time
    • Expected to self-correct, with help at end
    • Asked comprehension and higher level thinking questions
  • Low Ability Groups
    • Less time, later in day when tired
    • Negative teacher body language
    • Read more orally, slow halting and labored, so less time and get further behind
    • Read silently 30% time
    • Each error pointed out; less time for self-correction
    • Asked more literal questions

Two Methods

  • Invented spelling
    • write how they think it is spelled and check later
    • allows concentration and flow
  • Traditional spelling
    • memorize 10-20 words a week
    • tested on spelling rather than ability to apply rules to new words
    • focus on dictionary use, handwriting, and rewriting words several times

However, new models suggest spelling be seen as part of a total language system of writing and reading

  • Focus of elementary schools; respond to demands of colleges, increasing instructional time
  • Focus on skill instruction in grammar and spelling comes at the expense of composition
  • Daily writing, conferences, and focus of skills in context of writing appear more effective
  • Increased emphasis on integrating composition and literature into language arts
    • At center of language arts curriculum
    • Place skills instruction within rather than before genuine reading and writing
    • Integrate various components of language arts through content rather than skills
    • Insist all readers and writers (not just most able) gain equal access to genuine reading and writing
  • Early objectives centered on computational skills; 1920’s and 30’s shifted to more practical application of math; todaybalanced with understanding math concepts and reasoning
  • 1990’s professional standardsby NCTM redefined elementary math
  • Dictated by standards and benchmarks; Effective if adapted to developmental characteristics
  • Delivery of content and skills: Computers, whole curricular approaches, and interdisciplinary units
  • Approaches
    • Cooperative learning
    • Use of themes and real-life programs
    • Use of group grading on cooperative assignments
  • 1960’s reform towards understanding processes; Recently, shifted toward technologicalapplications
  • Inquiry based programs foster seeing orderly arrangement in natural world and explain continual change
  • Develop functional competency with the tools of science
  • “Whole approach” has interdisciplinary scope in a thematic approach
    • Incorporate reading, writing, and math
    • Cooperative learning and a team approach
social studies
Social Studies
  • Focuses on interaction of people with one another, and natural and human environments
  • Less reform in this than other areas
  • Children are more open to diversity in early elementary years; citizenship education helps foster positive self-concepts
  • Prime importance in
    • teaching critical thinking
    • developing civic responsibility
    • building self-concept
    • and improving human relationships
health and physical education
Health and Physical Education
  • Core components of a complete education
  • Health ed includes all aspects of healthful and safe living
  • Physical ed includes adaptive and developmental activities that lead to better coordination and psychomotor skills
  • Should interrelate the physical, mental and social aspects of students
  • Aids Education…
the arts
The Arts
  • Aesthetic education brings cognitive, affective,, and psychomotor areas of learning
  • A shift from math and reading being cognitive, with arts being affective to an understanding through research that all involve
    • Both intellect and feelings,
    • Include communication through various modes of symbolization
  • Arts contribute a ‘language’ and experience adds cognitive data to the functioning brain
  • Should be considered a basic part of curriculum
diverse needs add adhd
Diverse Needs: ADD/ADHD
  • Symptoms
    • Difficulty remaining seated; Calling out without request; Interrupting others; Talking excessively
  • Challenges
    • Easily distracted; Disorganized; Lacking motor skills; Limited attention span
  • Most in regular classrooms
  • 3-5% of school age children; 6-9% more in boys
  • Teachers can support through
    • organization skills
    • effective instructions
    • consistent discipline
    • nonverbal cues
    • developing child’s self-esteem
    • communicating with parents
  • Self control strategies are important, but must determine any other behavioral or cognitive deficits to be remediated before self-control strategies are implemented
diverse needs impoverished families
Diverse Needs: Impoverished Families
  • President Johnson “War on Poverty” in mid-1960’s.
  • The younger the family; the poorer the children
  • 50% of all US children have head-of-household under 25
  • Headed by a woman, chances are better than 50% for poverty
  • 50% children born in 2000 lived with a single parent
  • Majority of poor people life in semi-isolation in towns rather than cities
  • 2/3 of Americans who are poor are white
  • 2006 – 200,000 children were homeless each night
  • Foster children and displaced children often come from poor families
  • Drug and alcohol abuse by parents contribute to children in juvenile detention center.
  • ¼ Mothers no prenatal care
  • Teachers seeing more learning disabilities from poor healthcare and drug use by mothers
diverse needs different cultures
Diverse Needs: Different Cultures
  • Many languages, religions
  • Large increases in Spanish as first language
  • Asian population continues to grow
  • ESL programs allow students to learn English while retaining cultures
  • Encouraged to express themselves and relate their experiences
  • Working with parents with take-home materials and techniques
  • Teachers and aides who speak languages is a challenge, especially beyond majority-minority languages
diverse needs disabilities rights id
Diverse Needs:Disabilities – Rights & ID
  • 1975-2010 significant progress
  • laws guaranteeing access to curriculum and public dollars
  • Education of Al Handicapped Children Act of 1975 is a “bill of rights” for those with disabilities
    • Procedures
    • Due process
    • Ages 3-21
    • Emphasis on regular classroom settings
    • Eligible for all programs and activities
    • Non-discriminatory testing and evaluation
    • No single test or procedure as sole criterion
    • Requires substantial diagnostic information about present and past academic and social performance
    • Project the specific needs of each child and prescribe special programs
diverse needs disabilities services
Diverse Needs: Disabilities – Services
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    • Collecting diagnostic data
    • Setting goals and objectives
    • Selecting instructional materials
    • Evaluating student performance
  • Mainstreaming – moving children with disabilities from segregated special education classes into normal classrooms
  • Mandates most appropriate education must be the least restrictive environment; but with cautions as to needs
  • Coordination of classroom teachers with special educators
diverse needs disabilities 2 new areas
Diverse Needs:Disabilities – 2 New Areas
  • Early identification in preschool, with services
    • Federal and state mandates
    • Currently age 3; predicted to start at birth
  • Transition from school the world of work
    • Vocational schools
    • Help seeking employment
    • Job coaches for successfully employment
    • Employers encouraged to hire them while in school and then keep them after graduation
defining inclusion
Defining Inclusion
  • Mainstreaming?
  • All special needs children in the regular classroom while retraining the special staff?
  • ‘Inclusion’ means some children; ‘full inclusion’ means all children?
  • Teachers of students with disabilities who accompany their students to regular classrooms?
  • COMMON AGREEMENT: keeping special education students in regular education classrooms and taking support services to the child rather than the child going out
    • Question of risk for other students in placing severely dysfunctional children in a regular classroom without adequate training or support for the teachers
    • Without training and support, it could take up instructional time for distractions, disruptions, and possibly violence
    • Clear philosophy needed for success
      • Include goals for all students
      • Curriculum balances needs of general and special education students
diverse needs gifted students
Diverse Needs: Gifted Students
  • 2.5 million or 6% - academic, artistic, or social talents far beyond peers
  • All levels of society, races, and genders
  • All states have programs for gifted children*
  • Problems with identifying and providing services
  • Multi criteria, not multi-hurdle; not IQ tests alone
  • Measure creativity, advanced social skills, or other aptitudes
  • Tend to learn faster and retain more than peers
  • Divergent thinkers
  • Not always a good fit in class – can lead to trouble, boredom, or alienation

US DoE has definition with six specific ability areas

    • General intellectual ability;Specific academic aptitude;Creative or productive thinking;Leadership ability;Ability in the visual or performing arts;Psychomotor ability
  • A debate over equity versus excellence; ‘fairness’
  • Cooperative learning controversy – holding students back or bringing out the potential of each child?
  • Tracking is under fire (and NOT recommended), whereas identification, providing for demonstrated needs, and flexible grouping are recommended
  • Need special attention whether separate programs, differentiated instruction
  • Organizational procedures include magnet schools, cluster grouping, mainstreaming, and part-day groupings
diverse needs early intervention
Diverse Needs: Early Intervention
  • Transition from home to school and K to upper grades
  • Stress shared learning experience
  • Developmentally appropriate physical, cognitive, social, emotional and creative development
  • Student role models
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) founded in 1977 promotes developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods
  • Constructivist view of learning from Dewey, Piaget, etc. has been affirmed by cognitive psychology; students are more active agents in their own education
  • K as ‘real’ school; whole day; academic - - - with many children failing kindergarten
  • Academics are inappropriate for those children, but there is increasing pressure to step up formal instruction
learning styles
Learning Styles
  • Research studying whether individual differences can result in different concept formation, problem-solving techniques, and shared meanings
    • Understanding the big picture before focusing on specifics OR
    • Benefiting from personal relationship importance in the classroom OR
    • Doing best when verbalizing what they learn OR
    • Preferring structured and systematic approach
  • Caution over teacher affect coloring their instruction; provide for a variety of styles
cooperative learning
Cooperative Learning
  • 1980s and 90’s
  • Children trained to use one another as resources for learning
  • Specific role in group such as facilitator, checker or reporter
  • Teachers delegate authority
  • Engage in discovery learning
  • Requires assignments and materials that are different from traditional instruction
  • Teacher training is required to support organization and monitoring of small groups
grade level retention
Grade Level Retention
  • Two 1993 papers summarized studies on grade-level retention
    • Showed that grade level retention is not effective for students not achieving their potential
    • When held back, they fall behind entering students
    • More likely to drop out of school
    • Self-esteem is lowered
  • Alternatives include continuous progress model, involving parents, earlier intervention
which type of team approach would you prefer as a teacher
Which type of team approachwould you prefer as a TEACHER?
  • Pick one
  • Go to that side of the room

Grade Level Teams

Cross Grade Teams


which type of team approach would you prefer as a parent
Which type of team approachwould you prefer as a PARENT?
  • Pick one
  • Go to that side of the room

Grade Level Teams

Cross Grade Teams


which type of team approach would you prefer as an administrator
Which type of team approachwould you prefer as an ADMINISTRATOR?
  • Pick one
  • Go to that side of the room

Grade Level Teams

Cross Grade Teams


organization grouping
Organization & Grouping


  • Self contained classrooms
  • Grade level teams
  • Cross grade teams
  • Ungraded structure
  • Or any combination
  • Organization of students
    • Vertical – movement from grade to grade
    • Horizontal – grouping of students within a grade and assignment of teachers
      • Team teaching – with a team of teachers jointly responsible for a group of students
        • Interdisciplinary teams – teach all disciplines or lead teachers in each who take the responsibility for that subject
        • Within a grade level or across grade levels
    • Organize basedon student need, teacher abilities of teachers, and available facilities/resources