Responding to Smith

In his article Curriculum Theory and Practice, Mark Smith lays out the common views of curriculum and gives the pro's and con's of each. They are as follows: Curriculum as Knowledge to be Transmitted: This view of curriculum focuses on getting the most amount of information to students in the most efficient way possible. It is … Continue reading Responding to Smith

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Journal Article Summary and Steps Toward Building My Essay

The topic I have chosen is gender and the curriculum. Through my schooling experiences as a student, it was prevalent that gender played a role into what we learned from class to class. After reading through journal articles, there was a piece in particular that stood out to me. The Impact of a Six-week School Curriculumon Boys’ Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Kenya addresses the numerous effects that curriculum has on gender violence. Societal views on in Kenya were negative, allowing schooling and the curriculum to challenge the students to challenge societal norms, thus changing their opinion to a much more positive light.

Summary: 

The article addresses the study that was conducted in Kenya, and addressed how curriculum pushed to change social norms in third world countries. There were significant improvements to the views on women. Curriculum is to thank for the changed views. When the children were surveyed they noticed that “…only 42.2% of respondents believed “all women should be treated with respect”. This percentage increased to 79.1% at completion of the course (p < .001) and 79.0% 6-months later…” (Sinclair 2014). This schooling program took place over the course of six weeks with positive results. 

Even after the six-week program was to be completed, views and attitudes on women remained consistent among the children. The boys that were involved in the program reported six months later that they successfully intervened to stop the abuse of a women from their area. Children also were able to identify wrongful treatment of women. The result of this study has the potential to help abolish the negative views of women in third world countries. It should be noted that “Such a program has the potential to make an impact on the high rates of sexual assault in the urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya” (Sinclair 2014). 

Reflection: 

It absolutely blows me away that a program as short as six weeks can have such a positive impact on society. This also makes me wonder if education can have equally impactful negative effects. Schooling even in the form of programs, is still education, thus bettering society. 

Next Steps:

My next step for this upcoming essay is to finish a rough outline of what I want to talk address. I want to focus on gender in a negative light through curriculum. Next, I will have to begin acquiring journal articles that are relevant to the first assignment. I hope to expose sexist patterns in the curriculum, along with the societal effects that come along with gender and the curriculum. 

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Curriculum Theory and Practice – Smith Article

In Smith’s article, “Curriculum Theory and Practice” he focuses on four different models of curriculum that have been seen in schools historically, as well as in today’s world. The four models are curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted, curriculum as a product, curriculum as a process, and curriculum as praxis. 

  1. The first model of curriculum is, curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted. This model has some flaws to it, specifically around the idea of teaching based on the syllabus. Smith states that most of the time a syllabus does not usually display the importance of the topics being studied or in which order they are going to be studied. An approach focused around the syllabus is only concerned with content, when overall “curriculum is a body of knowledge-content and/or subjects” (Smith, p.3).
  2. The second model is, curriculum as a product. It is produced around the idea of having the objectives set, a plan laid out, and then the product being tested and measures. This model really focused on the efficiency movement. People wanted to figure out how they could educate students to become more efficient workers when working in labor oriented jobs. Smith states that something that was highly liked about this model was that it was believed to teach people exactly what they needed to know to work and live their lives. Another attraction Smith talks about is how this model had great organizing power. This model became more and more unpopular during the 1900’s, due to the fact that child-centred approaches became more popular. One major issue with this model is that it “takes much away from the learners. They can end up with little or no voice. They are told what they must learn and how they will do it” (Smith, p.4). Another issue Smith states in this model is there can be unknown results. With pre drawn out goals it may brush over any extra learning that occurs as a result of interaction, but is not listed as an end goal. 
  3. The third model is curriculum as a product. In this approach curriculum looks at the interactions between teachers, student and knowledge. It is a more hands on view of what truly goes on in the classroom as well as what teachers and students do to prepare and evaluate. It views curriculum as active, on going, and a process. Smith talks about some key differences between this model and those stated previously include, that objectives and the final outcome is not the central idea of the model, learners have a voice and are not viewed as objects, it is unique to each and every classroom. However, Smith also discusses some down falls to this model as well. The flaws include, it is a problem when educators want more unity and uniform in what is being taught between different classrooms. Another flaw is that it may not focus enough on the context in which learning happens.
  4. The fourth model is curriculum as praxis. This model is a development of the third model. The praxis model focuses on human well-being and the freedom of human spirit. Smith states this model plays close attention to emancipation. In this model curriculum develops through the interaction of action and reflection. Smith explains that in this model teachers enter the classroom with an ability to think critically, an understanding of their role and continually evaluate the process. 

In my own schooling and learning I would say pretty much all of the models have been used depending on the class that I was in, as well as the teacher that I had. In some of my math classes as well as history classes the models, curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted as well as curriculum as a product were the main models due to the fact that they were very informational dense and were quite ordered classes. We ultimately learned the information in some of the classes to write and pass the final exam. However, in some of my other classes it was very much focused on people as a whole and benefiting the individual student and the process of learning rather than the final destination. 

The third and fourth models made it possible for each individual to succeed a bit more since it was more focused on the process and expansion of learning. They provided more assignment to show understanding of knowledge as you went in the class. As well as the more syllabus and end goal based models made it possible to have a better understanding of what was expected in the end in order to succeed. The first and second model had more of a focus on testing and reaching the end goal. All four of the models have both pros and cons and different individuals prefer different models. 

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Critical Summary: Sept 16th Post

Out of all the topic choices for our Critical Summary assignment, Sexual education stood out the most to me. It has been something I have been passionate about since high school. Seeing how uninformed my friends were and feeling so uninformed myself I always wondered why our 13 years of schooling had taught us next to nothing about sex, relationships, sexual identity, gender or even consent. One of the first articles I found while searching for sexual education in curriculum was “If You Teach them, they Will Come: Providers’ Reactions to Incorporating Pleasure into Youth Sexual Education” by Vanessa Oliver. Not only does she think we need substantially improved sexual education curriculum regarding the basics of sexual intercourse, relationships and sexual orientation. She is also adamant about incorporating sexual pleasure into the sexual education curriculum. Ever since there has been sexual education, its been centered around the “more is less” model, or the waiting till marriage and abstinence route. All these which are based in religion and outdated beliefs.

I hope to find a more generalized article on the importance of sexual education in elementary and secondary schools. I would also be interested to see if I could find any writing on the negative effects of sexual education and why it should not be implemented into our curriculum more strongly. If everyone experienced such a low level of sexual education in school, I have to believe that there are a lot of people that create our curriculum that believe its not beneficial. Sexual education or more specifically misinformed sexual education is part of null curriculum, hidden curriculum and common sense. I look forward to exploring all these lines of questioning and thought process’.

 

 

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Pre Amble to my Critical Analysis

In your blog post, practice creating a short summary of what you have found. Then, finish up your blog post by outlining some next steps and possible directions for your first assignment. For reference: You should spend about two paragraphs summarizing what you’ve discovered, and one short paragraph outlining your next steps.

For my critical summary I have chosen to focus on sex education in curriculum. I have chosen this topic for my paper for several reasons. First, when I was debating between topics I drew back to my own schooling experience. I decided on sex education due to the lack of knowledge in which was passed down to me as a student. I saw this paper as an opportunity to not only learn about curriculum but how important sex education may or may not be to students. Secondly, with recent events such as the change in Ontario’s sex education curriculum and the outrage that came with it. I wanted to expand my research to see how these students may be affected by the changes made to their curriculum. 

As asked of us by the assignment outline, I have found 3 articles which will help me write my analysis. The first one I chose will focus on the importance of understanding sex from a physical and mental health perspective. For example, if students are unaware of the risks that come with sex (i.e. stds, pregnancy) how will their mental and physical health be affected if they are struck with these possibilities. Further, I have chosen an article which highlights the affects that remain on students in post secondary education in whom did not receive an adequate sex education in their previous academic years. Finally, the last article I will be using for my analysis provides effective, and well thought out solutions to ensure sex education has adequate knowledge base being passed down. The article provides methods to create a well rounded curriculum as well as strategies for not only teachers but students as well to learn in what is most commonly a very awkward environment. 

As outlined in the assignment details, I began by finding 3 peer reviewed articles about my topic. I proceeded to then make sure each article had a well structured argument in which I could analyze. I also made sure that I found pieces of each article that supported one another, as well I looked for ways in which the authors may disagree or contradict one another. Finally, I made sure that I gave what the lecture leaders call a “coffee shop summary”, short yet informative to my reader. 

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Four Models of Curriculum

the four models of curriculum are –

  1. Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.
  2. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.
  3. Curriculum as process.
  4. Curriculum as praxis

Transmitted – The curriculum is the way to transmit a syllabus into the learner. The curriculum is also a body of knowledge and content that is delivered to the student in the most productive way possible. the syllabus is different in the way that, it doesn’t indicate what is more important in learning or in what ordered that the content should be studied. A main drawback of this style is that it does not take into consideration different learning styles, its main focus is to attain the knowledge in a certain way. It has a main idea on memorization and not learning as a whole, which highlights what society wants and not what is best for the learner. I experienced this in my schooling career, just as anyone else in this class should have experienced this model of schooling. it was much more prominent with in high school classes such as mathematics. It is still important to have this in classrooms to acquire the content, but it should be incorporated into the other models.

Product – This style of curriculum sets an end goal early on, create ways for the students to learn, and then finally measure what they have learned. This model of curriculum tries to make education a way to shape human beings into workers, and shape the students into as efficient as possible. This style of education limits creativity and really focuses on making kids shaping into the ideals of society. It does not take into account people learning at different speeds, and that they learn in the exact same way. Also people with disabilities, and immigrants with a lack of the English language are practically branded as failures because this model blames them for not being be to complete the class and an acceptable level. this really makes it impossible for some people to succeed. This model is very prominent within schools, which is quite surprising especially due to the fact at how un-inclusive it is.

Process- This model is more of how the product is attained. It has a main focus on relationships and interactions between the teachers, students, and knowledge. This model is much more inclusive, and takes the students needs and interest into account within the interactions. What is learned is less important than the process to get to the end product. The drawback of this model is that if teachers are not as skilled/ have enough experience this model becomes impossible. This style of teaching is a lot more common in elementary schools, at least it was for my schooling career.

Praxis – This model is a development of the process model, that adds reflections and interactions between students as well. Goals within these conversations is to learn as a whole, this keeps everyone engaged and does not let students get left behind if they experience a learning disability, etc. Exemplary teachers are also required for this model, so that they can move the conversations that push students to reflect and develop their own ideas. A drawback of this one is that the content will lack if this is the only way that the class is taught, this drawback is countered by incorporating the other models into the classroom as well.

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Common Sense Reflection

Common sense is different for everyone due to how they are raised and also the way that their culture shapes their ideologies. Through-out the first 2 pages the viewer gets to see how the author’s common sense was challenged, and it took him a while to shape how he viewed meals, privacy, water, time, and other daily aspects in life in Nepal. Schooling was tremendously different with what he had experienced in the United States of America. The students only cared about the end of the year test, and therefore he was told by students to just stick to the textbook and not to waste a day on any other activities. He was also told to hit kids if they were being too loud and obstructive, one kid even brought in a big stick and gave it to Kumashiro. He never experienced anything like that in USA and it was very surprising when even the kids were telling him to discipline them to that extent. The peace corps wanted him to bring the ideas of USA stylistic of teaching to Nepal, which in a way is ethnocentric to believe that your style of teaching is superior to another countries, and is also oppressive in manner.

It is important to pay attention to common sense for several reasons. Firstly, people from different backgrounds and cultures will have different practices and viewpoints that were molded by the way they were raised, this will create different common sense ideas for them. Understanding that people have different views on what common sense is, is a crucial part of being a teacher. This is so crucial because if a teacher does not realize this, and treats everyone like a certain idea is common sense, it can create conflict and in some cases hinder a students ability to learn and strive. for example, by Kumashiro trying to push the way he was taught in USA, it created conflict between the students and the students would teach themselves the next lessons because they could not get behind in their learning.

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Curriculum Theory

Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted

         this form of curriculum is mainly focused on the content. It is viewed as a body of knowledge which is to be delivered to students in the best way possible. Many of those who view the curriculum as something to be transmitted disregards and separate themselves from the contents and only views that knowledge as something to be delivered.

 

Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.

         Curriculum as a product is a scientific management theory which focuses on creating a near perfect tested method of teaching using the same formula in order to produce the same product. One of its criticism that was made is that the curriculum has no regard for its students or teachers in terms of change or environment. Each culture and place has different needs as well as the diversity in students. An advantage to this type of curriculum would be the considerable organizing power that it can lend to teachers. The approach is the formula and it would provide a clear outcome to evaluated and organized. Although its advantage is strong it gives too much importance on the plan and not on the in-class experiences classrooms that occur. The plan not only disregard the students voices but it also limits educators on using the interactions that happen personally if they are not in the plan. It also implies that behavior can be measured which is not true, in the basis that different experiences have drastic difference in impact. Which is to say that it is difficult to measure how an experience have impacted a person. This theory is viewed as something not based on educational grounds but on a more industrial scientific route which overlooks educational exchanges and pedagogic practices.

Curriculum as process.

Curriculum as a process is a lens that focuses on the interaction between student’s teachers and the knowledge that is being taught and discussed in class. It is viewed as an active process to see what is happening in classrooms for students to prepare and evaluate. It is not viewed as a product but the making of one. It is the process of creating an educational idea and testing in practice which invites critical testing. Given the uniqueness of each classroom each proposal needs to be tested and in each classroom unlike a curriculum package that can be brought and delivered in most classrooms. The process practice can also eliminate the heavy emphasizing on examinations since the content is developed during the process, actions and behaviors as student and teachers work together. Curriculum as a process can be quite detrimental to students who is used to the current way schooling. It requires to students to have a committed ongoing relationship to learning in order to succeed unlike exams which only ask a student to know a set of knowledge in one particular time and place. This process also needs high quality teachers who are willing to adapt and go with the flow of how students are engaging in their lessons and classrooms.

Curriculum as praxis.

Curriculum as praxis focuses on the interactions and reflections of the students. It is not implemented but rather constituted through the active process of evaluating our collective understanding and practices to structural questions as well as looking at the exploration of educator’s values and their practice. A criticism of this practice is that it does not place an emphasis on content instead it is focused on raising a new generation equipped to deal effectively with the different social justice abuses in the current world.

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Ecs210 week 2

Death/ghosts and the curriculum

     I chose Death/ghosts and the curriculum as my topic. This topic looks interesting, and I really don't know how this could even be in a curriculum so that's why I chose it. In the reading this week Smith (could not find a name for the article) stated, "As a minimum, a curriculum should provide a basis for planning a course, studying it empirically and considering the grounds of its justification." and I just cannot wrap my head around how this applies to curriculum outside of a catholic school system. Of course that's only if I take it literally and I highly doubt anyone other than me would do such a thing.
While searching for articles on this topic I found one called The Death of Curriculum Studies and Its Ghosts. In the article they discuss how curriculum is never changing and cannot support all of American youth. Using this idea, I've knocked off step one of the assignment.
I would like to find another article that helps support the idea of Death and Ghosts for discussing old images of the curriculum and start by drawing parallels between the two articles, while hopefully keeping my personal opinion about it under wraps.
Below is a citation for the article in MLA.
Snaza, Nathan. "The Death of Curriculum Studies and Its Ghosts." Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy 11.2 (2014): 154-73. Web.

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Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice- Introduction, Kumashiro

Kumashiro defines common sense as certain aspects, in this case those that apply to education, that have become regular and customary and therefore go without being questioned by those in the role of teaching or those in the position of learning. Common sense says that the way of doing things is done with sound logic, but to an outsider, such as Kumashiro in Nepal, it takes time to learn why others see ways of doing things as logical while also learning to perform the ‘common sense’ routine way  of performing daily tasks. As certain ideas, values and perspectives become more deeply ingrained in one’s mind the collective idea of ‘common sense’ that shapes a body of people becomes routine.

It is important to pay attention to common sense for two reasons. Firstly, common sense teaches us what is and is not generally accepted by a group of people. Newcomers, such as Kumashiro, an American in Nepal, needed to learn and understand the Nepali ways, and what was simply ‘common sense’ in order to better understand why the students and even fellow teachers in the school rejected new ideas or tried to guide Kumashiro towards the traditional way of doing things. Secondly, paying attention to ‘common sense’ helps us to recognize ways in which we can help break the routine in order to better students and even teachers. Learning different methods or teaching other methods can allow you to challenge oppression rather than enforce it. By committing to the common sense way of things, oppressive actions can go unnoticed or unchallenged. Therefore, challenging ‘common sense’ can challenge practices that oppress minority groups.

 

 

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