Definition of Curriculum
Falcon School District 49 is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and consists of 18 schools: three high schools, five middle schools and 10 elementary schools. A thorough review of the district website turned up several documents and a small blurb from the superintendent which points to a curriculum definition in line with “subjects useful for living.” Following is an analysis of these documents detailing how I arrived at my conclusion. Following this analysis is a brief discussion of the common problems associated with curriculum definition as it relates to the documents viewed. Definition 2 as defined by Marsh and Willis is “Curriculum in those subjects that are most useful for living in contemporary society.” Subject matter is therefore chosen based on the current needs (problems and issues) of today’s society while allowing students to decide what subjects are most appropriate for the individual. The authors quote from Reid (2004) stating “curriculum involves identifying the capabilities needed to live enriched lives and to participate in democratic life” (Marsh & Willis, 2007). Henderson and Kesson are quoted as taking a similar position: “curriculum wisdom to solve personal and social problems in democratic societies.” Because, as Marsh and Willis explain, the definitions are ordered to reflect a broadening of knowledge from academic alone to more general, those schools that fall under Definition 2 will still include a strong focus on core subjects. Analysis
Upon initial review of the District website (District 49), one may believe the District tends towards the “permanent subjects.” Terms and phrases such as “core subjects,” “knowledge about government, our history and academically prepared…” and “classical approach to achieve standards” leads one to believe the focus is on the permanent or core subjects. And, indeed, core subjects are considered a high priority and very relevant for this district. However,...
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