Throughout this essay I will critically analyse the principles and processes of curriculum design, looking at how they apply to my own curriculum. I will look at both formal and informal elements of curriculum and also my own inclusive practice and how effective it is.
Let me begin with the definition of curriculum. The word originated in Greece where it literally meant a course. The running and chariot tracks were the course it related to. In Latin the curriculum was a racing chariot and currere meant to run, Smith(1996,2000). Over the years the curriculum has evolved with political, economic and social environments all having their influences.
According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), curriculum is described as the subjects that make up a course of study within a school or college. I would argue that a curriculum is followed in more than just a college or school as, for example, learning can be in various work places with internal training needs. Further Education may be accessed in the work place in such forms as National Vocational Qualification studies. This is run by a college who supervises staff, trainees and mentors. The curriculum, I believe, is also more than just the scheme of work or syllabus set by an awarding body. It is an overall educational package which incorporates the whole learning experience including the establishments’ facilities, the engagement with other learners, the tutor and more importantly, I believe, the wider range of life skills that students gain from the course itself. John Kerr (1968) told us that curriculum is all learning carried out in groups or individually, both inside and outside the school environment.
I work for a small private company which supplies training to all care staff within the local Council and other leading organisations, requiring training in either First Aid or Moving and Handling. Our aim is to provide up to date and accurate training for any one who requires it. Government legislation dictates that anyone working with people in a caring role must hold up to date certificates in both First Aid and Moving and Handling. As a training organisation we provide training to children in schools from the age of thirteen; however our main focal point of training is with adults in employment with the council in various departments. Each curriculum will be designed to motivate each individual area. I do this by asking the trainees where they work and which client group they work with. I also ask them what they hope to achieve from the course and incorporate this within both the discussion and practical work.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the umbrella for the safety regulations which help to keep us all safe at work. The Manual Handling Regulations 1992, the Health and Safety First Aid Regulations 1981, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Code of Practice and Guidance for First Aid at Work all help towards curriculum development. The HSE give trainers curriculum outcomes, but leave the specific details to the St.John Ambulance or British Red Cross for guidance on how to achieve these. I believe this to be the correct course of action as all training establishments can rely on these organisations to be up to date on relevant research, ensuring all training organisations are training the same procedures otherwise there may be great confusion for both the trainer and the trainee. The curriculum is delivered using the Outcomes (Product) model or Content model. As a nurse working within learning disability, I saw the value of such models as the building blocks for change, but not necessarily ‘learning’. Being able to achieve a certain outcome in 1st Aid may not prove that learning has taken place, and so further questioning of the related subject and the trainees understanding of the subject must be included before a certificate of competence can be awarded.
There are a number of...