There are many different ideas of what a curriculum is; in the Latin definition curriculum was a racing chariot, currere meaning ‘to run’. With this in mind curriculum can literally be translated as ‘a course’. Taba defines curriculum ‘…usually contains a statement of aims and of specific objectives; it indicates some selection and organization of content……includes a programme of evaluation of the outcomes.’ (Taba, 1962) Therefore the curriculum is a structure or framework of teaching towards a syllabus specification set by an awarding body. Within this assignment I will be analysing two different teaching contexts, the first is an NVQ Level 2 beauty therapy course taught over 35 weeks to post 16 learners, ranging in age. The second is an ESOL ‘English for learners’ course taught all year round, to 16-18 year olds. Both contexts are taught within East Berkshire College, who describe themselves as ‘a thriving Further Education college based in the south-east. With campuses in Langley and Windsor, we provide over 800 part-time and full-time courses. Our facilities feature the latest technology and skilled professionals dedicated to helping you succeed and preparing you for work and life. And with courses run at 17 venues throughout Berkshire and West London, we are ideally placed to serve you.’ (Anon., 2013). Although taught in the same organisation the course content for each context is very different thus allowing me to critically analyse them for the purpose of this assignment.
Task 1: Critically analyse the significance of theories, principles and models of inclusive curriculum to the design and implementation of programmes of study within two different contexts. Context 1is taught within East Berkshire College, this is a college of further education offering a range of courses to post 16 learners. NVQ beauty therapy works with a professional awarding body, in this instance, City and Guilds, who set the syllabus specification which is followed when designing the curriculum. The college also receives government funding for all learners who complete and achieve at the end of the course, meaning there is a strong focus on retention and achievement figures. As with any FE college it is also governed by OFSTED who perform regular inspections with ‘industry’ experts who grade their findings of each department in thecollege setting the organisational standards. NVQ beauty uses VAK learning styles as the main basis for its teaching and learning methods, all students are asked to complete a learning styles questionnaire at the beginning of the course to give a better insight into each student. As the beauty therapy curriculum is a mixture of vocational and academic, the practical lessons use visual and kinaesthetic ways of teaching by watching demonstrations, videos, pictures and performing the treatments. While the theory lessons use visual and auditory ways of teaching by using pictures, diagrams, models, videos and class discussions. Assessment methods used are constant formative assessment in the form of question and answer, short tests and reflection to gage how learners are progressing through the course; learners also have to pass formative practical assessment on each other before they are allowed to work on ‘real’ clients. Summative assessments come in the form of online theory tests; these start three months into the course and continue periodically through the year as each unit is completed. The learners also have to complete a number of summative practical assessments on ‘real’ clients; this combined with the online testing creates a portfolio of evidence for the learner to gain their NVQ Level 2 qualification. The course is broken down into units in a linear fashion, each unit is taught for roughly 3 months before moving onto a new unit, as the course is full time the learners will be taught at least 3 units at any one time. The course is mostly tutor led especially at the beginning as learners do not...
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