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. The idea of a curriculum has been around for generations. However, the way in which we understand and theorize about it has changed over time. The word curriculum originates from Greek and literally meant ‘course’. Kerr defines curriculum as "All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school." (infed.org:2010) All learning is planned and guided, we have to pre-consider what we are seeking to achieve and how we are going to go about it. How we formalize this is the curriculum. This leads us into the 3 ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice. 1.
Curriculum as Product
Curriculum as Process
Curriculum as Praxis (practice)
The product model is based on the idea that there are certain skills to master and facts to know. The idea of this model is that knowledge is similar to a product that is manufactured. The assumption is that generally one starts knowing nothing, they are then taught and then one transmits that knowledge to action. The product model consists of a series of steps leading to the product that allows the curriculum to be designed accordingly. The steps are:
Step 1: Diagnosis of need
Step 2: Formulation of objectives
Step 3: Selection of content
Step 4: Organization of content
Step 5: Selection of learning experiences
Step 6: Organization of learning experiences
Step 7: Determination of what to evaluate, and the ways and means of doing it. (infed.org:2010)
Although the model organises learning quite neatly it is very Pedagogic and Behaviourist. Using this model teaching follows a pre-specified program allowing little thought for individual student needs and discourages creativity for learner and teacher. ‘The behaviourist approach is deterministic: it believes that people’s behaviour is assumed to be entirely controlled by their environment and their prior learning, so they do not play any part in choosing their own actions.’ (psychlotron.org.uk:2008)
In contrast the process model takes learners as individuals, not as objects to be acted upon. They have a clear voice in the way the sessions evolve. The focus of this model is on the interactions that shift the attention from the teaching to the learning, (pedagogy to andragogy). The process model is about the interaction of students, teachers and knowledge. It is about what happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate. This model is both constructivist and humanistic. Lawrence Stenhouse (1975) suggested that a curriculum is rather like a recipe in cookery. A curriculum, like the recipe for a dish, is first imagined as a possibility, then the subject of experiment. The recipe offered publicly is in a sense a report on the experiment. Similarly, a curriculum should be grounded in practice. It is an attempt to describe the work observed in classrooms. Finally, within limits, a recipe can be varied according to taste - so can a curriculum. So as Stenhouse says a recipe can be varied according to taste, just as a lesson can be varied according to individual’s needs, making it humanistic. Also by the recipe being an experiment you can try something out and then build on the knowledge of how well it worked to improve it, making it constructivist. This model is about interaction and feedback, again two humanistic traits.
The praxis model says that ‘practice should not focus exclusively on individuals alone or the group alone, but pays careful attention to the way in which individuals and the group create understandings, as well as meanings.’(cnx.org:2011). This model takes into account the external world, people’s values, negotiation, the need to emancipate the learner etc. This model is...
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