Education and Curriculum

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Ch. 10 Summary
Curriculum is any knowledge and skills that schools are supposed to help students master. It can be in the form of study guides, books, movies, board games among other things. Because curriculum has such a large interpretation, there is often disagreement. Political, religious and economic elements often influence curriculum. It is left to states and localities to define what curriculum means. In an attempt to build consensus over the issue, states have put forth educational standards and assessments. Because of the divers viewpoints on curriculum, their will most likely never be a national or comprehensive curriculum that students must master. Schools are held publicly accountable for explicit curriculum. It’s the official description of programs, courses and objectives of study with expectations for both teachers and students. It outlines specific subject matter and skills that should be learned depending on the grade level. Implicit curriculum is the way that teachers teach the material and the atmosphere they create. Students who become “teacher pets” have mastered the implicit curriculum. Routines, rituals, cooperation between students, calling only on students who raise their hand, the teacher’s interpretation of a book are all forms of implicit curriculum. Null curriculum is curriculum that is not expected to be taught in a classroom. Null curriculum is often intentionally and un-intentionally left out. School history books sometimes gloss over issues of discrimination; use the stereotypic family to portray ‘an American family’ living in suburbia, a floating art teacher can give students an impression that implies art is less important than math. These are forms of null curriculum. Extracurriculum is just that, extra, over and above the required curriculum. Extracurriculum like dance, sports, plays or cheerleading can influence a students’ academic performance. Research has shown (pg 216) that there is a positive connection between...
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