Module: Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice
Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice
The word ‘curriculum’ originates from the chariot tracks in Greece. In Latin ‘curriculum’ was a racing chariot; and ‘currere’ was to run. Therefore it was a course. ‘Curriculum is a body of knowledge-content and/or subjects. Education in this sense is the process by which these are transmitted or 'delivered' to students by the most effective methods that can be devised.’ (Blenkin et al 1992, pg 23). And so, curriculum is the activities that learners will undertake to achieve certain learning achievements and goals. The planning, learners experience and order in which it occurs are all part of the curriculum. There are a vast amount of elements that help shape a curriculum and there are many different strategies and approaches to the design and implementation of a curriculum. In both day opportunities and the training department of South Tyneside Council for whom I work, the curriculum is designed around the objectives set by my employer.
There are many models of curriculum which affect the delivery of the specific subject, the way in which a teacher must deliver to the learners and the way in which a teacher should attain the end result. Probably the most well-known curriculum model is ‘Ralph Tyler’s Objectives Model’. This was clearly a prescriptive model which sets out what a teacher should do. The Tyler theory to date is the most influential model of all in preparation of curriculum, the needs of society and the time of development and the needs of the learner should be imperative. Tyler organised his model into four fundamental questions, which he stated should be answered when designing a curriculum; What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?; What educational experiences are likely to attain the purposes?; How can these educational experiences be organised effectively? And finally, How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?. The ‘purposes’ in the first of these questions became known as objectives and hence the model became known as the ‘Objectives Model’. As Scott (2008, pg 7) suggests Tyler advocated a means to an ends approach to the development of the curriculum and ‘Curriculum making was understood as a linear process which starts with the development of clear objectives or goals.’ As the theory was implemented in the 1950’s and 60’s, behavioural objectives provided the underpinning of its design and the success or failure of the curriculum was based on pre-defined changes in student behaviour. The assumption was that student outcomes could and should be measured. As with Tyler’s Objectives Model, in-house organisational training is very much focused on the behavioural outcomes in curriculum development. The teacher will focus predominantly on what must be taught rather than focusing on what should or could be taught. However, the behavioural model received criticism. One of the arguments against this model was that the ‘affective domain’ (Bloom, 1956) cannot be considered adequately in terms of specific behaviours. The affective domain describes learning objectives that emphasise a feeling, an emotion or a degree of acceptance or rejection, thus cannot be assessed adequately. Therefore the behaviour model would discourage any creativity by both the student and lecturer. In addition, as Kelly (1989, pg 62) suggests ‘For to adopt this kind of...model for education is to assume that it is legitimate to mould human beings, to modify their behaviour, according to certain clear cut intentions without making any allowances for their own individual wishes, desires or interests.’
However, one area that has adopted the use of the ‘behavioural model’ is in the area of teaching...