Issues in Scottish Curriculum Design

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Issues in Curriculum Design
The way that any curricula is broken up into is two main ways; one being the curriculum in action, where the aims, content and experiences of the curriculum on paper are implemented in practice. The other is the curriculum on paper which is the ideology of what should be implemented in education across the board. The ideology in curriculum can be split up into four main categories. Most papers on this topic, agree to an extent what the four ideologies constitute of, but Schiro’s (2008) ideologies are the most commonly known. The ‘Scholar Academic’, the ‘Social Efficiency’, the ‘Learner Centred’ and the ‘Social Reconstruction’ ideologies are the four main categories explained in the Curriculum Theory that will be discussed in this paper in relation to The Curriculum for Excellence, the current curriculum in Scotland. The oldest of the four ideologies is the Scholar Academic ideology which focuses on the accumulation of knowledge and understanding. The aim of this ideology is to pass on the knowledge of certain disciplines (subject areas), to allow there to be future scholars in that particular area and therefore, further develop understanding. The academic disciplines are the result of the culture’s compiled knowledge and understanding of each area, and with this in mind, the purpose of education is to assist pupils to learn this knowledge. The next ideology is Social Efficiency. This is pretty dominant in our curriculum today and means to prepare the learner for becoming an efficient and contributing member in society. The learner’s objective is to learn certain skills that will in turn achieve certain objectives that benefit society (Lorrie A. 2000). The individual will learn a mixture of knowledge and skills that can be put together, therefore making the skills more efficient and more beneficial to society. The learner centred ideology focuses more on the needs and interests of the individual rather than the content they are to learn. The idea behind this theory is that learning will take place due to the interactions between the individual and their environment, therefore being more down to the experiences rather than the content. The newest of these ideologies is Social Reconstruction. This is where the social reconstructionists are aware of the problems in society and see the job of the educator to correct these problems in the classroom, hoping that it will reconstruct their society as it is (Groenke, S. 2009). The focus of the curriculum would not be based on knowledge but more of values and opinions that would benefit the society and make it attain the greatest satisfaction of its members. In ‘Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching’ it has examples of all four of the classifications of the curriculum ideology provided by Schiro (2008). It has examples of Academic ideology as it discusses the importance of knowledge and the ability and opportunity to increase the depth of knowledge already acquired as it states “Throughout a young person’s learning there will be increasing specialisation and greater depth, which will lead to subjects increasingly being the principal means of structuring learning and delivering outcomes.” (page 20, Building the Curriculum 3). From this quote we can relate the academic ideology through the concentration on developing knowledge further to specialisation in certain subjects, therefore being able to pass on the knowledge and allow it to grow from there. There are many examples of ‘The Social Efficiency Ideology’ in the paper as it focuses on health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes where the individual’s get the opportunity to gain skills that benefit the individual in life and work, but also the community around them. This is to help them become effective contributors in society: …support all children and young people in developing skills which they will use throughout their life and in their work, including the development of...
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