Curriculum Development: An Overview
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Ever since the term curriculum was added to educators' vocabularies, it has seemed to convey many things to many people. To some, curriculum has denoted a specific course, while to others it has meant the entire educational environment. Whereas perceptions of the term may vary, it must be recognized that curriculum encompasses more than a simple definition. Curriculum is a key element in the educational process; its scope is extremely broad, and it touches virtually everyone who is involved with teaching and learning. This volume focuses on curriculum within the context of career and technical and technical education. In no other area has greater emphasis been placed upon the development of curricula that are relevant in terms of student and community needs and substantive outcomes. The career and technical and technical curriculum focuses not only on the educational process but also on the tangible results of that process. This is only one of many reasons why the career and technical and technical curriculum is distinctive in relation to other curricular areas and why career and technical education curriculum planners must have a sound understanding of the curriculum development process. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES
Several factors have appeared to cause the differences that currently exist between the career and technical and technical curriculum and curricula in other areas. Perhaps the foremost of these is historical influence. History has an important message to convey about antecedents of the contemporary career and technical and technical curriculum and provides a most meaningful perspective to the curriculum developer. Curriculum as we know it today has evolved over the years from a narrow set of disjointed offerings to a comprehensive array of relevant student learning experiences. Early Foundations of Curriculum
Education for work has its beginnings almost four thousand years ago. This earliest type of career and technical education took the form of apprenticeship. Organized apprenticeship programs for scribes in Egypt are recorded as early as 2000 B.C. At about that time, schools were established that provided two stages of training: The first or primary stage consisted of learning to read and write ancient literature. The second was an apprenticeship stage during which the learner was placed as an apprentice scribe under an experienced scribe, usually a government worker (Roberts, 1971). Thus, the earliest form of education for work was organized in such a way that basic knowledge could be developed in a classroom setting and applied skills could be developed "on the job." Even as organized apprenticeship programs began to flourish, this same basic arrangement persisted. Apprenticeship programs initiated in ancient Palestine, Greece, and other countries followed a similar pattern with youngsters learning a craft or trade through close association with an artisan. Although apprenticeship programs expanded rapidly as various skilled areas became more specialized, reliance continued to be placed on training in the actual work setting-which, in most cases, consisted of conscious imitation. The apprenticeship form of instruction thus remained virtually unchanged until the nineteenth century. Alternatives to Apprenticeship
By the sixteenth century, alternatives to apprenticeship were being strongly considered. The educational schemes of philosophers such as Comenius and Locke proposed inclusion of manual arts. Samuel Hartlib set forth a proposal to establish a college of agriculture in England. These and other events in the Realism Movement resulted in trade subjects and practical arts being introduced into formal education. The...
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