Pragmatist Curriculum

Topics: Education, Curriculum, Leadership Pages: 8 (2162 words) Published: August 27, 2013

I. Introduction
As the writer of this paper tried to look around his school, he eventually listened to the noisy swarm of students and suddenly quiet as pupils and teachers move into classrooms and doors close. Suddenly, questions came into the writer’s mind; what’s happening behind those doors? What are students learning? How are the teachers teaching? As school leader, you are bombarded with so many student needs, parents concerns, teacher concerns, paper works that it seems futile to think of improving the teaching of every teacher. What, indeed, can the writer as only one person, do?

Thinking about curriculum is an old thinking about education; it is difficult to imagine any inquiry into the nature of education without deliberate attention to the question of what should be taught. The question of what to teach and how to teach it involves a selection from a vast array of knowledge and beliefs within a culture. Since it is impossible to teach everything, that selection from the culture reflects in part some sense of what is most worthwhile in that culture as seen in relation to the kind of institution the school is and what it can reasonably accomplish.

According to Dewey education is “a continuous lifelong process which had no ends beyond itself but is its own end”. Within learning organizations, Senge stated that “humane, sensitive and thoughtful leaders transmit their value system through daily behavior”. Bolman and Deal developed a unique situational leadership theory that analyzes leadership behavior through four frames of reference: structural, human resources, political and symbolic. Each of the frames offers a different perspective on what leadership is and how it operates in organizations; and in this case, schools. These frames are maps that aid navigation, tools for solving problems and getting things done”. Leaders especially administrators need to understand their own frame preference and its limits and ideally, combine multiple frames to gain “clarity, generating new options, and finding strategies that work”. As in all organizations, schools need leaders who can impart a persuasive and durable sense of purpose and direction.

In the area of curriculum design and planning, educational researchers shared values, and tacit knowledge about what “should as a defining aspect of school culture. Values are often ‘espoused’ as opposed to “in-use’, that is, what people say should and ought to be is often inconsistent with their actual behavior. Schein said that one must look deeper than values to find the essence of a culture. Values, enduring beliefs or tendencies to prefer certain modes of conduct or state of affairs over others are often viewed as the most articulated component of culture. The writer, as the institutional head of the organization is composed of 9 teachers, 4 non-teaching staffs and 1 finance officer which find it easy to lead the organization as one. On the other hand, since this is a parochial school, the organization is connected to the Diocesan Bishop as the president of the corporation and led by the school director. Values define a standard of goodness, quality and an excellence that undergirds behavior and decision making and what people care about. Values are not simply goals or outcomes, values are deeper sense of what is important. Deal and Peterson posited that values focus attention and define success. Given the moral pluralism of today’s society, moral discipline closely related to intellectual values is important. The goals of academic excellence and value-centeredness need to be operational in the education we offer.

II. The Need to Revise: Diocesan Goal of Catholic Education
Social forces that can influence curriculum planning can come from far and wide. The ideas and values of various groups of people include their social goals, ideas about cultural uniformity and diversity, social pleasures, ideas about social change, their plans for the future...

References: Argyris, C. and D.A. Scon. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional
effectiveness
Bolman, L. and T. Deal (1974). Reframing organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Deal, T. and K.D. Peterson. (1991). The principal’s role in shaping school culture.
Deal, T. and K.D. Peterson (1999). Shaping school cultures: The heart of leadership.
Dewey, J. (1961). Democracy and education. New York: McMillan (Ed.).
Doll, R. (1996). Curriculum improvement: Decision making and process. New York:
Allyn and Bacon.
Schein, E. H. Organizational cultures and leadership (2nd Ed.) (1992). San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.
Senge, P (1990). The fifth dimension: The art and practice of learning. New York:
Doubleday.
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