6Unit 6 – Curriculum development for inclusive practice
Definition of curriculum
In formal education, a curriculum (; plural: curricula,) is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults.
Inclusive curriculum refers to the process of developing and designing a programme of study to minimise the barriers that students may face in accessing the curriculum. By focusing on the core requirements of a course it is possible to identify aspects of the curriculum that might prevent some students from achieving. The task is then to redesign the course to reduce or remove these potential barriers. This should not only focus upon current students, but in anticipation of students who may participate in the course in the future. In this way, also meeting the requirements of students who do not wish to disclose an impairment, and will assist them in participating to their full potential. There are many factors that can affect access to curriculum and the actual design of the curriculum. In my subject area of Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy it is not uncommon to train via an apprenticeship through an employer, with the support of a college or training provider or on the job training working full time in a salon or spa. The training provided can differ greatly in how it is executed but usually work towards the same end goal, a qualification of competence in the chosen sector. I have firsthand experience of working with training providers, employers and educational establishments and it is fair to say that not all of the curriculum models are the same. Employers generally focus on the practical aspects of the curriculum and not on the academic areas as we do in school. Initial assessment may also not exist or be necessary as many learners will have proved their competency during a period of work experience or part time work before commencing on a programme of study. The way in which we deliver a hairdressing qualification may differ from cohort to cohort as it is dictated by the type of learner choosing the course. Most learners chose hairdressing or beauty therapy because they have an interest in joining the industry. Not all learners are academic and choose this subject as they believe it not to contain large amount of written work, only practical. This is in some part true, however the ability to create a portfolio and evidence is essential. The advantages of such a course are that learners get to work very closely with each other and the teaching staff, which in turn promotes team work and a good working relationship, essential qualities for many industries in a variety of sectors. Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students' pattern of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statements of objectives of the school should be a statement of changes to take place in the students. (Tyler 1949: 44)
There is a certain amount of creativity or flexibility needed in designing a curriculum model for hairdressing. It must be interesting enough to motivate and enthuse learners but also cover all the assessment criteria as laid out by the awarding body. This is not a pure exercise of developing skills and techniques it is a programme of study that can change or mould the behaviour patterns of our learners too. It is not uncommon for learners with social, emotional and behavioral development issue to chose a practical skill as their option subject and we have many successes with these types of learner. Maybe because they have an interest and while their ability to concentrate or stay on task may be limited, they have a genuine interest in the subject. By working with others, as is necessary we can look at behavior changing and developing...
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