Psychological,social, philosophical, theological and historical foundations of curriculum

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  1. 1. Social Foundations of Curriculum What is the difference between education and schooling? What is a developmental task? Why is it important for kids to learn these tasks in our society? How would you describe the rate and direction of change? What knowledge is most worthwhile for learners? Why? How are the national task forces influencing schools today? Curriculum Development Any discussion of curriculum development should consider the social setting, especially the relationship between education and society or education and the growth of the company. What is Culture? An accepted way of life. It controls what we choose to teach. Culture It includes a vast array of easily observed facets of living, such as - o material products o political and social organizations o characteristic vocations o modes of dress, food, games, music o child rearing practices o religious and patriotic rituals A kind of social cement that consists of the characteristic habits, ideals, attitudes, beliefs, and ways of thinking of a particular group of people. Cultural Classification Universals - generally held by the entire population. Specialties - found within sub-groups of the society. Alternatives - violate accepted norms. Is culture value laden? Culture shapes our personality! The messages is in language and the media. What is a heterogeneous culture? Many differing people coming together. Purpose of Education: A Cultural Need? Purpose of Education: o Transition of culture (values, beliefs, and norms of a society) Dewey said that education is the means of perpetuating and improving society. o Agree? o Disagree? It is up to educators, particularly those in charge of subject matter, to judge which content and activities enhance individual and societal growth and overall improves society. o Agree? o Disagree?
  2. 2. What is society? A collection of individuals who have organized themselves into a distinct group, American, Mexican, Australian, etc. American Society Types Reich o Frontier Personality - "What's good for the individual is good for society." o Corporate Personality - "What is good for the organization is good for the individual." o Liberated Personality - "Be true to oneself, never judge anyone else, and be honest with others." Core American Values Compromise Change Material well-being Conformity Freedom, individual worth and dignity, democratic decision making Social Foundations of Schooling What are social astuteness factors that educators should keep in mind when planning the school's curriculum? o Social setting o Relationships between schools and society o Social implications of knowledge and change o Aims of education o Reform strategies Society, Education, and Schooling Schooling becomes more important as societies become more complex and as the frontiers of knowledge expand. In technological societies people acquire different proficiencies and abilities; no individual can range over the entire body of complex knowledge or expect to be proficient in all areas of learning. Whereas European parents usually raise their children to carry on family traditions, first-and second-generation American parents want their children to leave home for better lives. Are Schools Feminizing Institutions? Boys are at a particular disadvantage in elementary school because they tend to learn through active manipulation of their environment (which schools tend to discourage), whereas girls tend to learn through verbal communication (which schools tend to stress). The Developmental Tasks Havighurst o Early Childhood o Middle Childhood o Adolescence o Early Childhood Forming concepts and learning language Getting ready to read Learning to distinguish right from wrong and beginning to develop a conscience o Middle Childhood Learning physical skills necessary for ordinary games Building wholesome attitudes toward oneself Learning to get along with age-mates Learning appropriate male and female roles o Middle Childhood Developing fundamental skills in reading, writing, mathematics Developing concepts for everyday living
  3. 3. Developing morality and a set of values Achieving personal independence Developing democratic attitudes toward social groups and institutions o Adolescence Achieving new and more mature relations with age-mates of both sexes Achieving a masculine or feminine social role Accepting one's physique and using the body effectively Achieving emotional independence of parents and other adults Preparing for marriage and family life Preparing for an economic career Acquiring a set of values and an ethical system to guide behavior Achieving socially responsible behavior Is it important to consider the whole child as opposed to only cognitive learning? Change and the Curriculum The curriculum can either reflect society or reflect upon and indirectly help shape society. The first approach tends to coincide with the reality of schools; the second approach borders on the ideal. Cultural Lag Usually changes in the scientific, commercial, and industrial aspects of culture come first, followed by lags in the institutions of society, i.e., teachers using computers, updating technical curriculum, etc. Contemporary society is changing so swiftly that we have difficulty coping with it and adjusting ourselves to the present and preparing for the future. We are forced to look to the schools/business for help in understanding and living with social change, but schools are conservative institutions that usually lag behind change. Rate of Change Divide the last 100,000 years of human existence into lifetimes of approximately 75 years each or 1,333 lifetimes Only during the last 60 lifetimes have we been able to communicate effectively through writing Only in the last 6 lifetimes did mankind see a printed word Only in the last 2 has anyone anywhere used a motor Only in the last 1 have we used electricity The following has happened within the last 56 years: o Telecommunications is now instantaneous o Speed of information processing improved a millionfold o Rate of population increase went up more than a millionfold o Jet aircraft, radar, space missiles and satellites common o Major organs (heart, liver, kidneys) are routinely transplanted o Moon and Martian landings have been successful o Elvis has been seen many places since he reportedly died Direction of Change Population growth chart has shifted from the almost horizontal to vertical The dramatic rate of change reaches geometric and exponential proportions, and causes a dramatic shift or change in direction Our present century is the critical time period for change What's effect on education -- lag time o What policies govern our society? o What should be our educational aims? o How do we identify the "good" life and what roles should schools play? o How do schools reduce the gap between the "haves" and "have nots?" o How do schools prepare students for the world of tomorrow with a knowledge base that is rapidly becoming dated? What Knowledge is Worthwhile? With the explosion of knowledge, the questions for curriculum specialists are: o What knowledge to select
  4. 4. o How to organize it How do we organize knowledge? o body of knowledge, a discipline, a field of study, curriculum content -- all subject-centered o These follow subject-centered approaches vs a student-centered approach; and a cognitive approach rather than a humanistic approach o It relies on logic and rational thinking to organize information, concepts, generations, and principles of subjects o Assumption is that the interconnection of information, concepts, and the like, constitutes bodies of information that have been validated and are the result of seeking practical, social and educational ends -- the result is compartmentalization of subjects. Change in Schooling Had Rip Van Winkle been a teacher and slept for fifty years, he could return to the classroom and perform relatively well; the chalk, eraser, blackboard, textbook, and pen and parer are still, today, the main tools for most teachers, as they were half a century ago -- or longer. The changes and improvements in science, technology, and medicine within the last 10 years have been impressive, and they have affected almost all of our lives. The idea of literacy must also be expanded to include not only basic or functional literacy, but also cultural literacy, scientific literacy, computer literacy, technological literacy, electronic literacy, and research literacy. There is more need than ever for schools to become caring, personal, and trusting institutions -- to replace the impersonal factory model that often characterizes most schools. Considering that we live in a highly technological and scientific society, the enrollments in science and mathematics have serious implications for the future of our country. What should be the core school subjects? o Japan - 1 1/4 science courses per year; 1 1/2 math courses. The New Curriculum Mid -1980s o Defined what is essential for all students in the US o Goodlad: 80-90% of curriculum for core rubrics 10-20% for individual talents and interests Start school at age 4 and conclude at 16 Eliminate all vocational education Years 16-20 devoted to vocational education and higher education o Boyer: Core increased from 1/2 to 3/4 of courses Stress the traditional courses for first two years Increased emphasis on foreign language, the arts, civics, non- Western cultures, technology, the meaning of work and health All students would complete an interdisciplinary senior-year project first year -- single track, last two years a transition track An Interdisciplinary Curriculum Ornstein o Knowledge should: comprise the basic tools facilitate learning how to learn be applicable to the real world improve learner's self-concepts, awareness skills, and senses of personal integrity consist of many forms and methods pr


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