Curriculum Foundations

O&H Ch 1 &2

What is curriculum?

Curriculum development is confusing! In my experience, it seems like everyone in education thinks they are experts in curriculum, but in practice, good curriculum design is difficult to accomplish. We all want a say in the curriculum, to understand why certain curriculum choices were made, to unpack a blueprint and truly comprehend what we are being asked to teach. Yet with all of the many components of curriculum planning, development, and design, it seems impossible to find curriculum that addresses all three facets in equally satisfactory ways.

My experiences with curriculum...

Our science curriculum seems very disjointed, with little progression between grade level content. Because we are content area specific, the only topic that serves as a thread between the grade levels is energy. And yet, the idea of a fully integrated science curriculum is equally daunting. Additionally, different designers emphasize different content, with one plan focusing on broad knowledge, and other plans delving deeper into fewer topics. There is no one perfect curriculum, so as teachers, it becomes our responsibility to pick pieces from various curricula to meet the needs of our students.

Philosophies of Education

Big image

What about Progressivism??

Progressivism is more in line with the goals that I have for my students. The focus of progressivism is ongoing growth and development, relevant learning, and learning by doing. Teachers are a guide to help students experience the content in meaningful ways, through problem solving and inquiry. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), classrooms are transitioning from direct-instruction models of perennialism and essentialism to classrooms of inquiry and investigation. The philosophy of progressivism is much more beneficial to the science classroom.