Divergent Processes Tom Wolff
for Developing New Courses: Technological and Naturalistic
Technological process of curriculum planning is:
- Linear and unidirectional process steps
- Tends to be a orderly, systematic, ends-oriented model
- Bottom up approach
- Moves for specific to general
Eight Steps in the Technological Process of Curriculum Planning
Step 1: Determine the course parameters: rationale, guiding principles statement, goals, and time schedule for the new course
Step 2: Assess learners’ needs with a needs assessment to evaluate present state of learners.
Step 3: Identify course objectives based on students’ needs plus common core or state standards.
Step 4: Sequence and cluster course objectives
Step 5: Identify one or more learning activity for each objective stated so learners master the objectives.
Step 6: Select instructional materials to help accomplish the objectives and support the learning
Step 7: Identify assessment methods (readiness, diagnostic, formative, and/or summative)
Step 8: Design a curriculum guide that include:
Objectives in desired sequence
Recommended learning activities
List of instruction materials/assessments
Four Characteristics of the Naturalistic Process:
- Emphasis on the quality of learning activities
- Sensitivity to political aspects of the curriculum
- Accurate reflection of how curricula have actually been developed
- Awareness of how teachers really plan for instruction
Eight Steps of Naturalistic Process of Curriculum Planning
Step 1: Assess the Alternatives – examination of the alternatives to a new course.
Step 2: Stake out the territory – consider the schedule and coverage of the course
Step 3: Develop a constituency – build support
Step 4: Build the Knowledge base
Step 5: Block in the unit – determine the number and focus of each unit of study in the course
Step 6: Plan quality learning experiences
Step 7: Develop course examinations
Step 8: Develop the learning scenarios
Summary of Naturalistic Model
The naturalistic model is looser, more flexible, and less rational.
It is more responsive to the political realities and tens to be top-down, moving from the larger to the smaller.
It should result in curriculum that is easier to implement and works well with teachers’ planning styles.
Bottom line: Both models should be incorporated for effective results.