By Codey D. Fuller
Before taking curriculum design my attitude on the changing of curriculum was that of no change was necessary. Instead what needed to be changed was teachers attitudes toward their profession. Though out my years in the education system I have gained a feeling that teachers lack pride for the profession. This is evident when lessons are taken right from the the text book company, which covered the bare minimum of the topic at hand. When I have seen lessons taught there seemed to be a lack of heart and sole to them and did not seem to allow students to use cognitive thought. The lessons were not the only thing that made me think this way, but it was also the way that they would dress. I would go into a school dressed in a button up shirt, dress pants and a tie, but I would see teachers dress in slacks or jeans and a t-shirt. I understand that the environment made at a school can not be all professional, because if it was students could not connect to the teachers, but I do think there needs to be some kind of professionalism to the career, if you want to be respected. These experience with teachers concluded in my mind that the curriculum was not broken but the view of the teachers were instead.
During my time in the class of curriculum studies my views have changed from that of blaming the attitudes of the teachers fully to blaming the attitude of the curriculum, that the schools have to administer to their students. What made this change occur was a project that provided an opportunity to research different curriculum's. The research path that I went down was that of the curriculum philosophy of A.S Neil's Summerhill School. This school had a curriculum that allowed the student to make his or her own decisions on when school work was administered. This philosophy sounds outrageous but in the end by allowing the students to create their own curriculum, it allowed the schools pupils to find a path that they enjoy doing, better themselves at that path and then make a career of it. This made me realize that schools do not have to cram information down a students throat but instead make the information more reliable to them, so that they will take upon their self to learn that information. Part of the blame is still on the teachers for allowing this curriculum to take over on how they teach, but I understand now that the curriculum, that is placed, can have an effect on a schools performance.
Time adds up
I always knew that classroom Management was an important part of being an effective teacher. However I never thought that one minute taken out of my time with the students would hurt the students and I. With this thinking I became sloppy on my management of time and never payed attention to the clock. Things like quitting the lesson with five minutes to spare because the students were good, and I thought that it wouldn't hurt to give them time to their selves. Or if I did not get to cover a topic that needed to be cover I thought that it was ok, because I could just do it tomorrow. Things like these would not matter to me because I thought that I could just pick the lesson back up with no consequences, for my actions.
I still think that allowing a topic to slid on to the next day is important. My thinking for letting a topic slide is because I would rather spend a little more time on a topic in order for them to understand the full concept, or if it pertains to the students life. However learning about how a minute can effect a whole year, in class, I have been paying more attention to the clock, Also, as I create my lessons I schedule my self extra time to get through a particular topic or activity. This is done my over estimating what something will take and then making sure that subsequently it will not take that long, because I do not want to allow myself to take that long on a topic or activity. Since learning about time and its effects I have also made my schedule more aware of grading and lesson plan creation. In doing this I make sure that the students and I are getting the most out of each other.
Pre-service teaching does not have to change and is fine the way it is. The curriculum that the college institutions made up is the best way to teach and it is hard to create a better system.
When I hear what I use to think about institutions and how I cherished how I was taught I am sort of sickened. I guess I had this mind set that the instructors were teaching us how to teach the right way, because I did not want to think that I just wasted all this money and time on an education that is steering me into the wrong direction. What really made me realize that pre-service teachers are not getting the best instruction, on the best ways of teaching, was listening to the instructor and other classmates on how pre-service teachers were taught. I am not saying that they were taught any better, or that there was talk of superior institutions that had this fantastic curriculum to teach pre-service teachers. I am just saying that I have only had one experience with an institution and their methods of teaching pre-service teachers, and thought, to myself, that this was the way it should be taught. However, when it came up in discussion with-in the group I started thinking that there has to be a better way to teach pre-service teachers, then the way that we are teaching them now. What I am trying to say is that, to me, how I was taought sounded good in my my mind, but once spoken, it had a new smell to it, and it did not smell good. This thinking also has come from the idea of a Curriculum Studies class. When I went for my undergraduate degree I was never given the opportunity to learn about different curriculum's. Talking and discussing about different curriculum's has made me realize that I was kind of sheltered by the institution that I went to. Just the impact on knowing that there are different types of curriculum out in the world has made me think about education and the system in a whole new light.
I think that the role of the government is to right the people up when we are up side down. This means that the government has a right to come into the states and say that this is how we the schools in that state should be run. This also entitles the government to make evaluations and decisions on what schools should stay open or be closed. Te government is only trying to right the people back up.
The thinking of Federal Government invasion is still right, in mind, but the way they go about the invasion has changed. I think that the Federal government should have a team of educational specialists, that make up the curriculum. This team would consist of teachers including content teachers, special education teachers, teacher aids and media specialists. The reasoning for the variety of teachers is because each sees the students in different ways, which will allow a better view on what students need. The team is not complete though without Principles of both rural and urban schooling. The concept for having the two is the same as having the variety of teachers, but instead of giving perceptive of the student, it will allow the team to get a better perceptive on the the system in which the students spend most of their time in. The other aspect is a range of curriculum Phds', which will allow the team to include different perspectives on learning theory. After this team has deliberated and made up the best curriculum they think will work, it is now time for the states to have their turn with the curriculum. The team will be made up of the same variety of people, but state wide, instead of country wide. Their job will be to evaluate the curriculum that just was created by the federal team and analyse what they think they need to add and subtract. It will then be sent back to the federal team, with a representative of that state, stating why the changes where made, and then approval from the federal government will be made. In this system the curriculum will be able to be instituted around the country but not collide with state values; and will allow the states to have a little freedom to create a curriculum that is suited for their state. The need for a system like this is evident when one looks at the Educational Researcher of the Common core, which was shown to me in EDA 742. These researchers have researched that the common core curriculum will place the United States schools in the same predicament as it has been in, which indicates that the federal government does not always know what is the best for its states and peoples.