Curriculum Development Traditional Vs. New 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

While the curriculum may be changing, it should not forget that developing insight into concepts, not just learning facts is important. According to Amy McAninch (2010) of Early Childhood Research and Practice, curriculums must reflect the principles of educational theorist Thomas Dewey and teach students how to learn. For example, when teaching geography, instead of learning facts about China and Australia, students should learn about what categories make up the idea of a 'culture' and look at different nations with these categories in mind. Sequencing, grouping, and highlighting important ideas in a passage are all vital skills and are necessary so students can cope with new information as well occur in a standardized testing situation. Having a goal for the learning, rather than simply conveying information is essential. The approach must be constructive in promoting independent thought and not merely offer different facts and figures than the traditional curriculum: for Dewey, the founder of progressive education, the point of a curriculum was "to develop the capacity to engage in purposeful behavior -- and that purposes entail reflective thinking processes aimed at the examination and attainment of goals" (McAninch 2010).

The idea that a curricular emphasis on learning and project-based work can still exist in an era of state testing is supported by the example of a second-grade class that used a 'project'-based approach studying churches in the local community to meet Illinois state learning standards. Dot Schular of Current Issues in Comparative Education describes how children created 'concept maps' for their project, followed by research into the history and architectural construction of churches in their area, including the history and the mathematics and scientific concepts behind the construction. Then they shared their research with the community, which demanded strong language art skills.

The new curriculum thus embodies different, sometimes contradictory impulses: it wants to encourage student creativity, give students more hands-on experience and provide more individualized instruction, to ensure America is more competitive. It also wants to meet more rigid, higher state performance-based standards, to secure school funding and prove the worth of a school in an era of expanded school choice. Teachers are continuing to search for effective strategies that are creative and inclusive, yet ensure that their schools perform at a high standard and do not lose state and parental support.

References

Boldt, Gail Masuchika (2001, December). Toward a reconceptualization of gender and power in an elementary classroom. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 5(1). Retrieved July 16, 2010 at http://www.tc.edu/cice/Issues/05.01/51boldt.pdf

Gomolla, Mechtild. (2006, Fall). Tackling underachievement of learners from ethnic minorities: A comparison of recent policies of school improvement in Germany, England

and Switzerland. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 9(1). Retrieved July 16,

2010 at http://www.tc.edu/cice/Issues/09.01/91_06_cice_fall2006_gomolla.pdf

McAninch, Amy C. (2010). Continuity and purpose in the design of meaningful project work.

Early Childhood Research and Practice. 1(2). Retrieved July 16, 2010 at http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n1/mcaninch.html

Schuler, Dot. (2010). The project approach: Meeting the state standards.

Early Childhood Research and Practice. 2(1). Retrieved July 16, 2010 at http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n1/schuler.html

Scoppio, Grazia. (2002) Common trends of standardization, Accountability,

devolution and choice in the educational policies of England, U.K., California, U.S.A.,

and Ontario, Canada. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 2 (2): 130. Retrieved July 16, 2010 at http://www.tc.edu/cice/Issues/02.02/PDFs/22scoppio.pdf

Sources Used in Document:

References

Boldt, Gail Masuchika (2001, December). Toward a reconceptualization of gender and power in an elementary classroom. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 5(1). Retrieved July 16, 2010 at http://www.tc.edu/cice/Issues/05.01/51boldt.pdf

Gomolla, Mechtild. (2006, Fall). Tackling underachievement of learners from ethnic minorities: A comparison of recent policies of school improvement in Germany, England

and Switzerland. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 9(1). Retrieved July 16,

2010 at http://www.tc.edu/cice/Issues/09.01/91_06_cice_fall2006_gomolla.pdf

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