Curriculum Resource Guides Bullock, Patricia Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

A reader would presume that these students find the materials appropriate for use in some way in the classroom, either as background information for themselves or in designing an actual curriculum, but the information provided does not reflect any such analysis. For instance, students wrote about Hearing Us Out: Voices from the Gay and Lesbian Community, "Sutton provides insights to understanding lesbian and gay communities through individuals' unique stories." This statement is so vague that it could have been written without actually looking at the book. A teacher would find this recommendation much more useful with more information: for what age level did the group think it was appropriate? Did the book provide insights that were directly applicable to school, such as stories from these people's experiences while they were in school? Does it include language some might find objectionable or excessively graphic?

The group that looked at "ability" reported on their materials more completely. Comments such as "the author shows how children with disabilities can be active participants in the mainstream classroom environment" is useful information. The issue of how to teach inclusion students well within the regular school environment is an issue of real concern to many teachers. Reading this description, the reader knows that he or she can look at that source more carefully. Another source specifically addresses how to facilitate mainstreaming at the high school level. Elementary teachers would probably pass that one by while middle school teachers would probably give it a look. This group's descriptions help the reader sort through the many resources the "ability" group found to pick out the ones most useful for him or her.

As an article this report falls short. An article should provide more than a compilation of college students' work, no matter how carefully done. The authors did not provide any critique of the final result, nor did they give any description of how the students proceeded with their project. In addition, there is no indication of how the students were led through the process of evaluating the materials examined. The reader does not know how the teams worked, whether they looked at some materials and rejected them, or whether they included everything they found. No information is provided about whether the students were led through drafts of their summaries.

Some readers might have found the process the students followed in choosing sources and writing their summaries useful because the readers could then use the same processes themselves. There might be some other topic of interest to a given teacher. In addition, with time this information will be dated.

For a teacher, this article will be somewhat useful as one place to look for information on the subjects covered. However, since the quality of the summaries vary widely, a teacher will have to go to the sources themselves. As a screening tool for materials, this article is often inadequate. As a summary of what is available on a topic, the reader cannot be certain of how thorough any one topic was researched because the article includes nothing of the students' methodology. However, it does demonstrate how broad-ranging such a search can be. The students included obvious selections such as Savage Inequalities when looking at class and poverty, but also included the movie to Sir With Love, a movie many new teachers might not be aware of. The article's most useful trait may be to demonstrate the wide variety of sources that exist when developing curriculum resource guides.

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