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Homework answers / question archive / Learning Guide Unit 8 Overview Unit 8: Curriculum and Course Review Topics:     Defining Curriculum Reform Influences on Curriculum Reform Curriculum Reform and Revision of Policy Learning Objectives: By the end of this Unit, you will be able to:  Analyze issues and concerns for Curriculum Reform in education Generate conceptualizations of curriculum reform based ideas from curriculum theorists Tasks: Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting to the Discussion Forum Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum Complete and submit the Portfolio Assignment Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation Introduction Unit 8 is the final unit of the course and we will be looking at Curriculum Reform and what necessitates a need for change in teaching and learning

Learning Guide Unit 8 Overview Unit 8: Curriculum and Course Review Topics:     Defining Curriculum Reform Influences on Curriculum Reform Curriculum Reform and Revision of Policy Learning Objectives: By the end of this Unit, you will be able to:  Analyze issues and concerns for Curriculum Reform in education Generate conceptualizations of curriculum reform based ideas from curriculum theorists Tasks: Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting to the Discussion Forum Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum Complete and submit the Portfolio Assignment Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation Introduction Unit 8 is the final unit of the course and we will be looking at Curriculum Reform and what necessitates a need for change in teaching and learning

Writing

Learning Guide Unit 8

Overview


Unit 8: Curriculum and Course Review


Topics:
 

 

  • Defining Curriculum Reform
  • Influences on Curriculum Reform
  • Curriculum Reform and Revision of Policy

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this Unit, you will be able to:

  1.  Analyze issues and concerns for Curriculum Reform in education
  2. Generate conceptualizations of curriculum reform based ideas from curriculum theorists

Tasks:

  • Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting to the Discussion Forum
  • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
  • Complete and submit the Portfolio Assignment
  • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation

Introduction


Unit 8 is the final unit of the course and we will be looking at Curriculum Reform and what necessitates a need for change in teaching and learning.  Each milieu follows a certain curricular paradigm and there are definite shifts that occur with various influences behind these changes.  Consider your own experiences as a learner or teacher and you may notice certain shifts, for example, from a test-driven classroom to more activity-based learning.

In this course, by presenting you with all of these perspectives - past, present, future - you will hopefully be able to gather enough info to explore your developing notion of curriculum relative to your milieu and possible research interests. 

Throughout the past 8 units, you explored the following curricular puzzles:

  • What does curriculum mean to you? What is your current understanding of curriculum in today's world?
  • How have you experienced curriculum in your educative timeline?
  • If you are a teacher, how has curriculum affected your classroom practice?  If you are not a teacher, how has curriculum affected your thoughts?  Perhaps, you are a parent, a council member, a curriculum developer, a principal or otherwise.  Think about your understanding of curriculum in your current life or over the course of your lifetime. How has the definition of curriculum evolved over time?
  • Who are curriculum policymakers? What are the current or emerging areas of concern when it comes to curriculum reform?
  • What are the internal/external factors at play when curriculum changes need to be made?
  • Who are the curriculum researchers or theorists you most identify with and why?
  • What are your ideas for about curriculum and what suggestions would you make for improving curriculum in your milieu?

Reading Assignment

1. Carpenter, S., Weber,N. & Schugurensky,D.  (2012) Views from the blackboard: neoliberal education reforms and the practice of teaching in Ontario, Canada. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10:2, pp. 145-161. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254266551_Views_from_the_blackboard_Neoliberal_education_reforms_and_the_practice_of_teaching_in_Ontario_Canada

  • This article discusses the effect of Neoliberalism on the classroom experience including the weight it carries as more policy shifts occur.         

2. Jacobs, H.H. (2010). New School Versions: Reinventing and Reuniting School Program Structures. Curriculum 21: Essential Education For A Changing World.  Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109008/chapters/New-School-Versions@-Reinventing-and-Reuniting-School-Program-Structures.aspx

  • Jacobs presents readers with possible reasons for curriculum change and how to best engage a curriculum for the 21st century learner. 

3. McIntosh, P. (1989). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum.  Pp.1-7. Retrieved from https://nationalseedproject.org/images/documents/Knapsack_plus_Notes-Peggy_McIntosh.pdf 

  • In this early piece, Mcintosh discusses the issues of white privilege and how it may find its way into a curriculum.  Power and privilege permeate many curricular programs and Mcintosh was one of the first researchers to write about these realities. 

4. Noddings, N.  (2007).  Curriculum for the 21st Century.  Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook No.2, pp.75-81. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ842882.pdf

 

  • This short piece by Nel Noddings explores whether the current curriculum is continuously organized around traditional disciplines or has drastically changed over the last hundred years.

5. Van der Valk, A. (2014). Peggy McIntosh: Beyond the Knapsack. Teaching Tolerance. Retrieved from https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/spring-2014/peggy-mcintosh-beyond-the-knapsack

  • The author here revisits Peggy Mcintosh’s piece from 1989 in light of her own experiences and perspectives.

Optioinal Videos

1. Axisaudio. (2014, March 27). Neoliberalism, Youth and Social Justice [Video File]. Retrieved from (10:03)

  • Henry Giroux, an educative critical theorist discusses Neoliberalism as a socio-cultural concept as well as its effect on education. Neoliberalism is the rise of the business-like approach in foundations including education where students become clients or consumers rather than learners.  Giroux also calls it the "corporatization of schools". 

2. Randomactsofkindness. (2013, September 11). Dr. Nel Noddings, Kindness in the Classroom Lecture Intro [Video File]. Retrieved from  (2:22)                

  • In this brief video, Noddings actually began as a math teacher in elementary and high school before she transitioned into academics within the fields of educational philosophy and the ethics of care.  You will read a piece by her in this unit.              

3. Tedx Talks. (2012, November 5). "How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion": Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools [Video File]. Retrieved from  (18:26)

  • In this video, Mcintosh discusses the idea of privilege and its effect on society.  You will be reading a very well-known piece by her that explores privilege and its effect on education.

Optional Readings

The following readings are optional, but they explore specific social issues relative to curriculum reform. 

1. Chan, E. (2006). Teacher Experiences of Culture in the Curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 38(2). pp 161–176 Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228342367_Teacher_experience_of_culture_in_the_curriculum

  • Chan’s work is set in the Canadian context in terms of cultural diversity and curriculum reform.  This is a narrative inquiry study looking at the role of teachers in terms of addressing diversity for a particular school event – the field trip.  

2. Moroye, C.M. (2009). Moving Beyond Fidelity Expectations: Rethinking Curriculum Reform for Controversial Topics in Post-Communist Settings. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41 (6) pp.789–811. Retrieved from https://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/~sallen/hamish/Moroye%20(2009).%20Complementary%20curriculum%20-%20the%20work%20of%20ecologically%20minded%20teachers.pdf

  • Moroye focuses on the teacher’s role in terms of students’ awareness of environmental issues.  Moroye’s piece cleverly embeds interview excerpts to help build her arguments and so, this is a prime example of curriculum reform relative to a specific field of study.   The research examines how ecologically-minded teachers who do not necessarily teach environmental topics negotiate their personal beliefs within their practice.     

3. Sumara, D. & Davis, B. (2013). Interrupting Heteronormativity: Toward a Queer Curriculum Theory In Flinders, D. J., & Thornton, S. J. (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader, Fourth Edition (pp.315-329). New York, NY:  Routledge. Retrieved from https://chrisdavidcampbell.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/sumara-davis-2013.pdf

  • Sumara and Davis explore curriculum reform in terms of the marginalization of a certain group based on cultural markers outside of visible minority status.  Sumara and Davis focus on the hidden curriculum in terms of heteronormativity and the deeper chasms of homophobia and heterosexism. 

 

Discussion Assignment


In the discussion forum, you are expected to participate often and engage in deep levels of discourse.  Please post your initial response as early in the unit as possible and continue to participate throughout the unit. You are required to post an initial response to the question/issue presented in the Forum and then respond to at least 3 of your classmates’ initial posts.  You should also respond to anyone who has responded to you. 

  • Jacobs (2010) states “To move our school structures into more open, fluid, and correspondingly inventive forms, we need new forms, not reform”.  Based on her work and your own perspectives, what do you believe this means for classrooms of the future?

Discussion Forums will be assessed using this rubric.

 

 

 

Portfolio Activity


Building on the themes discussed in this unit, reflect on the following based on your own personal perspective.  Drawing on your experiences and knowledge to expand upon your thoughts, compose an entry for your portfolio.

Reflect on Noddings (2007/2013) ideas of Curriculum for the 21st Century. Answer at least two (2) of the following questions:

  • How do we adapt curriculum in response to social change?    
  • What are the needs of the current generation of learners and how do we meet those needs?  
  • What are learners concerned with in comparison to what curriculum developers are concerned with in education?

 This activity will be assessed by your instructor using the Portfolio Activity Rubric.

Checklist

  • Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete the Discussion Assignment by posting to the Discussion Forum
  • Respond to three of your fellow classmates’ posts in the Discussion Forum
  • Complete and submit the Portfolio Activity
  • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation

 

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