First Things, First…..

My interest in this area is a result of noticing a strong connection between deep learning and the ability to integrate subject material in a way that is meaningful and engaging for students. I found that seeing things out of isolation for students had a tremendous impact on their mindset towards learning. They saw a reason for specific facets of education they had not noticed before. Essentially, an “aha” moment. Time is the one thing we feel we don’t have enough of and integration helps with that, if done effectively. I wish to better develop my skills, so that I may provide myself and others meaningful opportunities to lead students in deep learning. Click here for a short video that captures the highlights of my education and work experience and touches upon my interest in integrated planning, instruction and assessment.

Conceptions of Curriculum

“What can and should be taught to whom, when, and how?” comment Vallance and Eisner (1974) once upon a time.  They remark upon educational discourse and “the intensity of the conflict and the apparent difficulty in resolving it [that] can most often be traced to a failure to recognize conflicting conceptions of curriculum” (Vallance & Eisner, 1974, p.1-2). What is interesting, is in the past forty plus years, discourse remains just as conflicted, just as controversial. What is even more interesting to me, is how the separate ideologies of these alternate curriculum theories have blended their way into modern curriculum endorsed by schools. Many educators employ pieces of each ideology in different quantities depending on their own comfort, experiences or knowledge. Indeed, Thomas (1990) found in an ethnographic study of family life teachers that curriculum conceptions significantly affected practice and that personal experience and comfort of material often influenced what was taught and in what capacity. Ornstein and Hunkins (2013) are correct when they state, “[w]hether we consider curriculum narrowly, as subjects taught in schools, or broadly, as experiences that individuals require for full participation in society, there is no denying that curriculum affects educators, students, and other members of society.” This effect can be a deep or superficial one. Short or long lasting. It may be interesting to look at a few prevailing curriculum conceptions (often alternately named in different time periods or by different persons) and see how they are currently used or could be used as tools or frameworks for planning, instruction or assessment of classrooms today. The following four conceptions do not encompass the full catalogue of curriculum conceptions but represent those that appear predominate to me as an educator.

Whether we name it academic rationalism (Eisner & Vallance, 1974), cultural transmission (Pratt, 1994), the cumulative tradition of organized knowledge (Sowell, 2005), the academic curriculum (McNeil, 2009), the academic approach (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013) or the scholar academic ideology (Schiro, 2013), it is the most traditional approach to curriculum and is alive and “well” in today’s schools. Its purpose is for students “to acquire the tools to participate in the Western cultural tradition and with providing access to the greatest ideas and objects that man has created” (Eisner & Vallance, 1974). Brown (2006) echoes this, commenting that this conception embodies the notion that “important knowledge and content” is “brought down across the centuries”, and is “so valuable we wish all citizens to know them”. This has resulted in the “organisation of schools into essential learning faculties and departments” (Brown, 2006). The emphasis is on the teacher or the school system to determine what the most important subjects are, and impart that knowledge as transmission from one person to the next. Pratt (1994) comments “[b]ecause of its heavy reliance on cognition-that is, knowledge and intellectual skills-the kind of content advocated by these thinkers is relatively easy to teach and to test” and speculates “for that reason it has come to dominate school curriculum”. Schiro (2013) says this approach consists of “hierarchical communities” including “inquirers into the truth (the scholars at the top of the hierarchy), teachers of the truth (those who disseminate the truth that has been discovered by the scholars), and learners of the truth (students whose job it is to learn the truth so that they may become proficient members of the discipline).” In a way, “knowledge is used as a commodity where parents and students use for future job prospects and economical gain” (McNeil, 2009).  Students go to school to get an education by taking different subjects (language, math, science, history, geography, art etc.) where they learn facts, often isolated from other subject areas and are tested on their knowledge retention, communication, thinking and application. In today’s schools this structure still exists in curriculum planning, instruction and assessment. In intermediate and senior divisions, subject areas are often taught on rotary by different teachers. One could argue that math is found in science, science in geography and language in all and so there is some subject integration but the connections aren’t always made explicit to students. Assessment is based on students learning a predetermined set of knowledge and is done by the teacher. Is it helpful to teach this way? Sowell (2005) comments, “when statewide minimum competency testing mushroomed in the 1970s and 1980s, teachers taught to the tests, which resulted in a decline in thinking abilities and writing skills.” I believe this approach persists because it is one of the easiest to organize, deliver and assess. It requires less effort or creativity to manage on a daily basis. The truth is, many teachers manage overcrowded classrooms with a vast variety of abilities and behaviors with little support. Continuing with an approach they are familiar with, reminiscent of their own education, may add a level of comfort and continuity when the classroom can seem anything but.

Social reconstructionism or the reconceptualist approach “stresses education in the larger social context where societal needs dominate both subject matter and individual needs” (Sowell, 2005). Schiro (2013) comments that social reconstructionists “teach people to understand their society in such a way that they can develop a vision of a better society and act to bring that vision into existence.” McNeil (2009) indicates that they believe, “[c]urriculum seldom alters the structural problems of inequality and poverty, or the domination of the many by the few. There is little evidence that educational reform has had a positive influence on economic development; most curriculum reforms support the status quo.” Therefore, politics are not avoided in class, and society’s embarrassments are brought to the forefront to be both studied and dealt with. The appeal of this view is that students may become more readily engaged in the curriculum, especially teens who often feel marginalized and demonstrate rebellious tendencies and passion for upsetting the status quo. Social studies teachers may want to use current and controversial topics in the news to both engage students and call them to action. Studying politics has become fascinating to many as Trump seemingly tries to find ways to circumvent the proper channels in the American political system. Having students examine the structure of American politics may lead to social action, with a unit culminating in legal action against the United States president! It is a way to have students start to think critically. However, how does one assess social action? By the effectiveness of upsetting the status quo? One must also remember, when “advocating and taking social action teachers and students may jeopardize their intellectual commitment to open-mindedness and alternative perspectives and in their zeal for change be indifferent to new evidence and unanticipated consequences” (McNeil, 2009).

A technological, systemic or social efficiency model of curriculum looks at training students through processes. As Sowell (2005) summarizes, it “seeks to make learning systematic and efficient”, “learning is predefined and calls for rather simple outcomes.” The curriculum is “a value free system” (Vallance & Eisner, 1974) where “[p]rescribed goals are given along with standards to be attained” and “[i]nstructional objectives, benchmarks, and other indicators are used to evaluate progress toward the goals and standards” (McNeil, 2009). With this approach, curriculum doesn’t usually concern itself with the learner’s interests or attitudes or metacognition. Ultimately, skills are taught so a student achieves “an education by learning to perform the functions necessary for social productivity” (Schiro, 2013). One can see the usefulness of this in trade education learning how to use power tools and learning basic understanding of math concepts using a flipped classroom format like the Khan Academy. A teacher could begin a lesson by outlining basic math skills needed for students, like determining area or using measurement for scale and have students access it electronically at home. When they come to class the next day, the teacher can help the student with the concepts if they didn’t understand or help them apply it to a word problem or real-life scenario. Online courses often exist in this world as well. Assessment is practical and straight-forward. Issues arise because it is often done in isolation with little acknowledgement to individual differences of learning styles and challenges.

A humanistic, learner centered or self-actualization approach to curriculum believes “schools should be enjoyable places where people develop naturally according to their own innate natures” (Schiro, 2013). Ornstein and Hunkins (2013) contend that advocates of this approach “put faith in cooperative learning, independent learning, small-group learning, and social activities, as opposed to competitive, teacher-dominated, large-group learning. Each child has considerable input into the curriculum and shares responsibility with parents, teachers, and curriculum specialists in planning classroom instruction.” Elementary classrooms, often embrace “lessons based on life experiences, group games, group projects, artistic endeavors, dramatizations, field trips, social enterprises, learning and interest centers, and homework and tutoring stations” (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2013). This curriculum potentially decreases the planning stress of the teacher, who shifts into a role as provider of opportunities and guide to learning instead of disseminator of knowledge. The knowledge comes from individual experiences and real-life connections that the students make to the world around them. This is incredibly freeing for the teacher but incredibly scary as well, as they must give up a certain amount of control. Teachers would use student interest to frame learning opportunities for inquiry and would have to adapt every day to meet the needs of the student without necessarily knowing in advance what the student needs for learning.  Assessment would be best done by the student as they monitor their own learning as they progress through their chosen path. Taking a step back, many ask themselves; what did they learn in school that they use at their daily jobs now, how much do they remember, how much did they enjoy? Pratt (1994) provides a valuable insight. He comments if “we are interested in building in young people a sense of personal meaning in their lives, then we will need to plan curricula that make provision for significant experiences that allow students to grow as human beings” and insightfully adds the “ability to make friends and to nurture friendship is, surely, more significant to an individual’s future well-being than most of the cognitions we teach in school.”

From my experience, the previous four concepts of curriculum exist as both separate and combined in classrooms of Western Culture. Walking down a hallway in a single school bears witness to the extent and variety in which curriculum ideologies are employed. One class sees a teacher at the front of the room writing on the blackboard as students furiously copy notes to be memorized and regurgitated on next week’s test. Another room sees a lively debate of students engaged in discourse about issues of equality in mainstream media, with an accepted invitation by the local reporter. Down farther, we see students working in a construction class, learning how to measure and cut wood for a shelf. Last, we first hear then see the class at the end of the hall. Students sit in bean bag chairs, stand at stand-up desks and are sprawled along the floor openly talking and arguing about self-selected group assignments. Some are examining displaced refugees from different parts of the world and determining how best to support them incorporating subject matter from math, science, politics and design. It is unclear whether conflicts of chosen curriculum concepts can ever be resolved. What is needed, is for everyone to be aware of, and understand these concepts clearly, understand their own bias, inclination or passion and find the appropriate place to revel in it.

Works Cited
Al-Mousa, N.  (2013, April). An Examination of CAD use in two Interior Design Programs From the Perspectives of Curriculum and Instructors. Pgs. 21-37, 138-147. Canadian Theses.
Brown, G. (2006). Conceptions of curriculum: a framework for understanding New Zealand’s curriculum framework and teachers’ opinions. In Curriculum Matters. Vol. 2. Pgs. 164-181.
Eisner, E.W. and Vallance, E.  (1974). Five conceptions of curriculum: Their roots and implications for curriculum planning. In Conflicting Conceptions of Curriculum. Pgs. 1-18. Berkeley, California. McCutchan.
McNeil, J. (2009). Contemporary Curriculum: In Thought and Action. Chapters 1 to 4, 7th edition. Pgs. 1, 3-14, 27-39, 52-60, 71-74. Hoboken, NJ. Wiley Publication Place. .
Ornstein, A.C., & Hunkins, F.P. (2013). The Field of curriculum. In Curriculum: Foundations, Principles, and Issues 6th Ed. Pgs. 1-8. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Pearson.
Pratt, D. (1994). Curriculum perspectives. In Curriculum Planning: A Handbook for Professionals. Pgs. 8-22. Fort Worth, TX. Harcourt Brace College.
Schiro, M. (2013). Introduction to the curriculum ideologies. In Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns. Pgs. 1-13. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publication Place.
Sowell, E. (2005). Curriculum organization. In Curriculum: An Integrative Introduction 3rd Ed. Pgs. 37-51. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson.
Thomas, C. (1990, April). Conceptions of Curriculum and Classroom Practice: An Ethnographic Study of Family Life Education Teachers. Pgs. 26-34, 74-112. University of British Columbia.
Vallance, E. (1986, Winter). A second look at conflicting conceptions of curriculum. In Theory Into Practice. Is. 1. Vol. 25. Pgs. 24-30.

Foundations of Curriculum in Education

Below is a presentation that outlines the foundations of curriculum. It takes a look at initial philosophical foundations, summarizes curriculum conceptions, looks at different design organizations and seeks to explore the relationships between them.  In the end, it takes a look at the blog’s namesake of planning, instruction and assessment as it relates to subject, student and problem centered curricular frameworks. It is fascinating to note the direct correlations that exist between philosophical thoughts all the way to assessment practice. What I find particularly fascinating is the possibility that many individuals use assessment methods that may not fit with their philosophy of teaching. Why? Teachers who embody a more humanistic notion of teaching may still utilize multiple choice and other selected response assessments simply because that has been past practice or what they are comfortable with because it has an air of accountability if not validity.

https://prezi.com/view/n9EhhP0rjc3n82pHfqWn/

Connecting Curriculum Study to a Professional Community

In order to check my understanding of curricular frameworks I wanted to connect with a professional community that I was previously unfamiliar with to develop a new path of understanding for myself and apply my studies to a real context. I found an opportunity to do so by “infiltrating” OCTE via their annual Leadership Conference from October 23rd to 25th, 2017. The conference involved a fee and three days away from family but the fee was covered by the school board and three days away from family can sometimes be a good thing. The question is, how did I stumble upon this opportunity to connect in person and in such a meaningful way? My new role at the board involves student pathways and transitions as an elementary student success teacher. Technology education is heavily embedded in all five pathways, whether you are venturing out into the community, college, workforce, university or apprenticeship, technology education may play a part. Therefore a member of my team was tapped on the shoulder to attend the conference by the technology education consultant, though that wasn’t me.  The honest truth, technology education was not something I was overly familiar with and did not know a lot about, so when my opportunity came because another member of my team had to back out, I was extremely receptive to the idea. Being second choice was/is okay with me!

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When I got to the resort off lake Couchiching I was extremely excited. The drive was long, dark and rainy and I was happy to be there after three hours of white knuckle driving. When I walked into the hotel lobby, a sea of flannel, golf shirts and jeans presented itself to me as people were checking in and milling about. I was here to work on a three to five-year technology education plan for the school board.  Along with an OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) representative, technology consultant, three secondary tech. teachers from three different fields, (all from the board and all OCTE members), we were to start mapping out the future. I was eager, until they all started to interact with one another and then I felt completely insecure and out of my element. My knowledge about anything they were talking about was minimal at best and inconsequential at most. I had a feeling that I may not be accepted by the group. I was there to provide an elementary “lens” regarding student engagement and possible transition ideas, not for my tech. expertise, of which I had none. The best course of action for me, was to be open and honest about my lack of expertise and my experiences in school. Honest too about how I value the role for technology education in school and how I believed it could help many kids stay in school and eventually graduate.

Turns out I didn’t have to worry, my bunk mate “J” was a secondary tech. teacher of epic abilities, networking mastery and the nicest guy. He took me under his wing for the next couple days. He introduced me to a whole host of people in different fields “out in the real world” where he worked for the last many years and changed my ideas about the technology education classroom. Being a representative from the school board and not an active member of a classroom, “others” you. But with “J” by my side and my transparent nature, people graciously accepted my presence and in fact, were eager to talk about their passions. Passions that included welding, construction and programming. In my previous research and limited experience, I would have characterized technology education under a specific philosophy and curricular design framework. A framework that involves imparting knowledge on behalf of the instructor and skill development learned by the student. A simple transfer from expert to novice. I can’t do that now, the area is shades of grey, and later I will illuminate all in splendid color.

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First a little about OCTE, the conference, the structure of the event, what I learned there, and how I built relationships that will influence my future practice but also allow me to lead in promoting possible pathways involving technology. In the OCTE Leadership Conference booklet outlining the events and presentations, you will find their mandate inside the front cover. OCTE is “using the experience of the past and a lot of new volunteers to advocate for our membership, develop new resources and strengthen technological education in our province.” Under the message from the OCTE chair, David Lewis, we find the statements, “we have created amazing teacher resources, provide professional learning through targeted seminars for both elementary and secondary panels, and sought feedback from industry and educators about needed advocacy at the government and board levels.” There outlines the purpose of this group both in general and in holding the conference. The conference was three days but the first day was for the executives and leads, which I was neither so I simply ventured up following work that day to check in so I wouldn’t be late for the 7:00 a.m. start the next day. The first morning hosted introductions, including Ministry representatives, an overview of an OCTE research study, education opportunities, workplace safety and prevention information, long range planning and time to work in our board groups to create our own long-range plans. After lunch were Ministry updates including a financial announcement that seemed pleasing to many regarding SHSM (Specialist High Skills Majors), understanding the leadership framework, with more planning in board teams. The last day seemed like a marketing blitz by big companies trying to sell products to education or remind them of their financial contributions to the cause of technology education. What did all this do for my personal education? A lot. My head was swimming with all the new species of information floating around up there. So much new knowledge, new perspectives, gained not only from the formal talks but also from the informal conversations with teachers on the front lines and leaders in the fields.

The Ministry released a document in June 2016, called Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility by the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel. At the conference I was given a summary of recommendations. Recommendations include:

  • Partnerships and Local Leadership
  • Labour Market Information
  • Experiential Learning and Mentorship
  • Promotion of Multiple Career Pathways
  • Strategic Investment in Human Capital
  • Skills and Competencies
  • Role of the Federal government
  • Measuring Success

All are part of a plan to address a shortfall in a highly skilled workforce in Ontario. I would like to focus on a few that address my specific area of both interest and responsibility. Under the Promotion of Multiple Career Pathways, it states:

  • 4.2 Provide students from K-12 with more exposure to science, engineering and technology fields, as a foundation for the diverse careers of this technological age.
  • 4.3 Provide professional development opportunities to teachers with a counselling role, to expand their knowledge of current and future labour market trends, skills requirements and emerging careers
  • 4.4 Encourage school boards and partners with demonstrated capacity to design and implement experiential learning projects to collaboratively develop new ways of introducing students in the classroom to different career pathways

Though these are recommendations for levels of government, they do represent a possible recommendation for my role as well. As an elementary student success teacher, my salary and role are designated by Ministry funds. In moving forward with our board plan, these areas should come into play.

Many school boards around the province are engaging in a technological education plan. One area I’m concerned about in the multi-year technological education program, is transitions. It is this area that I am most closely invested in and hope to have intermediate students recognize technology as a possibility in their pathway. My own personal interactions with friends and colleagues are rich with stories that involve students following an academic path to university, only to discover their desires lie in trades. I also hope to foster peer development across elementary and secondary panels with teachers networking to build knowledge of opportunities for students. As a former intermediate teacher and transitions lead at my school, I am embarassed to admit my lack of knowledge in the past concerning specialist high skills majors, apprenticeship opportunities and the variety of technology courses. In addition to those things, I want to assist in developing and providing hands on experiences for intermediate students and their students. In this way, teachers can become more comfortable themselves with the curriculum, a definite benefit for promotion of pathways. People speak most on what they are secure in their knowledge of.  Also, with exposure to a variety of different activities, students can discover their own interests before reaching high school where time seems to run out quickly.

It turns out, many of the previous areas were already in various stages of development under the leadership and guidance of the technolgy consultant from the board, someone with passion and vision. I offered my services to help facilitate and complete projects. Being a part of the process really opened my eyes to technological education, how it relates to all five pathways and shifted my view on its place in a curricular design framework. In the last month, I’ve been a part of a technology transitions focus that has sixteen gr. 8 students from an elementary school visiting four secondary technology classes. Half the graduating class visits in four days this semester, the other half, next semester. They are given their own lockers, eat in the cafeteria and are given a timetable. They spend an entire period working on a project in each of the four technologies. Some projects are completed on that day (pizza), others will take the four days to complete (shelf). Students are immersed in Technology & Design, Communication Technology, Construction and Hospitality. Below is a series of images that highlight their experiences.

The “Technology Transitions Trailer” is in its prototype stage but I’m proud to say I had input in its internal design and some featured elements. It had its first unveiling at our board’s annual pathway event, to a potential audience of over a thousand. I’m not sure that many people visited the trailer but it was non-stop interactions for three hours. So many stimulating questions and so many students unaware of what secondary could offer them. As you may gleam from some of the following pictures, the trailer showcases the ten available course offerings throughout the system by video and interactive displays. Students were able to use hammers, drills, manipulate robots, color and design hair and participate in a mystery tool game. Engagement was high but so was the learning, about pathways and discovering personal interests. It is important to note there was extensive engagement with students (and some adults) of different genders, and cultural backgrounds. Moving forward, we hope to be able to drive the trailer to different schools, park in the lot and have them come through, as well as, have interactive take-to-the-classroom activities that teachers can do that align with curriculum. In this way we support teachers in making learning real for students and also show students the choices available to them in secondary and beyond.

Initially my thoughts on technology education in school, particularly the secondary panel, was formed around the idea that there was a mastery of very specific skills that needed to be learned to perform a job. It existed in the realm of a technological, or social efficiency model of curriculum that looked at training students through processes “to make learning systematic and efficient”, where “learning is predefined and calls for rather simple outcomes” (Sowell, 2005) I thought maybe too, it represented a type of subject-centered curriculum, where “[t]eachers and laypersons usually are educated or trained in schools employing it. The subject design corresponds to textbook treatment and teachers’ training as subject specialists” (Ornstein & Hunkins 2013). For example, I want to build a shelf, I have to know how to measure, saw, hammer, glue and combine all the elements. I am shown by someone who has mastered it and then I copy the process. Though this does happen, there are extensions to this where students are given open-ended tasks to create something of their own design using wood materials but with freedom to use them in any way they are able, to elaborate on a skill with personalized creativity. Sounds like a student-centered curricular design where ” the organic curriculum emphasizes child centeredness, experience-based learning, integrated content areas, and process-oriented instruction” (Sowell, 2005). What I have learned is that trades or highly skilled jobs aren’t just a regular necessity in our workforce but in increasing demand moving forward, as there appears to be a deficit. A deficit acknowledged by the expert panel of the Premier. In this way, one could see technology education as a problem-centered or society based ” [c]urricula  based on the needs of society ” (Sowell, 2005). “Advantages of this type of design include the integration of the different subject matters and their relevance to students and society. Students typically see the content as meaningful and are usually motivated to study it” (Sowell, 2005). This became apparent in both transitions trailer traffic and the elementary and secondary technology transitions days where students were deeply engaged and both parents and students seemed to understand the importance of technology education.

Overall, my experience with OCTE and the developed interactions and connections with OCTE members from the school board has transformed my perspective on technological education and caused me to reconsider making simple classifications of curricular designs in modern learning. Technology education exists as an integrated field of education that blends many different traditional academic subjects and competency skills with creativity, and other skills essential to the 21st century workforce. I’m pleased with this new awareness as I believe it has given me a better foundation of knowledge and understanding when talking to students about choices that may influence the rest of their lives.

 Works Cited
Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility. Summary of Recommendations. (June 2016). The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.
Eisner, E., & Vallance, E. (Eds.). (1974). Five conceptions of the curriculum: Their roots and implications for curriculum planning. In E. Eisner & E. Vallance (Eds.), Conflicting conceptions of curriculum (pp. 1-18). Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing.
McNeil, J. D. (2006). Contemporary curriculum in thought and action (6th ed., pp. 1-13, 24-34, 44-51, 60-73). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Read part of Chapter 1, pp. 1-8.
Pratt, D. (1994). Curriculum perspectives. In D. Pratt, Curriculum planning: A handbook for professional(pp. 8-22). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publisher.
Shiro, M. S. (2008). Introduction to the curriculum ideologies. In M. S. Shiro, Curriculum theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns (pp. 1-12). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Sowell, E. (2005). Curriculum organization. In Curriculum: An Integrative Introduction 3rd Ed. Pgs. 37-51. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson.

 Final Reflections

When I started learning about integrated planning, instruction and assessment I was seeking to understand better ways in which to plan meaningful, engaging lessons for students and be able to integrate different subject areas in to a single curriculum. I also wanted to validate some of the approaches I had begun using and promoting to other teachers regarding community, project-based, spiraling and deep learning strategies. I needed to learn more about the research behind curriculum frameworks and become more comfortable in my knowledge of different approaches to free myself from the ignorance of not understanding why so many existing structures in our education system have remained despite research that shows they’re not effective. Curriculum subject integration ended up becoming a footnote when I started to delve deeper into philosophical foundations and curricular frameworks. The how and why of curricular structure became the most significant area of self education.

I believe we are at a critical time in education and movement is on its way. As I continue my learning journey I will strive to be transparent in my learning, successes and failures online and in person so that others can witness, learn and become receptive to the change that is needed, seeing it comes with a certain amount of vulnerability. Understanding the philosophical foundations of curriculum design and understanding our own preconceived understandings will help us move past the idea of doing something, simply because that has been the way it has always been done.

Each classroom has its own unique blend of curricular frameworks. The concentration of academic, process, student or society elements is based on the teacher’s experiences, understandings and beliefs about how the student in their class learns. In my role, I hope to expose teachers to the different philosophical foundations and curricular frameworks in education. In doing so, help them to identify their own beliefs, correlate it to their practice and determine if it is truly what the student needs.

 

 

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