We all learn in different ways, influenced by the combination of our past educational experiences, study practices and personal approach to specific tasks. This can be described as our learning style, defined as ‘particular ways of gathering, processing and storing information and experiences’ (Cuthbert, P.F., 2005).
In today’s standardized public education, pacing guides are becoming the backbone of teachers’ professional lives. According to Bauml (2015), “the notion that schools should provide teachers with curriculum materials to inform instruction has been around for centuries”. In this curriculum leadership platform I will discuss how these circumstances limit teachers’ autonomy and how do I, as a curriculum leader, “enable faculty and staff to work as a system focused on student learning”.
Common Core’s supporters and non-supporters can both agree that a change in the United States school system is desperately needed. The United States has fallen behind its peers in the international communities, who participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment, in almost every measurable scholarly subject. Therefore, the United States needs to help its students to become better scholars so they can internationally compete in the business market place. Common Core is also trying to bring a standardization of learning and cohesiveness to all schools across the United States. An argument from non-supporters of the Common Core is that it is removing a teacher’s creative freedom, leaving out student engagement. However, Common Core is not a curriculum and is instead a welcome step in the right direction to help students become adults that are more intelligent.
Any student, whether in elementary or college, learns better when the subject matter is thought-provoking and appealing. Traditional and old curriculum provides a baseline for students to meet and follow. Also, traditional curriculum is based of individualism and discourages exchanges between the student and teacher. Individual work teaches the child to develop internal critical thinking skills but it may bore the student. Teachers should continually interact with their students and challenge the student to think outside the box. Great teachers in today's system should help students develop a new way of thinking about history, math, english, and science and their education in general.
There are numerous issues that plague the public education system. Several of the concerning challenges that it faces today are: The lack of familial support or guidance some students receive, the increase in the population of individuals that seem to undervalue the benefit of an education, and the test-centered curriculum structure that is applied in a majority of schools, within the system. There desperately needs to be an engagement of ideas to mend the problems that the education system faces. Not only would it allow students a better chance at exercising their full potential, but society as a whole, will reap the benefits of a well-rounded education for all.
With every new school, there seems to be the “perfect” correlating curriculum. With every school, there seems to be some kind of underlying issue. Whether it is tuition, teachers, curriculum, or even the school itself, The Knewest of the New will be the best school in history. Community will be a basic necessity as well as passionate teachers. The Knewest of the New strives to instill creativity, passion, and determination into the young minds of the future.
Despite their best interest, schools are often bound by tight guidelines that determine an exact curriculum. Although these guidelines often successfully lead students into the right direction as for preparation into the future, they also restrict students into specific mindsets such as “economics, accountability and compliance” (Rose 3). In his excerpt from Why School, Mike Rose explains how schools restrict growth and development of students through a specific and close-minded economic view potentially limiting shared respect and social obligation. Although many schools are truly constrained by specific guidelines, they continue to encourage and inspire students to branch out and follow their dreams.
Wiggins & McTighe (2005) said it best “teachers are designers” and we need the right to craft our curriculum and learning experiences to meet specified purposes (Pg. 13. Ch. 1). We are all teaching different students, in different cities, in different states; all of whom that have individual strengths and weaknesses, come from various homes, a multitude of diversified backgrounds, who speak different languages and all of whom who have experienced their lives in different manners. I have been teaching for well over 11 years, and I have never once modified my teaching to meet the needs of a curriculum, I always have and will continue to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of my students.
First, to force students to study from the same curriculum, only creates an equal minded society. Society needs diversity of though in order to thrive; it needs minds to think creatively and originally. For a society to suceed in these two areas, it needs a curriculum that allow students to explore arcane subjects and bolsters curiosity and independent tought. In order for this to happens, a more flexible curriculum would coalesce the efforts of an education ministry to produce better students and essentially better citizens.
Eid. Schools create conditions where students do not want to learn because the school itself privileges certain groups over others. Ellis (1999) argues that children need to see themselves in the stories they read in classrooms (as cited in Courtland et al., 2009). As an educator, I believe it is important to teach the curriculum expectations, but I also think it is important for students to see themselves in the curriculum and what is being taught.
In a non-standardized curriculum, students have more control over their learning. The teacher sets the umbrella of the standard but the students can choose what they want to learn from that standard. Student’s freedom of thought, right to question, and the freedom to spread ideas are encouraged in this classroom.
Developing a curriculum is a difficult process, moreso when an educator has to keep in mind the number of students they are trying to reach. At the secondary level, it is not uncommon for a teacher to be responsible for 150 or more students. Each of these students presents a unique and trying task for educators who want to help students learn. Students have different modalities for which they gain knowledge, and it is the teacher’s job to engage those
In order to teach successfully teachers must learn about first learn about their students. Teachers must assess the student’s capabilities and interests. Some students are visual learners, while others learn from hands on activities, or verbal communication. Not all students can learn through memorization, rather they learn through interest and relation to the topic. “To realize what an experience, or empirical situation, means, we have to call to mind the sort of situation that presents itself outside of school" (Democracy and Education). The curriculum should encompass material that is most useful for a student to learn. It seems that in the majority of schools, students are not given the flexibility to guide their own learning, but rather follow rigid instructions that destroy the student’s imagination.
The logistical, psychological, intellectual, and personal components of the power structure in education are challenged by allowing student voices to be heard and acted upon. "When one tries to alter established educational structures and power dynamics, one necessarily faces a variety of difficulties, which are also opportunities" (Cook-Sather, 2002, p. 8).