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Curriculum studies Essay

In my assignment I will be defining curriculum and also addressing the notion of subject based curriculum with integrated curriculum. I will also be mentioning the advantages of subject based curriculum and conclude the assignment by answering the question of the assignment which ask, why is subject based curriculum is supported by leading writers? And I will also enhance my personal input on what I agree with concerning the assignment question. Curriculum is defined as a planned learning opportunities offered by the organization to learners and the experiences learners encounter when the curriculum is implemented.

A curriculum is an attempt to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice. A curriculum is the formulation and implementation of an educational proposal to be taught and learned within a school or other institution and for which that institution accepts responsibility at three levels, its rationale, its actual implementation and its effects.

The curriculum is part of the culture in a specific context and culture is defined as “that complex whole, which includes knowledge, belief art, morals, law, customs and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.” E B Taylor (1871, p. 1) and it is also defined as “ culture is transferred, it creates a heritage or a social tradition, that it is learned, it is not a manifestation in particular content, of a man’s genetic constitution, and that it is shared. ”Talcott Parsons (1952, p.15). Culture is a complex term. Culture is both a product of social interaction as well as a determinant of it.

Culture forms the basis of our communications with others; it is a cultural exchange of both shared and different experiences. Subject based curriculum focuses on the content of the curriculum. The designing resembles usually, to the textbook written for the specific subject, students increase knowledge of a subject matter determined by a set of “experts.” curriculum is planned around content units and the order of what is taught follows the purpose of the subject matter (Knowles, 1984).

The purpose of subjects in school are mostly for information where learners have a central ideas on what there are doing or learning , for teachers to use statements that are proved against experience, giving learners specific methods and skills essential to succeed. To gain field knowledge (theoretical, practical, that may include moral knowledge) subject matter inter-disciplinary e.g. Geography and engineering. Hirst (1965). The subject based approaches to school curriculum involve students studying separate subjects that are independent and disconnected from each other, taught at different times during the day by specialized teachers.

While integrated curriculum it is about creation of connections, across disciplines to real. It is a curriculum which include methods to education that include students viewing towards several dimensions that reflect the real world and are not restricted by the disciplines. One of the features of integrated curricula is that the knowledge that is taught and learned is strong-minded by matters that are applicable to the students. In this way, there tends to be more connection and application of knowledge to the issue of concern. In integrated approaches to curriculum students are generally given long periods throughout the school day to explore zones of interest to them.

They are directed and supported by the teacher, but the emphasis is on the student being an active learner. Curriculum integration argues that knowledge in the real world is holistic and the division of knowledge into subjects for teaching and learning in schools is an unnecessary historical tradition and simply a practical method to deliver a curriculum (Hatch, 1998). This curriculum includes setting knowledge to use in relation to real life problems and issues, rather than being lists of concepts, facts and skills that students master for standardized in accomplishment of tests. Integrated curriculum is a way to teach students that attempts to break down barriers between subjects and make learning more meaningful to students.

The advantages of subject based curriculum are that, it lends itself well to mass production, publishers can produce workbooks that break down reading or math into sub skills and procedures, which students and teachers can easily direct. This approach can be active in a environment where resources for staff development are limited. Teachers are able to guide the learning that is happening at the appropriate pace for students to be able to acquire new knowledge adequately. At the end of a course of learning, there has to be testing and evaluation of the learning that has occurred. Learners who are interested in learning about a topic don’t have to wait for a class to start or fit it into their schedules, especially in case of adult learners, because subject based material are accessible commercially like computers and books.

Why is subject based curriculum advocated by leading writers? It is a curriculum which is teacher centered and learners are seen as passive participants and subjects are rated hierarchy. The leading writers support it because it Disciplines are considered important human achievements that have provided the best answers to fundamental questions about the world that human beings have generated. It is suitable that the teacher who is now the expert in a subject should be the one to teach that knowledge to the students.

For example If students have any questions on a topic raised by a textbook, the teacher exist as the “expert” to answer the questions. It is also supported because this writer sees the teacher as being able to direct learning and plan how the course should proceed and the teacher is able to direct learning and plan how the course should proceed. In conclusion i don’t see a link of how subject based curriculum can be used in the current world where things are changing everyday, yet the curriculum itself is not relevant to the needs of the learners and it sees learners or student as passive not active participants, where everything is teacher centered and the teacher decide what learners or student need to know.

On my personal view I believe integration curriculum is the best, because it sees the best in every person and it does not judge according race or marginalize people according to how they are, status quo is not an option it is rejected on integrated curriculum. It engage young people to be better reflectors to their realities, experiences outside school; “it makes learning more applied, more critical, more inventive, and more meaningful for students” (Hargreaves et al., 2001, p. 112). It goes beyond merely “overlapping” the different existing subjects. The students do not just read about Earth Day in English or calculate pollution levels in Math, rather they learn in a way that exclude labeling knowledge and, more importantly draws upon their own life experiences and backgrounds.

This makes learning real for the students and gives them some ‘stake’ in the learning process as compared to the subject based curriculum. Integrated curriculum is an effective way to teach and learn, because it corresponds with the way our brain works physiologically. It teaches notions that help students approach any situation or problem, rather than facts which have limited application, this method doesn’t engage the student nor does it try to integrate knowledge gained in different subject areas. Subject based curriculum prevents students from understanding the wider context of what they’re learning. In the subject based curriculum students learn maths in one period, reading in another, science in another and life science in yet another, separate class.

Every subject is taught as though it exists in and of itself without regard for how one subject impacts another subject. In the subject based curriculum, students are discouraged from enjoyable a different point of view than what textbook or teacher presents. The subject matter has already been chosen by experts in the different subjects, by school boards and by teachers and believed of value for students to learn. The subject matter is of serious importance, while students become little more than vessels to be filled, rather than thinking, rational individuals who need to be part of the learning process.

Apple, M. W. & Beane, J. A. (1999). Lessons from democratic schools. In M. W. Apple & J. A. Beane (Eds.), Democratic schools: Lessons from the chalk face (pp. 118-123). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Bernstein, B. (1971). On the classification and framing of educational knowledge. In M. Young (Ed.), Knowledge and control: New directions for the sociology of education (pp. 47-69).

London: Collier-Macmillan. Stenhouse, L. (1975). defining the curriculum problem. volume 5, 1-5. Young, M. (2008). Bringing knowledge back in: From social constructivism to socialrealism in the sociology of education. London: Routledge. Young, M. (2009c). Curriculum theory and the problem of knowledge: A personal journey and an unfinished project. In E. Short & L. J. Waks (Eds.), Leaders in Curriculum Studies: Intellectual Self Portraits (pp. 219-230). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers

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