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My curriculum leadership philosophy is that all students’ have the ability to learn any information placed before them, if the student can see the value in the information. As an administrator, I will hold my students, faculty and staff to high expectations along with the belief that each and every student can achieve success as long as they apply themselves. I believe that a curriculum should be all encompassing and not only focus on mathematics, English, science and history; but, it should also include art, music, and some type of physical activity.
I believe students’ classrooms and schools should be a place of learning and support. Students’ should feel safe to make mistakes, fail, and learn from those failures in a caring, supportive community. This community consists of teachers, peers, administrators, and staff. I often tell students’ that their presence is imperative in our community.
I say, Everyday is a unique opportunity to learn. It is important to have each person in our community present physically and mentally because once a moment has passed, it cannot be replicated.
Each person in our brings their own thoughts, opinions, and ideas to a discussion and if they are not present then we miss their valuable input. I believe curriculum is lead by administrators, teachers, students, and parents in a school and a school district. Curriculum can be formal and informal. Wilson (1990) describes curriculum as:Anything and everything that teaches a lesson, planned or otherwise.
Humans areborn learning, thus the learned curriculum actually encompasses a combination of all of the following – the hidden, null written, political, and societal etc… Since students learn all the time through exposure and modeled behaviors, this means that they learn important social and emotional lessons from everyone who inhabits a school- from janitorial staff, the secretary, the cafeteria workers, their peers, as well as from the department, conduct and attitudes expressed and modeled by their teachers.
Administrators play an essential role in the curriculum beliefs of the school. The administrator is the person guiding the creation of the school mission statement, vision, philosophy of learning and school objectives. The school administrator is often the person responsible for hiring teachers, evaluating teachers and their effectiveness, and ensuring everyone in the building is moving in the direction of the mission and vision statements of the school. Teachers and support staff are also responsible for supporting and implementing curriculum within a school.
Teachers are responsible for direct and indirect instruction of students. Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation is the teacher. (Alsubaie, 2016). The teacher may need to create lesson plans and syllabi within the framework of the given curriculum since teachers responsibilities are to implement the curriculum to meet student needs (Carol, 2009). Fullan (1991) supports that the level of teacher involvement as a center of curriculum development leads to effective achievement of educational reform. Handler(2010) defends the need for teacher involvement in curriculum development because teachers need to collaborate to effectively develop resources to align the content of the curriculum with the needs of the students in the classroom. Curriculum leadership is not completed in isolation of just administrators and teachers.
Students’ play a major role in the development and implementation of curriculum. Tyler (1975) understood that students need to be actively engaged in their daily instruction:If a school activity is perceived as interesting and/or useful for his purposes, he enters into it energetically whereas if it seems irrelevant or boring or painful, he avoids it, or limits his involvement as much as he can. I have found that observing and interviewing students when they are actively engaged in learning things they think are important helps me to develop initial outlines for experiences that will help these students learn things the school seeks to teach. ( pg.28)In today’s society schooling and curriculum are constantly changing and adapting to changes in society. Now, instead of students being required to sit in classes, some schools are virtual, or offer online classes, some are traditional, or montessori.
Each educates students in a differently. Now schools are more concerned with the level of rigor and how they rank on state assessments and report cards than on educating students to be lifelong learners.
Administrators and teachers are tasked with staying informed on different instructional strategies and methods in order to optimize student learning. I agree with Herbert Spencer (1860) who believed that the purpose of education was to prepare for complete living by determining the worth of an educational program by classifying in order of importance, the leading activities of life and then evaluate the educational program of a school on the bases of the extent to which it offered this preparation. I also agree with the Committee of Ten that all pupils should be taught in the same way, all subjects were of the same educational value; and, fitting for college was fitting for life. Curriculum today is more technology centered and futuristic, but overlooks the fact that all students are not necessarily interested in the use of technology in their field. The curriculum also does not account for those students that are not college bound. Unlike in the past where schools were only responsible for educating students intellectually.
However, now schools are responsible for students’ social, emotional, and physical well-being. (Douglas, 1955) Douglas (1955) recognized that the curriculum of today must provide for the development of appropriate ideals, interests, and attitudes; for education in citizenship, in human relations, use of leisure time, home living, physical and mental health, and vocations; for grounding in the fundamentals; for encouragement of the desire to continue to grow and learn after the student has left high school.
Curriculum, both informal and formal must educate the whole child. Douglas(1955) advises the school should educate students on character development focusing on moral and ethical virtues to make them valuable member of their community. Douglas(1955) also suggests educating students for citizenship so students can understand the place of the United States in the world and our international relations, taxation, states’ rights, and employment-management relations. Curriculum development is the responsibility of administrators and teachers to ensure that students’, their parents, and community stakeholders can see the relevance and importance of education.
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