Unit 6 Curriculum development for inclusive practice. Firstly I am going to look at the range of contexts in which education and training can be provided in the lifelong learning sector. I also aim to look at how the curriculum on offer may differ according to the educational or training context. By looking at my own curriculum I intend to look at ways it may vary according to the context in which it is delivered and give an example of a situation that forced the curriculum to change in one of my own teaching sessions.
The application of theories, principles and models of inclusive curriculum when designing courses and the putting of these into practice along with suggestions of how to change and improve the curriculum will be looked at in this section of the essay. I will also examine how equality and diversity can be built into the curriculum design and become an integral part of the curriculum as well as the way our social, economic and cultural differences affect teaching and qualifications in my specific teaching area.
It is also important that we look at how we can contend with any prejudice which may occur in the classroom. Lastly I will look at how these curriculum theories, principles and models are used to assist me teach in my own area. Also, I will judge the strengths and weaknesses in my curriculum design and how this could be changed to improve its effectiveness. I will also look at the strengths and weaknesses in the design of the curriculum from which I teach.
The range of contexts that the Life Long Learning cover are in place as a result of a government policy following a green paper “The Learning Age, a renaissance for a new Britain. ” by David Blunket (DfEE 1998) that states ”learning enables people to play a full part in their community and strengthens the family, the neighbourhood and consequently the nation. ” This paper proposed a professional teaching qualification as the target that all teachers in FE should hold or be working towards.
This paper also proposed that everyone should have the same opportunity to access FE without being restricted due to circumstances thus providing social cohesion. This is why the Life Long Learning sector takes the form of a variety of different providers and these include Colleges of Further Education that are usually funded by the Learning Skills Council, Adult Community Colleges mostly funded by local authorities, Community Based Learning that are funded by European Social Fund or charitable or church trusts.
There are two types of learning that involve the employer funding the college these are Work based learning and Train to Gain although in times of recession such as now the present funding is difficult to come by as employers are more likely to take on fully trained staff. Another important part of these changes as a result of the report was the defining of the curriculum. There are many definitions of curriculum but a view outlined by Stenhouse L. (An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development 1975) asks us to concentrate not just on the planned curriculum but on the reality of teaching and learning for teachers and students.
By looking at this quote I deem it to mean the situation we find ourselves teaching in. An example of this is the Football Level 1 coaching course I deliver, we have to demonstrate the offside rule and how to defend using it. where I teach we only have a five a side football pitch so the practical demonstrations are difficult to conduct and we have to convey this part of course using DVDs and a tactics board, however a full size pitch, which would probably be available at most schools and colleges, would allow the practical demonstrations of this part of the course to be possible.
When we choose a curriculum we look to three different levels to dictate what is included. The Instructional level which is the teachers and students, the Institutional level which is the college or higher management and the Societal level which is the awarding bodies themselves but ultimately the final choice lies at Ministerial level. Every curriculum represents a set of fundamental beliefs, assumptions and values. We can group these beliefs and call them Educational Ideologies.
There are five major education ideologies and these date back over 2000 years. Classical Humanism is the first of these five and views its attitude towards knowledge as wisdom rather than just knowledge. This is an old fashioned view of education based around classics such as Latin and Shakespeare. The role of the learner is rather passive though and involves mainly listening and taking notes as it is the teacher who plays the central role, the transmitter of the knowledge the outcome of which is the learner becoming knowledgeable about the classics.
Liberal Humanism is the next of these ideologies it encompasses more up to date subject matter and is more developmental and open to all with the learner being more involved in the learning process through discussions and debates with the teacher being more of a guide and organiser. The learner will end up well informed on up to date subject matter. Progressivism falls somewhere between the two previous ideologies and was developed in USA by Dewery, J. (1915) he found Classical Humanism too teacher centered while Liberal Humanism, on the other hand, was too student-centered.
So he developed an approach that was midway between. The curriculum would be constructed of topics which interested the learners thus they would think more for themselves, finding out through active experience, making them more mature decision makers and more independent. Instrumentalist Ideology became increasingly important in the UK in the early years of the twenty first century. It involved training a highly educated workforce enabling the UK to compete against its foreign competitors.
It centres on a more practical and vocational curriculum giving the learner ready to use skills in the workplace and making the tutor an instructor of skills. The last of these ideologies is that of Reconstructionism and this sees education as the way of moving society in a particular direction. Many totalitarian governments like China and Nazi Germany have in the past used this ideology to re educate its citizens to serve the interests of those in power. The learner would then become a new citizen with the teacher being the inspiration for these new values using focused activities to achieve this outcome.
To assist with the deciding of the curriculum choice we have the curriculum Ideology that first came to prominence in 1924 when Franklin Bobbit wrote “ How to Make a Curriculum”. However in 1974 Ralph Tyler published “Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction”. This was based around four principles that are still widely recognised today. They are as follows- *What are your curriculum aims and objectives? *Which learning experiences meet these aims and objectives? *How can these learning experiences be organised into a curriculum programme? How can this programme be evaluated? Approaches to developing the curriculum are relatively new, having first appeared in the USA in the 1940s before spreading to the UK in the 1960s. Four curriculum models appear consistently in curriculum literature and these are covered here. The first is the Content model; this is based around an instructivist view of learning and the foundation of this is to transfer existing knowledge to new learners. This is based upon the work of among others, Paul Hirst (1974). The emphasis is on the intellectual development of the learners.
Hirst believes that there are seven forms of knowledge that represents the ways in which people experience and learn about the world. These are mathematics, physics, literature and fine arts, religion, morals, philosophy and knowledge of persons. The main aim of the curriculum is to transfer the knowledge. The next level is the Product model; this model has a behaviourist learning basis and is interested in the product of a curriculum. This is the end result in the form of an exam, learning of a skill or an ability to do something.
It is closely linked to Ralph Tyler (1971) and was based around the four questions as previously mentioned. The Process model was developed by Lawrence Stenhouse (1975) and is interested in the processes and procedures of learning so that the learner can use and develop the content, not just the passive transfer of the content. This could take the form of a project. Situation model describes the circumstances and environment in which the learner will experience the learning. Thus the situation in which the curriculum is delivered becomes a key element of its shape.
Using these models to look at my own curriculum I believe there is something of all these models in our curriculum. All of our initial courses involve the content model of curriculum as they involve the general passing of basic knowledge needed to complete these courses. The Product model is evident especially on a number of our NOCN courses as the criteria is very similar to that of the City and Guilds assessment criteria. This is set by the awarding body NOCN and we write our courses around this using the same form 1. 1, 1. 2 etc.
The Situation model is also relevant in our courses due to the circumstances of the learning environment. The weakest of the models that influence our curriculum is possibly the Process model as it is difficult for our learners to participate in projects, research and field trips due to the fact they are in prison and have very little access to such forms of learning. When looking at curriculum design we need to be mindful that we build equality of opportunity and respect for diversity into them so that everyone is included in the learning process. By making sure we include many different forms of learning i. . making the lessons interactive and fun with the inclusion of DVDs with sub-titles and modified computer equipment for dyslexic users as well as headphones for visually impaired learners or even on-line recorded lessons can all be ways of ensuring learners are included. The facilities are also a major factor when assisting learners. For instance the design of the learning environment to facilitate wheelchair users or even arranging the classroom to ensure everyone can see and hear can all be of assistance to wheel chair users and the hard of hearing and visually impaired.
Although we can make learning inclusive we can do little to finance work related learning. Some of these barriers are also evident in all forms of FE. Learning in some social groups is deemed unfashionable therefore a learner may have to overcome peer pressure before embarking in FE. I am particularly lucky that I am fortunate enough to be able to link my curriculum to sport and I feel this helps to attract some learners that possibly would not have looked to enter into further education and it also makes the courses I deliver more fashionable. Some other barriers can also be cultural.
For example, in some cultures women are not encouraged to participate in education. In addition to any disabilities that could prove a barrier to education other individual barriers could be a reluctance following a previously bad educational experience, a lack of motivation and enthusiasm as well as lack of social or basic skills. Discriminatory behaviours could also prove to be a barrier to learning if allowed to disrupt the learning environment. We can help to avoid learners becoming disruptive if we put class contracts in place agreed by all the students prior to commencing any courses.
By keeping students motivated, including the setting of extra tasks if required, rewarding achievements and giving praise we can possibly stop this sort of behaviour in the classroom. However if students become a problem we have to be careful how we deal with them. We, as tutors need to avoid humiliating students and instead take aside any disruptive elements and deal with them in private rather than in front of other students. We can put disruptive students in a group to take the emphasis off the tutor and also appeal to the group rather than disruptive individuals and these individuals should only be given attention to start with.
If these measures to curb disruptive individuals fail then the next measure should be to contact learner support. Hopefully the curriculum on offer will eliminate the chance of disruptive students although part of my own curriculum that I feel lets my courses down is that I would like the curriculum to follow the Process model more. I am a great believer in projects and field trips as an aid to learning. I feel that by giving the learner more responsibility and being more involved in the learning process the whole process becomes far more interesting.
I will continue to do this in the future as the feedback and response to these sessions was excellent. A change of tutor and a new face proved to be a refreshing change and the discussions as a result of this proved to me that learning had indeed taken place. When looking at our own approaches, strengths and development needs in relation to inclusive curriculum design and development, I feel that as our courses are quite rigorous in their content as previously explained when discussing the content model of curriculum, it is therefore necessary to listen to the learners to make any possible improvements.
As our courses are mainly quite short in duration around thirty hours over two weeks at the end of each course we able to obtain feedback from our learners in the shape of end of course questionnaires and end of course meetings. As a result we can assess aspects of the success and failings of the course and make adjustments to things such as the curriculum design and development. This allows us to make regular changes to the curriculum after consultation with other tutors. I feel this is a great strength in the design of our curriculum and assists in making changes to a rigid course criteria.
In relation to my own learning and practice in curriculum design and development. I feel that my I. T. skills need development although my use of I. T. has increased greatly as a result of this course; it is still the weaker aspect of my curriculum design. This is an area I used to be afraid of but I actually enjoy now so I do not see this as being too much of a problem as I do intend to enrol on some of the I. T. courses run by my employer on completion of this course. This will assist my curriculum design and improve my own learning and development.
As a result of looking at curriculum in this unit I have gained a greater understanding of what is required to ensure a good curriculum. I have especially developed a greater awareness of inclusivity needs when planning and how the curriculum models and ideologies influence our curriculum. Bibliography Hirst,P. H. (1974) Knowledge and the Curriculum, London: Routledge and Keegan Paul. Stenhouse , L (1975) An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development. London: Heineman. Blunkett, D (1998) The Learning Age :a renaissance for a new Britain.
Green Paper. The Stationary office. http://www. oise. utoronto. ca/research/edu20/moments/1949 tyler. html -accessed 26/2/09 http://inside. msj. edu/academics/faculty/westm/curriculumtheorists/newspaper2htm. – accessed 26/02/09 Tyler, R. (1971) Basic Principals For Curriculum and Instruction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dewery, J. (1915) The School and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Teaching and Training in Post- Compulsory Education 3rd Edition. Armitage, Bryant, Dunnill, Flanagan, Hayes, Hudson, Kent, Lawes, Renwick.