The editor of this text presents a range of authors concern about the state of curriculum in K-12 schools of North America in the 21st century. Beane describes the collection of reviews as critiquing curriculum as “disconnected, fragmented, and incoherent”. Eighteen professional writers contributed their perspectives of working with current curriculum that seeks to “Leave no child behind”.
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Authors work in a range of education areas; professors, teachers, lecturers and administration staff. Each author shares their way of engaging with curriculum in a meaningful way so as to relate to the day to day existence of students.
The book was written to fill the gap observed by the authors, which is that there is a lack of curriculum that truly prepares students for lifestyles, careers and personal development suited to live in this the globalized millennium. Throughout the ideal “educated” person is explored, incorporating a diversity of themes that highlight the integration of curriculum, within and between subjects and across cultures. Importantly, it comes across, is the critical need to research more authentic assessment forms, to establish broader goals and standards and to be more fully inclusive of students. 2.
Write down striking words, images, phrases or details. The Search for Coherence is the title of Chapter One is a striking phrase in that it implies that the concept of coherence, as it applies to curriculum, is dearth. This is surprising given the governments push for a “No Child Left Behind Policy” which has seen a radical shake-up of curriculum. The image this casts for me are teachers and lecturers using a torch to look high and low for an elusive “something”; all the while becoming more and more frustrated. Coherence for me describes a state of understanding that allows practical application of knowledge and comprehension.
I love the term “inclusiveness” because it reflects basic human rights to freedom of thought, values and speech. It facilitates the cultivation of discussion to find answers and to listen to each party who is involved. A multi-perspective can only enrich decision-making processes, and better enable critical analysis and monitoring of existing processes and protocols in the delivery of education services to ensure best practices. Critical Analysis 1. Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage?
I am having trouble understanding how a coherent curriculum will ensure a general standard of delivery while tailoring itself to the ever changing individual needs of students, teachers, education institutions and the workforce. The relevance or usefulness of a curriculum must be dynamic in order to provide what is needed as defined by all stakeholders. However, how to be confident that there is an equal access to opportunities and resources that comprise a basic education that will allow students to become functional community members, that contribute as well as take care of their personal well being.
Also, the phrase “repositioning [of] learning experiences into meaningful contexts” (p. 8) comes across as vague and not really saying anything. How the context that is being suggested is quantitatively or qualitatively different form what currently exists is left unclear. 2. Try agreeing with the writer. I agree with the need to develop a more meaningful and purposeful curriculum for our children, young people, and professionals-in-training. A multidisciplinary approach to discussing and problem-solving the issue is a clear approach to aid in the differentiation of concepts and actual facts with regard to current curriculum practices.
I concede as well that education needs to go beyond “mug and jug” and contribute to the motivation, engagement and facilitation of continuous learning and self-discovery of both the student and teacher. The weaving of theory and tried education delivery practices are the best way to provision students and teachers with unambiguous explanations that cultivates applied knowledge. The collection of articles encourages the reader to reflect on their own practices and to determine where flexibility, creativity and change could be of benefit.
However, the authors leave out one set of very important stakeholders – the caregivers of the students. More and more literature is encouraging the inclusiveness of caregivers in the education of their child. The authors tended to ignore directly engaging caregivers in the determination of what is missing in curriculum and most importantly, how to best develop a more coherent form. This is contended to be a loss for any curriculum development as caregivers have intimate knowledge of the needs, desires, fears and capabilities of their children.
Also, many parents are in the workforce or contribute to the community in some other capacity and so also have first hand knowledge of the skills and attitude that is needed for citizens of the future. I anticipate that I will seek continuous development in policy analysis and research work, to be able to monitor and evaluate my practices and the organizational culture and values I am working with. As well I will start a reflective journal to record my own practices and views toward student responses, and my satisfaction with meeting the goals to aid in “educated person
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