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Chapter 8- Curriculum Design
the arrangement of the elements of a curriculum into a substantive entity
Elements of Curriculum Design
Aims, Goals, and Objectives
Subject Matter
Learning Experiences
Evaluation Approaches
Sources for Curriculum Design
Eternal and Divine Sources
Science as a Source
Scientific method provides meaning for the curriculum design
Designs that stress learning how to learn or “thinking” curricula emphasize scientific procedures
Coincides with the scientific and rational world of Western culture
Society as a Source
School is an agent of society, thus the school should draw its ideas for the curriculum from the analysis of the social situation
Curriculum design can only be completely understood if it is contextualized socially, economically, and politically
Eternal and Divine Sources
Draw on the past for guidance as to what is appropriate content
Related to eternal truth revealed through such sources as the Bible or other religious documents
Knowledge as a Source
Disciplined Knowledge
has a particular method or methods by which scholars extend its boundaries
Undisciplined Knowledge
does not have unique content, but has content that is clustered according to the focus of the investigation
The Learner as a Source
Curriculum should be derived from what we know about the learner---how he learns. Forms attitudes, generates interests, and develops values
Conceptual Framework
Horizontal organization
scope and integration
side by side arrangement of curriculum elements
sequence and continuity
longitudinal placement of curriculum elements
Design Dimension Considerations
breath and depth of curriculum content
vertical relationship among curricular areas
the occurrence and reoccurrence of content and experiences so that students will have opportunities to connect and enrich their understanding of the curriculum presented or experienced
vertical manipulation or repetition of curriculum components
linking of all types of knowledge and experiences contained within the curriculum plan
enables the individual to comprehend knowledge as unified
Vertical Articulation
depicts the relationships of certain aspects in the curriculum sequence to lessons, topics, or courses appearing later in the program’s sequence
Horizontal Articulation
refers to the association between or among elements occurring simultaneously
giving appropriate weight to each aspect of the design so that distortions do not occur
Representative Curriculum Designs
Subject-Centered Designs
Learner-Centered Designs
Problem-Centered Designs
Subject-Centered Designs
Subject Design
Discipline Design
Broad Fields Design
Correlation Design
Process Design
Subject Design
Based on the belief that what makes humans unique and distinctive is their intellect and the searching for and attainment of knowledge are the natural fulfillment of that intellect
Curriculum is organized according to how essential knowledge has been developed in the various subject areas
Subject Design-Strengths & Weaknesses
Emphasis on verbal activities
Introduces students to the essential knowledge of society
Easy to deliver
Prevents individualization
Disempowers students
Fails to foster social, psychological, and physical development
Compartmentalizes learning
Neglects students’ needs, interests, experiences
Fosters passivity
Discipline Design
Based on the inherent organization of content
The manner in which content is learned is suggested by the methods scholars employ to study the content of their fields.
Discipline Design-Strengths & Weaknesses
Students attain mastery of content and independent learning
Subjects to be taught to any child at any stage of development
Ignores information that cannot be classified as disciplined knowledge
Addresses only the interests of the college bound
Students must adapt to the curriculum
Broad Fields Design (Interdisciplinary)
Attempts to integrate content that appears to fit together logically
Allows students to discern relationships among the various aspects of the curriculum content, as well as wholeness of meaning
Students are invited to participate through the construction of meaning in grasping the meaning or meanings of the whole
Broad Fields- Strengths & Weaknesses
Allows students to discern relationships among various aspects of curriculum content
Students participate in the construction of meaning
Issue of breadth vs depth
Correlation Design
Allows for some linkage of separate subjects in order to reduce fragmentation of the curricular content
Correlation- Strengths & Weaknesses
Allows linkage of some subjects to reduce fragmentation
Requires alternative forms of scheduling
Requires teachers to plan differently (cooperatively)
Process Design
Gives attention to the procedures and processes by which individuals advance knowledge, either in specific disciplines or in general
Emphasizes those procedures and dispositions to act that enable students to analyze their realities and create frameworks by which the knowledge derived can be arranged
Process- Strengths & Weaknesses
Teaches how to learn and think critically
Lacks emphasis on content
Learner-Centered Designs
Child Centered Designs
Experience-Centered Designs
Romantic (Radical) Designs
Humanistic Designs
Child Centered Designs
Students must be active in their environments if we are to optimize learning
Curriculum should be based on students’ lives, needs, and interests
Child-Centered Strengths & Weaknesses
Empowers students through ownership of knowledge
Allows for constructivist learning
Content not specific
Experience Centered Designs
Everything has to be done “on the spot”---we cannot anticipate the interests and needs of children
Experience Centered Strengths & Weaknesses
Based on natural experiences of children
Not specific
Romantic (Radical) Designs
Emancipation is the goal of education
Individuals should gain those awarenesses, competencies, and attitudes to enable them to take control of their lives
Learning results from the interaction among people; by challenging content and permitting different views about the content, as well as from critiquing the purposes of the information presented
Romantic Strengths & Weaknesses
Emancipates the learner
Threatens status quo
Humanistic Designs
The focus of attention should be on the subject nature of human existence; there is a relationship between learning and feeling
Empowering individuals
Stress the development of positive self-concept and interpersonal skills
Humanistic Strengths &Weaknesses
Promotes self esteem
Empowers individuals
Inadequate consideration of methods in light of consequences for learners
Inconsistent emphasis on uniqueness of individuals and activities that all students experience
Too much emphasis on the needs of the individual over the overall society
Does not integrate what is known about human learning and development
Problem-Centered Designs
Life-Situations Design
Core Design
Social problems and Reconstructionist Designs
Persistent life situations are crucial to a society’s successful functioning; it makes sense to organize a curriculum around them
Students will see direct relevance to what they are studying if the content is organized around aspects of community life
By having students study social or life situations, they not only study ways to improve society but become directly involved in that improvement
Life Situation Design
Life Situations Strengths & Weaknesses
Presents subject matter in an integrated manner
Encourages students to learn and apply problem solving procedures
How to determine scope and sequence of essential areas of learning
Does not expose student adequately to their cultural heritage
Centers on general education and is based on problems arising out of common human activities
Core Design
Core Strengths & Weaknesses
Unifies content
Provides relevant subject matter
Encourages active processing of information
Fosters democratic processes in the classroom
Ignores the fundamentals
Materials are hard to find
Requires an exceptional teacher
Social Problems and Reconstructionist Design
Curriculum should address contemporary social problems and social action projects aimed at reconstructing society
Educators will effect social change and create a more just society

Strengths & Weaknesses