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The aim of this assignment is to connect you to some of the key ideas in the literature in regard to ‘student engagement’, ‘communities as curricula’, ‘students (and teachers) as researchers’ ‘critical teaching for everyday life’ and ‘critical service-learning for active citizenship’.
The paper should have two parts:
(a) Based on your reading, annotated bibliography and reflections prepare a short written essay that explains your understanding of TWO (2) of these concepts and how they might be useful in your own curriculum planning. The intent is to develop a rationale for making the curriculum more relevant to students’ lives and their communities.
(b) Begin to describe how these ideas might open up some new possibilities (clues, leads, directions) for working with a group of students on a particular topic in your own school and community setting. In this task, you should begin to identify some community assets, needs, resources, strengths, and/or social, economic and cultural features of your school community that might be useful to this project.
Teachers play a very important role in the life of the students because, after families, students spend most of the time with their teachers. They observe teachers, learn from them and adopt the same thinking in their lives. The best form of teaching practice constitutes a discussion, the participation of students, debates and practical learning. It is very important for teachers to design activities that will ensure active participation from students and develop their learning practice. In order to follow these implications of teaching, the role of Student Engagement and Communities as Curricula is discussed below (Hagemeier et al., 2010).
Student engagement is one of the most important elements that ensure their active interest and participation in their lessons. It means that the students take part in their school or class activities; they attend their class regularly, submit the homework on time and follow the direction of their teachers. Student engagement can take place within the boundaries of a classroom or outside the class in real world situations. In this case, it is important for teachers to create conditions that make students react so that they engage in class discussions and take part in different activities of the school, which in turn facilitates their learning. Students are encouraged to take part in different classroom activities during the school premises that include, educational plays, learning about nature by visiting the school garden etc. Such activities ensure participation from every student and make learning fun for them. Hence, it promotes student engagement in different fields. While developing the curriculum, the teachers first should understand the meaning of student engagement and what is it that she/ he is expecting out of the process. After the basic definition and expectation are cleared, the teacher should then start making an appropriate curriculum for students that ensures student engagement. The teacher should show appropriate skills required by students for successful learning, demonstrate the engagement in learning as an important part of their personality and get a constructive reaction of the curriculum. It is important for the teachers to understand that relationship of students with other students; teachers and parents are a result of student engagement (Trowler, V., 2010).
Communities play a very important part in the lives of humans due to the fact that humans are social entities. All of us have been related to some sort of community, which can be a religious one, a group of friends, work- community or simply a family. Even for students, communities are very important because when they grow up they have to deal with them and become a part of these communities. One of the best forms of teaching approach is to make these communities as curricula that facilitate learning and development within students. Such learning technique ensures that students learn from real-world situations and gain practical knowledge of their surroundings. As an individual it is very important to be conscious of the surroundings be aware of them in fact, a relationship with communities help people to understand and analyse their position in the society. Similarly, this kind of learning facilitates a wide scope for students that ensure they grow up as aware, knowledgeable and intelligent adults. While developing a curriculum that ensures the involvement of communities, it is important for teachers to integrate different communities or activities within the coursework that ensures all- round development for students (Wise, S., 2013). Within the school community, students are promoted to take part in picnics, short trips, plays, leading their classrooms, involving different activities such as taking care of the garden or visiting March pasts, museums, government organisations etc. These activities ensure that students see and observe from different situations of life that will make the world clearer and understandable to them.
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