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From the beginning of Topic 1, you should start to think about and prepare for this assessment. Your notes on the readings and your participation in the activities will help you complete this assessment.
There will be a collaborate on this assessment.
Task description: Use somebody's experiences of schooling to reflect on the importance of the ideas, beliefs and values (i.e. philosophies) of educators and learning settings (schools, classrooms) to the curriculum experiences of learners.
The task involves you: reading the unit readings from Topics 1-3; writing 5-10 open-ended interview questions; interviewing one or more people [which may include family, friends, or your peers (NO teachers)]; and writing a short report. (You may choose to do the interview over email).
The purpose of this task is to use your understanding of curriculum (from your readings) to reflect on/interpret/understand the experiences of one or more people you interview and how these experiences have been influenced by the decisions and practices of educators and/or the school.You must demonstrate to the marker your thoughtful engagement with the unit readings and their ideas.
Understanding curriculum experiences
Primarily the textbook, 'Powers of Curriculum' explores the education system of Australia and its evolving practices, with respect to the curriculum and evolving lesson profile for the learners. Gobby (2017) argues that the educational professionals are responsible to critically understand the early leaners, and contribute towards their reflective learning. In this sense, the curriculum not only functions as a syllabus document, rather as a process for critical learner reflection, through which the educators attain an opportunity to plan the assessment, the lesson and the learning goals with consideration to the pedagogy of the students (Gobby, 2017). With this approach, Giamminuti (2017) discusses the relevance of understanding the childhood environment for the learners. Through this chapter, the author laid out the philosophical backdrop in understanding the relevance of critical planning and reflective thinking for the early learning paradigms.
Through this textbook, the essence of the Australian early learning has been shared. Where each author has shared their experiences in educational settings, as they reflect how the curriculum shaped the learners. Through their works, Giamminuti (2017) argued that professionals must be aware of their own perspectives towards the education, and then align the same with the curriculum. Through this, professionals can change ineffective practices, and develop a lesson plan that can fulfil the curriculum while bringing their individuality to the lesson, and achieve the learning goals (Giamminuti, 2017). In their review, Down (2017), argues that even as the learning for the students has evolved, a comprehension of what entails a reflective learning process, prepares the educator to ensure best outcomes for the learners. Down (2017) further points that reflective learning process creates critical understanding in learners irrespective of the background, and hence, their relevance in the early year’s curriculum becomes all the more pronounced.
In this sense concepts such as 'hidden curriculum' were further shared in the work. Where the relevance of life lessons and other innovative measures of lesson brought by an educator unintentionally to the classroom were introduced to ensure that each student goes back with something unique from a lesson. In this sense, this report argues that the professionals that are more aware of their background are more likely to introduce reflective thinking, and innovative activities associated with the lesson, and hence, improve the learning outcome for the student.
For the purpose of the present exercise, following questions are considered.
- What is your context/ background?
- Two concepts of curriculum theory are ‘the hidden curriculum’ this concept refers to when children go away from a situation having learned something that the teacher did not intend to teach them. The other is ‘the null curriculum’ where particular topics are made off limits even when students show an interest in them. Can you think of a situation at school where you experienced either of these situations? Explain
- What does the phrase 'curriculum experience' mean to you?
- How do you think a teacher's philosophy impacts on how they teach the formal curriculum?
- Children learn many lessons during their time at school that teachers don't intend for them to learn (Blaise & Nuttall, 2011). Can you think of something valuable your teacher taught you but may not have intended to (that wouldn’t be a part of the formal curriculum)?
- The null curriculum is a term given to topics children learn in schools which are unintended by the teacher. These may include topics such as sex, violence and death. Do you think that these topics should be touched on within the classroom? Why/why not?
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