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Curriculum & Aims
Chapters 5, 6, 7
Ryan Ross, Krystal Robbins, Yu Ping Hsu, Rachel Harlow
 Last Week
 What is curriculum?
 This Week
 How do we develop a curriculum?
 Different Approaches
 Politics
 Critiques
 Relationships of Curriculum to…
 Curriculum Reform
Chapter 5:
Procedures for Curriculum Making
The question is:
What to teach and why?
Are you like a spider (using inner
resources to produce an
intricately patterned web) or an
ant (gathering bits and pieces of
curriculum materials relevant to
what you teach)?
Three Approaches
 The Tyler Rationale
 Schwab’s Practical and Eclectic Approach
 Freire’s Emancipation Approach
Group Discussions
 Groups 1, 2: Discuss The Tyler Rationale
 Groups 3, 5: Discuss Schwab’s Practical and Eclectic Approach
 Groups 6, 7: Discuss Freire’s Emancipation Approach
 Think about the following aspects of each approach.
1. What are their (Tyler’s, Schwab’s, or Freire’s) views on
education (curriculum)?
2. What are the main characteristics and words to describe the
3. Which of the three approaches do you prefer?
Politics of Curriculum-Making
1) Instructional (decisions made by teachers, students,
and others who experience education first hand)
2) Institutional (school, district, state education office)
3) Societal (agencies, educational institutions,
certification, state and national testing, funding, etc.)
Chapter 6:
Explaining and Critiquing Curriculum Practices
 A Critique of the Tyler Rationale
 Kliebard argued that Tyler’s use of the concept of needs to justify the
selection of objectives. He thinks that some subjects are simply another
way of saying that one must ultimately choose in light of one’s own
values, not by some objective.
 Tyler’s assumption that learning experiences can be “selected and
organized.” Kliebard argued that experiences are the unique and not
wholly predictable result of interactions among students, teachers, and
their environment.
 Kliebard questions the wisdom of an evaluation that only checks on the
attainment of previously stated objective, and concomitant results are
often more important.
 Questions:
 Is it important for educators or research scholars to criticize or judge
curriculum rationale? Why?
 Do you agree with Kliebard’s criticisms of Tyler? Do you see the value of
scholarly critique?
Curriculum and Criticism of
Modern Life
 Michael Apple: School plays a key role in preserving the
cultural capital of the dominated economic forces of
the society. So, everyone, teachers and students, learns
to be part of the system and to assume one’s “proper”
role in relation to authority without learning about the
underlying mechanisms that structure our social
 Question:
 Do you agree that educational scholars and practitioners
have a moral obligation to be critical of the ethics and
justice of our educational system or should the scholar and
practitioner be neutral?
Understanding How Curriculum
Works in the Classroom
 Not critical and judgmental, nor does it advocate courses of
 It aims to help us understand educational phenomena so that
we may better predict, control, and make informed choices.
 The scholar’s role is to investigate, describe in detail, and
illuminate the choices for us, and giving us a clear picture of
how the curriculum actually works. It is a form of scholarship
that learns heavily on the empirical, scientific model of
research to make us better understand what happened when
we make and implement certain kinds of curriculum
Curriculum in Relation to Culture
 Historical research in its own right is another important form
of curriculum scholarship. It helps us understand how the
curriculum got to be what it is today.
 Walter Ong: The great waves of historical change that may
pass almost unnoticed in one person’s lifetime but that
profoundly shape the development of the curriculum across
several generation. When printing became widespread, ideas
were no longer needed to be caught and held in memory at
first hearing. So, rhetoric almost disappeared entirely from
the curriculum of formal education.
 Question:
 When life changed and new media is used, should we stop
teaching reading and writing, as we have largely stopped
teaching rhetoric?
Chapter 7: Cross-Currents of
 A “problem-centered” approach to curriculum change
 Content area instruction, school governance, teaching methods, civil
rights, vouchers, computer literacy
 Challenges the established procedures for making curriculum decisions
 Can involve teachers, parents, school officials, businesses, nonprofit
organizations, government agencies, state legislatures, city councils,
textbook publishers, religious groups, etc.
 Incremental Change vs. Reform Movement
 Curriculum change usually happens slowly ex. Steady increase of time
spent on music and science
 Major reforms that seek radical changes by acting outside the
institutional framework that normally governs incremental changes in
schools ex. Accountability, Progressive Movement
 Reveals conflicting desire for decentralized, distributed power and for a
common curriculum
Reform: Pros and Cons
Consistent with American
traditions of democratic
Operates politically
Impact on local schools is usually
Favors those with connections,
money, and influence
Empowers groups and interests
not represented adequately at
the local level
Disjointed, complicated, and
Fosters experimentation and
Most reforms do not come close to
achieving their stated goals.
 What implications does the comic have for school
 Who is likely in charge of this movement?
 What positive or negative effects can this reform have
on the classroom?
 Do you agree or disagree with the viewpoint conveyed in
the comic?
“The curriculum is constantly
being reshaped, and in the
miniature world of your
classroom, you and your
students get the last and most
consequential stroke.”
Ethics Case: “College or
 Questions to Keep in Mind
 What are the educational purposes CHS is seeking to
 What are the cultural purposes CHS is seeking to attain?
 Does the school’s curriculum match up with the current
cultural and societal environment of the town?
 Which curriculum theorist’s ideas is this curriculum
probably influenced by the most?
 Which curriculum theorist would probably have an issue
with the aims of this curriculum and how it was developed?
“College or Workforce”
 Changing economics, demographics, and vocational
 Emphasis on getting an education within families that
have been working the mills for generations
 Influx of Latin Americans that are now taking the place
in vocational education
 “Balanced” curriculum to allow students to follow a
path to either higher education or a vocational career
 School Counselors are deciding which curriculum would
be best for each student.

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