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Introduction To Teaching: What Is A Curriculum?

1816 words - 7 pages

Reflection 1: What is curriculum?
According to Marsh (2010) curriculum is “An interrelated set of plans and experiences which students complete under the guidance of the school or early childhood settings.”(p. 93). The curriculum is many things, it is a document containing a set of expected performance outcomes and content to guide teachers. Curriculum can also be the delivery of objectives and personal experiences to accelerate student learning (A. Smith, personal communication, April 10, 2014).
I personally found separating curriculum from syllabus difficult until reading chapters 6, 9 and 19 from Marsh (2010). Curriculum is a guideline set out for teachers and educators that advises what they need to teach their students (Marsh, 2010). Which simply breaks down and outlines the subjects needed to be taught, along with methods for ensuring each student has learned the necessary materials. The curriculum can also inform teachers regarding how to measure the effectiveness of their teachings through standardised testings (McLachlan, Fleer, & Edward, 2010).
Although curriculum is developed by Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) so that teachers can be more aware of what they are expected to teach throughout the year, many people can influence the curriculum. These include; business owners, government, higher education, such as universities, special interest groups, parents and carers, teachers and childcare professionals and students who modify it to suit their needs (ACARA, 2013). An example of this is some business owner’s need young apprentices with certain hospitality certificates, and now as a result of greater vocational emphasis, higher years of schooling now accommodate to these students’ needs by allowing them to achieve the certificates within their schooling years.
Many factors can affect how and what parts of the curriculum are enacted such as a teacher’s personal experiences and the physical learning environment. As stated in Marsh (2010) “The enacted curriculum deals with professional judgements about the type of curriculum to be implemented and evaluated.” (p. 91). Although, it is the teacher's responsibility to teach the written or planned curriculum, personal experiences and a teachers lack of knowledge in certain areas, can lead to the teaching of the hidden curriculum. “The hidden curriculum is implicated within regular school procedures, in curriculum materials, and in communication approaches and mannerisms used by staff.” (McCutcheon, as cited in Marsh, 2010, p. 92).
If teachers are delivering the curriculum over the year, the students should reach the set of expected performance outcomes. As teachers add their own personal experiences, I find my learning is accelerated. While the hidden curriculum it is not necessarily taught intentionally by teachers, it is crucial to remember students learn a great deal from it. Effective child-focused teachers who want the best outcomes for their students,...

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