Program Outcome 1 Reflection
For this program outcome I chose my curriculum analysis paper from CUR 512, Curriculum Analysis and Planning. In this course we defined curriculum, the aspects that are considered when writing curriculum, the theoretical perspectives found within curriculum, and the goals of the curriculum. By writing this paper, I was able to focus in on a unit that I teach in third grade social studies to get a full picture of the curriculum. I was also able to see the complex issues surrounding the curriculum that I never previously noticed.
Curriculum is so much more than the paper copy of lessons and activities that we receive as teachers, but before this course I never really thought of curriculum as being much more. When planning curriculum there are various aspects that need to be considered, such as the content and objectives covered, the materials used, the sequencing of the unit, teacher training and much more. The content and objectives covered starts higher than the county curriculum. During my research on the social studies unit, I looked at the national, state, and local curriculum for third grade social studies. It was very difficult to find connections to the national curriculum, but I saw a strong correlation between the state and local curriculum. By investigating these connections I was able to see the broad scope of the curriculum at the state level and how the local school system had focused the content to create the units that the teachers use in their classrooms. These connections helped me understand how the state curriculum influences and drives our local curriculum.
Through my research, I also looked at the types of curriculum taught in our classrooms. For example, the null curriculum is the curriculum that is not taught or left out. As educators, we implement these various types of curriculum within our teaching often without even knowing it. The choices that we make as educators affect the curriculum being taught and ultimately impacts student achievement. There are distinct differences between the curriculum that is actually written, what is taught to the students and sometimes what is tested. To have effective curricula these elements need to be in line. Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead, and Boschee (2012), discuss the importance of assembling an effective curricula that aligns these elements. By aligning various elements within the curriculum you are working towards continuity in the school system, hopefully ensuring that all the students in that grade-level are learning the same concepts and ideas (Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead, and Boschee, 2012). In a perfect world, there would be continuity within the curriculum that we teach across the county, but it doesn’t happen. I know from personal experience that even within my third grade team there were differences in the curriculum that we delivered to the students. For example, I may alter the activity that my students complete at...