View Of The Curriculum: Equality, Equality And Equality In Education

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View of the Curriculum
American education over the past century has oscillated from focusing on the students to focusing on curriculum. During the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, for example, there was a tension between excellence in education and equality in education. Some people attempted to provide equal education for all people (focusing on the student), but often sacrificed excellence in education. Other schools were set up promoting excellence in education. However, these schools often involved very little equality in access to education and often were only accessible to wealthy, white students. While each end of this spectrum favors one aspect while disregarding the other, I will take more of a balanced approach. These two aspects of
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Both of these theories were enacted in response to an educational structure which promoted relativism and a lack of absolute truths. Thus, the goal of perennialism and essentialism was to return to the traditional educational framework and build up students by passing on the knowledge and truth that had stood the test of time. Other contemporary theories, such as progressivism and humanism, are more focused on the students and base the curriculum on the interests and needs of the students. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. A curriculum-centered education will likely educate all students the same regardless of their talents and abilities. The curriculum acts as the structure for the class to follow. There will be little room for departure from this structure. One advantage of this framework is that students will have a clear understanding of what the teacher expects them to accomplish and that these expectations will be the same for all students. However, this structure does not take into consideration the talents and skills of the students. Thus, while students might receive a much broader education in this approach, students have less ownership over their education. A student-centered curriculum …show more content…
In elementary and middle school, the teacher acts as the experienced and knowledgeable leader. Here, the teacher is to pass on the most important knowledge of the various foundational topics. While having a heavy curriculum focus, there can still be an emphasis on the student in elementary and middle school. An example of this might be when students are asked to work on a project. Students should be given the option to select the topic they wish to study within a particular subject. This more open-ended learning will give the student more ownership on their project and will allow the students to learn more about topics they are interested in. Thus, while the students will learn more foundational knowledge during elementary and middle school, aspects of the student-centered learning can be used at this stage as well. Middle school is a time when the children begin to see where their interests are and begin to understand where they can be used in the world. When students enter high school, they begin to test out their curiosity and educational interests to see if these areas really interest them. Educators in high school, then, are to be more of the supporters and encouragers. Teachers can use their own experience to help the students see where they excel and can encourage students to take more courses related to those areas of

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