This article published by infed.org explains the curriculum really well. The focus of this article is around 4 models of curriculum:
- Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be Transmitted
- Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students- Product
- Curriculum as process
- Curriculum as praxis
First, I will be talking about the transmitted model. In the article, they talked much about the syllabus. This model is actually the ability to transmit the syllabus. I believe there are both pros and cons to the syllabus. I believe there is lots of great information to help guide the teacher to teach. To people who are very linear and like to go by the book, this could be a helpful tool. Also, it makes every school equal where all students must learn the same information. It can also be a negative aspect of schooling. It limits the teacher’s ability to teach. As described in the article, “A syllabus will not generally indicate the relative importance of its topics or the order in which they are to be studied. In some cases as Curzon (1985) points out, those who compile a syllabus tend to follow the traditional textbook approach of an ‘order of contents’”. This quote explains how the syllabus does not really entertain any ‘important’ topics. Instead just shows what you have to teach.
The curriculum is also product-focused. This means goals are set, in which students and teachers must meet the requirements. The goal tendency is usually to get a high grade in school, complete your assignments on time and write your exams. The positives of this model are it works for many students. They can show up to class and know what to expect where this creates less stress. The negatives to this can be how students or teachers have no wiggle room. They must meet deadlines to complete assignments. For teachers, they must teach the syllabus before the departmental exam because they must have learned every unit.
Another model of curriculum is ‘process’. The process described in the article is “In this sense curriculum is not a physical thing, but rather the interaction of teachers, students, and knowledge. In other words, curriculum is what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate”. This basically describes the curriculum as a peer in the classroom. This is where students, teachers, and curriculum all work together to achieve goals.
The fourth and final model is ‘praxis’. Praxis can be defined as the approach to the curriculum as being dynamic. This creates an atmosphere of active learning. Active learning benefits a multitude of people. The classroom can be altered to benefit all students. Personally, I cannot see many cons to this model. It allows openness inside the classroom and allows learning to be freer.
My high school experience was product-focused. I remember going to class, learning my subject, given an assignment, studying, then a midterm and a final. It made my education really good for understanding the syllabus and curriculum but limited my creativity. I notice myself being not creative. I am unsure if this is my human nature or from my schooling.