Conceptions of Curriculum and Their Part in the Shaping of Education – Term Paper Example

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The paper “ Conceptions of Curriculum and Their Part in the Shaping of Education” is a pathetic variant of a term paper on education. The curriculum  has been a matter of intense debate during the 20th century and there have been all kinds of priorities proposed including citizenship demands, personal development, and vocation training. Also, there have been various pressure ranging from a practical, school focused approaches to curriculum and curriculum development and the advent of various kinds of theoretical perspectives, technical, and scientific management approaches. For this reason, our study will focus on how different conceptions of curriculum affect and shape our educational system.

It will include a discussion and analysis of different conceptions of curriculum and VELS. The School CurriculumThe way we feel and act about curriculum according to Print (1993) is our conceptions of curriculum. Based on the works of McNeil (1985), Eisner (1979), and others, Print (1993) developed six types of conceptions. They are academic rationalist conception, cognitive processes conception, humanistic conception, social re-constructionist conception, technological conception, and eclectic conception (p. 46). In the academic rationalist conception, schools are unique places for the development of a future society where students should learn from accrued knowledge obtained from studying academic subjects.

It is a place where students are provided with academic tools and knowledge for their adult life. However, it is viewed as excessively content-bound and normally underemphasized processes at the expense of content. In contrast, cognitive processes conception, students learn new skills or learning techniques they can use to learn. Moreover, it helps students develop the various academic talent that they have. Humanistic conception, on the other hand, promotes the enhancement of students through individual development, integrity, and independence.

This conception is in conflict with social re-constructionism where the curriculum is recognized as a device for social reform for a better society. In this conception, the needs and betterment of society are given more significance above those of the individual. Technological conception, as the name implies, promotes the use of technology to accomplish a predetermined end. This conception is therefore viewed learning as a process of responding to motivations and the effectiveness of these motivations results in more effective learning. The “ major strength of the technological conception is the nature of its relationship between the learner and the information source” (Print 1993, p. 55).

Finally, the eclectic conception merges two or more curriculum conceptions. It may be a blend of humanistic and academic conception or technological and humanistic curriculum conception. The CurriculumThe most significant characteristic of a curriculum in plain language is being an ‘ instrumental device’ . It is a device used to achieve some purpose or objective – the promotion of learning. A curriculum is designed to achieve its goals by imposing or controlling intentional activities of teachers and students and for a curriculum to realize its targets, people must be keen to adhere to it (Miranda and Magsino (1990, p. 134).

Curriculum development or change aims to make the most of the effectiveness of teaching and learning through modification in the designs of content, execution, and activities for educational processes. Therefore, curriculum alteration is linked to curriculum efficiency (Cheng 1996, p. 148). A successful curriculum can properly network with teachers’ proficiency to help teacher performance, help students achieve learning experiences that suit their requirements, and generate significant education outcomes, under the constraints of pre-existing characteristics such as national goals, school goals, school management, subject content, educational technology, and resources.


h. Reference List

Bernhardt Victoria. 1999. The School Portfolio: A Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement. United States: Published by Eye On Education, Inc.

Cheng Yin Cheong. 1996. School Effectiveness and School-based Management: A Mechanism for Development. United Kingdom: Published by Routledge

Killen Roy.2006. Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from Research and Practice. Australia: Published by Thomson Learning Nelson

Miranda Evelina and Magsino Romulo. 1990. Teaching, Schools, and Society. United Kingdom: Published by Routledge

Print Murray. 1993. Curriculum Development and Design. Australia: Published by Allen & Unwin

Sugrue Ciaran. 2008. The Future of Educational Change: International Perspectives. United States: Published by Routledge

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. 2004. Curriculum Victoria: Foundations for the Future: Summary Report of an Analysis of National and International Curriculum and Standards documents. Available online at /downloads/crp/cvfoundations.pdf

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. 2006. Victorian Essential Learning Standards: Important Information for Parents about Student Learning and Standards. Available online at online /general.html

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