Home > International Baccalaureate, UCCS CLASS > Developing the Curriculum by Oliva Chapter 1 and 2 Discussion

Developing the Curriculum by Oliva Chapter 1 and 2 Discussion

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

After reading “Developing the Curriculum” by Oliva Chapter 1 and 2, this is my discussion for class:

The planning must start with the curriculum.  From an IB perspective, there are three types of curriculum: written, taught, and the assessed. The written curriculum is the school’s Programme of Inquiry which includes and reflects the essential elements of Primary Years Programme for each unit in each grade level. The written curriculum is therefore the vehicle that drives the instruction, it is important to distinguish what drives the instruction.

The book discusses the Models of Curriculum-Instruction Relationship —Dualistic Model – meaning curriculum sits on one side and instruction on the other and never the twain shall meet; Interlocking Model- meaning integrated relationship between these two but neither is more important; Concentric Model – mutual dependence is the key feature of concentric models, either instruction is dependent on curriculum or the opposite; and Cyclical Model – meaning curriculum makes a continuous impact on instruction and vice versa, instruction has impact on curriculum. The model that is closest to the IB Model is the Cyclical Model. The teachers make a written plan, the teach the curriculum and then they reflect on what was done. This is very similar to in the book of what is defined as “Curriculum Development” on page 19. We must always be developing the curriculum.

When I first started working as a teacher I heard the word “Shelf Art” when people talked about curriculum. It was what teachers did during professional development and then never looked at again until they had to. Curriculum must be continuous process (as stated on page 30).  The IB idea is to allow the students to also drive the curriculum, therefore teachers must always be facilitating the changes in their own curriculum. For each grade level, there are 6 units of inquiry, falling under these transdisciplinary themes: Who We Are, Where We Are In Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, How we Organize Ourselves and Sharing the Planet. The teachers set up units of inquiry but the students should be able to create their own inquiries within the unit. We try to ask our students to extend our curriculum outside the walls of our school and research or act on their own inquiries. Sometimes students will bring this information back to the classroom. We also use Wonder Journals at all levels. This is where students have time to create their own questions. When they are 5th Graders they do a Wonder Project, which is about that they research and present on about anything at all. This year, there was a student who researched mustaches. There is also a big movement in the educational world with “Genius Hours” or “Passion Projects”. Is anyone else working on Student-Driven Inquiry? This area does fascinate me with all ages.

My goals for this class are to have a better understanding of how to develop a good school and classroom curriculum and  to learn how to better help teachers and students reflect on their curriculum and instruction.  Reflection is such a big piece on how teachers and administrators can improve the school’s curriculum and instruction.

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