Curricular Changes Term Paper

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Curricular Changes

In order to engage in curricular reform, one must first be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the current educational system. When evaluating reform, it is the key to remember that it may be necessary to address not only subjects of study and hours devoted to each, but also changes the entire educational process. There are several factors that must be considered: the views of those who actually do the teaching, the expectations and worries of the students as themselves, and the values of the institution (or central board) devising the curriculum. In this paper, three straightforward aspects of the educational process are to be examined, in order to create a sense of the system as a whole.

These also depend on the view that all changes must be meaningful according to experts. This means that changes have to occur in totality and at every level of the education system. This makes the education system go beyond the walls of the classroom and delve into the structure of the school building and on to the situation in the community, nation, and global society. The word 'systemic' has also another meaning and that is to show that changes in one part of the system will end up affecting all other parts. The situation becomes even more complex when we realize that the different parts of the system may also be under a process of change. This brings on a further responsibility and that all the parts of education that are involved in change have to communicate constantly with each other, and only this can fulfill the changes of the entire educational system, and thus evaluate the current plans within the total changed system. (Bredekamp; Knuth; Kunesh; Shulman, 1992)

There are different aspects that are important for change of education, and we have taken note of them. These aspects are generally thought to be very important for childhood education, but have an effect of all types of education if through no other process than the development of the child-student. The first component in this is the focus that has to be laid on the child and how the needs of the child for cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs can be met. This means that the educators who meet the child in early childhood have to be very well aware of the process of development of children and be capable enough to implement that knowledge in terms of teaching the child.

It is not only the teacher who is involved in teaching the child, who probably learns a lot more from the society around. Part of the environment for the child is the school staff and this is of both the primary school and secondary school. The child has to develop and that means that the child has to go from one class to another through promotions and this has to be done very smoothly. For this to be achieved, it is important that all teachers work together so that the child does not face a discontinuity in the curriculum, or assessment. This is required for the child to have continuity throughout the child's career in school and even beyond. (Bredekamp; Knuth; Kunesh; Shulman, 1992)

The third point is the active role that parents have to take in the education of their child, or children. For this they have to be involved in all aspects of education, and the development of their children. Whenever the child is promoted, they should be partners of the child in school and outside. This requires open and direct communication between the teachers and parents, solution of problems that arise in the case of children and taking decisions jointly between the parents and the teachers along with the administrators of the school. The process does not end at school, but goes even further and into colleges and other areas where all the concerned parties are involved. Of course at one stage, the child becomes an adult, and then the child will be capable of taking decisions on his/her own, and no parents need be involved. These are problems that have been looked at in many institutions and this has shown up some general difficulties. (Bredekamp; Knuth; Kunesh; Shulman, 1992) reality that many students face is the always-changing college admissions process. In order to facilitate its applicants' ease, Manchester Metropolitan University recently modified its guidelines so that the lines of communication would be clear with applicants from the outset. This was done based on a study of the students it admitted in September 2001; a key revelation was that the students found the interview process friendly and useful. The tutor in charge of admissions noted that interviews had initially been looked on as nerve-wracking and time-consuming, causing many to question the wisdom of their inclusion in the admissions process. Yet, after a trial, staff members found them useful and began volunteering to do them in the belief that they had improved the quality of students admitted to the course.

The interview process has many merits; it helps the school make informed decisions, particularly about students who may not otherwise have outstanding qualifications. The interview gives the applicant a chance to present a personal and in-depth account about their own capacities. According to the head admissions tutor:

take a lot from the interview. A standard interview question is about their reading, and you can tell fairly quickly by their use of vocabulary whether or not they are engaged in the subject. The process of interviews gives the students a chance to ask questions about the process of admissions and details of the course that they will have to go through. This is important for getting the full commitment of the students. Some of the students are not applying through the general process of admissions but contact the Manchester Metropolitan University directly about the chance of being admitted, and it is possible for these students to contact the admissions tutor directly. Generally these students are looking at details of the application procedure, duration of the course and the total contents of the course. This information is not passed on to them in the normal process and the new system is able to pass on the concerned information in a simple manner. The information sought for is the procedures of application and the content of the course. The questionnaire that the students are asked to reply to has already shown that the initial interview and the flexible nature of the course are important for the applicant students who want to join.

Another example of a school trying to maximize the information it has about and gives to applicants is seen in the Teesside department, which looks at national, institutional, and regional recruiting possibilities. The admissions tutor there explained that they are looking for students who have been defined as gifted and talented even at school so that the college can target them. For convenience sake, Teesside has also moved its Masters course classes to the evenings; this helps many different schools join up. In many respects, Teesside and Manchester Metropolitan are similar: neither can make any assumptions about the prior skills of their applicants, and so they must devise ways to get as much information as they can.

In the United States, the higher education system has responded differently to this need. Generally speaking, educators in the United States and Britain perceive the States' system as more dependent on merit. This has a great deal to do with the weight attached to the controversial Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for college admission. The great advantage of the SAT is that it has the capacity to select students from economically disadvantaged sectors of society, such as racial minorities, and can thus be seen as a method through which academic excellence is rewarded. The SAT, however, is controversial- many view it not as a measure of intelligence, but simply education, and by this measure those with private school educations or privileged backgrounds once again enjoy a great advantage. There is also the fact that, while it is difficult to teach to the SAT in an academic curriculum, many test "prep" courses have emerged, giving certain students a further advantage.

One of the areas that have been personally studied is at the level of meeting students when they join a school. The interview taken was when the child wanted to first join the school, and the admissions here are on competitive basis. This interview is the basis of their admission when the children also have their parents with them, and there is total analysis of their preparation and capacity for going through the course. Of course before entering the first standard, he students have to go through the kindergarten, or the preparatory classes, but since they are not attached to the school, the school will not take responsibility of that part of education. The interviews are for the vacant positions in the class, or in the case of the first standard for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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