Curriculum Trends Term Paper

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Curricular Changes in Coming Years

What curricular changes will we see in the next 10 years and why?

Perhaps at no other point in history has the rate of change in human society been so rapid, or so pronounced. Technological innovations are fundamentally changing the way people go about living their lives, and these changes are having a profound impact on the manner in which educational services are delivered as well. According to Ediger (2001), "The business world has used diverse technological devices for approximately five decades and teaching/learning situations for teacher education students as well as for pupils in the public schools need to also be up-to-date" (p. 411). Clearly, people who fail to gain a solid understanding of the emerging technologies will miss out on new opportunities available in American society if technological skills are not mastered in school and in the societal areas (Ediger, 2001). In this regard, the rate of introduction of new technologies is also increasing and changing the ways in which people communicate with others, interact with ideas to increase our knowledge base, and to educate and entertain ourselves.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Term Paper on Curriculum Trends Assignment

According to Swaminathan and Yelland (2003), today, "Schools, faced with the challenge of preparing students for life in a changing society, need to provide opportunities for children to incorporate new technologies as a natural part of their play and learning" (p. 258). Unfortunately, though, many teachers and students do not possess the expertise to make the most out of the resources available through these technological innovations in the classroom. For instance, President Clinton challenged schools and educators almost a decade ago to prepare "technologically literate" students by the 21st century. In their essay, "Infusion of Technology into the Curriculum," Kingham and Williams (2003) report that based on the growing recognition that the Internet would play an important role in the future of education, the Clinton administration mandated that all American public school classrooms should be connected to the Internet by the year 2000, and all teachers should be trained to integrate this technology into the curriculum (Kingham & Williams, 2003).

Given the pace at which school change normally take place, this timeframe was remarkably brief for such a massive initiative, but the first part of this challenge has almost been achieved; according to surveys conducted by the Center for Research on Information Technology, about 50% of American schools had some kind of access to the Internet in 1996 and by 1999, this number had grown to more than 90% and based on recent trends, it can be assumed that this percentage has now approached the 100% goal (Kingham & Williams, 2003). In fact, at least in this regard, the "digital divide" that once characterized American education has been bridged in substantive ways; however, there remains a glaring need for identifying better ways to use these technologies in the classroom in meaningful ways. According to Kingham and Williams, "Simply having access to technology/Internet, however, does not ensure its best use. This becomes evident when close scrutiny is given to the way in which the Internet is applied" (p. 179). Citing the results of earlier studies, these authors note that just 26% of elementary teachers involved their students in Internet based activities and fully 92% of these activities involved downloading research information. Just 8% of the teachers surveyed reported incorporating more interactive applications, such as email, web publishing, simulations, and problem-solving in their curriculum and a number of expensive Internet connections remain largely unused in many schools, except for "brief periods when they function only as a very convenient encyclopedia" (Kingham & Williams p. 179). The curricula changes over the next 10 years, then, can be expected to incorporate some aspect of Web-based augmentation to the traditional approach, with an increasing emphasis on the emerging technologies that support and exploit this infrastructure.

What will be the content of curriculum in the next 10 years?

There will be basic changes introduced into the public school curricula in the next 10 years or so that will largely mirror the new learning requirements for the Age of Information; these changes will draw on past experiences to a large part, but there is no longer any room available for using outdated or half-measures to educate students about the changes taking place in society and the increasingly globalized arena in which we compete. For example, "New initiatives have had as their foundation the belief that teaching and learning in the 21st century needs a fresh impetus that encapsulates new learning with new pedagogies and new technologies. These initiatives are not contexts for adding more to an already crowded curriculum, but rather are a reconceptualization of curriculum and pedagogies for the information age" (Swaminathan & Yelland, 2003, p. 260). As to curricular content, Lawson and Scott (2002) believe that particular emphasis should be given to social and environmental education, science, technology, and modern languages in the coming years. In addition, I believe more time should be devoted to learning about other peoples and cultures in the world, particularly since most of them are already represented to some extent in the United States today. Simply understanding and using the technologies that are driving our lives will not be enough in the future if we do not also understand the political and social forces that are shaping the world as well.

What and who will influence content?

It would appear likely that many educational institutions are going to become more market-driven and responsive to the needs of their learners, particularly adult learners, in the coming years. "As the business of higher education becomes more competitive, education faces two distinct but related threats" (Harrington, 2003, p. 46). According to this author, the first threat is the challenge of providing relevant courses and the second relates to the need to survive economically in this changing environment (Harrington, 2003). If schools, particularly those involved in higher education, are unable or unwilling to meet the needs of their learners, they will probably find themselves without any students to teach. Growing demands for accountability across the board have resulted in the introduction of numerous permutations of charter schools and the No Child Left Behind legislation will continue to influence the manner in which curricula are developed.

Who will be involved in its development and design?

In recent years, schools have remained isolated buildings with few connections to the outside world except through technology (Lawson & Scott, 2002). According to Willis and Cifuentes (2005), the introduction of online (OL) and face-to-face (F2F) educational environments has provided different learning experiences for teachers and students alike; these differences in training have an impact on both the critical outcomes of the technology training and the teachers' abilities to transfer their learning and integrate technology into their classrooms (Cifuentes & Willis, 2005). Technological innovations in educational delivery initiatives will also help educators fine-tune curricula to keep it timely and relevant based on what their students need to know. In this regard, distance delivery approaches for education services provides countless opportunities for improvements in curricula because of the ease with which feedback can be secured from those who are most intimately affected by its content - the students themselves. This is not to say, though, that all policymakers will be so influenced; however, keeping learners involved in the curriculum development process just makes good business sense for the reasons discussed further below.

What part will you play in curriculum development in the next 10 years?

An old saying suggests that, "One person can make a difference," but curriculum development is not an individual endeavor by any measure but rather a collective experience that requires careful consideration of who is going to need to learn what and for how long and why. The same market forces, though, that Adam Smith identified will play an increasing role in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Curriculum Trends.  (2005, July 3).  Retrieved June 24, 2021, from

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"Curriculum Trends."  July 3, 2005.  Accessed June 24, 2021.