Experience Concerning Curricular Change Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2236 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … Curriculum Change

Some aspects of changes in curricula can be determined only through experience. This requires the combined experience of the staff to ultimately come to a decision, and even new teachers who have joined the organization can always claim to have had years of experience in teaching at other educational institutions. The experience of teachers permits the organization to test new theories and units and still be absolutely safe due to the experience of the teachers and those will find out what is important and what will work in the classroom and what will not work. The combined experience can be viewed as the base for the evaluation of new strategies. The second important factor is the sharing of stories between the entire teaching groups. This will help the entire group improve and thus time should be consciously provided for the exchange of experience during the calendar of the educational institution. (Change Process)

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For general human beings, the method of story-telling is a way to organize their experience, create meaning for the work that they have done and pass on the values that they have built up over time. Yet the nature and content of the stories that people tell keep on changing with time, and this is due to the changes in their own belief systems over time. It may be thought that stories are details of what has happened to them in the past, and when those individuals build up stories around them, then they are trying to give values, meaning and belief systems to their own work. When these systems are built, it becomes easier for these people to accept a new curriculum as his will often be given meanings by their value systems. The third important aspect required by a change in curriculum is a supportive environment.

Term Paper on Experience Concerning Curricular Change Assignment

The environment has to be built totally and from the top to the bottom and the reason for this is that all participants are important for a change in the system. Even when it seems that the teachers are not performing as well as they normally do, they are believed to be going through a process where they are changing their method of teaching. When the education process is being changed, then the individual's changes have to be recognized and supported and only then can they succeed in infusing the new curricula. This change in curricula will also require the support of the office or the organization and they must be directly in support of the change. The office may help in the getting together of consultants, provide funding or endorsements of the changed curriculum. All these aspects are important. (Change Process)

This analysis makes it clear to the possible change leader, and it is obviously the principal. The importance of principals is that they are totally responsible for coordination of the entire activities of the school and they also deal with the requirements of the outside world. For this they have to have a wider perspective than the other individuals in the school. For their point-of-view, the curriculum is not simply a collection of subjects, but it is the entire experience that the students will have in school. For this purpose, the principals have the required idea of what is happening in the classroom, as also the entire relationship between the teachers, students and the contents in the school. For the principal to be effective as a leader, they have to have a complete understanding of these varied relationships. (Principals as Curriculum Leaders: New Perspectives for the 21st Century) Thus when any individual is to be interviewed for changes in curriculum; the person to be interviewed should be the principal.

Yet their success depends on various factors, and one of the important factors is the extent to which the ideas of the teachers and principals agree. Their experiences are different, and while the principals must have been teachers at one stage, the teachers are unlikely to have been principals. This makes it difficult for the teachers to understand the importance of administration. This can go to a high level and the teachers sometimes feel that the principal has forgotten the situation in the class. Some principals also comment that teachers do not have administrative experience. The principals have to consider the view of every person - teachers, students, parents, and other staff of the school. This is the first set of questions to be asked to the principal. (Principals as Curriculum Leaders: New Perspectives for the 21st Century)

The situation in schools is however changing due to the use of computers. This has been extended even in countries like Chile and Costa Rica, where there has been a planned use of LOGO in the class, and the process started in 1987. The use of this new method has contributed to a change in education in Costa Rica through use of computers, training of teachers, excited participation of children in the process of learning, along with development of knowledge in them and their ability to solve problems. (Assessment of Experience)

The role of the principal is very important in the development and interpretation of the course. It is certain that they always have a basic knowledge of the courses and theories of learning, but along with that, they also have knowledge about the culture of the school. The totality of their knowledge helps them to build up a good relation with teachers. Their abilities help them in development of the school through coordination of the curriculum between different teachers. This results in their having a good knowledge of the course as well as the teachers. They also understand the blending of the efforts of teachers to create the best possible effect on the students. Though the teachers are good in their specializations, yet their best performance can be brought out by a successful principal. They only help the development of teachers. (Principals as Curriculum Leaders: New Perspectives for the 21st Century)

The second aspect of questioning the principal should thus be centered on the development of teachers in the school. The difficulty with any changes in teachers and total curriculum comes with the parents. They have to understand the need for the changes and this is true of even changes in subjects. When the change takes place, parents will hear about it from their children and some will see their homework and books. The children will also tell stories about the new teaching. The parents are a very important group serving on the boards of schools and they have a very high stake in the changes being brought about. Their concerns have to be attended to. The changes are complicated, the processes of changes take long periods, and effective communication to parents is difficult. (Parents as Partners) This brings in another area where the development question has to be put to the principal - the impact of changes on the parents of the school children.

Another area where the principals have to be concerned about is the theoretical perspective of the curriculum, and the way in which it will help in the development of the school's mission and vision. There should not be lack of consistency among programs, practices and materials used. They are also the leaders in providing teachers understanding as to how the results are achieved from their teaching, and thus make sure that grades reflect what is being taught. This makes the development of courses a complete process of change in schools. Thus the official curriculum of the school should be related to the development of the school and revised according to its requirements. (Principals as Curriculum Leaders: New Perspectives for the 21st Century)

This is another area where the principal should be asked about - the development of the school and the curriculum. The process of changes in curriculum is sometimes quite complex and it has been seen to involve separation of the teaching of one subject into many. In one particular instance, the teaching of physics was being separated into six different subjects with emphasis on different areas of physics. In one course was to be the existing subject that would be treated as an emphasis on physics with astronomy, while others would contain more of engineering, another would have more of bio-physics, etc. (Letter from the Chair: Curricular Change). This change is of course at a slightly senior level - the first two years of college. At the same time this may happen also in levels of schools and that would make it for principals to remain effective leaders.

At the level of the school, enough support has to be provided to the teachers by the principal when the teachers teach. When changes take place this is even more important. Ordinary teachers are often not comfortable with changes, and if a system is working well, they may even feel that no changes should take place. Ordinary teachers are also worried about the time and resources for the change being made… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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