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4.4 CORE CURRICULUM DESIGN

In a core curriculum, a predetermined body of skills, knowledge, and abilities is taught to all students. The core curriculum movement assumes that there is a uniform body of knowledge that all students should know. Presumably, this curriculum will produce educated and responsible graduates for the community.

Unfortunately, there often isn’t much consensus on who is the community, and who speaks for the community. In fact, there is a growing conflict about what topics a core curriculum should contain.

Some advocates would limit the core to basic academic subjects like English, math, science, and government, while others would include general learner outcomes such as problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and community service.

Characteristics

  • This design focuses on the set of learning experiences that are felt to be essential for all students.
  • Its underlying purpose is to create a universal sense of inquiry, discourse, and understanding among learners of different backgrounds and aspirations.
  • Broad areas of concern are examined and set of learning experiences intended to promote a common body of knowledge are carefully prepared.
  • In schools, a general education is the goal of the core curriculum.
  • Integration and unification of learning is stressed and accomplished by the systematic correlation of subject matter around themes drawn from the contemporary problems of living.
  • Problem solving through reflective thinking is encouraged.
  • Examples of possible themes include: civic responsibility, an understanding of economic systems and how people relate to one another within these systems, family relationships, informed consumerism, development of aesthetic appreciations, and proficiency in spoken and written language.
  • The school library media center can be an essential component in providing the wide variety of learning experiences expected in the core curriculum design.
  • Subject matter lines are cut across and attention given to theneeds of the learner.
  • Learner respect for one another is promoted.
  • Learners have the opportunity to test their own values and ideas.
  • Cooperative teacher-student planning is emphasized and learners are grouped homogeneously.
  • A wide range of ability levels can be accommodated because the problems being investigated are considered to be universally significant.
  • The diagram below shows the philosophical orientation and doesn’t show the specific subject matter or themes within the core.
  • The different groups of learners are shown as they enter the core. Upon completion of the core, learners of diverse background are able to interact with one another based on a set of shared understandings and a sense of shared responsibility.

How a core curriculum affects the following elements of education The Core Curriculum Designs

Curriculum: The curriculum is built on a mandated core, which is defined and designed outside the classroom. All students learn a common set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Though academic content remains the primary focus of the core curriculum, some core teaching is moving toward application and problem solving.

Instruction: Instruction is based on defined core content. Rather than focusing on discovery, teaching revolves around imparting a predetermined body of knowledge. Although the core curriculum method does not preclude using critical thinking, problem solving, and tear learning, it prompts teaching toward the “correct” answer.

Assessment: The core content literally shapes the assessment process. Th nformation recall, as well as the use of conventional letter grade core curriculum method easily lends itself to traditional testing based o However, a core curriculum doesn’t preclude the use of authent assessment and portfolios.

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