Curriculum Development: What are the professional foundations of a Curriculum?

CHAPTER THREE

FOUNDATIONS OF CURRICULUM

3b iv). List the various professional foundations of a curriculum.

Professional Foundation of Curriculum

Focus: This unit focuses on:

  • Professionals Role Models
  • Role of Professionals
  • Characteristics of Professionals
  • Teaching Authority
  • Teaching Profession and Efficiency
  • Teacher as a Researcher
  • Roles of a Teacher
  • Methods of Teaching and Learning
  • Some Selected Methods of Teaching

This Unit addresses various ways in which curriculum products are marketed through role models, characterization, tripartition and spot-checks on research, teaching and publication. Professionals are skilled specialists and experts in particular areas of curriculum subjects’ content: languages, humanities, sciences, technology and mathematics.

Professionals Normally:

Teach, research and publish materials through workshops, symposia, seminars, conferences, projects, exchange programmes, excursions etc. Professionals also interpret curriculum through design, development, implementation, evaluation and innovation.

They use curriculum documents such as the syllabi, circulars, legal acts, reports, journals, textbooks, minutes, hansards, commission reports, schemes of work and archives among others.

Characteristics of Professionals Include:

Productive personality, critical attitude, measurable responsibility, accountability, transparency and development conscience. In all, a professional must be  balanced, mature and upright person. Such a person reads widely and wisely. The person  is mindful of others’ needs and maintains a guiding personality to develop others for solving and not creating problems.

A. The Teacher as Authority in the Profession:

Every time teacher steps into a classroom to teach, they are putting themselves on the ‘firing line’ and students either shoot at them down or claim them. Students continually assess their teachers informally and the amount of confidence they have in them depends to a large extent on the perceived level of competence in the subjects they teach.  Students rate very highly their teachers who ‘know their stuff’.

Studies have shown that in some cases, teachers fail to perform efficiently because of the following reasons:

  1. Lack of adequate preparation
  2. Poor delivery techniques
  3. Pitching the lesson above or below academic level of the students
  4. Insensitivity to the expectations of the students
  5. Un-called for arrogance in the teacher’s personal qualities as a role model
  6. A failure in time-management in the teaching process
  7. Failure to adhere to professional ethics.
  8. Lack of research experience and interest.

In many instances, the ultimate goal of carrying-out research is to publish in learned documents. Being published constitutes a vital criterion for promotion. Three indicators of a professional teacher by efficiency are linked to: research, publication and promotion.

B. A Professional Teacher is a Consultant

Many members of the public and scholars look upon a professional teacher to:

  1. Give public lessons on academic topics
  2. Chair functions organized in the community
  3. Carry out research on relevant issues
  4. Participate in the local politics
  5. Act as role models
  6. Assist with extension work.

C. Roles of a Teacher

Whether teachers are experienced or not, there is general agreement that using the right methods to teach is important because teaching forms a significant part of the noble profession, so quality learning depends on the effectiveness of the approach used. Teaching has become complex due to new variables and constraints involved in the education options.

In a teaching and learning situation, the following areas receive unchallenged attention:

  1. Teaching environment
  2. Protracted teaching methods
  3. Objectives of learning
  4. Group size and anatomy of students
  5. Teachers’ like and dislikes in the teaching area.

List of some commonly used Methods of Teaching follow

  1. Lecture
  2. Laboratory work
  3. Tutorial
  4. Project
  5. Case study
  6. Problem-solving in groups
  7. Simulation
  8. Excursion.

It is important to note that the degree of student anatomy in learning is increasingly featuring in the selection of methods for teaching.

Full text of methodologies of teaching and learning are left to the Curriculum Implementation section of this module.

 

Activity 13

  1. Why are professionals role models?
  2. Which characteristics do professionals portray? State some important roles of professionalism.
  3. What do you understand by the term: “teaching authority?” How is efficiency in the professionals established?
  4. Why is a teacher a researcher?
  5. State specific roles of a professional teacher.
  6. List some teaching methods and explain how they affect learning

 

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