What do students learn in schools?
Students learn the curriculum in schools, with the curriculum being “the planned experiences provided through instruction” (Ornstein, 2011). The textbook introduces the topic of curriculum and instruction by stating that Americans demand “the schools to teach children to think, to socialize them, to alleviate poverty and inequality, to reduce crime, to perpetuate our cultural heritage, and to produce intelligent, democratic citizens” (Ornstein, 2011). These demands hold schools highly accountable for teaching students, and are constantly adapted as time goes on.
What are some current trends in curriculum development?
There are two types of curricula, one centered on subject matter, and the other centered on the student. Subject-centered curricula are the most common, and they focus on specific subjects. Student-centered curricula focus on the needs and interests of the students (Ornstein, 2011).
Subject-centered curricula are developed in multiple ways, and some examples include subject-area, perennialist influenced, essentialist influenced, back-to-basics, and core curriculum. Subject-area curriculum would be where classes are divided into subjects, such as English, history, science and math (Ornstein, 2011). Perennialist influenced curriculum focus on “the three Rs, Latin, grammar, rhetoric, and logic at the elementary level, adding study of the classics at the secondary level” (Ornstein, 2011). Essentialist-influenced curriculum focuses on the three Rs in elementary school and English, math, science, history, foreign languages and geography in high school (Ornstein, 2011). The back-to-basics curriculum focuses on reading, writing, and math, while keeping the solid subjects of English, history, science and math, and also discourages electives (Ornstein, 2011). The new core curriculum requires the solid subjects, with less focus on electives (Ornstein, 2011). Overall, these curricula focus mainly on the solid subjects of English, math, science and history.
Student-centered curricula are developed in multiple ways, and some examples include activity-centered, relevant, humanistic approach, alternative or free schools, and values-centered curriculum. Activity-centered curriculum includes “group games, dramatizations, story projects, field trips, social enterprises, and interest centers,” with the main focus being on active student participation (Ornstein, 2011). Relevant curriculum focuses more on what the student is interested in, with the freedom of choice (Ornstein, 2011). A humanistic approach to curriculum emphasizes affective and cognitive outcomes (Ornstein, 2011). Alternative or free school programs allow students to focus on their interests in an unstructured classroom (Ornstein, 2011). Some alternative schools are for students who have disciplinary problems, and allow for a “more flexible approach to learning” (Ornstein, 2011). Values-centered curriculum focuses on moral and ethical development (Ornstein, 2011). Overall, these curricula have many more freedoms than subject-centered curricula, and they focus on mainly students’ interests.
How do teachers plan and deliver instruction?
Instructional approaches include differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, direct instruction, twenty-first century skills, and technology enhanced instruction. Differentiated instruction is used to reach all students in a classroom in order to maximize each learner’s potential by the use of multiple types of media, choices in assignments, and many instructional methods (Ornstein, 2011). Cooperative learning strategies, such as the jigsaw strategy, are used to reduce competition between students, and increase cooperation (Ornstein, 2011). Direct instruction focuses on extremely structured lesson plans directed by the teacher (Ornstein, 2011). Twenty-first century skills is used to “prepare students to be successful in the competitive global job market and to fulfill the roles as active citizens in a democratic society” (Ornstein, 2011). Technology enhanced instruction incorporates technology into lesson plans.
What are some models of direct instruction?
A model of direct instruction can incorporate these five phases, including orientation, presentation, structured practice, guided practice, and independent practice. Orienting the students can be accomplished by accessing their prior knowledge on topics (Moore, n.d.). An example of this could be the use of a KWL. Teachers can model presentation by the use of a graphic organizer and think out loud so students can understand the process one goes through (Moore, n.d.). Structured practice is used so that students cannot fail, and then they are gradually let go by the teacher to do guided practice, which approaches more independent work, and finally, the students practice independently (Moore, n.d.).
From doing some research, I found some interesting information and data that supports direction instruction written by Jeff Lindsay.
What are some models of non-direct instruction?
Non-direct instruction would be where instruction is not as structured. This could be modeled by lessons where students are given the freedom to accomplish certain goals. Non-direct instruction is student-centered, while direct instruction is teacher-centered.
How do teachers help students learn thinking and problem solving skills?
There are many different ways teachers can help students learn thinking and problem solving skills. Some teachers may use a direct approach, where the students see the teacher model how he or she thinks, or other teachers may have a non-direct approach, where the students make discoveries while being guided by the teacher. The non-direct approach focuses on concepts, patterns and abstractions, versus direct instruction focuses on facts, rules, and action sequences (Brenau, n.d.).
Brainstorm ideas of authentic assessments that you may use that are appropriate for a content area that you might teach as well as developmentally appropriate for your future students.
For a secondary biology class, assessments such as written essays, lab reports, questions on facts, questions on applications of theory, the use of twenty-first century tools and technology, creating presentations, and creative projects would be appropriate, along with many other possible methods.
Brenau, C. R. (n.d.). Direct and indirect instruction. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from faculty.brenau.edu/rchristian/Handouts/ho_06_02.doc
Lindsay, J. (2012, February 1). Direct instruction: the most successful teaching model. JeffLindsay.com – The cracked planet: humor, Shanghai, China, education, Mormons and Mormon studies, science, and eclectic items from Jeff Lindsay of Appleton, Wisconsin. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from http://www.jefflindsay.com/EducData.shtml
Moore, D. W. (n.d.). Direct instruction: targeted strategies for student success. Best practices in secondary education. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from www.ngsp.net/Portals/0/Downloads/HBNETDownloads/SEB21_0414A.pdf
Ornstein, A. C., Levine, D. U., & Gutek, G. L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.