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Contemporary Issues in Curriculum Case Study

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Updated: Feb 26th, 2021

A Clash concerning the Arts of Curriculum

When faced with a situation of clash concerning the Arts of curriculum, the best action to take would be to confront the principal and cite the state and school mandate requirements concerning course time allocations. It is a common occurrence in learning institutions for those in leadership to dictate time allocations on various subjects based on their preference. In this case, the principal feels that Music, Art, and Dance courses are of no importance to learners. It is on this basis that he decided to eliminate them in this institution. As the highest authority in this school, Sigel felt that he had the right to dictate time allocations on various subjects. He also believed that he had the powers to dictate the courses to be taken by students in this school and those that should be dropped.

I will address the parent’s concerns in a very candid manner. I will visit the principal in his office and explain to him what the state mandate concerning course time allocation says. I will then explain to him how the school’s mandate was developed to be in line with the state’s mandate. Based on this, I will inform the principal that going against this mandate will be contravening the laws of the state and this has its consequences. I will then inform the principal that parents have already raised concerns about this change of approach in allocating time to various subjects. I will inform the principal that failure to address this concern from the parents may make the state act either against the entire management or the principal himself.

School district proposes evaluation by students

This case should be approached with a lot of sobriety to ensure that sanity is maintained in schools. If I am the assistant superintendent and my opinion is sought on this issue, I will prefer not to have junior high students be involved in the evaluation of their teachers. I strongly believe in a chain of command in learning institutions. Teachers are not only meant to offer knowledge to students but also leadership and advice. Teachers should always protect weak students and punish those with unbecoming behavior. This responsibility can only be undertaken when teachers have the authority to do so. When students are given the supervisory role over their teachers, this will be an equivalent of taking authority from teachers to the student. It will typically mean that these students will be superior to their teachers.

As the assistant superintendent for instruction, I will try to turn this debate to give this responsibility to parents. Parents can be trusted to make a rational decision as opposed to students.

To elicit feedback from parents, teachers, and students, I will give my option and the proposed option to be discussed in order to determine which is the most appropriate.

When students are given powers to evaluate their teachers, the instruction from teachers will lack the authority it should have because of the fear these teachers may have concerning the powers of the students.

The research by Wiles (2009) demonstrates that learners can be emotionally irrational and therefore, should always be given guidance other than being put in a position of authority. Researchers are yet to confirm that learners can evaluate their teachers.

It is very likely that both parents and teachers would reject the proposal. To the teachers, there will be the feeling that students have been made their superiors. Teaching a senior officer becomes a complex task. For parents, there is a fear of a lack of discipline as learners are put in a position of power.

Language and Standardized Testing

It is not right for schools to treat their students differently based on their understanding of English. It is important for these schools to realize that whether or not a student is using English as the first language, the test should be standardized. I believe that tests should be standardized for all students.

When it comes to administering tests, then I would recommend that the most appropriate approach would be to use a common language other than using the language of choice for the student. This is because a language of choice for a student might be his or her native language and this may call for translation that would cost the school.

Non-English students should be integrated into mainstream courses in order to enhance their ability to understand this language and catch up with other students. This will enhance their ability to understand this language (Carl, 2009).

It is important to understand the ability of the learners. In case some learners have a lower ability to understand what is being taught, a remedial class would be important for slow learners.

Cultural knowledge background affects students’ understanding because it helps to explain why some students are fluent in the English language and others are not. Those who are learning English as their second language will appreciate their position and know that with time, they will master this language. This will motivate them.

References

Carl, A. E. (2009). Teacher empowerment through curriculum development: Theory into practice. Cape Town: Juta.

Wiles, J. (2009). Leading curriculum development. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Contemporary Issues in Curriculum." February 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/contemporary-issues-in-curriculum/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Contemporary Issues in Curriculum'. 26 February.

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