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Curriculum alignment is a very significant element of the curriculum at schools. Curriculum mapping ensures that schools are in order with the requirements set out by the national government (Koczor, 1984). The following areas are relevant in the discussion involving curriculum alignment.
The lesson under discussion is a third-grade science lesson with the objectives to let the students comprehend the value of science that it plays in their daily life, and amplify children’s consciousness of scientific happening that encircles them and instills a health concern in the subject among students (Koczor, 1984).
Third Grade Science Textbook by Gary Busey is the resource textbook used for this lesson. Most of the classwork relies on the textbook. Students’ needs, interests and abilities must be considered (Koczor, 1984). The textbook is appropriate as it simplifies science with inclusion of funny statements that are relevant to what they are learning. A picture of the solar system can also enhance learning science of the solar system.
Imaginations of a young mind on what their teacher has told them can be captured inspiring their thoughts. This picture will involve the students in learning hence keep them alert. Big size images appear more real to the learner, which enhance understanding and the information. A Fun Educational Website is used, for example, to enable the students to match names with the drawings among many others. This will enhance the students’ alignment between instructions and assessments (Smaldino, et al, 2008). This supports their learning experiences as they convey messages that children can actually see (Koczor, 1984). These are very important references to children who are learning how to read.
The three teaching resources are chosen for the science lesson described above since a picture helps a learner retain additional information. It also enhances the use of the visual capacity, which steams up the students’ curiosity in the subject (Spears et al, 1990). A textbook has well elaborated and detailed information about the topic. The level of organization in a textbook is high. The information in the textbook is balanced.
The textbooks when used as teaching resources are excellent. The level of organization in a textbook is very high and efficient for usage in class. Educational Website enhances the lesson due to the presence of 3-D images and other numerous educational tools. The educational tools on the website are easy to access and understand. It is an effective tool for time management as the information is easy to get (Koczor, 1984).
The Evaluation Checklist
Each area in the evaluation checklist is important pedagogically because it ensures that the children receive an individualized and relevant lesson.
- The design ensures that the chosen teaching resource has accurate, logical, and complete information which will ensure that the objectives are achieved. Through designing, unrefined content is translated into structured delivery. On observing the design of a lesson, the instructor prepares notes from the relevant source on a given topic (Shulman, 1987). Pedagogical evaluation of the design also ensures that certain teaching material is relevant to the chosen grade level. Relevant material is the one that has comfortable content for the chosen students.
- The procedure in which the information is delivered ensures that the learners are attentive and active. The incorporation of suggestions from students, the utilization of comprehensible input, and concept repetition are some of the procedures that ensure that a learner’s evaluation is done pedagogically. This will, in its turn, ensure active learning processes (Shulman, 1987). If teaching procedures are chosen well, learning will be made easier accordingly. This can be done by coming up with a set number of interactions that will ensure the learners are actively involved in the whole process. If a good teaching procedure is put in place, the learners are motivated and will be able to understand the concept. It is evident that procedures are very important pedagogically (Shulman, 1987).
- Clarity makes the content easy to understand. The layout of the material needs to be looked at to ensure that it makes it easier for the student to find what they need. Therefore, pedagogical investigation concerning the issue is very important. Clarity is also concerned with the additional material on the resource making it even easier for the students to learn.
- Efficiency ensures that only necessary information that will make the student learn the material is chosen for the lesson. (Fahey, 1986). A pedagogically efficient method requires a smaller number of individuals to enhance the understanding levels of a student. A class with a big number of students is desirable from the school point of view as it has a maximum student-to-teacher proportion which affects tuition-to-salary proportion. Such classes have a pedagogical low efficiency to slow learners or students with low intelligent quotients. A good practical assessment is better than technological knowledge in enhancing efficiency (Shulman, 1987). This means that an assessment is done to ensure that the lesson will make the student learn the indented material with enough materials.
Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate
The choice of culturally appropriate and linguistically sensitive material is important because recognition of cultural diversity in education is very important. Therefore, teaching methods are supposed to accommodate this point. The students relate the learning activities to their cultural practices improving the level of understanding. The teacher is to expose teaching material according to the students’ cultural viewpoints.
Linguistics also plays a role in the level of understanding of the student. If a teacher emphasizes the importance of the context of the information rather than the models of language, the learner then will feel comfortable in that class (Spears et al, 1990). Sometimes, choosing culturally linguistic resources is very hard. However, the importance of reviewing information carefully is essential. Several materials are used to make this possible.
The Use of Resources in the Lesson
A website will be used in this science lesson because it will keep the students drawn into the lesson and therefore be able to understand the lesson at their own pace. This is possible due to the availability of funny 3-D images that display the needed information in a way that will make the student understand the content and be attentive (Spears et al, 1990). An educational website has a wide range of information so it will be preferred to be used in this lesson.
The use of a textbook in this lesson may not be needed. This is because the use of a textbook will not keep students as engaged in the lesson as the website would. A textbook lacks funny information that will keep the learner actively engaged in the lesson. The information provided by the textbook is limited and therefore if used without other resources it might affect the level of grasping of the information by the students (Spears et al, 1990).
A picture will not be used in this lesson as the only educational resource. This is because the level of information provided by the picture is not well-illustrated for the students to be able to capture the required information (Spears et al, 1990). A picture is preferred to be used as an additional resource for illustration purposes. In general for this lesson to be understood well, all the teaching resources are to be used. A textbook provides the curriculum to be observed, an educational website provides the additional information needed for understanding the topic, and the picture offers relevant illustrations needed.
Fahey, P. A. (1986). Learning transfer in main ideas instruction: Effects of instructional alignment and aptitude on main idea test scores. Doctoral Dissertation, University of San Francisco. Dissertation Abstracts International, 48-03A:0550.
Koczor, M. L. (1984). Effects of varying degrees of instructional alignment in post treatment tests on mastery learning tasks of fourth-grade children. Doctoral Dissertation, University of San Francisco. Dissertation Abstracts International, 46-05A:1179.
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Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1).
Smaldino, S., Lowther, D.L., & Russell, J.D. (2008). Instructional technology and media for learning (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 9780132391740
Spears, J. D., Oliver, J. P. (1990). Accommodating change and diversity: Multicultural practices in rural schools. A report of the Ford Western Taskforce. Manhattan, Kansas State University, Rural Clearinghouse for Lifelong Education and Development. ED 328 – 392.