Education goals are written in general terms and they each touch on a specific aspect of the society and the learner as an individual. They do not have specific criteria for achieving them. The learners only achieve educational goals after exposure to a particular part of a study program. Instructional goals are more specific and focus on one or two areas of the curriculum. They target the entire group of students taking a program and not the achievement of individual students. The educational goals that I have set for my instructional unit are:
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- Education must meet the needs and requirements of the development of the country
- Education has to depict national images by the inclusion of the diverse culture of the country
- Education must give provisions for the development of learners personality, abilities, and talents
- Education has to provide an avenue for justice in society, an avenue for morality, social responsibility, and social obligation
- Education has to promote a positive and conscious attitude towards other countries
- Education has to create a wholesome individual who is developed mentally, spiritually, and morally
- Education has to foster the necessary skills needed for the learners to make contributions to societal development
- Education has to ensure that the learner has developed cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills
- Education has to lay up a good foundation for individual learners to be able to advance themselves in their career choice and also in furthering their training
The selection criteria that would meet both the instructional objectives and the educational goals should be based on the following aspects: the scope or how much the content needs to be covered, the relevance of the material, balance in terms of all the important disciplines, transferability of the content in terms of being able to be utilized in a real-life situation, feasibility, and significance. The instructional goals are hence supposed to be written based on Bloom’s Taxonomy level of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor (Bloom, 1986). The instructional objectives for the unit are:
- The learners have to demonstrate an understanding of important concepts in mathematics by being able to apply them in different mathematical problems
- The learner must demonstrate a sense of self-confidence when approaching or doing mathematical problems
- The learner must be able to show interest in the subject content by appreciating its use in the different areas of its application
- The learner must be able to apply the basic and important concepts of mathematics learned during instruction in a real-life situation or other disciplines
- The learner must be able to develop a capacity to conduct their inquiries and research in mathematics
- The learners must be able to respond to the situation by reasoning mathematically, analytically, synthetically, and logically to situations where mathematical concepts are applied.
- The learners have to demonstrate the ability to be able to argue based on evaluation or use of mathematical evidence
- The learners have to be able to relate the concepts learned in the unit to life
Curriculum mapping is gathering all the information that relates to the curriculum, identifying all the important content and skills that need to be taught, coming up with an appropriate instructional method that will be employed, and designing an effective and efficient means of assessment. One such example of a curriculum map that depicts a cohesive curriculum is the interdisciplinary mathematics curriculum map from the Kentucky Department of education (Kerr, 1996). The map also includes a scoring rubric that measures students’ understanding of concepts and skills in mathematics.
A curriculum map is very useful as it can identify all the important activities for curricula. It is an effective guideline for an instructor to use in the classroom to effectively cover all the important content and classroom activities that are needed to complete a program. It provides a clear range or scope of the knowledge and skills that the learners have to gain over a specific period. Through the designing of a curriculum map, the necessary resources can be linked and used appropriately for the effective delivery of subject content.
Such a curriculum map is also useful in the classroom in making modifications to instruction. The maps can be used as a means of assessing an instructor’s delivery of content and instruction methodology. Through mapping, it is possible to identify weak areas of the delivery process that need modification to strengthen instruction. This helps in the overall evaluation process that is required to improve the process of instruction in the classroom. The maps are therefore important in establishing classroom activities that enhance and facilitate student learning.
The advantages of using curriculum maps are several. Since they are used in analysis, evaluation, planning, and communication of all aspects of the curriculum, they are important tools in education (Kerr, 1996). One advantage is that they allow the stakeholders in education to evaluate the curriculum and find out if there are any weaknesses, inconsistencies, redundancies, and misalignments. The main goal for this evaluation is to improve on the curriculum content, resources used, and instructional method.
Another advantage is that the documents can identify the relationship between the intended learning outcome for the students and all the components of the curriculum. Through this, the components that may not be contributing to producing the intended learning outcome can be modified or realigned in a way that it will achieve its goals (Kerr, 1996). Curriculum maps can also be used to identify areas where different disciplines can be integrated. For instance, there are a lot of opportunities in other disciplines where mathematics can easily be applied. Through mapping the curriculum, such opportunities can be identified.
Lastly, curriculum maps can be used for reviewing the methods of assessment used by educators. They identify whether a particular method has proved effective or not. Educators can identify the knowledge that the students have acquired after some time. Once the instructors have identified the learners’ knowledge background, they are in a position to build on the students’ capacity to retain this knowledge (Kerr, 1996). Despite many benefits that accompany curriculum mapping, the main disadvantages are only upon the educators and not the curriculum or the learners. It may be a tedious activity to keep records of the implementation process.
Bloom, B. (1986). Taxonomy of Educational objectives: the classification of educational goals. New York: David Mackay Company.
Gerald, B. (1999). Curriculum development: a text book for students. London: McMillian Publishers.
Kerr, J. (1996). Changing the curriculum. London: University of London Press.