The four models of curriculum described in “Curriculum Theory and Practice” are curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted, curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students is product, curriculum as process, and curriculum as praxis.
Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted is the first model explained in the article out of the four models. Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted is beneficial for students who are more experienced learners. This model consists of a concise description and outline of a course subject. The syllabus doesn’t necessarily state the importance of the topics being studied, which is a concerning factor. This model is usually referred as the ‘traditional’ schooling approach and solely focuses on the content of study.
The second model described in the article is curriculum as product. It is “heavily influenced by the development of management thinking and practice.” This is where an intention is proposed, carried out by a written plan, practiced, and the outcomes are measured. This model emphasizes on the practice of skills or components and then carried out. This approach is beneficial because it is an organized way to carry out objectives by providing clear outcomes and results, which are then examined. The drawback to this particular model is that the students learning have little to no voice, which restrains the learner to learn to their full potential. This practice also limits the student’s behaviour to interact, because the plan is concrete where the learner is told what they have to do and how they will execute it. It is also concerning when taking into the fact that what is being measured cannot always be systematic. The experiences learned in schools are not always measurable. This model is sometime referred to as a shopping list, when students learn the measurable competences they are then checked off and shown that the learner has learned something.
The third model is curriculum as process, which widely relies on the setting of behavioural objectives. “The curriculum, essentially, is a set of documents for implementation.” This approach focuses on the interaction between the teacher, students, and knowledge being learned. This approach is an active learning process in the classroom that is then evaluated. This approach is beneficial to both the educator and students because the curriculum in thoroughly though out and executed. This process enhances the students learning abilites by allowing to internalize the knowledge being learned. It focuses on the interactions between students. This enables students to have a voice through their relationships between the teacher and their peers. The drawback for this approach is that it may not pay enough attention to the context in which learning takes places.
The last curriculum and practice theory approach is curriculum as praxis. This curriculum approach practices a dynamic of interaction of action and reflection. It is made up of plans to be implemented through an active process of integrating planning, acting, and evaluating. An important role for curriculum as a praxis is the collective understanding, practices, and structural questions. There is a clear advantage for this model, it highlights a collective understanding of one’s learning abilities. Essentially, teachers use this approach to further understand what works and what does not work in a classroom setting. Similiar to curriculum as process, the drawback for this model is that it doesn’t focus enough on the context.
The model of curriculum that was used in my schooling experience was curriculum as product. This approach worked well for me, having a set plan and clear outcomes. Although, in my experience I enjoyed the structure of clear outcomes and objectives, I could understand why this would not work for everyone and even myself at times. It does not allow the learner to have much of a voice in the classroom. Growing up in a small town with what it seemed like little diversity among students, allowed curriculum as product to be permitted. With an influx of immigrants coming to Canada and more diversity in schools, it is clear that this model of curriculum has its flaws. It does not enable the learner to learn to their full potential, because it is only specific to certain types of students. I think it is important to keep in mind, that our population is more than ever diverse, therefore, we have diverse learners in schools and as a future educator it is important to accommodate to all types of learners.