Essay on Theoretical Perspectives on Curriculum

There are diverse opinions on the curriculum with varied views on the educational scene. These viewpoints examine, among other things, how learning is promoted, how the meaningful aims of education are articulated, and how the essential instructional information should be structured. This paper will examine the traditional perspective, which is a curriculum artefact (Hirsch, 1988).

Background

The traditional perspective asks, “What are the most significant components of our cultural legacy that must be preserved?” (Hirsch, 1988). The origins of traditional education can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, when the United States was confronted with the issue of universal schooling due to the rapid transformation of urban society. Many nineteenth-century philosophers argued that education should prioritise the transfer of the cultural heritage of Western civilisation.

The philosophers felt that education was a process involving the “elevation of individuals into the species,” and that the curriculum should focus on imparting to students the accumulated knowledge of “the race.” (Bennett, 1996) One strategy to provide this knowledge to students was to compile the facts in a student-accessible textbook to offset the opinion-dominated press.

Perspectives on conventional education

In order to increase the system’s efficacy, it has become necessary to modify the standard curriculum’s educational approaches. The traditional curriculum is progressive, allowing pupils to go from one level to a more difficult level. This enables pupils to improve their abilities with each new level achieved. Traditional curricula organise the presentation of knowledge to pupils into units.

Another deficiency of the traditional curriculum is that it discourages student interaction. The old system discourages communication between students and teachers as well as between students, which is a significant barrier to the development of children’s critical thinking skills. A few modifications to the traditional approach have made room in the curriculum for discussions and group projects.

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The traditional curriculum is assessed by the use of standardised examinations. This curriculum based on standards has encountered many obstacles because it is believed to encourage education systems to focus on passing tests rather than expanding their knowledge base. The traditional curriculum is undergoing a steady transformation in an effort to enhance the learning experience.

Inadequacies of the conventional viewpoint

The conventional system of education involves the use of books to transmit information that pupils must memorise. In contrast to other fundamental skills such as categorising, hypothesising, and evaluating, the school system trains youngsters in memorization. The old system’s requirements are also time-consuming, preventing children from engaging in other activities of interest.

Due to the public’s confidence in the expansion of the technical sector, intelligent youngsters are encouraged to study science and mathematics. “These intelligent kids are driven into specific disciplines without adequate exposure to other aspects of life, such as the moral and ethical dilemmas highlighted by advancements in technical domains and their potentially destructive effects on society” (Hirsch, 1988).

The fragmentation of school units into a variety of disciplines, subjects, and courses precludes students from investigating the relationship between the diverse fields as common knowledge. This can be remedied by teaching students how to apply a conceptual framework that logically connects all they know.

The survival of humanity depends on the capacity to produce knowledge (Hirsch, 1988). Therefore, it is impossible to overestimate the societal costs of a curriculum that fails to provide pupils with the fundamental intellectual instrument through which knowledge is formed (Hirsch, 1988).

Conclusion

According to Bosner (1995), “The traditional perspective has been observed to be resilient over time, with schools teaching basic literacy and computational skills, as well as basic facts and terminologies that all educated people are required to know in order to establish a set of shared values that constitute good citizenship.”

This curriculum emphasises teaching students material and process independently; nevertheless, integrating the two helps students prepare for real-world situations involving comparisons, evaluation, decision making, and problem solving. The mental process of scientists, mathematicians, and historians, who base their ideas and arguments on substance, is taught to students.

The traditional approach to curriculum needs students to master knowledge; however, their knowledge base can be vastly increased by completing tasks that involve higher-order thinking while still in school, as opposed to accumulating knowledge for use after school. This would enable students to engage in critical thought and information acquisition as they plan, assess, and solve challenges (Hirsch, 1988). The content acquired through these procedures contributes to the development of children’s creativity and enhances their capacity to generate and criticise arguments, a significant factor in boosting their productivity.

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