Curriculum Analysis

Curriculum Analysis Questions from Posner 3rd edition to be addressed in your analysis – Sample projects found in course Information Tab Curriculum Documentation and Origins I. How is the curriculum documented? 1. On what curriculum and standards documents and other resources will you base your analysis? What state and national standards are relevant to the curriculum? 2. On what aspects of the analysis do the documents focus? 3. What limitations in documentation do you find? II. What situation resulted in the development of the curriculum? 1. If you can find out, who made up the cast of characters in the development of the curriculum? What were their names, with what institution were they affiliated, and what were their respective roles in the project? Within the project team, who represented the learners, the teachers, the subject matter, and the milieu? Was there an obvious blind spot on the team? 2. To what social, economic, political, or educational problem was the curriculum attempting to respond? 3. What planning elements dominated the curriculum development process? III. What perspective, if any, does the curriculum represent? The Curriculum Proper IV. What are the purposes and content of the curriculum? 1. What aspects of the curriculum are intended for training, and what aspects are intended for educational contexts? 2. At what level, if at all, does the curriculum express its purposes? 3. What educational goals and educational aims are emphasized, and what are their relative priorities? 4. What types of learning objectives are included and emphasized in the curriculum? 5. What are the primary ways in which the curriculum represents the subject matter to students? 6. Does the curriculum have a view of multicultural education in its content? Would you consider it assimilationist, multiethnic, or social reconstructionist view?7. How is it determined if students have met the standards? What are the consequences for students, teachers, and schools, if it is determined that students have not met the standards? Does it matter if you adhere to the standards?8. Is the curriculum aligned with the standards? Does the curriculum facilitate student understanding of the content and processes espoused by the standards? Are portrayals of the nature/structure of the discipline congruent between the curriculum and the standards? Are the balances of depth and breadth of the curriculum and the standards congruent? Are the standards cited for each topic/activity?9. How does technology affect the content of the curriculum? V. What assumptions underlie the curriculum’s approach to purpose or content? 1. What conceptions of learning, objectives, curriculum, and teaching underlie the materials you are analyzing? 2. What aspects of a hidden curriculum are likely to accompany the conceptions and perspectives underlying the curriculum? 3. To what extent is the curriculum likely to play a hegemonic role in its purposes or content? VI. How is the curriculum organized? 1. What provision, if any, is made for macro-level vertical and/or horizontal organization? 2. What basic configurations of content are found at a more micro level? 3. How are the various media employed to deliver the curriculum? 4. What organizational principles does the curriculum employ? Does or can technology play a role in the curriculum organization? 5. What are the social and political implications of technology in curriculum organization?6. Does the curriculum organization increase or decrease the likelihood that tracking will be used? VII. What assumptions underlie the curriculum’s organization? 1. What epistemological assumptions, if any, underlie the curriculum’s organization? 2. What psychological assumptions, if any, underlie the curriculum’s organization? 3. What other assumptions, if any, related to your curriculum’s organization underlie the curriculum? The Curriculum In Use VIII. How should the curriculum be implemented? 1. What are the temporal, physical, organizational, and political-legal requirements of the curriculum? 2. What are the probable costs and benefits associated with the curriculum change? 3. To what extent will the curriculum be consistent with and appropriate for the teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and competencies? 4. What values are embedded in the curriculum, and how well are these values likely to be suited to the community? 5. To what extent is the curriculum aligned to the standards? 6. What technologies are required for implementation of the curriculum?7. To what extend does the curriculum take into account the students’ cultural, ethnic, or social backgrounds? To what extent does it accommodate gender differences?8. What approaches to curriculum change seem to be consistent with the curriculum? 9. If your curriculum has already been implemented, what approaches characterized the change efforts? IX. What can you learn about the curriculum from an evaluation point of view? 1. What, if any, data does the curriculum provide? What conclusions about the curriculum seem warranted on the basis of the data provided?2. What standardized tests are relevant to this curriculum? How well is the curriculum aligned with the relevant standardized tests?3. What instruments or suggestions for collecting data does the curriculum provide? Are these tools equally fair for all social, economic, cultural, and ethnic groups? 4. What are your concerns about the curriculum that could be clarified by evaluation data? Consider short-term outcomes, long-term outcomes, antecedents, and transactions. 5. Does the approach to student evaluation in the curriculum manifest a measurement-based or an integrated approach, or both? 6. What would a neo-conservative (or radical) evaluation of the curriculum look like? Critique X. What is your judgment about the curriculum? 1. What are its strengths and weaknesses? 2. Of what dangers would you want to be careful if you implemented it? 3. How would you adapt it to maximize its benefits and strengths and to minimize its limitations and risks?

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