The Powerpoint presentation composed by Peter Gow pretty much complements with the curriculum design i have written, i have been following his posts in the slideshare and found it to be very much interesting. The tidbits he discussed in his curriculum design are very important considerations in constructing a good curriculum.
In designing a curriculum, one important thing to remember is this…
A strong curriculum must also have a solid OBJECTIVES, which would clearly state desired Performance expected to the learner, the Condition that would allow the learner to perform as expected and the Criteria that would provide the learner the scope of the Learning Task expected of them.
This Solid Objectives would provide a simple roadmap for the entire curriculum, the type of instructional strategies that would be adopted would entirely depend on the intent of the curriculum designer as stated in the Objectives. It must therefore,be aligned to it since the instructional strategies used were simply adopted in order to achieved the goals of the curriculum.
A clearly stated Solid Objectives would likewise dictate the Assessment to be used in order to measure the learners extent of knowledge. In the past, Assessment is only confined to the number of correct answers versus the wrong, a duality approach to measuring the learners skills derived from the curriculum. Thus, overshadowing a bigger and wider scope of the learners performance, duality approach does not provide us the flexibility, simplicity and sophistication offered by the Rubric structured assessment.
Performance Based and Product Based Assessments provides us the leverage to easily adapt to the different scenarios that may be foreseen or expected to be performed by the learner. It is flexible yet rigid since it allows the curriculum designer to construct assessments using a single format (rubric) and place criteria for learning and the graduated scale or points depending on the learners performance or product. It is likewise sophisticated since it expects more to the learners and measures more as compared to the duality approach to assessments, therefore a Performance/Product based assessments provides us the robustness that is not found on the right versus wrong assessments. This is pioneered in the business industries that relies on innovation and competitiveness of its workers, only now that its realized that learners must also be assessed competitively in order to perform as such.
Another add on to this curriculum design is the THEORY-BINARY PRACTICE, which puts larger emphasis on the applicability on the lesson to the society, more importantly if the lesson can be integrated to the societal needs arising within the immediate community of the learners. Thus, putting the Theory learned inside the classroom into a laboratory for thinking that encourages the learners to become an early part of the solution to a larger problem. This further strengthens the learners connection to the community rather than being detached to it as most of the case, the classroom would then become a gathering of thinkers, decision-makers and responsible citizens taking important roles and dealing with societal problems that are mostly an arena of the old and bearded guys who just went on retirement.
To better understand the importance of a robust curriculum design for the 21st century, i encourage you to listen to what these Deans and Professors of various established teacher education institutions on its value.