St. Francis Xavier University
Faculty of Education
Department of Leadership and Curriculum
Whatsoever things are true
Education 532 Curriculum Theory
226 Xavier Hall
Please note office hours are on a drop-in basis. If you require a specific time please contact me for an appointment.
Class Times: 6:00pm --9 pm Tuesdays
Parkay, F. W., Anctil, E. J. and Hass, G. (2009). Curriculum leadership: Readings for developing quality educational programs (9th Edition). Boston, MA: Pearson
American Psychological Association (2002). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition). Washington, DC:
American Psychological Association.
* Both of these resources are available at the St. FX Book Store or the Curriculum Resource Center (3rd floor Xavier Hall)
* Based on interest and student need, selected materials if required will be assessed for an additional duplicating cost to be determined at the end of the course.
Please refer to the Graduate Course Confidentiality Guidelines June, 2004
EDUC 532 examines key concepts and forces involved in shaping curriculum decision-making, theories of curriculum, and practical aspects of planning, implementation, evaluation, and research. Understanding curriculum is fundamental to understanding the field of education. Formal education assumes that those responsible have some notions of what constitutes a suitable curriculum. Although the term curriculum is extremely wide, it typically involves people constructing, that is planning, selecting, sequencing, and evaluating, organized learning experiences for themselves and/or others. For educators, curriculum is what is to be taught and learned, and there are many different views about what is good and appropriate. This course is designed to help you to develop an understanding of curriculum by problematizing the concepts and discourses that constitute the curriculum field. The purpose is to have you develop an informed theory in your own contexts of practice. It is assumed that you will be engaged at some time in curriculum work within your professional activities. Therefore, you will be expected to engage the curriculum literature as a means of reflecting upon the historical and (con)textual forces which shape curriculum work and the role of professional educators in curriculum construction. You will be expected to describe your own assumptions, predispositions, and biases about curriculum, articulate your developing notions of curriculum, and apply your developing frameworks to your own educational practice in the form of proposals for change and improvement. The course is designed to be participatory and practice-based (entailing critical reflection on curriculum practice in light of reading and discussion), responsive and collaborative (focusing on the particular contexts and interests of participants) and critical (entailing constructive critique of education and other values and assumptions that inform curriculum policy, organization, and practice).
Intended Course Outcomes
- To gain a historical perspective on the field of curriculum studies.
- To identify basic issues in the field of curriculum studies and to formulate personal responses to these issues.
- To gain practical experience in working with current research, allowing us to contextualize our practices in the vast field of curriculum theory.
- To read widely in the literature on curriculum studies and to discuss this literature with peers.
- To become familiar with the information on curriculum available from a variety of sources.
Schedule for Spring 2012
Course Introduction: Conceptualization of the
What is Curriculum?
What is curriculum theory?
Where do we start?
In-class curricular activity:
-5 camps-6 orientation questions
Material will be covered in-class
Overview of the field: Crises to Re-conceptualization …
What is Theory?
Institutionalized text as example
-Schwab's 4 Common Places
-Curricular Points of Reference: Habits of seeing, community of interpreters
Material will be covered in-class
Resistance & Discursive
*Setting up Mind Walk with guiding questions
April 24 Descartes
- living the disconnect
- breaking the polar delusion
-For this class you will be asked to watch the movie Mind Walk. The questions to guide the viewing will be presented April 17th
Poststructuralist, Deconstructed, Postmodern text
· Making it strange!
· Patriarchal Dominance
· Lived experiences
· Ways of knowing
· Stories, myths, and lore
Aesthetic Text & Theological Text: Breaking the Dualism
· Exalt thy new god
· The forgotten lesson …
Independent 6 hour group
sessions focusing on your
common discourse (see
Prep time in groups of three. I will book Collaborate time for you to work on your final paper. I suggest booking this with me half way and at the end.
DUE June 10, 2012
Course Completion Policy
If course work is not completed by the end of the regular scheduled term, a mark of IP (in progress) will be granted. This mark will stand until the work is completed and submitted by a negotiated date or the first day of the following term. If the outstanding work is not submitted by the established date, a grade of NM (no mark) will be entered as the final mark. For further information please refer to the Graduate Studies Handbook.
1. Connections: You will keep a list of specific quotes and the context of the thought. Connections can emanate from the following sources: 1) your text (direct quotes based on the selected reading); 2) your colleagues from discussions from the session seminars; and 3) yourself--a curricular thinker. Please provide an indicator to who is to be credited for the citation. These embedded-connections (1 paragraph max 5-8 sentences) will be posted to BlackBoard under the discussion board--Session 1 / Session 2 and so on. Think of your connections as a place in which to record your opinions, concrete examples linked to your practice, answers to selected questions, questions, and depth of reading engagement that challenges you as a curriculum theorist. This is an on-going assessment and will be due at the end of every class, posted no later than the next day 9 pm. I expect each of you to respond (2-3 sentences max) to at least two of your colleagues postings per Session before the next class. This is worth 33.33% of your final mark. rubric
2. Contextualizations: Within your specific area of educational research interests, prepare a seminar, entitled Contextualizations: “?” This seminar will contain a brief discussion (no more than 5 minutes) of curriculum theory as an overview to one of the chapters from the text, how this curricular theorizing has impacted education, a review of 2 or 3 key thinkers through their articles on how they have contributed to this discourse, key concepts that inform educational practice, how this can challenge curriculum design and implementation, and the realities of classroom practice force the theory practice gap to be discussed. Your seminar is not a summary of the articles; rather 4 succinct slides (ppt.) that places us into deep and meaningful discussions: large group or in smaller chats. In short, you need to synthesize the information, raise questions and facilitate continued discussion. You should strive to be creative, provide a unique focus to educators, engages us experientially, and through a seminar challenge us to make formal inquiries into the vast quagmire curriculum theory--challenge us with deep rooted questions. The 30 minute presentation is worth 33.33% of your final mark in the course and is due according to the course schedule. The selected articles must be emailed to me (title and author[s]) one week before you are scheduled to present and the power point must be emailed to me 24 hours before your seminar. rubric
3. Discourse (in groups of 3-4): Deconstruct an area of public school (split classes, assessment, examinations, subject topics, scheduling, semestering, policy, curriculum, extra curricular, fringe programs and so on...) by taking a curricular stand--stating your public--professional position as curriculum designer and planner; in short a curricular leader. Think of this as your curricular advertisement to draw attention to your instructional-leadership approach and planning values designed to advance public education. According to interest, and writing style, and curricular focus, you will anchor your analysis or challenge in the course lenses (see schedule above), you will use the selected readings from the text, and concepts/ideas/thoughts/connections from the daily-curricular BlackBoard Postings to support your discussion. This paper is to be 6 (ds) pages MAX, referenced, cited, and formatted according to APA. This aspect of assessment is worth 33.33% of your final mark, and is due to be submitted for evaluation during the June 10, 2012. If additional time is needed please inform the instructor before the end of the course. rubric
Course Evaluation Criteria (assignments/papers/presentations)
1. Demonstrates all expected criteria listed below, going beyond the usual work and normal expectation for graduate engagement. Includes strong evidence of critical thinking, while maintaining uniqueness, and creativity.
2. Uses all expected/usual criteria listed below. Student draws rich sources of information, and demonstrates original thinking.
3. Demonstrates ability to select pertinent information with the ability to analyze and to synthesize. Student is attentive to detail, clear, direct, and precise in thought.
4. Still demonstrates ability to select and to analyze, but attempts to synthesize with evidence of student’s own input. Shows good and consistent organization of ideas.
5. Some evidence of student’s own input. Efficient use of literature, good organization of material and was able to draw valid conclusions.
6. Clear, ordered writing/work with evidence of some attention to the inclusion of original ideas. Evidence of understanding of the nature and scope of the topic.
7. Unsatisfactory. Deficient in most of the above.
Criteria for Grading Graduate Work
90 – 100
Excellent discourse with respect to all criteria approaching excellent in quality.
Beyond usual expectations.
85 – 89
Toward excellence, demonstrating refined ability at the graduate level
80 – 84
Most qualities of previous [85 – 89] category.
75 – 79
Very good, solid discourse; fulfills expectations at/for graduate level.
70 – 74
65 – 69
Satisfactory, but possibly demonstrating a lack of understanding in terms of expectations at this level.
60 – 64
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