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The National Curriculum Framework Education Essay

The current strategy is to bear in a more realistic evaluation of the economic context in which little children are living. The curriculum is also diverted towards two other important fronts which are “information and technology” and “social and cultural”.

Little children must be prepared to use productively all the information and technological tools in order to become permanent learners along with their academic achievement.

Pertaining to the social and cultural front, little children must be prepared “to address a number of issues that affect most modern democratic societies”.

According to the curriculum, pupils should be equipped to adapt to the changing environment and styles of living through education.

The purpose of education itself is to create a society where every child has a rightful place for personal growth and overall development.

Now the curriculum together with the education front will take into consideration all kind of children; “the child with special needs, the child who has certain inherent or acquired talents” . Every child will be able to find his place in a lifelong learning.

In Mauritius, there are four main types of curriculum:

The learner-centered curriculum

whereby main focus is on the learner, the teacher is only a facilitator.

The teacher-centered curriculum

whereby the teacher dictates and controls the teaching and learning process.

The society-centered curriculum

Learner gets all the necessary skills and competencies to adapt to a society.

Technological curriculum

Learners gets the requirements to deal with the ever changing technological world and his environment.

The curriculum takes into consideration 4main aspects:

Humanistic

Technological

Academic discipline

Social reconstruction

According to me, a curriculum with 8 well-defined goals taking into consideration all growing aspects of a child will not have many weaknesses as it is a complete curriculum.

It is much difficult to criticize a curriculum as it is all about the well-being of the child, but what causes problem is the implementation of the curriculum.

One question which must arise is whether the curriculum is being implemented or not. If yes, which part and to what extent is it being implemented.

Very often, we may notice large gaps between the practice and the policy. In other words, they taught curriculum differs from the official curriculum.

Reasons for disparity in the curriculum

The curriculum has got constraints within its environment. Namely society, school and class environment.

Society level constraints:

taking into consideration the goal no. 2

“To foster understanding and appreciation of the biological, physical and technological world to enable the learner to arrive at informed decisions about the environment and the changing needs of our society and those of the individual”.

There are many things which are unknown to the society and many perceptions that are difficult to change. Let us take into consideration air pollution. Many people do not trust when they are said to stop polluting the environment. They are not aware about the consequences of their actions. They become reluctant about changing their styles and the effect now is the green house effect.

But, we can say that there is a good amelioration towards the technological change. People change mobile phones very often. They even do not recycle the used ones. They don’t know how to well dispose off their mobile phones. This is a mentality that must be changed.

Class level constraints:

From my observations, I identified some aspects which contribute to a non-holistic approach and which interfere with goal no. 1

“To promote an all-round development of the individual – physical, intellectual, social and emotional – leading to a balanced, active and productive lifestyle”

Lack of material and space.

Non-motivated teachers; we very often come across teachers who are much reluctant about their job. They do the job only to get paid at the end of the month.

Lack of time & pupil/teacher ratio; according to teachers, everything is a matter of time.

Taking into consideration goal no.5

“To promote equity and social justice by providing opportunities for every learner according to her/his needs, interests and potential”

Very often, teachers take into consideration only the academic part and the latter does not make provision for all kind of learners. Sometimes the teacher does not know the learning styles of most pupils. He does one thing for everybody. Many things are taken for granted when they shouldn’t.

This also interferes with goal no.4

“To develop creative thinking skills and learning competencies required for the future”

Teachers think that it is not important to let pupils express themselves or very often, creative classes are neglected due to the mess it causes.

School level constraints:

“To foster national unity by promoting in the individual understanding of and respect

for our multicultural heritage”

At school level, it becomes difficult sometimes to implement the above goal. Head teachers are sometimes reluctant about doing extracurricular programs at school as these programs disturb the routine of the school and cause much excitement in little children. But in fact, routine is not a good thing too, as, this is what demotivates learners.

“Habit and routine have an unbelievable power to waste and destroy.”(Henri de Lubac quotes)

Remedies:

What can be done to reduce the gap between the practice and the policy?

Encourage more group work. Bring children to work together and helping each other therefore encouraging “national unity by promoting in the individual understanding of and respect for our multicultural heritage”. This brings more interaction and communication within pupils in the classroom. And in such ways many activities can be done.

Make educators aware of the importance of holistic development. Whereby the pupil develop cognitively, affectively and physically.

Divert the generation from academic to wholesome.

Sensitize the society at large about the education of the child. As the prevailing education system make people become selfish and creates competition in between learners. In higher classes, sometimes we can observe very little or even no sharing, therefore killing interpersonal relationships.

As an educator, in order to be more than possible near the policy,

I shall:-

Develop the affective side of children.

Encourage group work ( create interactions amongst pupils)

Make pupils aware of the changing society and train them to adapt to this. E.g.: technological changes: try to do some activities using ICT as in the future ICT will be everywhere and become an important part of learning at primary level.

Give importance & credits to physical education and creative even if time is limited as these arouse curiosity, motivation in little children and at the same time, they are being able to develop their thinking skills.

Create a value-based education

Select a core subject taught at Primary level and explain how any five of its generic learning outcomes are in line with the curriculum goals at A above.

Learning outcomes (LOs) describe what a student is expected to know, understand or be able to demonstrate at the end of a learning experience. They express a desired state and are often described in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Learning outcomes can be set for both individual courses and entire degree programmes.

LOs have important roles in a curriculum design and development.

They are also important in the paradigm shift teacher-centered to student-centered learning.

Negative aspects of LOs

Inhibits/ constricts the learning process.

Suits training better than open- ended education

Creates a targeted culture

Positive aspects of LOs

Helps ensure consistent delivery across the lesson

Highlights teaching, learning, assessment relationships

Benefits quality assurance

Informs students’ choice

Learning outcomes are written in language to demonstrate that students achieve higher order levels of thinking (Bloom’s taxonomy)

Remember

Define, list, describe, label, state

Understand

Classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase

Apply

Choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.

Analyze

Appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test

Evaluate

Appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate

Create

Assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write

Subject chosen: MATHEMATICS

Develop number sense

Making sense of something: (+,-,*, etc). Children can be able to create their own word problem.

“To develop in the learner skills and knowledge to empower her/him to participate meaningfully in an information-driven economy”.

All learners will develop number sense and an ability to represent numbers in a variety of forms and use numbers in a variety of situations.

“To foster understanding and appreciation of the biological, physical and

technological world to enable the learner to arrive at informed decisions about the

environment and the changing needs of our society and those of the individual”

Mathematics is important in our everyday life. It is useful as using mathematics we can observe nature and determine what may happen in the future and always know what had happened in the past. We use mathematics in our everyday life to determine the behaviours of Mother Nature.

Problem solving skills

Knowing how to do something.

Being able to do new things.

Intellectual skills.

“To promote an all-round development of the individual – physical, intellectual, social

and emotional – leading to a balanced, active and productive lifestyle”

Learners develop skills to solve problems. We meet mathematical problems in our everyday life. Every day we need to count e.g.: our pocket money. Little children are much acquainted to use small sum of money which they earned as pocket money.

“To develop in the learner skills and knowledge to empower her/him to participate

meaningfully in an information-driven economy”

Mathematics also helps us to develop social skills through problem solving. E.g.: going to the shop, an exercise which little children may experience almost every day. Why information-driven?? Processing calculation is processing information given to get an answer. Even in the barter system mathematics was used as there need to have a certain discipline when exchanging goods.

Develop reasoning

Learners are able to create their own feelings, perceptions & opinions.

“To promote a culture of lifelong learning for greater access to an ever-changing job

market.”

When learners develop reasoning, the learning process becomes more easy and effective. Then the learner can easily cope with similar problems even in they are of different context and vice versa. For example learning volume of objects.

Area of circle: πr2h

Area of cube: L*B*H

But in fact, the easiest way will be to teach the learner of how to think. The easiest way to teach him would be;

Volume = area * height… in that way the learner can understand the concept rather than learning a formula for each type of object.

Creativity

Innovative thoughts

Making children inspired when talking about mathematics.

Maths for fun: learning shapes and colors.

“To develop creative thinking skills and learning competencies required for the future”

Communicate mathematically

“To foster national unity by promoting in the individual understanding of and respect

for our multicultural heritage”

Mathematics is a language. Numbers stands by themselves. Numbers helps us to communicate. If someone ask a question e.g.: how many people are there, then the answer is 5. Automatically the other person may get a signal and already 5 represent something for him.

Choose a topic from the selected subject at B and design a detailed student-centered lesson plan for lower primary thereon.

Class: STD 3

Topic: Money

Duration: 50 minutes

Approach: integrated approach ( doing creativity and at the same time learning)

Pre-requisites: pupils are acquainted to transactions, change, banking process, etc. for e.g. school canteen, going to the bank with a parent, going to the shop, etc …

Objectives:

Discover the amazing world of change.

Develop concepts on their own

Develop their motor skills (fine motor skills)

Follow instructions and procedures

Ask questions

Negotiate with others.

Materials needed: -Coins, -paper, -shop corner, -desk (tables), -cereals/toothpaste/biscuits and other empty containers.

*all materials provided by the teacher to make sure that the lesson will take place effectively.

Assumptions: the children are already arranged in groups.

Procedures:

First 15minutes:- reproduce pictures of different coins. E.g. 1rupee coin, 5rupee coin, etc…

Cut down the coins from the sheet of paper.

After these have been made, the teacher make each group become a little shop using the desk.

Each pupil at turn can be the shop keeper and they will use the money they cut as change.

Evaluation: Questioning… see if all children are able to solve the problems.

Remedies: if some pupils still have problems, then the teacher reserves some time so that he can do the exercise again as the materials will already be there.

Explain clearly how your lesson plan is student-centered.

“placing learners at the heart of the learning process & meeting their needs, is taken to a progressive step in which learner-centered approaches mean that persons are able to learn what is relevant for them in ways that are appropriate. Waste in human and educational resources is reduced as it suggested learners no longer have to learn what they already know or can do, nor what they are uninterested in” ( Edwards 2001: 37)

Learner-centered classrooms focused primarily on the individual student and the teacher is only a facilitator.

The use of various teaching aids strengthens the relationship between the teacher and the learners by effective transmission of ideas & experiences through pupils’ participation.

Ways in which the student-centered approach is effective in the lesson plan:

Encourage indivudualised learning. Meaning that each learner has got the opportunity to participate in the learning process.

The teacher creates a situation where the student feels free to react and respond.

Minimized discipline problems as learners create interest within themselves to learn new things.

Teacher allows learners to cooperate with each others.

Give chances even to low achievers. Each and every one can find his place, being a buyer or a seller.

The students have a satisfactory level of choice. Moreover, the power was primarily in the hands of the students where the teacher was a facilitator. The teacher is a resource person rather than a dictator.

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