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The education system of a country forms the basis by means of which the future of an economy develops. This is to say that the quality of the education standards very much governs the way the people behave. (Where the people are the true representatives of an economy) It was since the sixteenth centaury that the term curriculum has been associated with higher education and training. Though at several time frames in the history the term had been interchangeably used as a framework for the plan of study by various universities but it had also been defined as the coursework which has been formulated by certain group of scholars.
The curriculum was related to a type of baccalaureate practice in early days in the American universities including Harvard which was formed in the year 1636. As the term curriculum itself derived its connotation both from the English and the Latin languages so it was most frequently used word by the students, faculty as well as the university administrator since then. It is important to note that the term has been constantly used since then in a similar context throughout the seventeen and the eighteenth century. This similar practice was adopted by the Greek and the European universities as the universities providing the means of higher education expanded.
The emerging Models of Education System:
In recent times a number of theorists have explained the ways in which the education system has reformed over the period of time. There have been various approaches that has been adapted to the newly design system to ensure its proper organization and seeking that its delivery is feasible. A lot of these approaches have their basis in the rationalist convention which in turn support the universities and institution of higher education and also offer certain models to guide the contemporary education system planning.
Ralph Tyler, who is perhaps the first observer of the education system in the United States, published Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction in 1949. In this context he poised four vital questions that could structure the future of knowledge in the education system: (1) The purpose that the curriculum served (2) the role that the faculty and the professor in order to meet the set purposes (3) The organization of the whole curriculum (4) the metrics to measure the outcomes of the learning/curriculum and what should be done thereafter.
Hilda Taba in her book Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice, published in 1962 provided, in real meaning, the first guide for planning of the curriculum for various universities and college faculties and administration staff. In her book Taba had furthered Tyler's important questions by stating that a transformation or alteration in the curriculum is an indication of the changes in the way an institution works and it becomes imperative on the part of the faculty and professors to play a greater role in formulating the framework for the same. Effort to modernize the education system and make it more structured motivated other to develop certain other approaches to achieve the same.
It was Paul Dressel (1968) and Clifton Conrad (1978) whose sophisticated balanced methods not only approved Tyler's and Taba's contribution but also gave an insight into the role that the various stake holders play in the developing a framework for the education system and decision making process. Again in the early part of 1980s, William H. Bergquist and others came up with a 8 curricular model that described and covered all the components of an education system according to an institutionââ‚¬â„¢s mission and purpose. It had themes like thematic, competency, career, experience, student, values, future, and heritage. After this publication many refinement and modification have been done to the whole framework in order to come up with something more novel and concrete.
Challenges faced by the Comp temporary education system
Perhaps the most important challenges for leaders of the education system will be to produce great experiences in lively competitive environment with varied individual wants and interests. The challenges may come in from within as well as from beyond academe. The challenges will include asking people to develop an understanding of their role as teachers and students, develop multiple visions and ideas on the content, and reorganize the already established system features.
Which approach to choose from: Enabling or Empowerment
Enabling is the process wherein a student is shielded from the consequence of his action (mostly negative) by the teacher. On the other hand Empowerment is the process of making a student as well as a teacher accountable for what he takes up including the decision making power. The challenge for the education system is to adopt a balanced approach of both enabling and empowerment. But a line should be drawn as far as the degree to which both these are to be applied. Incorporation of both will provide a good learning for a student.
Developing a curriculum
In the typical university, the education system is such that the courses structure comprises of the core education which is followed by and used by these universities. But as a matter of fact these courses normally are covered in the first few years of coursework, irrespective of the student's chosen field of specialization. Thus these courses are built to stress more on the skills and not on the specialization itself, as they are generally framed to ignore the disciplinary boundaries, thereby failing to make it clear to the students the implication of the knowledge for the students. Again the leaders in this stream have regularly emphasized on the students understanding as to how to use their learning in their practical day to day working thereby enhancing their knowledge and skills. Thus the challenge is for the Students to be able to significantly relate their classroom learning and their insights that they gained in a less controlled environments.
Similarly, the education courses, at most universities of higher education are to be formulated so as to bring up the analytical abilities of the students and faculties, besides providing the broader scope of reference for students. In this process even the faculty members are being treated by see as to how well they have developed the certain skills of a student. This 360 degree approach provides for improving the whole system as such besides providing for the individual development of the students as well as the faculties
It has been argued by the critics that though the General education requirements are proposed to provide a common experience but it cannot solve the problems created by disintegration and specialization. Thus the General education must be considered for moderate and disciplinary studies so as to create a concrete and a meaningful shared learning experience. Thus we see that for a proper education system to develop the teachers should be developed as a Leader. This in turn might make their students follow them as well as prepare them for better future. The leaders in this field should look forward to achieve accuracy in teaching, learning and assessment practices, deal with barriers in cultures of universities by nurturing success culture and help translate ideas into action (Crowther et al. 2002). Thus the conceptualization of teacher leadership is the central to building professional communities & developing the education system (Lieberman & Miller 2004)