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During research on the various curriculums practiced throughout many years in South Africa and the rest of the world, it followed a similar sequence. All the curriculums had been focused on what the learner would get out of it as well as how society reacted to the teaching of the lessons.
The universal principle illustrated in the Saber Tooth Curriculum as well as other curriculums is how the outcomes and assessments taught to the learner kept compatible with the needs of society and the people in our society as well as the needs of learners. Outcomes Based Education can be identified in the ideas of educational theorist Ralph Tyler. A clear educational aim and objective should help learners identify with modern and life like situations. In the Outcomes Based Education objective, one must experience and conquer the principle to understand and carry it out. Although many of us have had an ‘educational experience’, it may not fit in with the objectives of the curriculum, therefore organisation and management for objective experiences are vital e.g. outings and field trips to study the subject in the habitat. A clear relationship between subjects in the curriculum needs to be made in order for students and learners to understand their similarities. Many items of the subject matter in the curriculum may come across as complex to teacher and learner, therefore thorough explanation and repetitive studying will help in comprehending the idea.
As in many studies, evidence that the product (curriculum) is successful needs to be obtained regularly. Evaluation of the subject and the knowledge obtained by the learner is vital to assess the success or failure of the given teaching content. Key concepts in the Outcomes Based Education syllabus through the views of Tyler and his colleagues: Lawrence Stenhouse and Paolo Freire consist of: learning through experience; focus; the learning area content and the skills involved and individual learning to name but a few. Outcomes Based Education can also be seen as competency based and a teacher-learning process takes place to better equip the receiver of the information (learners) for the success of the actual role.
The National Curriculum Statement gives rise to the subjects with knowledge, skills and values that are worth teaching and learning i.e. subjects with a Level 4 weighting on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Meaningful information is meant to be to relayed to the learners, as well as knowledge and skills that would further benefit the lives of those at the receiving end. The subject content taught in the national curriculum statement focuses on local contexts while remaining objective and insightful of contrary view points of the parents; learners and teachers involved, as well as society as a whole.
The aims of the National Curriculum statement are to prepare learners for everyday life outside of the school environment once they have matriculated. Many elements and factors must be taken into account namely: background; race; gender; intellectual and physical ability, in order to provide learners with the appropriate career opportunities. It affords learners admission to higher and further education studies if they so wish, also equipping them with the necessary tools they may need in their switch from one learning society to the next.
Moving into the workplace and tertiary institution, it provides the institution at which learners choose to work or study with a central idea of the proficiency of the learner. From the different curriculums we can see the link between each one of them including the Saber-toothed Curriculum. All are very learner based and focused on equipping the learners with the skills that they will not only find useful in their own environment or situation but anywhere they may need to use it.
In conjunction with the Outcomes Based Education curriculum, National curriculum statement and CAPS, ideas from the three main theorists: Ralph Tyler; Lawrence Stenhouse and Paolo Freire can be found. Although these theorists may have different ideas on how a curriculum should be structured and how learners should be taught these ideas can be agreed upon by all.
Ralph Tyler believed that the key intention of schooling is to become skilled. The curriculum should be intended for helpful learning and the end should be determined before coming to a decision on a means. As society changes, so should the curriculum and its educational purposes. Activities given to the learners should not only be done but also understood. This understanding should be built by past experiences and set through future experiences. Through a variety of testing methods, a learner’s content knowledge must be determined in order to assess whether the desired results and objectives have been met. His theory of the curriculum is based on the nature and structure of the knowledge transferred by educator to learner.
Lawrence Stenhouse opposed Tyler’s view as being run of the mill and one-dimensional. One cannot predict tomorrow nor next week’s objectives. As our society and the world changes so should the way information is implemented. Learner’s needs should be provided for by educators in their teaching and their lesson plans. Stenhouse believed in a guideline for teachers that was not enforced upon them but rather suggested. As teachers continue educating their learners a constant research into new and innovative ideas around the subject should be done.
Due to the change in society, Stenhouse maintains his view on an ever-changing curriculum to suit the needs of all, especially the learners as his approach was centred on and around them. Teachers should take the place of facilitators and guides not as authoritarians and children should constantly be given an opportunity to contribute to classroom discussions and lessons. This will not only enhance the learners understanding and test the level on which your lesson as a teacher is on, but also provide feedback on how enthusiastic learners are about your subject.
Paolo Freire believed that curriculums were a political aspect as it had the power to either free or dominate those involved in the outcome. His five aspects of a liberating curriculum were evident in his work: dialogue; praxis; developing consciousness; experience and Christian teaching. The curriculum should add value and the dialogue, which involves respect, shouldn’t be that people are working against each other but rather that people are working with each other. Dialogue should enhance the community and build community investment.
Praxis, a word used by Freire associated with how the world is changed and shaped, in his view this was not only to advance the knowledge of teachers and learners but to make a difference in the world thus Paolo focused on values and actions. Thirdly Paolo believed in working with those who couldn’t stand up for themselves, as a mother would for her baby. He strived for conscientiousness of such power that it would alter reality. He believed in education being lived out by those involved in it which gave rise to new and innovative ideas for educational practise.
Learning in classrooms should be experimental while maintaining a clear focus of the goal at hand. Outcomes should be clear for both learner and educator which would result in expanded opportunities and provide evidence of the achievement. Learning should be done on an individual level through all learning areas.
Conley, De Beer, Dunbar-Krige, Du Plessis, Gravett, Lomofsky, Merckel, November, Osman, Petersen, Robinson & Van der Merwe. 2009. Becoming a Teacher. Pearson
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