Curriculum is one of the main issues, which directs the educational process all over the world. Combining the curriculum, teachers and tutors create the scheme, according to which the education is going to be led, which books are going to be investigated and which material, in general, will be considered. Curriculum has usually been considered as the plan for teachers, which is the base for learning. The question was investigated whether the combiners of curriculum understood real destination of curriculum, its philosophical meaning. Amy Prevedel (2003) created the article, which depicted three approaches to curriculum and tried to investigate real philosophical and developmental meaning of curriculum, which are going to be criticized from different points of view and the conclusions made whether the research is relevant and useful or not.
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The discussion will be focused on the article “Values and Beliefs: The World View behind Curriculum” by Amy Prevedel, which was represented in the Focus on basics on September, 2003. Starting with the discussion whether the problem of the study is clearly stated, it should be mentioned that the abstract to the article does not really consider the theme of the investigation, the discussion of the necessity of understanding the philosophy of curriculum is provided. The theme of the investigation and some additional aspects of it are clearly stated in the introduction of the paper. The introduction paragraph, besides the theme pointing out, provides the summary of the article, where three approaches, which are going to be discussed, are introduced with snipped review of them.
One of the main limitations, which is noticed at once and is significant in the discussed issue, is the absence of the literary review as the separate part of the investigation. Starting the discussion of such core theme without the literary review is a mistake as, summarizing information, which was studied before, is the first step, which should not be avoided. The literary review helps with identifying information, which is already investigated about the topic, and providing the strong thesis statement of the investigation. Moreover, literary review helps with the investigation, that is some knowledge were considered before and there is no need to provide the same researches, the information may be just collected from previous investigations (Fink, 2009, p.3). Furthermore, if the information is already evaluated and synthesized, it may be either agreed and further research implemented, or argued and basing on the literary review some counter-arguments provided.
There is a great deal of different methods, which may be used during any research implementing. The author of the article used mostly conceptualization and measuring methods in the combination of summarizing and conclusion of the received information. Starting with the conceptualization method, the author of the article tried to answer two questions, “What do the main concepts mean in this research?” and “how are the main concepts measured?” (Chambliss & Schutt, 2009, p.73). These questions were answered with the aim to introduce the validity of the research and to add to the reasons, why the theme was raised. The summary of the information was give to provide the reader with the measurement of the research. The advantages and disadvantages of every approach were provided, which aimed to provide the conclusion of every approach and to give the readers the whole information, releasing them from any additional researches.
The terms, which are introduced in the study, are both defined and supported by the description in the concept of the text. The paper does not provide the reader with special terminology too much, and at the same time the approaches are named, but the full explanation to the issues are given. The terms are not given the rough encyclopedia definitions, but are introduced in the concept of the problem and are easily understood. Such method of terminology explanation, chosen by the writer, is the most understandable and easy to perceive, that is why the paper does not look abound in terms and difficult language. In is this research paper conveying quality research, justifiable outcomes are supported by the special terminology, which is carefully explained.
The article under consideration emerges in the “folk psychology” and it may be easily proved if to consider the aim of the investigation and its theme. The following definitions of “folk psychology” may be provided, (1) “commonsense psychology that explains human behavior in terms of beliefs, desires, intentions, expectations, preferences, hopes, fears, and so on”; (2) “an interpretation of such everyday explanations as part of folk theory, comprising a network of generalizations employing concepts like belief, desire, and so on” (Wilson & Keil, 2001, p.319). Turning to the criticized article, its main aim is to give the description of the approaches, according to which teachers should create their curriculums, what beliefs and desires they are moved by and which philosophy pursue. The article was created to identify the philosophical developmental issues while curriculum creation and what philosophy of education every curriculum reflects.
The criticized article does not give such evaluation exclamations as good or excellent, as well as bad or poor. The explained and supported arguments of the approaches are given with identifying the advantages and disadvantages of every approach. Such methodology is rather convenient, as curriculums are usually provided in different conditions and every teacher may choose this or that approach, which will correspond to his/her situation perfectly. The disadvantages for one tutor may not be so crucial as for the others, and every teacher may choose the approach, which fits him/her better. In addition, considering the points of view of other scholars, the supported arguments are given in reference to this or that opinion by Amy Prevedel (2003) that is also the evaluation of different facts.
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The macro theories are applied in the investigation of small group behaviors. The adults learning group is taken as the example for the investigation. The reasons, why exactly this age group was chosen, are not explained anyhow and this information should be taken as granted, this was the author’s choice. The choice of the group, not the individual, as the example is also not explained by the author, but at the same time, the information, which is given in the article, strongly corresponds to this very age group and may not be used in relevance to other age groups. The interest of the author to adults may be explained by their formed cognitive and psychological characteristics, while children’s scope of knowledge and world considerations should be formed with the curriculum, that makes its development deeper and more complicated.
The conclusions of the article, which are provided by the author, are rather inspirational. First, the author makes up a small summary of the whole work, identifying that most teachers are not given the opportunity to choose the approach, as coming out of the state, some organizational difficulties and other issues, the choice is usually made for them. Second, the further investigation for the teachers is offered in the item that discussed approaches are not the only structure according to which the curriculums should be developed, otherwise, the choice by the teachers should be provided and they should comprise their own approaches to the curriculum, which would correspond to their situation and considerations to the education in general. Amy Prevedel (2003) tries to push teachers for work, the further research is offered, but this research is not global, it should be completed individually by each teacher.
The conclusion tries to inspire teachers to expand the offered study, that is the logical and legitimatized continuation of the provided research. As it was mentioned above, the paper has philosophical direction, and as the philosophy of the individuality is different, so the personal further investigation is exactly what the study lacks. The development of the general information and collecting it into the personal direction is exactly what the study needs, and about which the author states in the conclusion of the paper. The philosophical laws are similar, but they are usually understood differently, and the possibility to fit the curriculum development to personal beliefs and intentions is exactly what necessary.
In addition, it may be also stated that the conclusion of the article falls into analytical category. The approaches are compared, not directly, but still advantages and disadvantages of every approach may be considered separately and then some common and distinctive features may be analyzed. The behaviorist assumptions are present in the article as well as some mind relations. Amy Prevedel (2003) tried to provide the approaches according to which the curriculum should be provided taking into account some behavioral and mind considerations, which are the parts of philosophical opinion. The main focus of the article is philosophical consideration of curriculum, which mostly comes out of people’s wishes and desires, which further turn to their behavior. Amy Prevedel (2003) managed perfectly refer her article to the behavioral and mind considerations of teachers, claiming that three approaches, which are offered are not the guides, but the skeleton to the further teachers’ mind considerations, according to which they should create their own, relevant to their situations curriculums.
In conclusion, the article “Values and Beliefs: The World View behind Curriculum” by Amy Prevedel (2003) is a good addition to the philosophy of curriculum development, which answers the question why, with which aim teachers create these curriculums. The main point of view, which is investigated, has nothing common with educational process, such as programs and other issues, which should be given to students, but the philosophical concept is discussed. The main consideration of why this curriculum is created for is the focus of the article. Criticizing the study, it was considered that the author provided a research where stated three approaches, summarized advantages and disadvantages there and in the conclusion tried to inspire teachers for further development and improvement of offered research, inserting their own thoughts and to adjust her ideas to their own situations and desires.
Chambliss, D. F. & Schutt, R. K. (2009). Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation. Pine Forge Press, Washington.
Fink, A. (2009). Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper. SAGE, Washington.
Prevedel, A. (2003). Values and Beliefs: The World View behind Curriculum. Focus on basics, 6(C).
Wilson, R. A. & Keil, F. C. (2001). The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences. MIT Press, Cambridge.