The efficiency of educational programs may differ depending on the community. It is evident that schools with higher academic performance require a more advanced curriculum than schools with lower academic achievements. Therefore, sometimes, schools’ curriculum is to be reevaluated and changed to adhere to the needs and ability of learners and the capabilities of the school. The present paper offers a curriculum change plan for Jacox Elementary in Virginia. This plan utilizes Lewin’s change theory to include biblical worldview into the language arts classes.
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Jacox Elementary is a school in Norfolk, VA, that serves 718 students in grades kindergarten through five (“Jacox elementary school,” n.d.). The percentage of students achieving proficiency in language arts is 48%, while the division is 66%, and the state passing rate is 78% (“Jacox elementary school,” n.d.). According to the Virginia Department of Education (VDoE, n.d.), in 2018, there were 172 disruptive or disorderly offenses committed by students, and 20.28% of students were chronically absent. In short, the school operates in a problem neighborhood; therefore, the standard curriculum for English classes proposed by VDoE (2017) needs to be altered to reflect the characteristics of the area.
The school would benefit from the introduction of the biblical worldview to its curriculum because it may help by giving hope of salvation and bring meaning to the life of students. In Bible, it is said that without the knowledge about God, children will always be “learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7, The New King James Version). Indeed, children living in a hostile environment need to know about the grace of God to acquire meaning in life; otherwise, they will remain ignorant.
Even though education currently aims at being technologically advanced, this is not relevant for Jacox Elementary. Technology in schools gives students the opportunity to enhance their interaction with classmates. Integrating technology may be effective for connecting with students of all learning styles. However, the school suffers from sufficient underfunding, and its facilities are old and require constant repairs (“Jacox elementary school,” n.d.). Therefore, the current digital trends and technology seem inapplicable to the selected school. These trends are to be considered after the integration of biblical worldview into the educational process on all levels.
Three Steps of Change
Curriculum alteration will benefit from utilizing comprehensive change theory to decrease the probability of adverse outcomes. According to Rudhumbu, Mswazie, and Maphosa (2016), curriculum change is “not just a process but rather as a complex interaction of various factors in society acting at different stages so that whatever transpires on one stage affects the activities of another” (p. 1). Therefore, it is proposed to utilize Lewin’s change theory for the endeavor since it is a thoroughly studied framework. The theory describes three stages of change: unfreezing, or arousing dissatisfaction with the current state of matters among stakeholders, moving or implementing the change, and refreezing, or making final adjustments to accept new standards (Schein, 1996). Therefore, the curriculum change plan will also have three stages described below.
- Stage 1: Unfreezing. During this stage, all the educational plans will be reevaluated and strengths and weaknesses identified. Additionally, the arguments for the introduction of biblical worldview will be gathered, summarized, and condensed into a coherent presentation. This stage will take three months of the summer break.
- Stage 2: Moving. During the moving process, the proposed changes will be implemented and tested. The process will require a whole academic year, or nine months to assess its outcomes.
- Stage 3: Refreezing. This period will take another three months of a summer break after the implementation of change. During this time, feedback will be gathered, and the outcomes of the change assessed. After that, a list of recommendations will be elaborated, and the project will be altered accordingly.
Reaching out to the Stakeholders
Lewin’s change theory describes three steps to reaching the stakeholders so that they become dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. According to Schein (1996), all the stakeholders have to go through disconfirmation, survival guilt, and psychological safety of overcoming the barriers. Below is the plan to reach out to all the stakeholders, including parents, teachers, librarians, and administrators. Al the information will be delivered during meetings, media announcements, online discussions, and posters in schools. The plan is applicable both to parents and school staff.
- Step 1: Disconfirmation. This phrase implies that the stakeholders get to know about the issues with the current practice.
- Step 2: Survival Guilt. This step is describing the implications of the present problems for learner and community outcomes.
- Step 3: Psychological Safety. This step aims at reassuring all the stakeholders that the issues can overcome by providing recent empirical evidence and theoretical concepts.
Curriculum changes are inevitable due to the evolving nature of the environment. Educational programs are to be adapted for the learners and school settings to ensure the best educational outcomes. The analysis of Jacox Elementary demonstrates that its curriculum is to be altered to include a biblical worldview. The introduction of technologically advanced methods is inappropriate due to insufficient funding and lack of required equipment. The curriculum change plan covers 15 months, and it is to be guided by Lewin’s change theory. Special attention is to be paid to communicating the change to all the stakeholders.
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Jacox elementary school. (n.d.). Web.
Rudhumbu, N., Mswazie, J., & Maphosa, C. (2016). A model for planning and implementing curriculum change in private higher education in Botswana. European Journal of Training and Development Studies, 3(1), 1-22.
Schein, E. H. (1996). Kurt Lewin’s change theory in the field and in the classroom: Notes toward a model of managed learning. Systems practice, 9(1), 27-47.
Virginia Department of Education. (2017). Norfolk public schools English curriculum 2019-2020. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Education.
Virginia Department of Education. (n.d.). Jacox elementary. Web.