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Readings for Developing Quality Educational Programs

Introduction

Curriculum development is a complicated matter that requires an understanding of various concepts ideas. The primary objective of curriculum leaders is to provide students with knowledge and learning experiences appropriate to their nature and needs (Parkay et al., 2019). In order to achieve the objective, curriculum leaders need to take into consideration various factors, including social forces, human development stage, and learning styles. All these aspects are explicitly covered in Chapters 2-4 of the book by Parkay et al. (2019). The present paper offers a synthesis of the areas that were most insightful for acquiring a greater understanding and better appreciation of curriculum development and curriculum leadership.

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Social Forces

There are ten social forces that influence the achievement of students and their level of academic adaptation. These forces include ethnic and cultural diversity, changes in morality, family stress, the environment, technological revolution changing the world of work, promotion of equal rights, crime and violence, lack of purpose and meaning, and global interdependence (Parkay et al., 2019). While I was aware of the majority of social forces, I did not understand how impactful they were on curriculum development. For instance, due to the increased danger of crime and violence at schools and in the streets, authorities need to ensure that students are aware of the associated dangers. Knowledge about the practices concerning the prevention of adverse consequences of exposure to crime and violence is crucial in modern reality. Another important idea I have not realized before is the fact that students of all ages face the problem of the lack of purpose and meaning. The western world and its consumeristic views caused the inability to feel joy in living every day of one’s life. I understand now that curriculum leaders need to help children to find something meaningful in their lives to have a purpose.

The understanding of the impact of social forces will have a significant impact on my future career. When developing a curriculum in the future, I will pay special attention to the social forces that affect young people in the US. In particular, I will ensure that students of all ages have classes concerning the orientation in life that will help the children understand their importance and empower them to accomplish great goals for the country, global society, and our Lord Almighty.

Human Development

Chapter 3 touched upon the influence of human development on curriculum creation. Parkay et al. (2019) describe five factors that should guide curriculum planners. They include the biological basis of physical differences, physical maturation, intellectual development and achievement, emotional growth, and social development. (Parkay et al., 2019). Educators need to implement the interpretation of these five factors to achieve the goal of providing knowledge and learner experience relevant to the development stage. In other words, curriculum leaders need to match learners’ developmental stages and the explicit curriculum. Before reading Chapter 3 of the book by Parkay et al. (2019), I was aware of Erikson’s model of psychosocial development. Now I understand that there is also Piaget’s theory and Kohlberg’s framework of moral development. These theories added to my understanding of the developmental stages every human goes through. At the same time, I understood that there is uncertainty about the types of developmental stages and the ages associated with going to the next developmental stage.

This realization will help me in my future career in curriculum leadership as it encourages controlling for uncertainties. The current body of empirical knowledge and theories demonstrate that there is no certain age every child changes. Different people go from one stage to another at varying times. This implies I will never be able to meet the needs of all students based on their developmental stage. I will have to aim at creating an adequate curriculum for the majority of students. However, I will need to systematically assess if the assumptions about the prevailing developmental stages at different grade levels are adequate. Such evaluation will help me control for uncertainties associated with inconsistencies in different theories of human development.

Learning Styles

Kolb’s framework of learning styles is often used by curriculum leaders to facilitate the learning process. In brief, the theory explains the differences in the learning process of people assuming that people choose two out of four processes to learn new things, which are feeling, watching, thinking, and doing. As a result, there emerged four different learning styles: diverging (feeling and watching), assimilating (watching and thinking), converging (thinking and doing), and accommodating (doing and feeling) (Parkay et al., 2019). While the learning styles were familiar to me, I did not realize that they are not predetermined by nature. Learning styles change over time, depending on the environmental circumstances and developmental stages of people. Additionally, I thought that students can be helped only by exploiting the advantages of the preferred learning style. However, Parkay et al. (2019) claim that students can be helped by identifying their lesser preferred learning style and strengthening it.

In my future position as a curriculum leader, I will utilize the knowledge of the importance of learning styles. I will strive to achieve a balanced curriculum that draws on abilities from all the stages of the learning cycle. The curriculum should help the students to try every learning style to understand what works best for them. At the same time, the teachers should be provided with the opportunity to analyze the learning styles of all the students and utilize both their strengths and weaknesses. I came to believe that instead of providing a set of fixed tasks, the curriculum should encourage teachers to develop learning opportunities for students based on their learning styles. This implies that the majority of tasks should either provide only general guidelines for students to allow creativity in the learning process or give several variants of task completion path based on the learning styles.

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Conclusion

Curriculum leaders need to ensure that the students receive the best learners’ experience regardless of their learning style, developmental stage, or social factors. The present assignment helped to realize that curriculum leaders need to help the students find meaning in life to avoid depression and deviant behavior. Additionally, the curriculum should be adjusted to meet the needs of people, depending on their developmental stage. However, achieving perfection in this aspect is impossible due to the developmental variations of individual students. Finally, every curriculum should include learning opportunities for people with different learning styles so that teachers can take advantage of the individual differences of students. Instead of trying to build only the preferred learning styles, teachers need to be provided with the opportunity to improve the least preferred learning styles. In summary, the implementation of the knowledge acquired from the present assignment will help me become a better curriculum leader in the future.

Reference

Parkay, F. W., Anctil, E. J., & Hass, G. (2019). Curriculum leadership: Readings for developing quality educational programs (10th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Readings for Developing Quality Educational Programs'. 4 March.

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