The Journey Begins…

January 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm 1 comment

Blueprints Politicians: “We need to strength our Curriculum!”

Parents: “How does that fit in the curriculum?”

Administrators: “Teachers need to teach the curriculum!”

Teachers: “Where is the curriculum.”

Janitors: “Could you move this curriculum. Dust is getting kinda thick.”

Curriculum is the educational plan of learning. Curricula are developed at various levels: state, school district and school. State boards of Education, district boards, state superintendents of Education, district superintendents, school principals, department or level supervisors and classroom teachers bear the responsibility for developing and implementing the curriculum. The accountability vary greatly. State level educators respond to poltical pressure. District educators answer to federal, state, local politicians, and members of the community. Teachers bear the weight of implementing the curriculum that has been, in many cases, developed beyond their input.

Curriculum is a framework of expectations. It can be viewed as a map or blueprint. Both provide an intended set of directions to reach a destination and a means of knowing when the goal has been reached. However, there is a difference between maps and blueprints. The difference lies on how one views learning. A blueprint is a rigid plan filled with sizes, specifications, and types of materials. Location of windows, doors , electric outlets, plumbing pipes, etc. are clearly spelled out. Little is left to the creative abilities of the builder. All the creativity resides with the architect. The blueprint metaphor suits the present drive for accountability. It is easily measured. There is a very specific plan of what to do and in many cases how to do it. There is little decision making. The room is this size. The door is located here. The window there. It fits the model of NCLB. Standardized testing are great for measuring window sizes, number of floor slats, height of ceilings, etc.

While the blueprint offers learning as a distinct plan with strict specifications, the map views learning as a journey. There are many paths that lead to the same objective. The blueprint results in the house of learning. The map provides for a journey to the land of learning. Learning is a life long endeavor. The journey a map offers provides for individual differences. No two children are identical. It is this diversity of difference that makes life so exciting. The success of the USA is the great diversity of its educational system. There are private and public schools. There are urban and rural schools. There are inner city schools and suburban schools. The map allows for alternate pathways. It provides for opportunity to linger longer in one place over another. The map provides the teacher the occasion to linger longer at one place while skipping another. The map offers teachers, schools and districts the prospect of serving their community and pupils. It may be a little difficult to measure accurately but journeys are adventures.

Maps offer a journey of excitement (education) filled with sites of interest, historical markers and scenic overviews. Part of the journey is the process of learning. Fun journeys include other people. People to travel with and people met along the way. Social development is vital to the journey. “education…is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” (Those longs hours of studying John Dewey in History and Philosophy of Education are paying off!) Maps provide ample opportunity to made choices. Life is filled with choices. Some can be good and some can be bad. Learning to make choices is one of those needed tools of life. Maps provide chances to capture tools and techniques. To use a map, one has to learn how to read the map and use it and what the legend means. Some maps can offer very specific directions with room for deviation. Other maps require the traveler to read the map and make decisions along the way. The task of all maps is to provide the traveler with a means to locate and travel through unfamiliar territory. Isn’t that what education show be about? The Journey Continues…The Journey Continues…


Entry filed under: Curriculum.

The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT) Program Beginning the Map..The Three Dimensions

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. englishmaniac  |  December 26, 2011 at 8:23 am

    This site seems to be wonderful


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