By Decker F. Walker, Jonas F. Soltis
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Extra info for Curriculum and aims
Before going on, you might want to consider these issues in the case "Freedom and Learning" in chapter 8. Progressive and Traditional Perspectives on Curriculum The first half of the twentieth century witnessed a running battle between progressive educators, who saw in the ideas of Dewey and other progressives new ways to think about the curriculum, and the traditionalists, who were sure that the basic curriculum did not need change because it had proven itself essential to the education of individuals who would maintain an intellectually sound and civilized society.
Is there some form of reasoning, problem-solving, or critical thinking that will reveal the correct judgment? Can someone do research that will show which curriculum is the best? We need to think about what kind of question we are asking when we ask whether a curriculum is good or bad, or better or worse than another. Clearly we are not asking a simple factual question, like what is the capital of South Dakota or how much is two plus two. Are we merely asking, then, whether some people like one curriculum more than another?
Ambivalent Feelings about Curriculum Work For most teachers, their engagement with the curriculum produces some of their best days and some of their worst. Teachers who have never taught a particular grade or subject before or who are new to a school system are usually happy to learn what the school's official curriculum is, even if they do not plan to follow it precisely. Teachers who have never tried to teach a certain idea or skill generally welcome the suggestions given in a curriculum guide, even if these suggestions only serve to spark other ideas of their own.
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