He described curriculum in a range of approaches. One of them is linked to syllabus or a body of knowledge to be transmitted to the students. Smith also stressed that curriculum is a set of objectives, where there is a drawn-up plan to apply intended objectives with a measurable outcome. Another alternative definition is that curriculum is a student’s total experience. It comprises teachers’ and students’ communication and relationships between them. Smith also recommends that curriculum is one’s ability to apply theory to practice.
Language Arts is one essential subject area that hones communication skills of students. Being knowledgeable in literature, grammar and writing is one important goal for them that will greatly benefit them in their growth and development. This paper will compare 7th Grade Language Arts curriculum guides of three schools in New Jersey, namely the Hillside, Union and Orange Public Schools. The comparison will only be based on the guides acquired from these schools and not from how their curriculums are implemented.
Of the three schools, Hillside Public School provided the most comprehensive curriculum guide. Next was the Orange School which also provided a clear outline indicating the goals of the Language Arts program and how its assessment strategies. Union School provided the least comprehensive guide, with just the use of cue words in enumerating its curriculum content and suggested activities.
One of the widely adopted curriculum design is the ‘Understanding by Design’ Planning Framework (UbD) by Wiggins, Grant and McTighe (1998). This is also known as the Backward Design Model wherein the teacher starts with the end, the desired results, and then derives the curriculum from the evidence of learning called for by the expectations and the teaching needed to equip students to perform. The UbD involves the following processes:
The Hillside School obviously adopted the Understanding by Design ...Show more