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The Development and Implementation of a New Curriculum

Free essayThe development of a new curriculum for schools requires coordination between relevant people to identify the needs and allocate the resources for specific activities. Thus, cooperation with the school administration contributes to the fast and easy process of developing and implementing a new curriculum. However, there is a need to identify the objectives that the school intends to achieve by having a new curriculum. It is also crucial to define the learning outcomes clearly so that the committee in charge of implementing a new curriculum can measure the achievements against the expectations.

The development and implementation of a new curriculum for students require relevant stakeholders’ collaborative effort aimed at ensuring that the final document will address the needs of the learners. New standards enacted by state authorities and changing education practices have made the need for a new curriculum crucial for the eventual success of students (Cambridge International Examinations, 2014). Furthermore, the dynamism brought about by new technologies and evolving needs of the labor market presupposes that school administrators should develop new curriculum to meet contemporary demands and requirements. Thus, it is recommendable for school authorities to regularly review their curriculum for various reasons. Firstly, they should keep up with the new standards in the education sector. Secondly, they ought to ensure that they do not only produce learners prepared to offer solutions to the problems in the society but also vie with other schools for students. As a result, developing a new curriculum becomes an integral part of the essential activities ever undertaken by a school within a school calendar. The collaboration and partnership will help to ensure that the resultant document is sufficiently positioned to address the existing needs of learners.

Effective curriculum development is a multi-step, ongoing, and regular process that involves evaluation of the existing programs, designing new areas, improving other areas, and implementing new programs. As indicated, this process is cyclic in nature but it should rest on the existing needs of the school. First, it is vital to form the development and implementation team to do a research. Moreover, this committee should review emerging issues and trends in education in a specific area that requires a new curriculum. Thus, the research will help to assess the job market needs and identify the philosophy which school administration should follow during the development and implementation process. It is also critical to single out these issues beforehand to avoid developing a curriculum that will not be of the interest to learners or stakeholders, including state authorities. The aim of the present paper is to provide a description of the specific discipline area that will form the basis for the development and implementation of a new curriculum. The description includes the core instructional goals that should be achieved through the newly developed curriculum.

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Specific Curriculum Area and Grade Level(s) for the Pilot Curriculum

Science studies are a crucial research area that students can enjoy in educational institutions. However, most learners do not take a keen interest in this field as evidenced by the number of students pursuing it at higher levels. Such indifference may occur owing to the evolving nature of science, which has made numerous learners think that the subject is abstruse. There is also a wide difference between male and female students when it comes to studying science-related courses at the higher level. However, due to the technological progress and innovations, there arose a need to include more scientific courses. The state authority on education has always come up with new guidelines for schools to use in their curriculum development to ensure that the latter addresses the needs of learners (English, 2010). By having a properly executed curriculum development plan for science studies, schools can increase the popularity of science courses among students, especially young girls. A newly developed curriculum that offers learners an opportunity to study science at the lower level will help them to choose courses in science when they graduate school and apply to higher-level educational institutions. The curriculum developed will also assist in improving the standards of learning science by allowing learners to make a choice about pursuing science.

Through the newly developed curriculum, science will become the backbone of learning in K-12 education as students will have access to the emerging and trending topics in science. Recognizably, science is playing a vital role in technological innovations; therefore, it is important for the discipline to take precedence in schools. The development of the new science curriculum will be done in line with the new standards set by the state authorities. Moreover, it will take into consideration findings from research on the importance of the subject in school. Specifically, the science curriculum will address the needs of the students using the available resources while also seeking to collate new resources for learning and teaching the discipline in schools. Bloom Taxonomy as the learning theory of choice will serve the basis for the curriculum (Kelly, 2009). It will cover the present expectations in the study of science by empowering learners with skills to pursue science at a higher level. Generally, the new curriculum for science will focus on the development of a professional approach to learning and teaching of science in K-12.

Core Instructional Goals for the Curriculum

Core instructional goals form the basis for the development and implementation of the curriculum, considering the human resources and technical skills available to instructors. The process of implementing the new curriculum follows a specified approach to ensure that the core instructional goals are achieved at the end of a particular period. As noted by Kelly (2009), the curriculum development should be based on measurable and achievable goals. The following core instructional goals will be used during the development and implementation of the science curriculum.

  1. The first core instructional goal is to allow learners of a K-12 level to understand the importance of science in general and its relation to innovation and creativity. Science is the foundation of the modern technology. Therefore, students should realize its nature and significance in the context outlined above. By having a curriculum that gives incentives for learners to study science and pursue science-related disciplines at higher levels, the school will contribute to a holistic development of students.
  2. The second goal is to introduce the policies and requirements set by regulatory bodies in school curriculum development and ensure that learners are exposed to the new trends in science and technology. Instructors will put the emphasis on learning and practice using the concepts of knowledge acquisition and evaluation of the acquired knowledge against the problems that require solutions. Learners will be required to gather evidence from their readings and supplement it with knowledge obtained in class to empower themselves and take an interest in science.
  3. The third core instruction goal is to identify crucial areas and issues emerging in the study of science at the lower level. Furthermore, there is a need to introduce learners to methods and ways of understanding the issues. Instructors will place importance on collaborative learning where the teachers will form groups of students and give them assignments in science for them to look for solutions. In this way, emphasis will be placed on empowering learners to work in groups, come up with new ideas, and offer solutions to the problems which their instructors have given. In addition, communication will be vital in this case as students will be expected to communicate with one another and their instructors for clarification and interaction.
  4. The last core instructional goal is the application of the knowledge that learners have acquired in various real life situations away from class. Regular practice on how to use the information students have received in class by handling actual problems presented to them will help to achieve the goal. The ability to apply material learned in class is critical because it is the main purpose for which learning takes place. As noted by Slattery (2012), getting knowledge and not applying it to solve problems is useless.

Approaches Used in Planned Curriculum Development and Cultural Influence

Teaching science has both theoretical and practical connotations. The approach that will be used in the curriculum development will be based on the elements of science as a discipline. The approach will also rest on the evaluation of the existing needs and practical ways of fulfilling needs in terms of the instructions and goals. The selected curriculum development team will determine the needs of learners through a need-analysis activity to identify the areas and programs needed to be introduced through the new curriculum. The first step in the proposed approach is to determine and agree upon the professional and educational context where the new curriculum will be developed and implemented. It will also be crucial to define the needs of the learners in K-12 to ensure that the new curriculum conforms to the requirements indicated by the state regulatory body. The curriculum team will also set the aims and learning outcomes that should be met through the program. Hence, it will develop a broad structure and framework covering the main areas of teaching and learning (The Center for Teaching and Learning, 2015). It will also involve identifying the order of the major topic to be taught and key assessment areas. In addition, the curriculum development team will determine the duration and allocate a detailed development plan for every topic by defining the objectives and learning outcomes for learners in K-12.

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One of the key elements in developing a science-based curriculum is the selection of the material to be used in teaching. The state authority has developed criteria which should serve as a basis for the selection of the material. After the assessment of the needs of learners, it will be important for the curriculum development team to come up with a criterion that fits the unique situation in the school. However, it should not deviate from the general principles and criteria set by the state authority on education. During the selection of the material for teaching science, the curriculum development team will consider factors such as the presentation of the material, the physical format, and educational significance of the material in terms of meeting the needs of the learners.

Readability and authenticity of the material are also significant characteristics that the development team should consider during the evaluation of the material for the newly developed curriculum for teaching science. In addition, the curriculum development team will give consideration to the factual content and the artistic quality of the material during the selection process. Moreover, it should also pay attention to the clarity and un-biasness of the material, the skills presented, comprehensiveness, and organization. These elements will form the basis for the selection of the material; however, the development team should also utilize regulations and requirements of the regulatory bodies. There must be a discussion with the stakeholders in the school before making a decision to acquire particular material for teaching and learning science.

Teaching and learning science can be challenging in a cultural setup where the emphasis has always been on the arts and other social disciplines. While these disciplines are equally crucial in schools, science is especially vital because it evokes the creativity and innovation of the learners. The culture surrounding the study of science should be addressed through a student-centered approach to learning where the material used will satisfy the needs of the student. There will also be an emphasis on problem-based learning, especially because science is best learned through practice. By having as many problems as possible to solve, learners will become interested in the discipline. Furthermore, the new planned curriculum will require attentiveness and discipline from both students and instructors to complete the topics and syllabus within the allocated time (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013). Failure to complete the syllabus means that the objectives and goals set will not be met. Teaching and learning will also rest on the community-based approach. The latter will identify the existing needs in the community and marketplace and train learners to be empowered to meet those needs.

Incorporating Critical Thinking Into the Planned Curriculum Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

Critical thinking is a cornerstone in the Bloom’s Taxonomy owing to the need to motivate learners to solve problems in their surroundings. Science is a practical discipline requiring learners to be able to critically think about the challenges and their possible solutions. Through learning science, students acquire concepts which they can apply in their social interactions to provide answers to numerous situations they encounter. As such, there is a need to have an active approach to teaching science with a view to nurturing critical thinking.

There may be a requirement for learners to use the knowledge they have acquired in class to provide solutions in other disciplines like language studies and mathematics (The Center for Teaching and Learning, 2015). At the lowest level, the strategy used will focus on ensuring that students obtain basic knowledge in science. Teaching theories and facts in science will assist in the successful knowledge acquisition. This strategy allows students to contextualize the material they are learning and be prepared to apply it in their various contexts. Comprehension presupposes that learners can explain, paraphrase, illustrate, describe, and summarize the material they have absorbed through learning. In this case, the approach will use assessments, end-of-term examinations, and practical activities that allow students to use comprehension to present the concepts they have acquired.

While comprehension is critical in teaching and learning science, students are expected to use the information they have obtained to solve problems. Thus, a strategy will focus on the application of the acquired knowledge through practice. Consequently, learners should be able to select, transfer, and use the data and concepts to complete science problems without the direction and guidance of the instructor (Kelly, 2009). A vital element here is to allow students to work independently with the material they have by using critical thinking to choose the right material and applying it to various contexts and situations.

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Learning Outcomes for Each of the Core Instructional Goals

Core instructional goals:

  1. To enable learners to understand the importance of science and its relationship to innovation and creativity.

With regard to this core instructional goal, the learning outcomes will be as follows;

  • Students will grasp the concepts of science and apply them to solve challenges within a period of three months. They will work in the collaboration with their instructors to define various concepts in science and relate them to innovation and creativity. In this way, they will be able to apply knowledge and information when working on the problems in their community.
  • Learners will also take part in the practical activities in science. They will seek ways to work in groups with others to solve scientific issues presented by their instructor.
  • Students will demonstrate a commitment to pursuing science-related disciplines at the end of the semester applying the concepts learned in science classes.
  1. To introduce the policies and requirements set by the regulatory bodies in school curriculum development.
  • The curriculum development team will include the policies and requirements of the regulatory agencies in the development of the science curriculum for the school.
  • The management will demonstrate a commitment to the provision of learning materials to students and instructors including equipment used in science.
  • The curriculum development team will research and consult with the stakeholders during the development process before the implementation of the new curriculum.
  1. To identify important areas and issues emerging in the study of science.
  • Learners will explore new areas in the study of science and understand the concepts behind new and emerging trends.
  • The curriculum development committee will accept the responsibility of research, present new and emerging issues in science, and include them in the curriculum development process.
  • The school management will show commitment to the provision of material and resources for identification of the emerging issues.
  1. To apply knowledge in real life situations.
  • Learners will take part in practical exercises that allow them to use the knowledge they have acquired.
  • The management will accept the responsibility to avail the material for practice.
  • The curriculum development team will be committed to making practice a major part of learning for science students.

Outline of Instructional Lesson Used to Facilitate Mastery of Student Learning Outcomes

The instructor will engage students in analysis of the scientific innovations and their influence in the society giving them the task to work in the class using the equipment selected for the lesson. Thus, the instructor will achieve one of the core instructional goals, mainly to make students realize the importance of science. The learners’ and instructor’s activities listed below in the lesson plan aim at facilitating mastery of one of the learning outcomes and promoting critical thinking skills. Students will work in collaboration with their teacher to define the role of science and its relationship to innovation and creativity.

Lesson Plan

Objective: To understand the role of science in modern innovation and creativity.

Period: 1 hour

Materials used: Textbooks, computers, internet connectivity, and assembling material

Procedure:

8:00-8:10( The instructor introduces the learners to scientific concepts and how they can be translated into practical exercises.

8:10-8:20( Learners will think about the implications of scientific innovations and creativity on the society. Then, they will then write a one-page essay, analyzing the impacts of science and innovation on the contemporary social development. They will also be required to write down two ways in which they can use science to solve current problems in their homes.

8:20–8:30 ( After writing down their original thoughts, students will search the internet to find examples where science was used to provide to a widespread solution in the society.

8:30–8:40 ( Learners will have to provide a scientific model to the problem they have identified. Through this time, they will be engaged in discussions with the instructor providing guidance on what to do next. They will also be taking notes throughout the entire process.

8:40-9:00( Students will use the remaining time to write down what they have learned in each step in specific terms. They also should be able to identify the steps through which a scientific idea can be transformed into a social good.

Ways of Technology Use by Students

Technology will be an integral part in the implementation of the lesson and the designed curriculum, in general. Students will be required to search the internet using computers while doing experiments to identify the stages through which a scientific idea can be transformed into the result that would benefit the society. The use of computers connected to the internet will serve as a source of information to the learners about the experiments they are doing in class. Learners will be able to access learning materials from online databases that provide scientific information. The internet will also serve as a means of mutual communication between instructors and their students. Moreover, learners will have the opportunity to pass various tests, which will assist them in self-evaluation. Furthermore, lessons on science-related subjects will be designed using an online board where students will be able to access the materials posted by their instructors. The rationale for the internet as a source of information while teaching science is to allow the learners to appreciate the importance of science by using what others created in the past.

Ways to Use Technology to Deliver the Lesson

The instructor will use technology to assemble the equipment needed for the experiment. Moreover, the instructor will use a stop watch to determine the time required for each session. The instructor will also use the internet to look for the steps necessary to assemble the material for the experiment.

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