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ED 606 Curriculum Theory and Practice
Franklin, Anne

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ED 606: Curriculum Theory & Practice

                                                                  Spring II, 2005


Tuesdays 5:00 – 9:30  

CO 311


                                                               Dr. Anne Franklin

Senior Professor



Park Campus Mailbox # 926


Park University Mission Statement

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively, and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.


Park University Vision Statement

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


Course Information

Credit Hours:  3


Course Description

The Park University Graduate Catalog describes ED 606 as a course designed to give students an overview of curriculum theory that discusses current issues in curriculum and gives the teacher the opportunity to develop useful curriculum.


Required Texts are available from the campus bookstore:


Kliebard, H. M. (1995). The struggle for the American curriculum: 1893-1953 (3rd ed.).      New York: Routledge.


Wink, J. (2000). Critical pedagogy: Notes from the real world (3rd ed.). New York:    Addison-Wesley Longman.


Required Supplies include four folders, color coded as follows:

  • Yellow for Journal
  • Red for Presentation Notes, Handouts, etc.
  • Blue for Philosophy Statement
  • Green for Supporting Final Unit.  


Course Objectives

1.         Students will identify and analyze different approaches to curriculum theory and development. (MOSTEP 1.2.2, 1.2.3)

2.         Students will understand the impact of these different approaches to curriculum on their educational practice. (1.2.3, 1.2.4)

3.         Students will develop a method of inquiry that will enable them to integrate it into their own professional development. (1.2.1)

4.         Students will develop a personal philosophy of curriculum and instruction that can be applied in their own professional setting. (1.2.6, 1.2.7)

5.         Students will develop a curriculum with a clear sense of purpose, incorporating ideas and issues we have discussed, which can be used in a practical setting. (1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.6, 1.2.7, 1.2.8, 1.2.11)

6.         Students will explore educational issues that impact the classroom and student learning, such as issues of race, gender, class. (1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.9)

7.         Students will explore possible ways education can impact student understanding and participation in a democratic society. (1.2.2, 1.2.9)


Professor’s Educational Philosophy

The professor for this class has a true constructivist educational philosophy.  The constructivist perspective on learning holds that the locus of control lies with the individual learner.  Rather than seeing learning as knowledge acquisition, the constructivist sees learning as information being restructured, or as knowledge being constructed by each individual learner.  Because each individual makes his or her own unique construction of reality, there is no single “correct” view of reality in the constructivist paradigm.  Instead, constructivists recognize multiple constructions of what is real, all co-existing; one person’s construction no more valid than another’s.  The professor will strive to create a climate promoting self-reflection and tolerance for differing opinions. 


This course was designed to share pertinent information about curriculum theory and practice. The course will be conducted in a seminar fashion to enable students to discuss the readings and to develop understanding.  To carefully examine shared information, a survey of practical and theoretical concerns will be explored.  Content may include age and developmentally appropriate learning experiences, special needs considerations, sociological factors impacting education, integrated learning, multicultural issues, multiple intelligence theory, current findings from brain research, critical thinking, problem solving, and assessment emphasis areas.  Each student will begin to create, revise, or expand upon a personal curriculum philosophy against which emerging Ideas and teaching techniques can be gauged.





Equal Opportunity

Park University is committed to providing equal education to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, sex, gender, age, religion, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, or disability.  Support and special services are available.   


It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:  If you have a disability on file in the Academic Support Center and need special accommodation, please see me after the first class.


Students wishing additional information or assistance should contact the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  I encourage any student with special needs in the classroom environment to also promptly communicate them to me.


Course Assessments

Because teaching requires well-developed oral, written, organizational, and production skills, expectations will be high.  Reading, reflection, writing projects, and discussions are required.  Attendance and active participation are essential.



It is important to read the assignments and to record your reactions to the reading in your journal before beginning work on other assignments or participating in class discussions.  The assigned readings will also serve as a resource for your philosophy statement and final supporting project.  Unless in-class writing is assigned, all written assignments are to be word processed documents.


Additional articles will be provided by the students and the instructor.  You are also encouraged, but not required, to supplement your reading by researching the original sources cited in your texts and additional resources.  Read for information and the writer’s point of view.  It will become your responsibility to analyze and synthesize the assigned reading in your journal.


The following questions are offered as suggestions to help you analyze and synthesize the reading.  The purpose is to enable you to critically read and then to have purposeful discussions relating the readings to educational practice.  Also, the day you lead discussion on a chapter or article, prepare an additional question or two for your classmates to ponder and with which to begin your discussion.

·        What are the basic assumptions that inform the reading?  (Major ideas, subordinate ideas, etc.)

·        What serious questions are raised concerning the nature and purpose of education?

·        Are new forms of inquiry introduced?

·        What are the practical implications for teaching and theory development?

·        What serious omissions do you find in the reading?  How do these distort or undermine the author's position?

·        What ideology or worldview governs the author's view?

·        In what way does the article reinforce, extend, challenge or oppose your views on schooling?  Be specific!

·        How will each of education's constituencies (students, teachers, administrators, taxpayers, employers, etc.) be affected?



Your journal will become a running account of your developing views about curriculum theory and other educational issues.  An informal writing style is appropriate and expected.  Unless in-class writing is assigned, all written assignments are to be word processed documents.


In this course journal writing is first intended as an advanced organizer.  It is important to record your reactions to the assigned reading in your journal before beginning other assignments.  Reflect, and then record your thoughts and questions about the reading assignment before participating in class discussions, projects and developing your personal philosophy curriculum and instruction.


Journals will also be used to house in-class writing, activities, projects, and reflections about in-class activities.  Your journal will become a tangible record of class participation.  Please feel free to make additional entries in your journal at any time to record insights, answered or unanswered questions, or personal issues.  Your journal is an appropriate context for dialogue between student and professor.  Confidentiality will be maintained.



Each student will be responsible for presenting to the class, and in turn, actively participating in student-led class discussions and readings.  The presentations

are designed to:

  • organize the text reading (Use the suggestions provided in the Reading section to guide your presentation.)
  • supplement the text with related articles which confirm or challenge the text’s viewpoints (Supplemental articles are to be provided by the presenting student before or as a part of each presentation.  You may email articles rather than copying them if you provide them the week before your presentation.  You may allow time for reading supplemental articles during your presentation time.)
  • highlight important points
  • present information in alternative modalities
  • provide additional information and hands-on-experience
  • clarify, analyze and interpret information
  • promote collaboration and sharing


Curriculum Philosophy Statement

You will combine your newly refined philosophy of curriculum theory with your already established, more general philosophy of education.  This is an informal paper but should be formally referenced, using the APA format.  You should identify the original source (authors, educators, philosophers, etc.) of influence over your ideas informally within the body of your work.  (See academic honesty section.) Your personal curriculum philosophy statement will be no longer than six word-processed, double spaced pages plus a short (no more than one page) summarizing abstract.  You will email or copy your abstract for each member of our class.


You will use the reading and discussions, your journal, your general philosophy of education, and your experiences to help you formulate and refine your personal curriculum philosophy.  You should include your understanding of the goals of education and the roles of teachers, students, administrators, parents, community, and technology.  The resulting paper will be a strong statement of your beliefs at this point in time.  It is understood that this will be a working philosophy, one that may change as you think, learn, and experience more.


Each student is responsible for presenting a summary of the refined Curriculum Philosophy Statement, pointing out the links between the newly refined philosophy and the Supporting Curriculum Project Unit, and then teaching at least fifteen minutes of a lesson from the accompanying Supporting Curriculum Project Unit.  The Curriculum Philosophy Statement and Supporting Curriculum Project Unit will count as the final exam.


Supporting Curriculum Project Unit

The Supporting Curriculum Project Unit will accompany the philosophy statement and be an example of your philosophy “in action.”  The project should be directly applicable to your professional setting, using the methods and ideas discussed in class.  The content will be personal choice, designed as a real life application of your philosophy.


Each student is responsible for teaching fifteen minutes of one lesson from the Supporting Curriculum Project Unit after presenting the Curriculum Philosophy Statement.  Please make sure to overtly point out the links between your philosophy and the lessons in the unit.  Each student should email or make a copy of their philosophy statement (abstract only) AND the lesson taught for each class member.

This project should reflect a sizeable piece of curriculum, such as a semester, quarter, or mini-course.  Length will depend on the age level of the students with whom you work, but your curriculum unit should reflect more than a few weeks’ lesson plans.  Creativity and flexibility are important in developing this project.  In no longer than 25 pages, write this curriculum in such a way that another teacher could understand and use it.  The sections of the project must be clearly identified, but variations are allowed to make the project truly useful to you.  The following sections must be present and easily identified:


Describe the demographics of the environment in which the curriculum will be implemented (age of students, size of class, socio-economics, type of school, etc.).

·        RATIONALE

Include your goals, clearly stated, for the overall education of the students.  You will discuss the needs of the learner, society, and school.  Discuss reasons this part of the curriculum is important to the whole curriculum and to each student.


These are objectives, but they are more inclusive than simple behavioral objectives.  ILO’s should be identified as cognitive, affective, or psychomotor.  You will have a mix of all types, determined by your subject and the age of your students.  ILO’s are the facts, ideas, theories, attitudes, appreciations, skills, and understandings that you want students to master.  Use action words to describe what the student will learn or do (i.e. list, identify, discuss, understand, appreciate, etc.). In the ILO’s you will begin to define the scope and sequence of your curriculum.  As you develop ILO's, keep in mind the many issues discussed in class, and how they might impact what you want students to learn. (i.e. race, gender, socioeconomic class issues as well as theories in education.)  If you are revising an existing curriculum document, identify objectives, strategies, etc. that are new changes by using bold and underlining or different color fonts. If your district has established curriculum objectives or uses state guidelines, you should include them.  Be sure to include objectives which address the Missouri Show-Me standards if you are working in a Missouri school.

·        FOCI

This is the theme or idea(s) around which the curriculum is built. You will have an overall focus and one for each unit.  (i.e. for a social studies class:  American Revolution; English class:  writing an essay.)


Ways in which you will you facilitate learning (i.e. reading, lecture, projects, video, discussion, etc.).  Keep in mind the various learning preferences and backgrounds of your students.  Use a variety of strategies.  Identify specific strategies for specific problems.  How will you make accommodations for students who need them?

·        MATERIALS

You will list the videos, books, equipment, etc. needed to complete the work identified in the strategies.   Describe where they can be found—school library, classroom filing cabinet, resource room, etc.





How you will determine if the student has achieved the ILO? Evaluation must be measurable or observable.  Each ILO should be evaluated. This is a critical element; do not shortchange it!


Course Evaluation


Unless otherwise announced, grades will be earned as follows:



            A = 90% – 100%                   B = 80% – 89%                     C = 70% – 79%

            D = 60% – 69%                     F = Less than 60%


Journal                                    20%

Participation                          20%

Presentations                        20%

Philosophy Statement          20%

Supporting Unit                     20%


Regular and timely attendance is expected and necessary to begin to fulfill the participation requirement of the course.  Please note that, regardless of the reason for an absence, you cannot begin to earn full participation points when you are absent or late. 

Park Attendance Policy:   Facilitators are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The facilitator may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the learner will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete grade will not be issued to learners who have unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Learners receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment.  Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the learner.  Reports of an F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for learners receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.



This is an intensive graduate course.  Ten to 15 hours of outside class work per week is a reasonable expectation.  Please plan accordingly.  And once again, please note that, regardless of the reason for an absence, you cannot begin to earn full participation points when you are absent or late.


Attendance, active and collaborative group participation, thoughtful discussion and responses to assignments, cooperation, and tolerance for differences will fulfill participation criteria.  Applying theory to practice is the primary goal of this course; therefore your presence and contribution are necessary for maximum benefit.


Please, turn off all phones or pagers before class starts.  If you must be disturbed while in class, please leave the room to answer the call.


Make-Up Work

With prior notice and approval, designated written assignments may be made up in cases of legitimate absence.  Park defines a legitimate absence as one which include a) your illness, b) a death in your immediate family, c) jury duty, d) generally recognized holidays, and e) approved activities where you are required to represent Park University. 


Other late written assignments may be subject to a reduction in possible points.   Please contact the professor before you will be late in submitting written assignments.


Academic Honesty

Park University cautions that plagiarism is the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work.  Anyone who plagiarizes will be subject to failing grades or expulsion.  Plagiarism sometimes occurs through carelessness of documenting sources.  If you are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism in your assignments for this class, please ask!



Tentative Schedule

This is the schedule we will follow unless class needs indicate modifications.  You are responsible for keeping current an all assignments and any changes.


Week               Date                             Content                                                                                   

One                  March 15                       Introductions

                                                            Syllabus Overview

                                                            Introduction to course, define curriculum, discuss project.                        

                                                            Writing a Philosophy Statement


Two                  March 22                       Kliebard Chapters 1-5; Identify project


                                                Presentations by                                                                      Chap. 1


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 2


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 3


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 4


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 5


Three                March 29                       Kliebard Chapters 6-11; Introduction and Rationale


                                                Presentations by                                                                      Chap. 6


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 7


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 8


                                                                                                                                                Chap. 9






Four                  April 05             Objectives


                                                Wink Chapter 1

                                                Presentation by                                                                                              

                                                Wink Chapter 2

                                                Presentation by                                                                                              

Five                  April 12             Wink Chapter 3

                                                Presentation by                                                                                              

                                                Wink Chapter 4 

                                                Presentation by                                                                                                                                           (April 17th  Last Day to Withdraw)




Six                   April 19             Wink Chapter 5

                                                Presentation by                                                                                  


                                                Wink Chapter 6

                                                Presentation by                                                                                  


Seven               April 26             Wink Chapter 7

                                                Presentation by                                                                                  


                                                Wink Chapter 8

                                                Presentation by                                                                                  


Eight                 May 03             All Curriculum Projects Due & Presented