Curriculum Design And Development
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Introduction: Educational management is one of the important frameworks that is associated with the process of planning, managing, directing, and controlling the important activities within an educational institution. The functionality is not only limited to the educational organization, however, but the relevance is also linked with the provision of effectively achieving the strong educational outcomes. According to the report by Cervetti, Kulikowich, and Bravo (2015), both the educational curriculum as well as the developmental models are relevant to the real-life requirements. The effectiveness is further associated with the requirements of changing societal, as learning by governing the real-life practices of the individual. Therefore, educational institutions should thrive to become a dynamic switch to accomplish the national development goal. The present report outlines the different requirements and solutions needed in a particular educational institution. It has described the importance of computers, teaching and learning resources, curriculum content within the school. Additionally, it has provided requisite solutions to issues such as under-qualified educators, insufficient lesson planning, ineffective examination papers, student's poor performance, and improper school-based assessment.
In this report, we will focus on various aspects of educational management that aim to bring effectiveness and efficiency in the learning outcomes. First, we will discuss the relevance of information technology (especially the computers) in governing the functionality at educational institutions. This refers to the aspects of administration as well as the learning curriculum. In the next section, we will discuss teaching style and learning resources and their corresponding importance in the educational settings. Although both of these modules must go in-line to bring effectiveness in learning outcomes, it is vital to determine the requirement of students and render practices based on these learning. The continuation of this discussion is also extended in the thirst section, where the relevance of developmental models in conjunction with a similar curriculum is discussed. Here, the focus is on the style, motivation, and utilization of textbook framework to the practical aspect. As a result, the learning can be guided for life-practices among the students. In the last section,
Question 1: As the senior information technology (IT) educator at your school/educational institution, justify to the staff how computers can make their work easier.
Answer: For the past few decades, computers are only limited to organizations and businesses for cost-cutting and increasing productivity. Educational institutions are no exception and can use it in administrative and classroom activities. Being the senior information technology educator in the school, it is my responsibility to make the school staff and students aware of the importance of computers in the educational system. In particular, several administrative tasks such as communication, accounting, scheduling, and printing can play a key role in improving the operational efficiency and information flow at the institution. Considering the advantages associated with these functionalities,the support from the computers can be considered to reduce the manpower as well as the time consumption (Akbulut, Dursun, and Dönmez 2016). Apart from administrative activities, the perspectives of information technologyare also useful for the lecturer to conduct research and printing during the classroom. As a matter of fact, it saves time-related to administrative matters and frees from manual tasks such as student registration and student records keeping. According to the report of Crook (2018), records keeping in the traditional"paper-based system"are considered to be risky problems in the present scenario. For example, registers left unattended, probability of mistakes, teachers are blamed for errors, and the chance of mishandling are some of the risks that can put the information flow and operational functions in a problem. In addition to lectures, the use of information technology is also beneficial for the student. In this context, it canbe used as a research tool, accessing books related to specific subjects as well as application through software programs.
There are several examples where computers can be used to make day-to-day work effective and efficient. In the below section, a detailed illustration of these modules will be explained, which being at the position of senior IT educator, can be promoted at the institution.
General Administration - The administration department of any educational institution needs to keep the records and information of all the activities going within the organization. These records include exam schedule, results, department subjects, weekly meetings, and parent-teacher meetings (Cullingford, and Haq 2016). Traditionally, the record of these activities was noted in the paper-based system, which has the risk of damage and misplacement in the long run. However, with the use of a computer, several data can be stored at one side place, which can be stored through cloud storage. Additionally, it also supports communication through e-mail, such that the flow of information can become effective and efficient.
Accounting Department and Associated Functionalities - In every school, accounting is one of the busiest departments, where workload related to paperwork is handled by the staff. Ultimately, this process takes time while processing through manual measures and is also accompanied by human error.The associated functionalities primarily include evaluation of personnel payroll, financial records, class materials, and building construction. However, with the use of computers in the accounting department, the staff can efficiently deal with these expenses. The computer can calculate these budgets and store these records. Additionally, with the use of various software programs, the accounting department is also able to manage hundreds of financial records simultaneously (Bulman, and Fairlie 2016).
Student Library - The school should also facilitate its librarian to use a computerized system for keeping the records of issued book, date of return, issuer name and information, and book ordering information, and information related to available books in the library. The computer makes it easy to keep track of all this information related to books and study material on the fingertip at just one click. It will also assist librarians and students in cataloging books along with the information related to storage and retrieval. In this way, students can borrow books from the library through online mode as an easy and time-saving approach. Hence, it is necessary for the librarian to update the information about all the issued and ordered books in the library.
Personnel information - Employee's personal details include the name, address, date of joining, job history, medical conditions, additional training, specialization, qualifications, and position in school, class schedule, and compensation. Storage of this information in the computer will become easy for school administrators the details of each employee within seconds. These records should be updated from time to time (Akbulut et al 2016). Furthermore, computers can also effectively evaluate employee performance on the basis of input provided. In contrary to the traditional paper-based system, the use of IT in these prospects is effective as it can avoid the risk of information loss, provide ease of retrieval, and offer suitability of communication.
Student information - Similar to the provision of employee information storage of information handling, computers can also prove to be effective in storing detailed information about each student, such as years of admission, fee details, attendance data, behavioral information, and exam results. Even the school can update this information on the school website which can be accessed by students through their personal password. In this way, parents can monitor their children's academic performance and can communicate with the teacher through online mode like Skype (Crook 2018). In addition to this, special software can be installed on computers to prevent access to information by outsiders.
Educational assistance - Teachers can provide online study materials, instead of writing it on the boards. These materials can be accessed by students through the computer or personal laptops. Assignments of each student can be submitted online, where the teacher can check plagiarism through specific software (Bulman et al 2016). This educational software can help students in their academic needs based on their unique learning skills. Moreover, students can also get access to digital textbooks, teaching websites that can assist in their smooth learning process, without lugging the weight of heavy textbooks.
In addition to the above provisions, computers and IT can also be useful for research purposes through the internet, internal communications among staff by exchanging emails, making a budget spreadsheet, preparing classroom presentations, and making a timetable for students.
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Question 2: Teaching and learning resources can be regarded as carriers of the curriculum. Critique this statement.
Answer: Teaching materials are defined as the sources used by teachers in schools and colleges to deliver information. It acts as a support system in the learning process of students. It is evident that, since the 1970s, learning and teaching materials have become a major component in the education system. The prime objective of the school is to supply good quality of textbooks to students in adequate quantity so that they can improve their performance. Based on research evidence, it is identified that the two most important elements in improving the academic performance of students are: (i) textbooks and learning materials, (ii) well qualified and motivated teachers (Nathenson, and Henderson, 2018; Cervetti, Kulikowich, and Bravo, 2015). In a nutshell, it would be appropriate to state that within the scope of education management, the teaching and learning resources play a crucial role in the overall effectiveness of the curriculum. Thus, in order to bring these functions in-line, it is important to upgrade the modules and focus on competency enhancement of the associated members (teaching professionals).
The inclusion of appropriate teaching style and adequate learning resources in the curriculum is the most cost-effective approach in conjunction with the provision of improving teacher's and student's performance. These resources (materials) act as an instructional component of the school's lesson plan. Here, the purpose of including learning materials in the classroom curriculum is to help teachers in translating the educational content in an efficient and adaptable way to the students. As a result, achieving the final educational objective could become easier, as students can adapt to the learned modules quickly and accurately. Further, the common goal of teaching and learning resources is to present clear motivation, develop creativity, evoke prior knowledge, and improve logical thinking, reasoning come on communication, decoding, and interaction. In particular, within the education framework, there should be sufficient teaching-learning materials to make the learning environment more easy and joyful. Further, the use of magazines, newspaper, and even comic books can be considered as viable teaching materials for young children to improve their reading skills. Nevertheless, it enhances their reading comprehension skills where information is presented in a new and exciting way. This process makes students engage with the teacher and reduces their boredom. However, the portion of teaching materials to be studied can be tailored by the teacher according to the prescribed syllabus requirement (Nathenson et al 2015).
It becomes the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to monitor the constant and adequate supply of quality teaching materials to each school. In this context, the term 'adequate supply' is assumed to the supply of at least one textbook for one student. According to Cervetti, Kulikowich, and Bravo (2015), there exists a strong link between early literacy achievement and availability of textbooks at primary school. It provides several examples that can help students to understand the theory in a better way. Furthermore, it has worksheets, manipulatives, homework assignments, group activity instructions, and games which are some of the best learning tools for the students in developing new knowledge. Students are provided with new learning tricks and techniques to understand concepts faster. For instance, the provision of worksheet increases their creativity in a limited time period. In this way, they are able to explore knowledge independently which ultimately aids in their learning process.
In accordance with the report by Whitton et al., 2015, learning materials provide a crucial structure for the existing lesson planning. The adequacy of this statement is reflective more clearly in context to early childhood settings and lower grade educational curriculum. It acts as a guide for the student as well as the teacher and provides a medium to compare similar curriculum functions in other institutions. For example, a vocabulary game every Friday reduces pressure from teachers and creates fun for students. In such a fun game, children are able to expand their vocabulary knowledge. In addition to this, it also provides instructional differentiation in accordance with the type of learning styles (Whitton et al 2015). The above example also explains that the differentiation is primarily tailoring of the classroom lessons and instructions on the basis of student learning capacity and varying learning styles. Furthermore, it is also known that different forms of learning materials activate the learning style of each individual (Whitton, Barker, and Nosworthy 2016). Rendering these principals in the curriculum is thus effective in improving the overall standards of teaching and learning. Overall, it helps in acquiring learning and teaching materials which become a convenient task for children and teachers.
In the above section, the discussion emphasizes the fact that teaching standards and learning resources must be appropriate, in order to facilitate effective learning. Apart from this, within the context of education management, there also exists plenty of teaching resources over the internet which support lesson plan and most of these materials are available for free. The teaching materials on the internet significantly expands the base of knowledge and offers a medium with which the standards of education can be improved significantly. The learning material thus can be developed by the teacher using the internet source, besides using textbook which is an integral asset for teaching the curriculum units. According to the reportof Chun, Kern, and Smith, (2016), the authors discussed that investing time and money in conjunction withappropriate teaching materials is considered as a worthy investment. Although some scholars argue that these materials are essential for young children in order tofacilitateinnate motivation for gaining knowledge. However, the relevance of such materials (and resources) also exists among students of all fields and all age groups, where the objective is to sustain the learning outcomes. Thus, for every individual, the suitability of learning style and the requisite explore for concerned problems and find solutions by themselves can be facilitated effectively. Learning materials helps them in this regard and encourages their brain to work from different angles. To help students in memorizing, understanding and delivering creativity in their subjects, it has provided ‘connections' and ‘linkages' (Whitton et al 2016).
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Question 3: All the curricula have content, regardless of the design or development models. Debate this statement in light of the principles of selecting content.
Answer: Contents refer to the information which is required to be learned in the school. This can also be said as a compendium of the concept generalization which governs the learning model. Although, all the curricula have contents irrespective of their development models; which represent the traditional framework. However, the development model is the vision of educator in context to offer a framework that can motivate students, focus on important issues, and encouraging the learning ineffective way. For instance, motivating students to implement learned modules into real-practice is a development model, which is only linked (but not dependent) on the curricula.
Contents provided on subject matters are considered as a source for knowledge by the curriculum specialists. According to Grant and Gareis (2015), content is a model that is designed to give structure and meaning to regular subjects. However, the development model is based on the experience, which determines how the learning can be guided. Hence, it would be appropriate to state that, it actually addresses the required grade level from the selected textbooks, and thus, help the teacher and students, to render effective learning relationship.
According to the report of McKimm, and Jones (2018), there are three key development models of curriculum, viz., (i) modern model, (ii) post-modern model, (iii) actor-network model. However, the different curriculum development model can be associated with similar content (referred to as curricula). In other words, the models are a map which gives its direction and empowers teachers (and institution) to customize the guidance required for learning. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the model which suits the learner's requirement. One of the best examples is a collegiate program, where the educational institution emphasizes the provision that teachers and students cover relevant content in a consistent and organized manner. On the contrary, Matthews, Belward, and Coady have reported that the common perseverance among the majority of the institutions is that a textbook centric curriculum restricts the realistic interdisciplinary learning of the students. This suggests that although the provision of specific content to facilitating access to the subject curriculum is important; modification in those contents is equally critical. As a result, it helps the teacher to guide the student in an integrated way. Further, it also develops the learning culture, with which the future learning (or application) among students will be improved. For instance, if a student gains a better understanding of geometrical studies, then the student can implement the theoretical knowledge in practical areas of architecture and construction job. Some of the examples of subject areas having specific learning content are described below (Olokundun, Moses, and Iyiola 2017):
Science - The contents included in this subject matter are branches related to natural science, the use of the scientific method of investigation, exploration, and discovery linked with natural phenomena.
Mathematics - Here, the contents comprise numeric and computational skills, algebra, reasoning geometry, measurement, and reasoning. It is highly important to implement development models that emphasize practical application.
Vocational Education - It includes manipulative skills within the basic craft, design, trades, and ethics.
Social studies - It comprises of the basic elements of sociology, political science, geography, history, psychology, civics, and anthropology. In this context, the relevance of current issues and general knowledge is highly relevant.
Communication Art - Listening, speaking, writing and reading are some of the basic contents of this subject area. Also, encouragement for activities such as debate, public speech, and group discussion is worthy.
Physical Education - Some of the basic contents included individual and team sports, health and physical fitness and different forms of exercise.
The content should be designed by focusing on the strength and choices of learning students which can further facilitate for bringing relevant and integrated connections in their subject area. Thus, the needs and interests of students should be taken into account for preparing curriculum content and should be periodically modified with the emergence of a new level of understanding (Matthews, Belward, and Coady, 2016). While selecting the subject related content, some critical criteria should be utilized by the curriculum experts.
Significance - When the subject content contributes to basic principles, concepts, and generalization for achieving the overall objective of the curriculum, then the subject content becomes significant. Further, the contents would also contribute to the development of skills, learning abilities, attitudes, and processes.
Self-sufficiency - It is evident that the content should be selected in such a manner that it should help the students to gain maximum self-efficiency while learning lessons effectively and economically. Teachers are requisite to encourage students to develop a problem-solving approach, which in turn can develop self-sufficiency.
Validity - According to Matthews et al (2016), the authenticity of subject contents is based on its validity. The selected curriculum content for school students should be rechecked and replaced (if necessary) to avoid obsolescence. It should be designed on the basis of relevance, authenticity, and current trends.
Interest - The subject matter should be based on the learning-centered curriculum. Students are able to learn quickly if the contents are meaningful and interesting to them. The relevance of this approach is important for educators, as they can be useful for motivating and guidance to students.
Utility and feasibility - Moreover, the contents should be useful and feasible in real life situations for the students. The topics prescribed in the contents should be learned by students within available resources and allowable time.
Overall, it can be learned that curriculum content is vital for any subject area because it imparts knowledge, attitude, and skill through its well-organized as well as compressing learning approach. Defining the appropriate and suitable content for a curriculum is mostly considered as a source of conflict and tension. Thus, it is required for subject experts to work together on building a consensus and design a content that is mutually approved from all sources and does not get affected by the development model. The approved content should be transparent to the stakeholders and education agents. Furthermore, educators are required to understand the learning needs of students and correspondingly the learning models can be modified and implemented.
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Question 4: Before planning for the school year, the school management team (SMT) and the educators must identify curricular strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWIT) in the school or educational institution. The following five weaknesses in your school educational institution have been identified:
Answer: 4.1 Un/under qualified educators- Under qualified educators creates a risk for the student's future, as because the lack of adequate competency can deteriorate the learning environment. Teachers having poor teaching quality with a lack of subject knowledge can bring risk with (i) improper explanation of concepts to students; (ii) neglecting the problems faced by students; (iii) not rendering proper motivation; and (iv) not concerning about student' requirement. In order to combat this issue, after the recruitment, opportunities for training in the form of an internship, workshop, and timely opportunity to improve the competency level, must be implemented. Of note, the teacher should be appointed on those subjects in which they have excellent knowledge and experience (Sutcher, Darling-Hammond, and Carver-Thomas 2016). As such the recruitment process must be governed through various levels. Also, periodical monitoring should be conducted on the existing teachers that in turn will motivate them to improve the competency level and might improve their performativity. However, proper training should be provided for communication with students. Furthermore, offering higher financial incentives attract skilled and qualified teachers, as well as to encourage them for continuous improvement of competency is highly relevant.
4.2 lack of adequate lesson planning - Lack of adequate lesson planning is another risk that not only bring poor learning outcomes but will also inhibit adequate development of students. It is recommended to design appropriate lesson plans according to the learner'srequirements and capability. As for the development model (teaching and learning style), a suitable timetable for each lesson plan must be fixed in accordance with the capabilities of students. Here, the planning should be made by considering proper learning aids and implementing the same in the classroom. Accordingly, the lesson plans are required to be designed by consulting with teachers, to avoid problems in psychological sequencing and specifying particular teaching methods (Saad, and Dawson 2018). Teachers are further suggested to acquire knowledge by observing seminars discussions to set a standard format of behaviorism and plan the lessons accordingly. This approach will help in developing awareness about the student standards, facilitating acquaintance of knowledge, offering them time for practicing and ensuring the availability of resources. Educators should emphasize on the textbook as a source of ideas and compare the same with the planned lessons, to bring effective learning outcomes. Overall, the lesson plans should be flexible to allow random changes in formats, so as to avoid boredom.
4.3 Test and examination papers are not balanced as per levels of questions - It has been identified that the test and examination papers are not designed according to the level of questions. This practice creates invalid and unfair grading of examination. Some of the basic guidelines for designing a reliable examination paper-based question's efficiency (Morrison, Ross, and Morrison 2019). For example, in the approach of validity, the test questions should be designed in order to check the student's understanding of information about important concepts. However, they should not exaggerate on memorizing the definitions from the textbook. Similarly, in conjunction with the reliable, the questions should allow consistent measurement and able to discriminate between different levels of student's performance. According to the report of Saad, and Dawson (2018), it is also important to consider the realistic approach, by concerning that the question papers should be constructed by keeping in mind the prescribed time period as well as efforts to complete it. Lastly, it should be recognizable with respect to the objective to improve the learning outcomes. This means, that proper and clear instructions should be provided which reflects the rubrics, marking criteria, and other basic information for each question. Overall, the examination questions should focus on the important concepts of curriculum contents. There are various forms of test questions that can be fixed by the school, such as, true-false, matching, multiple choice, short answer, and essay.
4.4 Poor literacy level among grade 6 learners - It has been found that if grade 6 learners of the school have poor literacy levels in their annual academic result, the problem is concerned with the teaching style and the environment of learning. The basic subjects which are appropriate according to the requirement of these students include health and life skills, art, English, music, mathematics, social studies, science, and physical education. In order to improve their learning skills, teachers should teach them in small groups of three to five students, where the doubts of each student can be clarified easily. The contents of the curriculum for grade 6 students should be designed based on their interest and understanding level. The subject experts within the school have to choose the best textbooks and learning materials for easy understanding (Pruet, Ang, and Farzin 2016). The classroom should include effective lesson plans to be conducted on small groups, which emphasize on their reading, writing, and critical thinking ability. The inclusion of these approaches will help to boost their confidence and eventually improve their literacy level.
4.5 School-Based Assessment (SBAs) are not being applied as per curriculum and assessment policy statement (CAPS) - The school management team should focus on aligning school-based assessment (SBA) according to the curriculum and assessment policy statement. SBA is considered as the best form of assessment by most of the international examination boards. In this context, the management team should consider SBA's purpose, components, scoring system, academic and non-academic assessment. Implementation of SBA in terms of CAPs is defined as a continuous planned process for identifying, collecting and interpreting information related to learner's performance. The assessment criteria by CAPs is conducted through either formal assessment or informal (daily) assessment (Yates, and Johnston 2018). In the formal assessment system rubrics, memoranda, rating scales, and checklists are used as assessment tools to record learners performance. On the contrary, informal assessment, encouraging discussions, observations, confidence, practical demonstration and classroom interaction as the key assessment tools. The intention of such an assessment tool is to encourage students in lively interaction and involvement in the learning modules. As a result, they can realize learning in the classroom environment as a fun activity, not as a traditional approach. However, the examination and marking criteria should be based on CAPs documents.
Conclusion: Overall, it is learned that the framework of educational management is highly relevant to bring effective learning outcomes among the students. Here, the computer-based approach helps in recording attendance details accurately and automatically. It is very fast and efficient in recording various types of data. It is error resistant and cost-effective method and can be connected with other computer systems within the institution. With the inclusion of computer technology in education, the learning process has become efficient and simple. Students are able to do research topics much faster from the numerous websites available through internet connected computer. The cloud storage facilities back-up all the information which can be assessed anywhere and anytime. It also facilitates the decision-making process by comparing various statistical reports. The incorporation of computers in the administrative department can help to save valuable resources and time, which can be spent on other issues in the school.
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