Mulitplicity of Curriculum


Today I reimmersed myself in the writings of T. Aoki (2005), and was reacquainted with the ideals of curriculum as planned and curriculum as lived. His writings particularly struck a chord with my today as a guider of teacher candidates. I am teaching a curriculum class for science majors and minors preparing for their first formal teaching experiences; I absolutely love working with this group. Early on in the course, we spoke about the curriculum as planned and the curriculum as lived (and where these ideas developed from), but reflecting now, I wonder if their education is truly preparing them to deal with the curriculum as lived?

In this course, the students focus primarily on reading and interpreting the curricular documents, planning and executing short lessons, and reflecting on their experiences. There is really no preparation for the lived curriculum, yet they continually ask questions about what to expect in the classroom.

Through reading Aoki’s works, I wondered, is the curriculum as lived inherent for teachers? That is to say, do we, as teachers, have an innate sense of knowing and working with our students? I would arguably say that some teachers do, but for many this is a developed skill through time and experience. Why are we not preparing students to receive and reflect on these experiences?

I wonder if our teacher candidate preparation should focus more on the learners and less on the system? Yet, the system is what their teaching standards will be viewed against (and compared to). Leading to the (currently) age old question, are we focused on the learners or the assessment?

Pinar, W., & Irwin, R. (2005) Curriculum in a New Key: The Collected Works of Ted T. Aoki, Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.

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