Comparing Two Different Approaches of Curriculum and Their Benefits

This essay will focus on two different curriculum approaches and it’s benefit in children’s education taking in to consideration the values and aims It will at teacher’s role or guidance in the learning environment and how parents and care givers to contribute towards their children’s education Olivia 1997 defined curriculum is as the content chosen to be taught or subjects that are most useful for the contemporary living to reach a goal.While Robert M. Hutchins viewed curriculum as changes that occur in society. He emphasized that, English, mathematics and science coupled with discipline should be the sole source of curriculum and changes should only happen if modifications and improvements of existing conditions take place. There are four different kinds of curriculum namely: hidden curriculum, planned curriculum, received curriculum and formal curriculum. Planned curriculum is what is laid down in the syllabus or prospectus.Educators, government organisation and the private individuals helps to put forward the curriculum for teachers and students to follow. The curriculum documents outline what objectives a student must meet in order to succeed in the course. How one decides to implement that guide by teaching is not found on any page. When a teacher is told that he/she will be teaching a new course next year, the first step in planning is to consult curriculum documents and previous course outlines to see what is to be taught in the course.Whereas received curriculum is what students or children experience from the curriculum. Things that are learned in schools such as English, math etc and every educational setting that can be remembered. Received curriculum can be defined as to what the learner actually learns rather than what was necessarily planned by the educator. Learners have different strengths and rate at which they learn. Therefore it is vital learners, learn in their own pace without being forced or laughed at.Educators should recognise this and seek more help for slow learners or people with learning difficulties. There are different approaches to curriculum and teachers and educators need to develop these approaches for interacting with children in a way will meet the needs of each child. Two forms of these approaches in curriculum are the Montessori approach and Early Year Foundation Stage (EFYS) The Montessori educational approach was developed by an Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori.It entails children being put in a well-planned and controlled setting which will meet their individual educational and cultural needs. The children are free to pursue their own interests within this setting, rather than being imposed to learn something that is unsuitable to their developmental period. This lead to the children developing in a natural and highly motivated way with self discipline and being able to master basic skills often earlier than in the traditional system of education.In order to achieve these results, teachers are trained in specific skills and the curriculum is carefully designed to mirror the children’s own culture and educational needs. There are three basic elements of the Montessori approach to education that is; The Structured Environment also referred to as the ‘Prepared Environment’ is the physical appearance and arrangement of the learning equipments sticking to certain principles which focuses on meeting the needs of the child.It is the teacher’s responsibility to organize and maintain this environment. The Montessori Curriculum has a framework which specifies learning outcomes and the knowledge and skills to be learned and is divided into the Montessori areas of learning as: Practical life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Literacy, Cultural Subjects such as Geography and History and Creative Subjects such as Art and Music. The Montessori teacher carefully studies the children in the class to establish the developmental needs of each individual child.The teacher assist and guides the child’s learning as the child begins to make open choices, interact and find out the learning materials. As the focus is on the children learning, the teacher being a guide and facilitator, must create a well prepared environment and atmosphere of learning for curiosity intended to move the pupils from one activity and level to the next. Rather than giving the pupils answers, the teacher asks them how to solve the problem at hand , actively involving them in the learning process and enhancing critical learning skills.The EYFS applies to children from birth to 5 years and sets out standards for the learning development and care of children. Early years centres are designed to provide equality and opportunity and anti discriminatory practice ensuring that every child is included and not at a disadvantage due to ethnicity, religion, gender or disability. This is to help lay a secure foundation for future learning through learning and development planned around each child’s individual needs and interests through the delivery of structured play by the use of ongoing observational assessments.The EYFS lay stronger importance on the three key areas which are most effective for children’s healthy development. These areas are communication and language, physical and personal as well as social and emotional. For children to attain these qualities, they need a good learning environment. Middlewood and Burton (2001). The EYFS is based around four guiding themes which are: Unique Child- every child is unique and a competent learner from birth Positive Relationship- Children require love and secure relationships in order to learn to be strong and self-sufficient.Enabling Environments- the environment plays a vital role in supporting and extending a child’s development Learning and Development-Children develop and learn in varied ways and at a different pace The curriculum is mainly designed for students and sets a standard for all early years providers to meet. It brings children to a good level in their basic knowledge in core subjects as well as gives them the necessary skills ready for school. The curriculum is designed to encourage teaching and learning to give them a good future through school and outside world. The U.K government is keen in promoting the EYFS education system, cutting down on bureaucracy to focus on teaching and supporting children. As an EYFS educator’s goal is to focus on the academic, social, emotional and physical preparation of the child and also protecting and caring for the child in the absence of the parent. An effective relationship must be created between the parent and the educator in order to nurture the development of the child. According to Hannafin et all (1999), learning environment can be defined as the area which connects learners and their educators to reason about broad resources.Learning is a process that occurs as individual relate with their environment and acquire new information or change from existing behaviour. Bastable (2008). He believes that, learning usually takes place within the environment depending on the culture, structure, and guidance that individuals receive from their environment. Robert Gagne put forward the conditions for learning as he believes there are several types of learning and each type requires different type of instruction.He believes the conditions behind why people learn are internal or external. Internal condition deals with what an individual has previously learned and his/her knowledge before taking up a new learning task. On the other hand, the external condition that drives people to learn is the motivation the learner gets or the incentives he/she is expecting after the task is done. (Cory, 1996) Gagne’ makes us aware that, there are different types of learning and each type requires a different instruction to learning.The nine events Gagne proposed to learning are as follows: providing of performance feedback, gaining attention, describing the objective, presenting materials to be learned, incentive to the learner prior to learning, providing assistance to the learner, obtain performance report to know the strength of the learner, provide information feedback to the learner after before and after completion, general progress report to the learner showing how he/she is doing and transferring, promoting or downgrading the learner based on performance.

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