Philosophy of Curriculum
My philosophy of curriculum as it pertains to this course and through my new eyes at the end of the course, points to the constructivist-style curriculum as the most logical, meaningful, purposeful, intellectual, and authentic exemplars to model after. Focusing on a more educational description of constructivism, the meaning is intimately connected with experience. I believe students come into a classroom with their own experiences and a cognitive structure based on those experiences. These preconceived structures are valid, invalid or incomplete. The learner will reformulate his/her existing structures only if new information or experiences are connected to knowledge already in memory. Inferences, elaborations and relationships between old perceptions and new ideas must be personally drawn by the student in order for the new idea to become an integrated, useful part of his/her memory. Memorized facts or information that has not been connected with the learner's prior experiences will be quickly forgotten. In short, the learner must actively construct new information onto his/her existing mental framework for meaningful learning to occur.
So what is the support structure for a constructivist learning setting and how do they differ from a classroom based on the traditional or didactic model? The current American classroom, whether grade school or college level, tends to resemble a one-person show with a captive but often comatose audience. Classes are usually driven by "teacher-talk" and depend heavily on textbooks for the composition of the course. There is the idea that there is a fixed world of knowledge that the student must come to know. Information is divided into parts and built into a whole concept. Teachers serve as pipelines and seek to transfer their thoughts and meanings to the passive student. There is little room for student-initiated questions, independent thought or...
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