Education 615

EDUC 615: Principles of Curriculum Development

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Credit Hours: (3)

Students will develop understandings of the phiosophical, sociological, historical, economic, and psychological foundations related to K-12 curriculum design.  They will examine emerging trends and democratic values and goals, as well as curriculum alignment, scope and sequence, and satte regulations pertaining to learning.  Students will explore and apply models of curriculum development, and will develop a personal philosophy of curriculum.  This course can serve as the Curriculum Development major course for Masters in Education Curriculum and Instruction option students.

Detailed Description of Course Syllabus
This course will answer the following questions:

A. What are various definitions of curriculum?

B. What are the historical, philosophical, sociological, and psychological foundations of curriculum development?

C. What is taken into consideration when designing curriculum?  Factors may include the following (this is not exhaustive, however):

        i. community values, goals, social needs, and changing conditions (definitions of “appropriate” curriculum)

        ii. Ethics

        iii. Economics

        iv. Research on best practices/instructional improvement

        v. National standards

        vi. Recommendations of professional organizations and trends in content areas

        vii. Integration of instruction

        viii. Knowledge of teaching and learning          

D. What contemporary design models exist and how are they different from one another in terms of underlying beliefs/assumptions?

E. How do you apply a curriculum design model to a curricular issue?

F. Given the content of this course, what is student’s personal philosophy of curriculum?

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course readings will serve as a primary content basis for in-class discussions. Role-plays, simulations, and case studies will be used in conjunction with material related to issues involving collaborative curriculum development. Ten hours of structured field experiences with on-site mentor principals and/or supervisors will also be required for completion of the course and will be discussed in class. A variety of written and/or assignments (research reviews, reflective assimilate information into a philosophy of and procedure for curriculum development. Group and individual tasks will be used to process and reinforce information/skills and for class sharing. Lectures by the professor will be utilized to supplement and reinforce course readings. Videos will provide additional content for personal reflection and/or class discussion. Internet searches will provide and additional source for acquiring related course content.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

(Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1g – professional dispositions, and 1c -  Professional and pedagogical knowledge).  The codes included below refer to:  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC); Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI); National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); National Middle Schools Association (NMSA); National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS); Virginia Department of Education Licensure Regulations (VA DOE); Virginia Department of Education Standards for Administration and Supervision (VAS).

1.     Define various interpretations of curriculum. (NSTA Standard 6; NMSA Standard 3; CEC Standard 7; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 6)

2.     Explain the historical, philosophical, sociological, and psychological foundations of curriculum development. (NMSA, Standard 3; CEC Standard 7; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 6; VA DOE Regs.; ISLLC Standards 5 and 6; AECI 5.1)

3.     Explain and differentiate a variety of contemporary curriculum design models. (NAEYC Standard 4d; ACEI 3.1; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 6; VA DOE Regs.; ISLLC Standard 2)

4.     Demonstrate ability to apply a curriculum design model to a curricular issue.  This will include demonstrating an ability to create a curriculum map, and a scope and sequence as well as showing that the curriculum created takes various factors into consideration (e.g. democratic values and goals; community values and goals; student culture, ethnicity, language; social needs; changing conditions; ethics; economics; research on best practices/instructional improvement;  student motivation, growth and development; national and state standards; recommendations of professional organizations and trends in content areas; standardized test scores; and knowledge of teaching and learning). (NSTA Standards 5, 6, and 8; NAEYC Standard 3, 4b, and 4d; AECI Standards 2, 3, and 4; NMSA Standard 1.1, 5, and 6; CEC Standards 3 and 7; NCTM Standard 7, 8.1, 8.4, 8.6, and 8.7; VA DOE Regs.; NCSS Pedagogical Standards 1-7; NCTE Standards 2.3-2.6 and 4; ISLLC Standards 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6; VAS 1. a. 1-5 and c. 1)

5.     Explain one’s personal philosophy of curriculum.(NSTA Standard 10; NAEYC Standard 5; ACEI 5.1; AECI 5.1; NMSA Standard 7; CEC Standard 9; VA DOE Regs; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 8;  NCTM Standard 8)

Assessment Measures

All instructors of the course will assess students in the following ways:

1.     A written assignment/presentation that specifically utilizes a curriculum design model to address an existing curricular issue in a school or school division and how the model will be utilized to implement any necessary changes.  

2.     An assignment that requires the student to develop a personal curriculum philosophy that defines the major philosophies of education and incorporates components of those philosophies into a personal statement.

Additionally, instructors will choose at least three assessment measures from the following to assess learning in the course:

1.     A presentation that prepares a professional development activity focusing on assessment and curriculum alignment.

2.     Response journals to assigned readings (to aid student in processing and reflecting upon content).

3.     Class participation in discussions and small group activities.

4.     Curriculum critique in which students are asked to pick a curriculum to analyze (e.g. what is the intent of the curriculum, how is the intent communicated to stakeholders, how is the content framed, what types of learning experiences are embedded in the curriculum, what assessments are congruent with the goals, how does it serve a particular population? etc.).

5.     Literature/book reviews of curriculum readings.

Technological proficiency must be demonstrated in written assignments, electronic mail communications, and correspondence.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
10-16-08             Reviewed and modified                     Kristan Morrison

12/22/08              Revised/ Approved