Category Archives: ECS 210

A start to critical summary assignment.

For my critical summary assignment, I will be looking at the topic of Sex education and the curriculum that is being created around this topic.

For me, this topic is very important because I feel sex education is a very important topic especially in 2019.  The new curriculum needs to be up to date and include all the modern aspects of sexual orientation and description.   In order to do this, Teachers need to start mostly from scratch because the curriculum from previous years are very outdated and will not provide much help.

To start off my research I looked at an article by Jessica Corcoran et al titled “What do we really know about adolescent sexual health education”.   This article was a great starting point because a good job was done outlining the issues and really identifying the root cause of where sex education is coming from.  The article outlines that the adolescent stage is the longest human development stage that spans from age 11 to 21.   The brain is still developing during this stage, thus putting the risk of unsafe decision making higher.  these decisions include ones regarding health and sexual health.  To combat these poor decisions Corcoran outlines the importance of honest and accurate sex education.

Corcoran identifies that the purpose of previous sex education curriculum developed in the 1900s was to scare youth into abstinence and decrease rates of STI’s.  Today 27 states require that sex education programs stress the importance of abstinence.  Another important aspect of a good sex education program was the length.  One study concluded that the class was just as effective as when it takes a longer period of time in relation to completing outcomes, I feel that more research is needed.   Another dimension was when to begin teaching sex education, most studies started looking at students in 7th grade through grade 9.   The researchers stressed the importance of starting this type of education before the student becomes sexually active.

To summarize the article outlines five dimensions to good sex education.

  1.  educational content,
  2. length of intervention,
  3. curriculum timing,
  4. delivery of content,
  5. measurable outcomes.

The next steps are to do more research on the five dimensions and find out if there are any more variations of these dimensions or if there is a different approach to this thinking.  The task then will be to choose which approach I want to dive further into and write the full report on.   The field of sex education is interesting and I am curious to see what ideas are out there.  A big change needs to come to Saskatchewan and adopt a new curriculum that is better suited for the student coming of age in 2019 and beyond.

If you have thoughs please leave a comment.

Four models of curriculum.

As Smith outlines in is work on curriculum theory and practice four models of curriculum.

  1. Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted.
  2. Curriculum as a product
  3. Curriculum as a process
  4. Curriculum as a praxis.

Curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted.

When it comes to the curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted; there are good and not so good points for this model.  This model is often presented as a textbook style and this can be useful because it allows for easy understanding and the use of familiarity and easy navigation.

However, this model does not indicate the importance or order for the material to be studied.  Treating the curriculum as a syllabus causes the only concern to be with content and not the theory around the idea of curriculum.   Planning from this model only includes content or a particular body of knowledge that the teachers wish to use.

Curriculum as a product.

For this model, the curriculum is seen as setting behavioral objectives.

With the product being the end, careful planning is put into creating good quality material.  It also allows for organizing power in clear concise way for better understanding.

However, this model seems very focused on one particular thing and that is to prepare students for the workforce; the skilled labor rather than having a broader purpose.  Furthermore, there is no social vision or guiding principles that would allow for deeper thinking and better construction and creation of a curriculum.  As outlined in the article with this model the students are told: “what they must learn and how they will do it” (Smith 2000).   The point that I have the most issue with is the fact that a product model causes success or failure is determined by a students ability to make predetermined changes in there learning or improvements.

Curriculum as a process. 

Smith explains that the curriculum as a process involves the interaction between teachers, students, and knowledge in the classroom to make a better learning environment.  I understand this process as to what happens in the classroom as far as instruction go.  This process helps to predict what will happen in the future.

This process allows for more teacher-student interaction thus giving the students a voice that they would not otherwise.   The downside to this is that the responsibility falls on the teacher to do a good job teaching and cultivating wisdom.  Most teachers I find to be more than competent in their job of being a help to students.

Curriculum as praxis. 

This model is a further development of the process model.  This model allows both teacher and student to dive deeper and consult other issues that explain their existence.  Thus facing them with their own oppression.   Smith explains that teachers have personal but shared ideas of good.   Furthermore, Smith explains that the praxis develops through the dynamic interactions of action and reflection that leads to a collective understanding.

My schooling experiences: 

As far as my own schooling was concerned, the model that was most prominent was a mixture of product and process.  My teachers worked to use the curriculum as a guide to teaching us what we need to know.   the students were also held to a standard that was the standard that a pass or fail was determined from.

Furthermore, most of my teachers tried there best to make time for one on one interactions to help their students.  I trusted my teachers to make the best decisions for me and other students.  Which is a characteristic of the curriculum as a process.

These models made for an excellent work environment and fostered a safe accepting classroom.  However, this environment did not allow for much critical thinking, although I had teachers tried it never got anywhere because an effort was not made to foster deep critical thinking.  However, there is always room for improvement and as a teacher, I will try to advance this work and implementing it into the classroom.

 

 

 

Common sense reflection

How does Kumashiro define ‘commonsense?’ Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘commonsense’?

 

Kumashiro defines Common sense as “what everyone should know”  the concept of common sense is a social construct and is only common to the people that live in that area or region. Kumashiro found this out after his first few days in Nepal because they do many different things there than what is done in the US, this stuff was common sense to the locals but something he had to learn.  

 

The importance of paying attention to common sense is that when you live in an area or region for too long you begin to see common sense as normal and as something that cannot change or be examined.  The longer you use common sense the harder it is to look at practices with a critical eye. It is also important to look at what we see as common sense with a critical eye in order to improve our school systems and learn to question why we do things the way we do and why our common sense controls our lives and what is acceptable. 

 

The bottom line is that common sense is good and is necessary but also needs to be put under the microscope so that our ways of living can be properly examined and changes can be made.