Reflect upon your prior knowledge and experience with curriculum, whether it is curriculum theory, design, review, delivery, or implementation. These experiences may include your time as a student or a professional.
Discuss the most influential forces that formed your personal view of both curriculum and high quality instruction.
n terms of education, Behaviourist approaches are linked with a very teacher-centric model, in which the teacher will decide what needs to be learned and how it will be taught. The classroom environment can be manipulated in order to make this more likely (Torre, Daley, Sebastian and Elincki, 2006). Torre (Torre et al, 2006) states that a behaviourist approach is most useful to inform the pupil what they will be learning, by which method and explaining the method of evaluation. In this way, the creation of the National Curriculum could be argued to be a Behaviourist policy in its own right (The Open University, Undated). Thorndike, in the early 1900s, proposed that Behaviourist learning styles, such as learning by rote, either with or without an offered reward, is helpful for such activities as learning poetry, lines for a play, or multiplication tables. This is more effective with a reward, however and Thorndike called this The Law of Effect (Benson, 1998). It has also been suggested that rote learning of this nature can be useful for some students who are on the Autistic spectrum, who may find it easier to learn this way (Blakemore and Frith, 2005) although, on the other hand, it can be less useful for pupils with dyslexia. Behaviourist models are often considered to feed directly into behaviour management within a classroom, with Pritchard (2009) stating that the use of sanctions and rewards can create a safe classroom environment which is conducive to learning. The Teaching Standards mentioned by Pritchard have been altered by the Department for Education in the time since his book was written, but this still links with Standard 7, especially sub-standard b, which states: “have high expectations of behaviour, and establish a framework for discipline with a range of strategies, using praise, sanctions and rewards consistently and fairly” (Department for Education, 2012, p12). There are several problems with Behaviourist theories, not least that early experiments focus on animals or small babies, and are now considered deeply unethical. They assume that humans have the same level of free-will as animals, and that there is no intrinsic motivation for learning. This means that human learners are expected to only learn in order to either gain praise or reward, or to avoid punishment (discounting learning purely because a student is interested in a subject) and much theory discounts how different humans are from most animals, and how much more complex the human world is than the animal one. In addition to this, discussion of Behaviourism centres only on a small number of theorists, at set points in their careers, for example, discounting Watson’s later theories which differed from his earlier works. (Abramson, 2013). Cognitivism, and a branch thereof, Constructivism, are very different models of learning to behaviourism. Cognitivist thinkers such as John Dewey, generally argue that people must learn how to learn and that learning is part of the goal, not just the method of getting to the goal. Dewey was one of the earliest cognitivists, and was working at a contemporary time to many behaviourists. Along with other notable cognitivists, such as Piaget and Vygotsky, Dewey argued that education should be child-centred, active rather than passive and that learning should be for its own sake, not purely to prepare them for future work (Garhart, 2013). Dewey also believed that while learning should be fun, it should>GET ANSWER