The curriculum theory ‘curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted’ also referred to as ‘the canon’, explains that the curriculum and the syllabus is seen as equivalent by many people. It goes on to say that it is very heavy on focusing how to transmit the knowledge in the most effective way possible. A drawback attached to this theory is that it is laid out in a way that doesn’t show the importance or the order it should be taught in. This theory is limiting because it suppresses the students and their ability in studying something they are interested in because it is not in the syllabus/curriculum.
To understand the curriculum as a product theory, I related it to an assembly line. The curriculum is given, a lesson is manufactured, the lesson is applied, then the knowledge taken away is ‘quality tested’ or measured to see if it was understood. A benefit to this theory could be that it assists a child later in life. In the article it said that this theory’s greatest draw is that it is supposed to help a child work and live productive lives in the future. Towards the end of the section it says that students could feel like they have no say in their education, because they are told what to do then they are graded based on whether or not they were able to learn it. This flaw is something that has a huge impact on the students future in learning, because this feeling is not enjoyable. Another flaw in this theory is that it focuses heavily on tests and it suggests that in order to succeed, there is only one path to education.
In the section studying the theory ‘curriculum as a process’ explains that this technique is an interactive one. It stresses the impact the teacher has in the classroom and encourages the teacher to play an active role in class. In this theory, I think that there are plenty of positive outcomes that can come from using this approach. For example, I think that it could create a stronger bond between the student and teacher allowing for more learning opportunities. This approach supports the idea that education should happen naturally, and that students can benefit by creating with their teachers.
After the reading, I realized that the theory curriculum as a praxis works hand in hand with curriculum as a process. This view on curriculum suggests that curriculum is always changing and that it is something that needs to be examined. In doing this, curriculum is always fluctuating and can be adjusted to meet different needs. It is interesting to me that in this theory, curriculum isn’t enforced so strongly but it is more of an outline/framework. I think that this theory has the downfall of grouping the class as one rather than adjusting to an individual student.
In my education journey, I believe that many (but not all) teachers I encountered could feel the pressure by the Ministry to follow the curriculum closely. Whenever someone would ask my teacher, “Why do we have to learn this?” my teacher would often say “because it’s in the curriculum”. This answer had always bothered me because I felt like what I was learning wasn’t interesting or important. As a student I felt very pressured to learn at a quick rate in order to learn everything we are expected to know for the grade above us. I think the theories that were most prominent in my education was curriculum as a product and knowledge is to be transmitted. These theories focus more on the amount of curriculum a teacher could push onto the class in the school year. This makes it a lot more difficult to incorporate fun and interactive ways of learning because of a time crunch. For instance, most of my science classes were taught directly out of the textbook. We had little interaction with our teachers during the subject, and many times I had to teach myself at home. In saying this, it doesn’t mean that having fun is impossible but more stressful for the teacher.