Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector DTLLS Module: Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice Code: LL222 Year:2009/2010 Name:Vicki Bootland Student ID:165883 Tutor:Janis Noble Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice The word ‘curriculum’ originates from the chariot tracks in Greece. In Latin ‘curriculum’ was a racing chariot; and ‘currere’ was to run. Therefore it was a course. ‘Curriculum is a body of knowledge-content and/or subjects. Education in this sense is the process by which these are transmitted or ‘delivered’ to students by the most effective methods that can be devised. (Blenkin et al 1992, pg 23). And so, curriculum is the activities that learners will undertake to achieve certain learning achievements and goals. The planning, learners experience and order in which it occurs are all part of the curriculum. There are a vast amount of elements that help shape a curriculum and there are many different strategies and approaches to the design and implementation of a curriculum. In both day opportunities and the training department of South Tyneside Council for whom I work, the curriculum is designed around the objectives set by my employer.
Curriculum Theory/Models There are many models of curriculum which affect the delivery of the specific subject, the way in which a teacher must deliver to the learners and the way in which a teacher should attain the end result. Probably the most well-known curriculum model is ‘Ralph Tyler’s Objectives Model’. This was clearly a prescriptive model which sets out what a teacher should do. The Tyler theory to date is the most influential model of all in preparation of curriculum, the needs of society and the time of development and the needs of the learner should be imperative.
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Tyler organised his model into four fundamental questions, which he stated should be answered when designing a curriculum; What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? ; What educational experiences are likely to attain the purposes? ; How can these educational experiences be organised effectively? And finally, How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?. The ‘purposes’ in the first of these questions became known as objectives and hence the model became known as the ‘Objectives Model’.
As Scott (2008, pg 7) suggests Tyler advocated a means to an ends approach to the development of the curriculum and ‘Curriculum making was understood as a linear process which starts with the development of clear objectives or goals. ‘ As the theory was implemented in the 1950’s and 60’s, behavioural objectives provided the underpinning of its design and the success or failure of the curriculum was based on pre-defined changes in student behaviour. The assumption was that student outcomes could and should be measured.
As with Tyler’s Objectives Model, in-house organisational training is very much focused on the behavioural outcomes in curriculum development. The teacher will focus predominantly on what must be taught rather than focusing on what should or could be taught. However, the behavioural model received criticism. One of the arguments against this model was that the ‘affective domain’ (Bloom, 1956) cannot be considered adequately in terms of specific behaviours. The affective domain describes learning objectives that emphasise a feeling, an emotion or a degree of acceptance or rejection, thus cannot be assessed adequately.
Therefore the behaviour model would discourage any creativity by both the student and lecturer. In addition, as Kelly (1989, pg 62) suggests ‘For to adopt this kind of… model for education is to assume that it is legitimate to mould human beings, to modify their behaviour, according to certain clear cut intentions without making any allowances for their own individual wishes, desires or interests. ‘ However, one area that has adopted the use of the ‘behavioural model’ is in the area of teaching children with special needs. ‘… in this kind of ontext the notion of ‘behaviour modification’ seems to have been adopted with few qualms… ‘ (Kelly, 1989 pg 68). It has been seen and widely accepted that the use of the ‘behavioural model’ has been essential in helping to modify the behaviour of students with special needs and learning disabilities and to support them in presenting the correct behaviour in certain tasks and instances. ‘… in relation to the education of children with special needs… the only way we can hope to change children and know we have succeeded is to change their behaviour. (Leeming et al, 1979 pg 68). Therefore Tyler’s model, although possibly outdated, can be used effectively with students with learning disabilities. It supports Skinner’s positive reinforcement theory, where we praise correct behaviour and ignore challenging or incorrect behaviour. This is often a tactic I use with my students with learning disabilities. Although Tyler’s theory was simple and logical it soon fell out of favour as educators began to take on a more holistic approach to curriculum design.
In contrast to the behavioural model, the 1970’s English writers such as Lawrence Stenhouse (1976) mounted many criticisms of that specific theory. He claimed that the use of behavioural objectives resulted in ‘…curricula which focussed on skills and knowledge acquisition only. Higher order thinking skills, problem solving and values development were important educational functions that could not be written in behavioural terms. There was a risk that they would be excluded from curricula developed through the use of behavioural objectives. ‘ (www. furcs. flinders. edu. u 2005). Stenhouse (1975) focused on a ‘process model’ which is ‘…is an approach to curriculum which is interested in the processes and procedures of learning so that the learner is able to use and develop the content, not simply receive it passively. ‘ (Armitage et al, 1999 pg 170). Due to this model concentrating on course content, relevant knowledge and skills that can be learnt and applied, rather than ‘… simply receiving it passively… ‘ (Armitage et al, 1999 pg 170), this model concentrates on teacher’s strategies, learning conditions and learner activities.
Consequently, students benefit from what should and must be delivered, as well as what could be added for benefit of the student. Therefore it can be related to the Disability Awareness course that I deliver, where students are taught ‘disability etiquette’ which is a transferable skill that can be related to their employment as well as personal life. To reach the affective domain, which is suggested by Stenhouse (1975) for the process model, I use an simulation/role play where students use disability aids to recreate having a specific disability i. . using a wheelchair (physically disabled), using blacked out glasses (sight impaired) and ear defenders (hearing impaired). Many of the theories and models identified above are a linear curriculum where topics are visited after one another. Another theory is Jerome Bruner’s (1971) ‘spiral curriculum’. As Neary (2003) explains ‘… various topics within the subject are studied at a relatively easy level and then the same topics are studied again at a deeper level. Topics are constantly revisited with extra information added. As Neary (2003) also suggests, ‘The Bruner principle is roughly transcribed as: Any topic can be taught to any learner provided that it is presented at a conceptual level appropriate to the learner’s present stage of intellectual development. ‘ The spiral curriculum theory is often used to teach adults with learning disabilities as certain topics are presented and then constantly revisited so that the learner understands and can use the skill/information given.
The ‘spiral curriculum’ is also used within the in-house training sector, as employees are often required to constantly revisit certain topics through training such as moving and handling training, disability awareness and safeguarding adults. This is due to legislation changing on a regular basis as well as being something they use in their everyday working environment. Curriculum Design Generally, a curriculum is based on the needs and objectives set by an organisation. An approval from external agencies, such as an awarding body gives approval for the qualification to be delivered.
The awarding body will supply the syllabus or guidance which gives the tutor the framework for delivery and assessment of the subject matter. Within the ‘in-house’ sector of teaching and training, it is generally the needs of the business and employees that are taken into account and sets the benchmark for the requirements of bespoke training courses. In-house training caters for the needs of the staff and in the majority, a lot of the courses attained by the employee do not lead to formal qualifications.
If a curriculum is not available, a tutor will have to develop their own on the subject that is to be taught and that also suits the needs of the service. This was the case when I was asked to deliver Disability Awareness training to year one social work students. I was required to create a curriculum that would support their formal qualification but introduce them to disability as it would be an area that they would be working in; therefore I had to incorporate activities that were relevant to their job role.
Prior to the creation of the curriculum to be taught, I had a ‘curriculum design’ meeting with the staff development officer who offered ideologies underpinning the course and in what direction she required that course to go. As Neary (2003, pg 109) identifies it is ‘The curriculum planners task to ensure the necessary content is covered but also to devise processes of learning which ensure that the wider aims of the scheme are addressed. ‘ There are many constraints and pressure on planning a curriculum. Teachers do not always have complete autonomy on what he or she teaches and how they do so.
Pressures can arise from internal and organisational factors as well as pressures from the physical environment. But as Kelly (1989, pg 20) identifies pressures and constraints can arise from ‘…personal agencies – parents, employers and pressure groups of many kind. ‘ In the area of learning disabilities, pressures often come from parents of the students. Although they are adults many of the students have limited choice in what they learn and it is often chosen by their parents. Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice
Curriculum design and development for inclusive practice refers to the process of designing and developing programmes of study to minimise the barriers that some students may face in accessing the curriculum. By focusing on the core requirements of the course it is then possible to identify aspects of the curriculum that may present a challenge to some students and that may prevent them from meeting the requirements. The task is then to redesign the course to ensure that you can reduce or totally eradicate any potential barriers to effective learning. Contemporary concepts of curriculum design take a more learner-centred approach and a more holistic view of the design process. ‘ (www. uws. ac. uk, 2009). As Reece et al (207, pg 201) identifies ‘… it is one of your duties as a teacher to review your curriculum at regular intervals. ‘ This allows you to review your teaching/training strategies, what your students are to learn and how successful it has been. Any change to your design is therefore curriculum development. Consequently, we must ensure that any development includes inclusive practice.
In 1996, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was introduced. Fortunately this meant that all teaching had to be inclusive, incorporating the needs of all learners and encompasses best practice principles of equality and diversity. Equality of opportunity and provision means giving every student a learning environment that suits their learning needs and has come to be an important aspect when designing your curriculum. Equality and diversity means giving students what is necessary to extend them to their full potential.
In this case, some students may need extra tuition to bring them up to the level of the other student, while others may need to be pushed as they are capable of further development and learning. Also, we may need to consider additional support to help our students. This could involve interpreters, support workers to help with functional skills and signing for those with hearing impairments. As inclusive practitioners we also need to consider how we deliver our curriculum. Teaching strategies such as visual, aural and kinaesthetic resources need to be considered.
As a tutor for adults with learning disabilities I need to take into account that the majority of my students have limited or no literacy skills. Therefore I need to not only rely on visual aids to support their learner but need extra classroom support to aid the students in their learning experience. There are also many ways in which information learning technology (ILT) can support students with a wide range of learning or physical disabilities. It allows learners with disabilities to use a range of assistive technology to access learning resources which would normally present a barrier to them.
For example, word processing can help someone with handwriting difficulties to present assignments as well as using spell check to support someone with dyslexia. Digital cameras and voice recorders can record or document progress of those students with learning difficulties who have limited or no literacy skills. As Reece et al (2007, pg 190) identifies ‘…it can make learning more accessible for students with disabilities…’ For example ‘…a visually impaired students can read using a screen reader…Additionally the colours, text size and fonts can be changed. ‘. ILT also allows students with disabilities to access resources at their own pace.
Technology can allow us as tutors to appeal to varying learning styles and not just learners with disabilities. Due to the shift in technological advances, we as a tutor can incorporate the use of ILT into our curriculum. Government influences and policies on curriculum The events that lead to the modern system of education began in the second half of the 19th century. Although there were some who were in favour of widespread education, the government and public did not concur. Although there was no widespread desire for education for the population, it was not until the Education Act of 1870 that education became a priority.
Due to the social and economic needs of the nation, the 1944 Education Act Part II quoted ‘It shall be the duty of the local education authority to… continue towards the spiritual, mental and physical developments of the community. ‘ It showed that education was not only about communication of academic information, but involved the whole of a person including their spiritual, physical and academic/vocational needs. This can also be seen as the ‘hidden curriculum’, where ideas such as social roles, behaviour, values and attitudes are taught as well as academic information.
However, Barnes (1976) believes that ‘… teachers should be aware of and accept responsibility… for what students are learning in this unplanned way. ‘ For many, the first indication of government control over post 16 education was the autumn of 1976 when the then Prime Minister James Callaghan made a speech at Ruskin College in Oxford. He mounted a direct attack on the teaching profession for ‘… failing to respond to the needs of society by permitting too many people too much time studying subject which he deemed to be not directly productive in commercial and economic terms. ‘ (Kelly, 1989 pg 166).
Callaghan believed too many students were studying humanities and too few studying science and technology and therefore this imbalance was ‘… leading to a similarly unsatisfactory pattern of study in universities and other institutions of higher education. ‘ (Kelly, 1989 pg 166). After World War II, there was a remarkable shift from practical to leisure-based learning, but adult education failed to attract those people who had benefited least from initial education especially the working classes, and further or higher education seemed to only attract middle and higher class students .
A series of measures sought to address this issue which included the Open University, which opened in 1971. Two further milestones were the 1988 White Paper, Employment in the 1990’s, which set up Training and Enterprise Councils (TEC), and the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) which removed further education colleges from local authority control, established the Further Education and Funding Council (FEFC), and encouraged a more utilitarian and workable curriculum.
Despite fears to the contrary, the Act triggered a period of growth in adult participation, and greater interest in who was, or was not, participating, further accelerated by the reports of the Kennedy and Tomlinson Committees. The Tomlinson Committee reported in 1996. Its publication, ‘Inclusive Learning’, provided a definition of inclusion based on the best match between individual learning requirements and provision. Instead of focusing on the student’s deficit, colleges ‘… ere encouraged to concentrate their efforts on redesigning courses, learning tasks or environments to help individuals learn more effectively. ‘ (The Independent, 17/08/05). This, alongside the Disability Discrimination Act 1996 meant that the needs of students with learning disabilities were catered for in post 16 education. They were given the support for their diverse needs and requirements to meet their full learning potential. Since the election of a new Labour government, there has been an acknowledgement of the broader aims of education, including social inclusion.
A ‘learning society’ is now seen as a desirable social as well as an economic goal. There is an even greater emphasis on widening participation in all forms of learning provision, including further and higher education. The main policy agency in the field is the Department for Education and Employment, formed in 1995 from a merger of previously separate education and employment ministries. The TEC and FEFC were replaced in 2001 by a combined Learning and Skills Council, responsible for all education and training of young people and adults (outside higher education), including adult education.
The Learning and Skills Council claims it ‘… is committed to improvement of the further education and training sector to raise standards and to make learning provision more responsive to the needs of individuals and employers. ‘ (LSC website www. lsc. org. uk 2010). Their agenda for change programme sets out what they will deliver as our part of government reforms detailed in the 2006 White Paper FE – Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances. Central government currently spends ? 1 billion a year on Lifelong Learning (including further and higher education provision covering young people as well as adults). Key elements of current government policies include: efforts to maximise initial education attainment, particularly in basic literacy and numeracy, basic skills training for adults (especially since the 1999 Moser report on literacy and numeracy), new forms of learning provision and using modern technologies to improve efficiency and access, as epitomised by learndirect.
Many of the new developments were outlined in the Learning and Skills Bill, published at the end of 1999. As it has been identified that there is a definite basic and specific skills shortage nationally so consequently there has been projects to eliminate this. Recent skills audits in England highlight a deficit in basic and intermediate skills among adults. One in five adults has low levels of literacy and almost half have low levels of numeracy. Employers also report deficits in key skills, including working with others; improving own learning and performance; and problem solving.
Other needs include learning for citizenship, for community regeneration and capacity building, and for parenting and family learning. It is specifically evident with those with learning disabilities with whom I work, due to their limited intellectual ability to learn functional skills, they followed a school curriculum that was based on communication and mobility skills as well as therapy needs such as physiotherapy. Therefore their basic skills are limited or non-existent. Due to the deficits in basic numeracy and literacy skills, South Tyneside Council have introduced training in these areas.
This followed evidence shown through poor report writing etc. Most adults in England have a positive attitude to learning. According to the Institute for Employment Studies (2000) ‘… over 90 per cent believe it to be very or fairly important and two-thirds express a desire to learn, although only half expect to actually take part in a learning activity in the near future. ‘ Motivations to learn are mainly vocational: to acquire work-related skills (often initiated by an employer), and generally for an existing rather than a future job.
This is the case with the Disability Awareness course I deliver. Students are sent by their employer, mainly South Tyneside Council to acquire skills of how to work with and address people with disabilities. Other major motivations are intrinsic and intellectual (to acquire knowledge) and social: to meet and interact with others. The majority of the students that I teach and have taught with learning disabilities are very positive towards education and training through internal courses and external training such as attending South Tyneside College.
But as identified earlier, they tend to steer towards more leisure and pleasure based learning such as art and crafts or drama, this may be due to the fact they are not required to have literacy and numeracy skills and so are not set up to fail. Curriculum Evaluation As Kelly (1989, pg 187) states ‘Curriculum evaluation is clearly the process by which we attempt to gauge the value and effectiveness of any piece of educational activity… ‘. Arbitrage et al (1999, pg 194) concurs with Kelly and states ‘Evaluation is about gaining information and judgements about course effectiveness. Educational institutions monitor, evaluate and review their curriculum for a number of reasons; for example, to ensure that the curriculum aims and objectives are being met, previous learning is built on, practiced and applied, and there is provision for continuity and progression. Also as the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (2010) identifies, evaluation of the curriculum needs to be evaluated so that ‘… the curriculum is balanced and offers an appropriate pace of learning and the individual needs of pupils are recognised and fully provided for… ‘.
Working with students with learning disabilities it is essential that the evaluation is a simple tool and uses many visual techniques so that it can be understood by those with little or no literacy skills. In both the citizenship course and disability awareness training that I deliver, both methods of evaluation are qualitative, and as Arbitrage et el (1999, pg 197) states the features of this approach ‘… views the course as a human, social activity, not a scientific experiment… ‘. This format uses methods such as ‘… observation, interviews and questionnaires… (Arbitrage et al, 1999, pg 197) as a way to evaluate the course. These methods are used in my teaching to evaluate the effectiveness of my deliverance and course information. Quoting Geoff Petty (2004) ‘We should seek a win win curriculum that puts the needs of individuals on equal terms with economic and other factors’. We need to continue to develop curricula with the main objective of imparting knowledge and skills on the learners of the future which will hopefully have a positive effect on the social and economic factors in the 21st century. Bibliography Books
Armitage A et al (1999), Teaching and Training in Post Compulsary Education, Open University Press. Blenkin, G. M. et al (1992), Change and the Curriculu, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd. Kelly, A. V. (1989), The Curriculum: Theory and Practice 3rd Ed. , Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd. Petty, G (2008), Teaching Today, Nelson Thornes Ltd. Reece I et al (2007), Teaching, Training and Learning: A Practical Guide, Business Education Publishers. Tight, M (1996), Adult Education and Training, Clays Ltd. Web Institute for Employment (2000), Adult Learning in England: A Review, Available from ; www. mploymentstudies. co. uk ; Accessed 4th March 2010. Learning and Skills Council (2010), What We Do, Available from ; www. lsc. gov. uk ; Accessed 5th March 2010. Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (2010), Curriculum Evaluation, Available from ; www. qcda. gov. uk ; Accessed 7th March 2010. Newspapers Unknown (2005), The Tomlinson Commitee, The Independent, 17th August. Journals Abramson, D. A (1966), Review of Educational Research: Curriculum Planning and Development, Vol. 36, No. 3.