Curriculum Analysis

Throughout this course, you will learn about important questions that curriculum theorists ask as they consider the stakeholders impacted by school practices and try to understand the historical, political, social, legislative, and economic aspects of various curricula. This assignment gives you an opportunity to determine which questions you think are most important and to apply them to your own life as an education professional.

Begin by coming up with a list of what you believe to be the five most important questions that curriculum theorists ask. Explain why you have selected those questions.
Next, gather the grade-level or subject-area curriculum used at your school. (The curriculum is online and access will be provided).
Finally, use the five questions you constructed to analyze your school curriculum, keeping in mind that some parts of curriculum are not always stated in curriculum documents, they are also hidden, tested, expressed in textbooks, etc. In other words, you should “answer” the questions you chose using school curriculum materials and practices, pointing to particular examples to bolster your claims. As you answer the questions, probe deeply to analyze, endorse, and/or challenge the curriculum, taking into account elements of historical context that may influence the curriculum. Consider its impact on various stakeholders and the larger purposes the curriculum aims to fulfill. Use at least three of the theorists (their ideas, questions, and concerns) we’ve read in class to help you probe into the questions you’ve posed. Answering the questions is not just gathering objective, straightforward facts, but rather making normative judgments about the curriculum and its implications. Theorists we have learned about are J. Dewey, W. Au, Henry Barnard, Anne O’Connor, F. Bobbitt, R. Tyler, E. Eisner, Bob Peterson, and J. Popham. Some readings are attached.

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As you work, please also remember that standards and curriculum are not exactly the same. See brief video here if you’d like to learn more about the distinction: What’s the Difference? Standards vs Curriculum

Additional optional resources that may be of use to you:
Briefly review the changes occurring to the Ohio standards right now to consider their relationship to the Common Core at Ohio Learning Standards
Another helpful series of videos that introduce the CCSS and discuss how it was created and how it should be implemented is available online. Start at the website below, then look for other videos produced by the organization on the right side of the screen to find aspects of the Common Core that relate most to your interests: Common Core State Standards: A New Foundation for Student Success (Stand Alone)
Familiarize yourself with the most recent changes to standards and assessment resulting from the new Every Student Succeeds Act at: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Summary

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