Thursday, January 21, 2016

Foundational Understandings: Curriculum, Instruction, Theory & Practice

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University.

Can you differentiate between curriculum and instruction?
Levin (2008) stated that "curriculum is an official statement of what students are expected to do". This changes depending on the subject manner, grade level, and abilities of the student(s). Instruction is how an educator assists students in their journey towards understanding.

Levin, B. (2008). Curriculum policy and the politics of what should be learned in 
schools. In M. Connelly, F.M. He, & J. Phillion (Eds.). The SAGE handbook of
curriculum and instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.

What is the relationship between theory and practice?
Ornstein and Hunkins (2013, p. 15) described the interconnectedness of theory and practice as, "The test of good theory is whether it can guide practice. Good practice, in turn, is based on theory." An area of concern addressed by Rempel (2015) discussed the challenge Manitoba curriculum faces in regards to the incorporation of socially receptive programming that is not necessarily backed by strong long-term research; our practice is not being based on theory. Ornstein and Hunkins (2013, p. 16) echo this sentiment by stressing that educators "avoid fads" and ensure that any programming is researched and tested before being implemented at a large-scale.

Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. New Jersey, US: Pearson Education.

Rempel. K. (2015, January 9). Zoom Lecture #1. 02:782 Curriculum planning and materials design and development. Manitoba, Canada: Brandon University.

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