In what ways should the process of learning and the nature of the learners themselves influence curriculum design?

Essay by richardvanraayUniversity, Master's July 2007

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 99 times

Curriculum design should begin with understanding individual pupils, what motivates them with a desire to understand and give meaning to the environment surrounding them. The choice of content must then be a reflection of these desires that are found to motivate individual students to learn in a way they find interesting and pertinent.

Bruner (1996) says that instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn, as well as being structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student. This can be achieved by what he terms spiral organization, which means building on solid foundations of what is already known and developing a curriculum on that base.

Humphreys' (1971) makes an interesting assertion when he writes of learners and curriculum design, speculating that subject matter, knowledge or skills are not an important goal in the first six grades and can be delayed until the seventh grade.

By the end of the sixth grade, he says it is more beneficial that a child enjoy a subject, than that they know a great deal about it. In this way, perhaps teachers can cultivate students' interest in subjects, motivating them to learn more at an advanced and more developed stage of life, rather than having them see certain subjects or even school in general, as a chore or a bore. Dewey (1916) saw curriculum and the relationship with learners in a similar way and stated that the teacher should be occupied not with subject matter in itself, but in its interaction with the pupil's present needs and capabilities.

Rohwer (1972) has suggested a rule of thumb for the timing and order of instruction in which he recommends that instruction designed to promote definite educational goals should begin after fundamental skills have been...