Curriculum Of School


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curriculum of school Pedagogy V Andragogy

Consider the differences between the way in which children and adults learn

Introduction

In this assignment, I intend to consider the possible differences between the way in which children and adults learn. For instance, Piaget believed there to be schemes with four distinct stages of cognitive development.  Between birth and the time a child is ready for school, he/she will pass through two of the four stages.  These stages are the Sensorimotor Stage and the Preoperational Stage. Alternatively, it could be argued that our parents, teachers, and society as a whole condition us, to learn in a particular way, to take our place in society.  This, then in the words of Freire is:

the banking concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the student extends only as far as receiving, filing and storing the deposits. (Freire, 1970)

On the other hand, it is suggested, that adults learn from experience and reflection, therefore, it is the way in which people:

understand, or experience, or conceptualise the world around them. (Ramsden, 1992)  

The focus for them then, is gaining knowledge or ability through the use of experience.

These are two extremes of the spectrum of learning and there are, according to theorists such as Piaget, several stages in-between, these are: sensory-motor, pre-operational, concrete-operational and formal-operational.  I intend to look at these stages in detail in the main body of this assignment. Firstly, I intend to consider the meaning of learning and briefly look at the terms pedagogy and andragogy.


Learning

What is learning?  Learning is a process by which we change our behaviour and understanding.  We learn in many ways.  For instance, the cognitive orientation to learning, this could be said to be how children learn, (see child learning section).  Secondly, there is the humanistic orientation to learning, this could be said to be a personal act to fulfil potential, through experience and reflection.  Finally, we have the social/situational orientation to learning; this refers to the way we are pre-conditioned by society.


Child learning: Pedagogy

Firstly, we will look at the term pedagogy, pedagogy means the art and science of educating children and often is used as another word for teaching.  More correctly, pedagogy embraces teacher-focused education.  In the pedagogic model, teachers assume responsibility for making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, and when it will be learned.  Therefore, teachers direct the learning.  This then, according to Friere (70) is the banking method of education.  This term will be considered in greater depth later in this assignment.

Piaget believed schemes apply the basis for future learning, the earliest schemes setting the stage for constructing new and more sophisticated schemes.  Even in a newborn baby, we can find the simplest of schemes.  For example, infants can suck from a bottle, but they quickly apply this to dummies and thumbs.  Later in life, schemes move from a physical sensory-motor focus to more mental aspects.  Toddlers can imagine blocks for stacking and put them to different uses, and eventually learn number schemes, which allow them to further organise their world in new ways.
Schemes develop in this way:
InfancyToddlerhoodChildhoodAdolescence
Action applied to objects Primarily sensory and motor systemsMental processes for organising action Objects, numbers and spatial relationsMental processes for organising self-concept and awareness. IdentityOrganisation of the abstract Meanings of abstract laws and notions, such as physics, life and origins.

Piaget believed there are four distinct stages of cognitive development.  For a complete explanation of these stages, see the table on Piagets stages of cognitive development.

Stage Age Characteristics
Sensorimotor 0-2 Years Your child will begin to make use of her ability to imitate, to think, and to memorise.  She will begin to realise that objects don't cease to exist when they are out-of-sight.  Her actions will become more goal-oriented, rather than motivated through reflexes.
Preoperational 2-7 Years Your childs language skills will begin to develop. She will be able to think in symbolic forms.  Your child will be able to think mental operations through in one direction.  Your child will have difficulty seeing another persons point of view.
Concrete Operational 7-11 Years Your child will be able to solve concrete, hands-on problems in logical fashion.  She will be able to understand laws of ... more

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Religion In Schools Today

The American Religious Experience

In America today we all have choices to make in regards to our religious beliefs. Many young children are brought up today confused about religion and the significance it plays in their lives. There are many sanctions and rules now on what can and cant be thought or displayed to people on public property, but it wasnt always like this. In this paper I will be discussing the American religious experience in regards to the impact religion has in the public schools.
since 1776 the United States has grown from a nation of relatively few religious differences to one of countless religious groups. This expanding pluralism challenges the public schools to deal creatively and sensitively with students professing many religions and none. The following questions and answers concern religious holidays and public education, a subject often marked by confusion and conflict. Teachers and school officials, as well as parents and students, should approach this discussion as an opportunity to work cooperatively for the sake of good education rather than at cross purposes. School districts developing guidelines about religious holidays will want to base their policies in the shared commitment of respect for individual religious beliefs expressed in the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. This means that public schools may neither promote nor inhibit religious belief or nonbelief. Drafters of such guidelines also will want to take account of the role of religion in history and culture.
Awareness of legal issues is essential in considering religion and public education, but the law does not supply answers to every question. Within the current legal framework, schools-their boards, administrators, teachers, parents, and students-must make many practical decisions regarding religious holidays. This work can be done only by showing sensitivity to the needs of every student and willingness to steer a course between the avoidance of all references to religion on the one hand and the promotion of religion on the other.
You are probably asking yourself what is the courts decision in all of this. The Supreme Court has ruled that public schools may not sponsor religious practices (Engel v. Vitale, 1962; Abington v. Schempp, 1963) but may teach about religion. While having made no definitive ruling on religious holidays in the schools, the Supreme Court let stand a lower federal court decision stating that recognition of holidays may be constitutional if the purpose is to provide secular instruction about religious traditions rather than to promote the particular religion involved (Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 8th Cir., 1980).

As far as religious holidays are concerned the study of religious holidays may be included in elementary and secondary curricula as opportunities for teaching about religions. Such study serves the academic goals of educating students about history and cultures as well as about the traditions of particular religions in a pluralistic society.
When should teaching about religious holidays take place?
On the elementary level, natural opportunities arise for discussion of religious holidays while studying different cultures and communities. In the secondary curriculum, students of world history or literature have opportunities to consider the holy days of religious traditions. Teachers find it helpful when they are provided with an inclusive calendar noting major religious and secular holidays with brief descriptions of their significance.
How should religious holidays be treated in the classroom?
Teachers must be alert to the distinction between teaching about religious holidays, which is permissible, and celebrating religious holidays, which is not. Recognition of and information about holidays may focus on how and when they are celebrated, their origins, histories and generally agreed-upon meanings. If the approach is objective and sensitive, neither promoting nor inhibiting religion, this study can foster understanding and mutual respect for differences in belief. Teachers will want to avoid asking students to explain their beliefs and customs. An offer to do so should be treated with courtesy and accepted or rejected depending on the educational relevancy. Teachers may not use the study of religious holidays as an opportunity to proselytize or to inject personal religious beliefs into the discussion. Teachers should avoid this by teaching through attribution, i.e. by reporting that "some Buddhists believe ..."
May religious symbols be used in public school classes?
The use ... more

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