Is Bruner's Units of Study Still Relevant to Today's Classroom?
In 1965, Jerome Bruner in The Form of the Course presented six units that he felt were vital to the classroom. 1. Talks to Teachers 2. Queries and Contrasts 3. Devices 4. Model Exercises 5. Documentaries 6. Supplementary Materials To my surprise, as I pondered these six units, I realized that all were still relevant to today's classroom to some degree. I found that, more often than not, it was the examples he provided that outdated his work rather than the principles behind h
Why Priorities Matter in Curriculum Development
This post will discuss my definition of the word “curriculum” and the personal, professional, and educational experiences that led up to this definition. My Definition of Curriculum In my mind, “curriculum” is “priority”. As there is much a teacher could teach, curriculum focuses a teacher on what is essential for their specific group of students. Quality curriculum is flexible enough to support a teacher’s efforts to meet the needs of a single student while standing as a re
The Pros and Cons of Curriculum Mapping for the Language Classroom (Infographic)
Pros of Curriculum Mapping Ideally curriculum mapping can benefit schools in the following four ways: Sets clear overarching priorities. Confirms teachers, staff, and administration all be on the same page. Ensures that state and national standards are met. Helps teachers be organized and make continued progress. Utilizing curriculum mapping can help identify and address the opposing priorities of stakeholders. It helps all recognize common objectives to (ideally) make sure n
Curricular Narrative: My Interview with Debora
This post is one of my assignments for my Curriculum Design course. We were to interview a person about their understanding of curriculum and create a narrative from the exchange. Debora is a loving, genuine, confident Brazilian woman with a strong belief in God. I first met Debora at the end of 2018 when I came to live with her, her family, and several U.S. veterans that reside in their Texas home. Her husband is from Romania and Australia and they have an adorable three-yea
Is There a Quality Curriculum for American Sign Language Instruction?
This is a reflection of my relationship with language curriculum within my milieu of teaching American Sign Language (ASL) and other minority languages. My Teaching Narrative I am largely self-taught (or perhaps, more accurately, “community-taught”). There were no Deaf in my tiny home town. At around 12 years old, I began learning sign language with a printed sign language dictionary. I signed all four gospels in the Bible by signing every word I read - if I did not know a wo
Educative or Miseducative Experiential Learning in the Minority Language Classroom
John Dewey (1938) promoted experiential learning. However, he made clear that not all experience is the same in the classroom; that some are "educative" while others are "miseducative" (p. 8). Experience as Miseducative: This experiential learning is an end to itself. It doesn’t spark a desire to learn more. It doesn’t guide students to a deeper level of understanding and reasoning. It may be enjoyable in the moment, feel progressive in the moment, but does little to further
Has curriculum studies progressed, stopped or regressed in the United States?
It is fascinating to consider the history of education in the United States and how it has shaped curriculum studies. I am new to curriculum discussions, but I see clear evidence of change in how curricula has been implemented in schools just as Pinar (1978) made clear: "If this process of transformation continues at its present rate, the field of curriculum studies will be profoundly different in 20 years time than it has been during the first 50 years of its existence" (p.2
The 3 Purposes Guiding My ASL Curriculum
My milieu is minority language teaching. For today’s discussion, I will focus specifically on the three purposes leading my curriculum in teaching American Sign Language (ASL). Purpose 1: Communication Can my students get to know a Deaf person in ASL? Will what we learn today help my students be able to have meaningful, two-way conversations? Purpose 2: Connection Do my students know ASL well enough to relate, understand, and create empathetic relationships with their Deaf pe
Who Determines What is Worth Learning in the Minority Language Classroom?
My reflections for this post have focused around my milieu of teaching minority languages such as American Sign Language, Hungarian, Spanish, or sign languages from other countries. Who Determines What is Worth Learning? The first curricular issue is summed up in a single question: “Who determines what is worth learning?” UNESCO International Bureau of Education (2016) points out that there are a myriad of stakeholders behind a curriculum: teachers, school administration, emp
What are Effective Methods to Make Learning Relatable for Language Students?
In Elliot W. Eisner’s article, What Does It Mean to Say a School is Doing Well? the author puts forth many questions about standardized educational goals (2001). I will respond to three of these unanswered questions through the lens of my pedagogy as a minority language teacher. Question 1: Can [students] engage in the kind of learning they will need in order to deal with problems and issues outside of the classroom? In the book Bridges Out of Poverty, the authors discuss how