Reassessing Curriculum Development: Top 3 Factors to Consider
Curriculum Development is the process of developing a course that is taught at a school. Every school or university has a unique approach to its design. However, the basic structure of the design remains the same, which includes researching, building, execution, and judgment.
This article discusses, in detail, the points that influence the decision of its development, such as:
- Role of technology in curriculum
- Reassessing curriculum development as per new age requirements
- Factors to consider when redesigning the curriculum
A curriculum is important for both teachers and students. It helps teachers adopt reasonable teaching approaches and it helps students study and learn in an organized manner.
As technology is infusing more and more into education and students are being introduced to different learning styles, there is a need to reassess the curriculum with regard to new age requirements.
It is also important to focus on making students career ready. There is indeed a new school of thought, which says that learning should be such that it can help students be job-ready right after high school graduation. It can be beneficial for those students who might not want to pursue higher education or may not have a financial background to support them.
Introducing technology in education is another trend that is on the rise. Everything is becoming tech-enabled. So, why not education?
Many institutions and schools are indeed welcoming technology with open arms, but many are still a bit skeptical about using educational technology.
Technology and Curriculum Development: Correlation
Redesigning Curriculum and Inclusion of Technology: Relationship
Technology and education go hand in hand. With the help of technology, many people have access to education. If we look back at past years, we find that there were fewer opportunities for people to learn something new. Now, thanks to edtech, we can learn an endless number of things with just a click.
In our industry discussion webinar, we had the opportunity to talk to the edtech specialist at PowerSchool, Jessica Aurilio. She shared her insightful opinions about integrating technology in education and the need to redesign the course.
According to her, “When reassessing the curriculum development, it is important to make sure to take into account that every student is not the same. I saw students who are performing great and getting good grades in online learning as well as those students who used to get straight A’s, but now, are not getting technology”.
Reevaluating the Curriculum by Incorporating Technology in Education
Increasing Importance of AI Education in Curriculum
According to Forbes, 2023 is the year of AI Education. AI has entered into K-12 education. There has been a rise in AI programs with books and courses exclusively focusing on elementary and high-school students.
As science projects, students are building robots and apps involving machine learning.
Government is also on board with introducing AI to the students. They have started introducing AI Frameworks, such as the United States AI Bill of Rights, European Union’s AI Act, etc.
AI driven technologies are helping students develop skills and succeed in the job market. Infusion of technology in education is making sure that every student receives quality education, which would help them become career ready.
Assessing the Curriculum as per the New Age Requirements
Currently, a lot of moderation can be seen in the education sector. Educators are brainstorming on different methods and styles to be added to make teaching and learning more interactive and engaging.
The biggest change that has happened in a long time is that the focus on what to teach has now shifted to how to teach. Moreover, we can also see a push in certain schools and universities towards conducting career-related sessions for students to succeed in their future professions.
Experts’ Opinions Regarding Redesigning the Curriculum Development to Make Students Career Ready
Alex Lochoff and Jessica Aurilio during an industry panel discussion co-hosted by Evelyn Learning Founder and CEO Praveen Tyagi and Content Analyst Tavleen Kour
In our industry discussion webinar, we had another guest speaker, Alex Lochoff, director of Edpuzzle. He too shared his brilliant perspectives on developing the module according to new age requirements.
Alex said that the biggest change he has seen is not in the topics we’re teaching, but rather how it’s been taught and this is now formalized in many of the newer standards which come under the Common Core.
The Common Core used to cover content standards only. Now, it covers practice standards too. Content standards include all the topics that should be taught to students, whereas practice standards include everything other than lecturing. Practice standards include exercises such as explaining, reasoning, debating, and critiquing.
These standards help students develop skills for their prospective future profession and get them ready to seize all career opportunities.
Also Read: Common Core Standards and its Significance
Top Three Factors to Consider When Redesigning the Curriculum
Considering restricted and banned content as per policy standards
In the session 2021-22, some state and national groups protested to ban and remove some books from the school courses. The books that were targeted for removal included topics such as sex education, LGBTQ+ rights, racism in American history, and more.
According to PEN America, 674 banned books had LGBTQ based titles and protagonists who belonged to this community. Moreover, 358 banned books include the topic of sex education and 357 books address the issue of racism.
Data from PEN America
PEN America considered this movement of banning books deeply undemocratic. It is taking away rights from students who want to learn a diverse range of opinions and perspectives. Moreover, it is unfair to all those parents who want their children to gain knowledge, be more curious, and have a freedom to read.
Many teachers and parents are raising their voice against the book bans and asking to include the restricted content back into the classrooms.
Emerging Technology in Education
In one of our industry discussion webinars, Alex Lochoff said that both teachers and technology have important roles in education. However, there are some areas where edtech fits better in the curriculum. He gave a really nice example of his students.
“I asked two of my students to make a square. One draws it quickly and the other takes out his ruler and draws it perfectly. These two types of students want edtech, so they can study at their own pace”, says Alex.
There has been an increase in the usage of AR/VR and AI in education. According to Education Week, expenditure in edtech has increased after the pandemic. Many schools are inclining more towards online learning.
Upsurge in Expenditures of Edtech Market (USD Billions)
Last year, Evelyn published an industry report, “2023 Trends and Forecasts on Learning Effectiveness”, where we asked top educators and experts about the engagement of parents in curriculum design.
53.85% of experts agree that the role of parents is essential in classroom decisions and curriculum development. Also, 46.15% of experts believe that educators have experience and they have a deeper understanding of the wants and needs of their students.
Involvement of Parents: Different Opinions
When talking about parental involvement in the industry panel discussion, Jessica said that educators want parents to be involved in the decision-making process. Both parents and teachers are a team who want nothing, but the best for their children. However, she thinks that curriculum development is not an area where parents should have opinions.
Insights of Edtech Experts from the Industry Discussion on Curriculum Development
As edtech is placing its foot in the education industry, educators and developers must not forget that teaching and learning is a human activity. It is multifaceted and important for child development.
“Although in some ways, technology can do better than a teacher, in some ways, a teacher could do better. ” – Alex Lochoff, Curriculum Director at Edpuzzle.
Every student is different and has a different approach to learning. The task is to add different learning styles in the course to support each and every student.
“There are different learning styles for different people and nationalities. The task of developers is to hit all the different modalities of these styles to engage the students’ ‘ – Jessica Aurilio, edtech specialist at PowerSchool.
A Space to Think : Is Inclusion Of Technology in Curriculum Responsible for Distraction?
Students use laptops, but not for studying entirely. According to Pew Research Center, more than half of US teens claim that they are online almost every time. Moreover, the most famous social media platforms among teens are TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
In this survey, many teenagers agreed that they use social media platforms too much and claimed that it would be very tough to give it up.
Apart from this, many parents and educators are concerned about their child’s excessive screen time, which is not good for their mental as well as physical health. In our previous newsletter, Edtech Industry’s Health 2023, we addressed the issue of excessive screen time among children and teenagers.
Changing Focus From ‘What To Teach’ to ‘How To Teach’
Every profession, teaching, engineering, graphic designing, etc. is a valid and valuable career path. What educators can do in creating or developing the curriculum is that they can prepare students to succeed in any of the professions they choose.
As the focus is inclining more and more towards how to teach rather than what to teach, teachers must adopt different learning styles in their teaching methods.
For visual learners, teachers must include pictures, diagrams, and educational videos in their teaching methods. For auditory learners, it is important to add educational podcasts in the classroom. They can also record their lectures for better results. Teachers must conduct question and answer sessions as a classroom activity. It is important to add different learning and teaching styles to engage students in studies and make them feel comfortable at whatever they are doing.
Reassessing curriculum is not an easy task. Developers work very hard to create a particular design that is enough to cover different topics and a wide variety of learning styles. A course needs to have a set number of goals and objectives. This will help learners make progress and achieve nothing, but success in their careers.