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Curriculum Theory

Curriculum Theory
Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns

First Edition

September 2007 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns examines the actual curriculum and instructional beliefs that influence the construction, teaching, and administration of curriculum in American schools.

It describes and analyzes four educational visions that have influenced, and continue to influence, American schools and educators. The authors also describe the effects that these competing visions can have on the professional lives of educators over the span of their careers. This provides readers with a sympathetic understanding of the four conflicting visions of curriculum that will enable them to both reflect on their own educational beliefs and allow them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs.

Key Features:

o Presents readers with a clear, sympathetic, and unbiased perspective on the major curriculum philosophies (ideologies, viewpoints, or visions for schooling) that have exerted influence on American educators and schooling over the last century

o Stimulates readers to better understand their own beliefs while also providing them an understanding of the range of alternate ways of thinking about the fundamental goals of education

o Helps educators to more effectively clarify and shape their own curriculum goals, as well as empower them to realize their goals as educators

o Enables readers to more easily accept changes in their own evolving curricular beliefs and pursue new curricular initiatives.

1. Introduction to Curriculum Ideologies
Your Beliefs About Curriculum  
The Curriculum Ideologies  
Curriculum Workers  
The Nature of the Curriculum Ideologies  
2. Scholar Academic Ideology
Scholar Academic Curricula  
Curriculum and the Disciplines  
The Academic Disciplines  
Curriculum Issues  
Historical Context  
The Child  
Concluding Perspective  
3. Social Efficiency Ideology
A Scientific Technique of Curriculum Making  
Programmed Curriculum and the Behavioral Engineer  
The Analogy  
Social Orientation  
Historical Context  
The Child  
Concluding Perspective  
4. Learner Centered Ideology
The Ideal School  
The Growing Individual  
The Learning Person  
The Curriculum: Unit of Work Versus School Subject  
Historical Context  
The Child  
Concluding Perspective  
5. Social Reconstruction Ideology
Sixth-Grade Social Reconstruction Mathematics  
Society and Reconstruction  
Reconstruction Through Education  
Historical Context  
The Child  
Concluding Perspective  
6. A Comparative Overview of Curriculum Ideologies
Comparative Summary  
Other Parameters  
Concluding Perspective  
7. Individual Perspectives on Curriculum Ideologies
Curriculum Life Histories  
Can People Believe in More Than One Ideology?  
Why Do Educators Change Ideologies?  
Concluding Perspective  
Appendix: Curriculum Ideologies Inventory
About the Author

"Provides readers with a clear, sympathetic and unbiased understanding of the four conflicting visions of curriculum that will enable them to more productively interact with educators who might hold different beliefs.  The book stimulates readers to better understand their own beliefs and also to provide them with an understanding of alternate ways of thinking about the fundamental goals of education" —SIRREADALOT.ORG

Savannah Jones

"Schiro (Boston College) has written a text that examines curriculum theory for experience and pre-service educators with the purpose of understanding educational philosohpies or ideologies that they are likely to encounter in their teaching."

H.B. Arnold
University of the Pacific

"Not only are the chapters extremely comprehensive, the organization of the book is extremely thoughtful and provides a variety of activities for the neophyte and experienced teacher."

Colin J. Marsh
Curtin University, Australia
Curriculum Perspectives

“This is the perfect book for both undergraduate and 'graduate' students of education and curriculum studies (yes, graduate students!). In fact, it is one of the best books I have read detailing the four main `ideologies' of curricula, namely, the Essentialist, the Social Efficiency, the Progressive, and the Social Reconstruction models of curriculum.

The back of the book contains the following quotation: "A clear, unbiased, and rigorous description of the major curriculum philosophies that have influenced educators and schooling over the last century..." It is all of this, and more!

(1) It is written to appeal to theorists (academics) and practitioners. Although it is a thorough and in-depth study of the ideologies, it is devoid of dense, academic jargon; the idiom is clear, direct, and accessible (all technical terminology is thoroughly explained). E.g., students and practitioners having difficulty with the convoluted writings of contemporary scholars of curriculum, will find this book a welcome change!

(2) It adopts a `historicist' approach to the presentation of its subject-matter, which means that the author defines and analyzes the various `ideologies' in light of their contextual emergence and importance. This book is not simply presenting `facts' for memorization; the positions `live,' as it were, as historical realities!

(3) It provides the rigorous foundational knowledge needed in order for students to truly grasp the writings of contemporary philosophers of education and curriculum studies, e.g., when juxtaposing these `ideologies' a student sees more clearly `why' it is that proponents of the `scholar academic ideology' are opposed to the `child-centered ideology.' This allows the student to situate the views of Adler and Dewey within a legitimate historical context, which emerge as a product of a particular ideological world-view, of which education and curriculum are inextricably a part.

If you're a curriculum planner, evaluator, advocate, developer, or burgeoning theorist, you must have this book! “

J.M. Magrini
Adjunct Professor Philosophy and Ethics, College of Dupage, USA

I've been teaching courses on curriculum for many years and see Schiro's Curriculum Theory as a valuable reading, in particular for my 4th year teacher education students. What I like in particular about the book, apart from the content itself, is how well the book is structured and organized.

Dr Anna Olafsdottir
Department of Education, University of Akureyri
June 21, 2015

A good book for teachers and students of education. Creative and innovative way of presenting and rather difficult and conflicting visions of curriculum.

Dr Seidu Salifu
Teacher Training, NESCOT
October 12, 2011

clearly describes the major curriculum philosophies which have infulenced the education system for many years

Mr Noel Ronan
Culinary Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
August 30, 2011

This text draws the curtain back and reveals what is going on behind the scenes in education, in a very readable and practical way. It makes very clear the comparison between different curriculum ideologies, presenting the information objectively. Anecdotal examples help the reader relate the theory to their practice and add interest. Titles of wide ranging additional relevant reading materials are provided. Really good to have the extension activities available online. My students really engaged with the realisation of the different ideologies that underlie what they are teaching, and some have described how this is impacting positively on their practice as they experiment with adapting their planning and delivery. They have become much more aware of their potential influence on their students when considering the different perspectives presented by Schiro. An excellent resource for trainee teachers.

Ms Maggie Young
Education, Isle of Man College
November 2, 2010

offers easy to follow categories on major movements in curriculum but the level is more suited for undergraduate or possibly M.Ed. not doctorate level.

Dr Alan Stoskopf
Education Dept, Northeastern University
November 24, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5

Chapter 7

Schiro Web Extension Activities

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Michael Stephen Schiro

Michael Stephen Schiro has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He received his bachelorate from Tufts University and his doctorate from Harvard University. In the 1960’s he worked for school desegregation n North Carolina. In the 1970’s he worked to improve urban education in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was chair of the Department of Teacher Education and School Administration at Boston College in the 1980’s. He specializes in mathematics education and curriculum theory, and taught courses in mathematics education, curriculum theory, computer education, literacy, and multicultural education at Boston College from 1974... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412953153