What is curriculum? Well, according to Ornstein and Hunkins (2009), there are many different ways to define curriculum. In other words, there is no “one” answer for curriculum.
Curriculum is broadly defined in many readings. However, the philosophy of curriculum that I gravitate toward is that curriculum should be academic and humanistic. Curriculum should be academic because students need to know and understand core subject areas in order to become productive members of society.
The “basics” I believe change over a period of time depending on the era. Thirty years ago, students didn’t need to understand technology, while today students need to be masters of technology in order to survive in the workplace. Therefore, in the year 2011, technology should be a “basic.”
Secondly, curriculum should be humanistic. In order to teach to the “whole child,” educators need to value each child’s experiences. These experiences will allow the educator to understand the learner and where he or she is in their development. This will allow the educator to teach the child real-life applications that they will need later on in adulthood.
Society expects educators to prepare children for their future. What do I mean by the future? Children must understand that there are certain expectations for them once they leave high school. They are expected to work and be productive members of our society. No “taxpayer” wants to pay for an adult in prison because as educators we did not teach them what was expected of them in the world. In order to do so, we must take into account where the child is socially and emotionally. We must pay attention to the “whole” child if we want to positively impact a child in their adult life.
It is essential that we are paying attention to all aspects of each child we encounter in our school. According to Ornstein and Hunkins (2009), “Education must focus on the personal and the interpersonal…the student’s self-concept, self-esteem and personal identity are essential factors in learning.” (p. 9)
In conclusion, I believe that curriculum should be based upon teaching students the academics and using the child’s experiences to teach real-world applications. Therefore, my educational philosophy is to embrace the whole child and teach them the fundamental concepts while keeping in mind their life experiences in order to prepare our students to be productive members of society.
Ornstein, A, & Hunkins, F. (2009). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. Boston, MA: Pearson.