The four models of curriculum described in Curriculum theory and practice are as follows: a body of knowledge/ syllabus to be transmitted, to achieve a product result from students, a process, and lastly as a praxis. Each model of curriculum plays an important role within both the students and the teacher, this results in students being prepared for certain activities and hosting specific details within oneself. With each model of curriculum we encounter both positive and negative aspects.
Beginning with the positives of each model: curriculum as a syllabus to be transmitted brings students the most effective ways of being taught and becoming educated. This is an example of showing both the students and educators that important information can both be given and understood over time and is beneficial to begin at a young age. Curriculum to achieve a product result from students expresses how education can be seen as ‘a technical exercise’ (Smith K. Mark 1999, 2000). Once the preparation exercises are complete an exam may be applied to measure the result. This is a positive model as it gives each student a fair and proper chance to learn and absorb what is being taught. Next, curriculum as a process lies heavily with the understanding that behavioural objectives are highly depended on. The attitudes of students and their desires to learn or understand can either make or break a lesson plan. If the students react just as the teacher expects, the lesson will move smoothly giving the student a positive expectation and outlook on learning. This can be a positive model of the curriculum and different theories on how to handle the behaviours of students. Lastly, curriculum as a praxis ‘a development of the process model’ (Smith K. Mark 1999, 2000). This model reaches beyond what is being taught and shows both the students and educators what it means to connect with experiences, thoughts, and confront conflict/ issues. ‘The praxis model of curriculum theory and practice brings these to the centre of the process and makes an explicit commitment to emancipation. Thus action is not simply informed, it is also committed. It is praxis.’ (Smith K. Mark 1999, 2000). The curriculum is meant to develop and change over time molding to what students need/ should be learning in the present, this helps the students develop interests in subjects and ideas.
Negatives within curriculum are as follows within the four models. Beginning with the syllabus to be transmitted, this can lead to students limiting themselves in what they can learn to just what is outlined for them to learn over the period of their course. Rather than learning the importance of the information that may lie between the subjects, both educators and students learn strictly from what is written in the syllabus. Second, curriculum as a product. Measuring knowledge and behaviour can be difficult and often times not exactly accurate, as the article states ‘It is very often difficult to judge what the impact of particular experiences has been. Sometimes it is years after the event that we come to appreciate something of what has happened’ (Smith K Mark 1999, 2000). This model has the downfall of measuring how successful a child is in that time period based upon the ideas of what others believe they should understood to become successful within the world. The third model is curriculum as a process, having the negative of teachers believing that a lesson will go one way, and not having a backup plan to fall onto if the behaviour in the room is negative or different questions occur that change the lessons core value. Lastly, curriculum as a praxis. This model shows one the negative side of curriculum by not having a clear vision of what should be done or applied to the classroom.
The models of curriculum that were prominent in my schooling experience included all four theories. These models added structure and understanding to my school experience as they were never viewed in a negative way by me personally. Being able to understand and look forward to what was being taught in the classroom was important, especially being able to know what yourself as a student would be learning as the semester moved forward. Moving throughout exercises within the classroom can be challenging based on the learner and what the subject is, but being able to apply an understanding/ connection made it more versatile. Your behaviour, attitude, knowledge, skill, etc., was all taken into account within my school making it comfortable to be measured by what you knew and what you were learning. Curriculum is what we should all be learning from, but there is no harm in learning from things that are not straight from within the curriculum. Curriculum made understanding of what could be built and created from minds within the classroom.
Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000) ‘Curriculum theory and practice’ the encyclopaedia of informal