A Curriculum is a program designed to enable the students to have a proper comprehension of the subjects (Kelly, 2012). The curriculum is designed to help teachers know the information the students are supposed to learn in class. It is typically a team job where various experts come together to offer the way forward on how teaching should be done chronologically for the benefit of the students. The curriculum is based on all discipline that students can pursue. It ranges from elementary subjects too much higher ones like those offered in higher education centres. Curriculum drives the way teachers should organize their work to ensure the best training given to the learners (Bobbitt, 2013). It is, therefore, an obligation that curriculum should be followed. However, so often the teachers tend to modify the curriculum to the best knowledge to offer the proper understanding of the concept. It happens at the department level where the teachers in a particular field decide to change one or two topic pattern in the teachings. Above all curriculum provides proper understanding to vital for the student to understand the concept properly. This paper focuses on explaining the evaluation of the effectiveness of kindergarten 2nd-grade communication curriculums and reviews the principles of backward design and standard-based curriculum design models applicable in this curriculum.
Communication curriculum for the kindergarten 2nd grade student has an outcome that it is intent to achieve at the end of the curriculum. The outcomes are the expectation that learners are expected to have the curriculum is being taught (Gargiulo & Metcalf, 2009). Communication curriculum to a student with autism has the following intended outcome.
The student should be able to identify various objects by their names: The curriculum is such that it offers the student an opportunity to be able knowing various objects from the household utensils to farming tools and even reading instrument. The names of the objects are taught and it is up to the students to properly understand them and remember during exercise and assessment. The skills of comprehension and understanding various objects are induced in the learners so that they learn to master components.
The student should differentiate different facial expression that people depicts: The communication curriculum offers the student an opportunity to develop proper understanding of the facial expression that people shows. The concept of various expressions is considered important as it shows how people feel and respond to each other. The curriculum therefore gives the students a window to understanding various feelings and their associated facial expression to depict. With this knowledge, the curriculum equips the learners on how to perceive how other parties feel through the facial presentation.
The student should be able to write accurately. Communication curriculum trains the student on writing what is being taught. The students are expected to have the correct spelling of the words that are learnt. The identification of various objects is coupled to the teaching on how to write them. The students are therefore expected to write the words learnt in communication.
The student should be able to demonstrate components as well as follow instructions: The curriculum expects the student to be able to follow the instruction as stipulated in communication. For example if the student is expected to shade in a certain region, they are required to do so. The students are taught to follow the instruction to a particular set of activity. This builds obedience in the students in both academic and in the society. The students are also expected to learn how to demonstrate and describe various objects. For example, description of the hyena includes speaking about the color, age, and mode of movement among others. This teaches the student to develop a critical analysis of the various objects. This opens up the minds and thinking the ability of the student at grade two.
The curriculum is effective in ensuring that the desired outcomes are attained. The stipulated outcome is coupled to the lessons tailored towards the objective to be attained (Tyler & Hlebowish, n.d). Therefore, as the teachers go through the curriculum, the content being taught to the student brings about the realization of the set outcomes. There is no case where the outcome is expected and yet the curriculum does not have the content to be taught that relates to the outcome. For example, the student at the end of the curriculum is expected to know how to write in English. The curriculum has many of the cases in almost all topics where the students are expected to do writing. They are expected to write down when describing an object of enumerating the difference between two animals like rabbit and chicken. The curriculum therefore offers the content that trains the student to know how to write. At the end of the curriculum, the learners will have done a lot of writing practice and thus will have mastered writing ability that is in line with the outcome desired.
The curriculum has inbuilt pictures and demonstration that are used for teaching. The pictures and demonstration are in the form of the images that the teacher uses to teach the 2nd grade students on communication curriculum. The images are included in the curriculum book for students so that it eases the work to be done. During teaching session, the teacher guides the students in identifying the objects and learning process in a systematic process (Hopkins, 1934). Teaching using images makes the student have an easy time to understand. It enhances the ability to remembers and answer when questioned. The practice of identifying the objects and animals as well as describing them is based on demonstration using the images provided. This works positively in ensuring that the goals of demonstrating objects as well as identify various object is achieved through proper learning via demonstrations.
Lastly, the curriculum is simple for the student to read and understand. Similarly, it is properly organized to ensure a continuous flow of information that enhances the understanding in the students. The curriculum has examples includes providing the guideline for the student. The examples are well explanatory to the understanding of the student. Emphasis and clarification don by the teacher boosts the understanding using the examples given in the curriculum. The curriculum as well has series of exercise that offers practice to the student. The assessment exercises train the student to understand and comprehend the knowledge understood. This translates in the better mastering of the content in communication curriculum among the students with autism.
The curriculum is in line with the curriculum principles since the activities in the curriculum are arranged in order (Bobbitt, 2013). The knowledge from one component is expended on each other. For example, identification of the objects comes first then followed by demonstrating object and differentiating objects. This is orderly unlike when content could be arranged haphazardly (Grant, 2006). Secondly, the curriculum allows the student to assess as depicted in each component. There are series of exercises that students should do to show the level of understanding (Kelly, 2012). The points where it is difficult, then the teacher could cheap in and assist. This leads to a proper understanding of the learnt concept. The curriculum is tailored towards the student gaining knowledge in communication and have the activities and plans integrated into the book to ensure that it is achieved. This aims that the student learns and masters whatever concept included in the curriculum. This is in line with the curriculum principles. Therefore, the communication curriculum largely abides by the curriculum principles.
Backward design of curriculum entails the setting of the goals that need to be achieved before embarking on the teaching and assessing the learners (Fayer & Walker, 2009). It is contrary to the traditional design of learning where the list of topics are given and are taught the way they have been presented. In this design, desired results are stipulated, an appropriate instructional method that supports the desired results is chosen and finally, the activities are planned to ensure that the results are obtained. In communication curriculum for 2nd grade special education allows the teachers to focus on attaining the goals set using appropriate lesson plan. Since the teachers want to achieve the set goals, they focus on it and at the end of it, it helps the student improve the performance of this curriculum.
This curriculum focuses more on ensuring the students gain a lot from a given curriculum (Fayer & Walker, 2009). It focuses on the concept of finishing the given syllabus but concentrates more on achieving the desired outcome from a given curriculum. The lesson plan tailors towards ensuring that the objectives sets are achieved without fault. The plan and activities chosen are appropriate towards the desired goals. This will ensure that the student understands the content in the curriculum. The plan as well as flexible to provide that it caters for different learners at the same time. The lesson activities are enthusiastic to special need student since the teacher picks on the teaching skills that bring the desired goal. It is therefore effective in ensuring students with autism achieve the outcome of communication curriculum.
The curriculum design is too involving. The facilitator needs to be working extra miles to ensure that the objectives are harvested from a given curriculum. It is as well tiresome to keep on changing the lesson plan to suit a particular curriculum. The design may make the facilitator be over ambitious on some of the curriculum set. In this case, the outcome desired may be had to achieve which may turn to be a discouragement to the facilitator. The skills required may be too much to handle many students at a given time. This reduces the number of students that can be handled by one teacher. It is therefore labor demanding.
Standard-based curriculum design
Standard-based curriculum design is where the grading, academic reporting and instruction are given based on the learners' demonstration, understanding, and mastery of the knowledge and skills that are learnt (Boorman, 1996). The curriculum is organized in the form of the units that are then used to teach the students about syllabus. After finishing coursework the learner is assessed based on their ability to remember the content that was taught. Those who merit shows mastering of the content in the curriculum while those who do not justify are expected to redo the curriculum before proceeding to the higher level of education. The design act as a directive in coming up with the units to this curriculum. Similarly, the design necessitates for the assessment to be carried out to demonstrate the level of understanding of the student.
The curriculum ensures that the learners are tested on the level of understanding (Boorman, 1996). This ensures that the learners understand and completely comprehend what is being delivered in class so that they can be able to demonstrate it later during the assessment. The knowledge that the learners obtain is relevant in the application part in life. The design points to the concept that the student with autism has failed to understand. The teacher can therefore find time to revisit those areas not well understood so that emphasis can be offered to those who have not understood.
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