1. Process models of curriculum Process-based approaches to curriculum theory tend to be focused less on summative activity – the ultimate grades, the end-point assessments, while the grading and achievements related to them – than utilizing the pathway which learners take though a training course.

In which a learner has been supported in an one-to-one situation because of identified particular learning difficulties, there may be active engagement by what will be covered within the sessions for maximum impact and usefulness associated with support worker being a resource.    

Though there might be a each and every day definition of ‘curriculum’ which we might take to refer to the contents of a course, curriculum can shift meaning based on context, and that the curriculum for a provided course is available to reinterpretation and also to being experienced in various means, depending on those contexts.  

What are the most prominent models of curriculum?

Curriculum studies is really a long-established facet of pedagogical enquiry, and whole books can very easily be written about curricula in theory, and how theoretical and philosophical facets of education interact with the practical facets of teaching. This area explores the fundamentals of three significant conceptualisations of curricula: curriculum as process, as product, and as praxis.

1. Process models of curriculum

Process-based approaches to curriculum theory tend to be focused less on summative activity – the final grades, the end-point assessments, while the grading and achievements related to them – than utilizing the pathway which learners take though a training course. For process-oriented thinkers, the journey may be the main concern, rather than the destination. 

You’ve probably come across phrases like «  »distance travelled » » (a measure of the improvement over time a learner indicates) or «  »value added » » (often utilized in talking about the boosts given to the qualitative facets of a educational experience) in teaching before (Tummons, 2012). Such terms are process-centric in that they have been regarding learners’ subjective experience of learning, and of qualitative measures of this educational experience. As such, there is, as a whole terms, a qualitative impetus to process models of curricula which can be contrasted utilizing the more quantitative focus of product-oriented models.

That is not to express that process models of curriculum are not worried about the end results of learning, but that this may be a group of concerns which can be placed as being of secondary relevance to that particular associated with actual learning activities by themselves. This makes a type of sense: if you undergo a year-long course, then what is the more crucial: the ultimate assessment, or the entire year spent studying to get to that final point? Both are worth focusing on and neither is dismissed, but there is a logic to your position that the course-long experience is of significance, and really should be considered a priority of focus.

Process models originate with Laurence Stenhouse – in his 1975 book An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development, he argued that there were three aspects to curricula:

Stenhouse’s focus ended up being on curriculum development as learner-centric, by having an additional focus on the autonomy associated with individual teacher in effecting learner development; curricula should therefore be perhaps not overly prescriptive, and now have latitude built in to ensure diverse methodologies and assessments may be used at the educator’s discretion (Stenhouse, 1975). Possibly naturally, process-oriented conceptualisations are popular within education because they privilege the practice of teaching, and place a value on the professional judgement associated with educator, while supporting the cognitive development of learners.why is accounting information important in business essay

2. Product models of curriculum

in which a process-centric conceptualisation of curriculum enquiry is centred in the holistic experience of the learner, and on the teacher’s role in supporting the pupil and their development, models of curriculum which are product-oriented are centered on destinations as opposed to on journeys. Indeed, alternative terms with this form of approach include ‘objectives model’; central to product models of curricula are questions related to accomplishment and to learner competencies after having completed the span of instruction.

A prominent early educationalist who is linked to the development of the product model being a curriculum paradigm is Ralph Tyler. Tyler’s 1948 paper Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction asked four sets key questions which remain the bedrock of product-based curriculum enquiry:

Tyler argued that the greater rigorous and clear the curriculum ended up being, the greater it may be scrutinised to assess its effectiveness, while the more apparent the problems that might lead to underperformance in assessment terms may be.

There are lots of positives that can easily be related to product models of curriculum. Achievements are essential, and clarity in curriculum design, as well as in aims and objectives which lend by themselves to measurable determination of their being satisfied or otherwise means that there might be data-driven analysis associated with effectiveness or otherwise of a span of instruction (or of its delivery with a particular institution/teacher). Outcomes-based measurement might be comparatively straightforward, in that an outcome either has or is not met, or perhaps a cohort is above or below the national average, however it inevitably downplays the significance while the detail of a qualitative-informed analysis.

3. Praxis models of curriculum

Praxis, within the sense of critically-informed practice, is definitely an element of educational and philosophical inquiry into education. Praxis-focused conceptualisations of curriculum focus on the notion that curricula are made and taught not only out of unquestioning obedience, or through managerial diktat, but because you will find facets of teaching which accord utilizing the individual’s philosophical or political attitudes to the planet.

Teaching isn’t value-free, while the curriculum may similarly be imbued with social and cultural jobs that have moral significance. Sometimes these are more overt than others. A training course in religious education may have curriculum elements which foster the respect of most faiths, for instance. That is not to express that all teaching is driven by the imperative of setting and reinforcing values encoded into curricula, though there might be an element of the to a person’s teaching practice. Similarly, there might be aspects of a training course to that the teacher may raise objections of 1 kind or another, and this may influence the ways in which that topic or position is introduced or discussed within the class environment. The degree to which that is appropriate may depend on the topic, topic, and context of teaching (Kelly, 2009).

No-one would wish to be taught by someone who doesn’t have some form of personal enthusiasm or other investment inside their subject and its communication to learners, as well as in the support of developing those learners towards accomplishment in terms referable back to the curriculum.  

Alternatives and synthesis of models

You may believe the three models of curriculum outlined in this area are not readily separated. You will find facets of product, praxis, and of process that have usefulness to us as educators; each informs the educational journey, underpinning moral and cultural conditions, and outcomes of our learners. However, by separating away different factors of enquiry into curriculum-related issues, all these jobs seeks to explore them in more detail, as well as stressing the relevance of every aspect to us. These are not either/or choices to produce, but approaches which a individual teacher may privilege regarding a particular curriculum may realistically and pragmatically draw from each mode of analysis outlined above.

exactly why is it vital that you develop and streamline curricula?

It is possibly unavoidable that curricula will change over time. For example, in 2016, there was controversy over the withdrawal of some A level programmes including history of art, archaeology, and classical civilisation courses at this level (Weale, 2016). There are many parameters to decisions including the one outlined above. There is an economic argument on one hand for cutting, and political and cultural arguments in the side of retaining the courses.

The great majority of curriculum decisions are not made at the amount of course removal, of course, but you will find multiple variables which may be at play. Some decisions may be straightforward, and reflect new knowledge, or the developing consensus on subject-related content at that time. Political considerations might be invoked; the development of curriculum strands fostering positive attitudes towards diversity, inclusiveness, and tolerance in civil society not just reflect contemporary moral values, but also work to ensure that education is compliant with equality legislation. Economic parameters might suggest instructions in education; not only in providing the skills demanded by industry and commerce in the workforce, however the competencies in wider society which foster engagement with the economic realities of times. Successive drives towards embedding key and functional numeracy and literacy skills into curricula happen related back to industry demands for a literate and numerate workforce at all levels (Gatto and Moore, 2002).

additionally questions of relevance and of making education palatable to learners. Reading lists are often refreshed, while the primary texts studied in English classes at all levels consistently revised to provide what’s thought to be not just a grounding in literature and popular culture, but additionally an expression of society because it exists. Commercial interests may also play a part in curriculum design. A lot more than ever before, learners are conceptualised as customers- the curriculum needs to be appealing to possible students, perhaps not least when those prospective learners may be dealing with loans to finance their educational experience. 

Curricula are not live documents, but they need to be flexible and responsive over time to your contexts in which that education experience is provided.


Gatto, J.T. and Moore, T. (2002) Dumbing us down: the hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling. 4th edn. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers.

Kelly, A.V. (2009) The curriculum: theory and practice. 6th edn. London: SAGE Publications.

Oxford English Dictionary (2016) Definition: Curriculum. Offered at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/curriculum (Accessed: 12 November 2016).

Schiro, M. (2012) Curriculum theory: conflicting visions and enduring concerns. 2nd edn. London: SAGE Publications.

Smith, M. (2013) Curriculum theory and practice. Offered at: http://infed.org/mobi/curriculum-theory-and-practice/#process (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

Stenhouse, L. (1975) An introduction to curriculum research and development. London: Heinemann Educational.

Tummons, J. (2012) Curriculum studies within the lifelong learning sector. 2nd edn. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Tyler, R. (1948) Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. Offered at: http://blogs.ubc.ca/ewayne/files/2009/02/tyler_001.pdf (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

UNESCO (2016) Different meanings of ‘curriculum’. Offered at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-systems/quality-framework/technical-notes/different-meaning-of-curriculum/ (Accessed: 12 November 2016).

Weale, S. (2016) Scrapping of archaeology and classics a-levels criticised as ‘barbaric act’. Offered at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/oct/17/scrapping-archeology-classics-a-levels-barbaric-tony-robinson (Accessed: 13 November 2016).


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Welcome to chapter 12 of the ‘Approaches to Education’ module. By now, you ought to have realized that many of the theories we now have dissected throughout this module overlap dramatically with each other, and that several are underpinned by similar ideas about education. Teaching in a class might imply that you’re utilising several different theories at one time. This chapter aims to examine where these theories intersect and to provide some discussion on how this could easily work in practice.   

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Learning Objectives with this Chapter

By the end of the chapter, we wish you:

Historical Background

to be able to have a full knowledge of SEN, it is critical to have a grasp associated with historical history to the definition and attitudes towards people who experience learning difficulties. Educational practice is impacted by different models of disability, the primary two being the medical model while the social model.


The medical model regards disability being a personal issue that has its root in particular conditions, disabilities or health problems that can easily be improved through medical intervention or some type of rehabilitation measure (Hedlund, 2009), instead of thinking about the needs of any one or number of individuals who are affected (Burke and Cigno, 2000). Hedlund (2009) observes that this view of disability focuses purely in the issues of every individual condition in order to formulate some sort of diagnosis as to just how their issues may be improved. This view is rooted within the a few ideas put forward the 20th century which saw people viewing individuals purely within the light of the difficulties and their restrictions. Alfred Eicholz grouped needs into three particular types: mentally deficient, physically defective and/or epileptic and retarded. The education for the ‘mentally deficient’ ended up being provided away from their peers and conventional schooling, frequently in the country where they learnt skills concerning practical farm work, in that it had been thought they were less inclined to do any harm (Haskell and Barrett, 1993). This treatment is comparable to the manner in which the containment of any contagion is approached, in that individuals were separated from society ( a kind of quarantine) utilizing the problem of disability being contained, therefore reducing any harm (Hedlund, 2009). The ‘physically defective and/or epileptic’ were placed on a strict, medically supervised diet in residential facilities, being shown basic life skills. People who seemed physically healthy but less able than others were labelled as being ‘retarded’; these individuals were taught in special schools on a day-to-day basis, being supplied with teaching and learning exercises which were made to help them to overcome their problems to facilitate the joining of conventional schools (Haskell and Barrett, 1993).

This model regards disability as preventing individuals’ ability to work, as a result of health issues or injuries. The really fact that terms such as ‘retarded’, ‘mentally deficient’ and ‘defective’ were used imply that individuals were in some manner broken and were in need of repair to become ‘normal’. It had been believed that the normalising process might be facilitated through training programmes or aids, and that an individual’s situation might be improved by their practising, to be able to hone their abilities such that they might make some sort of valid contribution to society whilst protecting by themselves against their impairments or problems which were caused by their disability (Beith et al, 2008; Hedlund, 2009). Labelling of this sort stayed utilized in the Education Act of 1944. The handicapped were grouped in 11 distinct categories by doctors who used «  »… pseudo diagnostic labels such as ‘educationally subnormal' » » (Topping and Maloney, 2005, p.3) inside their explanations of every category. Whilst this Act ensured that folks that has any form of disability were eligible for special education, it did label them as ‘suffering.’

This model has been the topic of criticism resulting from its emphasis upon the person while the problems they face, instead of looking at their abilities and what they are able to do in spite of their difficulties. It precludes any consideration, because of a ‘diagnosis’, of an individual’s possible, and highlights society’s shortcomings with regard to providing opportunities for individuals who have any form of disability.


The move towards challenging these long-held ideas included a shift within the focus of attention from a deficit viewpoint to 1 of focusing on «  »… social oppression, cultural discourse, and environmental barriers » » (Shakespeare, 2006, p. 197). In the uk, the social type of disability has provided an analysis associated with social exclusion of disabled people (Hasler, 1993), with this model developing from the work associated with Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation [UPIAS]. The expressed aim of the group was to make sure that a person with any form of impairment be afforded the opportunity to live individually and also to have control of the own life through having the ability to take part in, and contribute to, society. In conjunction with the pressure placed upon government by the Liberation Network of People with Disabilities, the British Council for Disabled People ended up being established in 1981.

The first challenge for the UPIAS was to redefine disability. They argued that disability ended up being something which ended up being imposed upon them, along with their impairments, as a result of their denial of access to full and meaningful participation in society. This designed, so far as these people were concerned, that disabled people were being oppressed (UPIAS, 1975). They defined disability as «  »… the disadvantage or restriction of activity the result of a contemporary social organisation which takes little or no account of people who have physical impairments and therefore excludes them from participation within the conventional of social activities » » (UPIAS, 1975 cited in Shakespeare, 2006, p. 198). It is critical to recognise that lots of supporters associated with social model attest to your accuracy and credibility associated with statements and views which were produced by the UPIAS, in the present socio-political environment (Shakespeare, 2006).

when it comes to education, the first impact associated with social model ended up being observed in the Warnock Report (1978), which fashioned the essential principles associated with 1981 Education Act. Warnock’s document considered a young child’s individual needs whilst still providing general classifications covering their particular problems and issues. Learning problems were sectioned off into four categories – mild, moderate, severe and particular – with these being suggested to be able to help inform educators and neighborhood Education Authorities (LEA) as to the most useful way of supporting children throughout the educative process. This aspect of the report ended up being critical in that it reported that almost all children with SEN would need to be identified and provided for in conventional schools. Furthermore, the Warnock Report (1978) claimed that up to 20% of all children would want some type of support throughout their time at school, thus the focus on the implementation and tabs on the 200+ suggestions contained within it.

The Education Act (1981) was a watershed in terms of providing a definition for special needs. This were understood to be «  »a learning difficulty which requires special educational provision to be produced » » (Education Act, 1981, 1.1). Special educational provision ended up being understood to be learning opportunities that were arranged as well as the activities supplied by the LEA. This Act placed the duty for the education of these with special needs in the hands of conventional schools, who were to be supplied with additional help via additional monies and/or materials and support (personnel) through Statements of Special Educational Need.

The effectiveness of this model is in its ease – it is easily explained and understood, and generates debate as well as demanding social change. Through this debate, it identifies most of the social barriers which need to be removed, with Oliver (2004) commenting that it’s not only a theory but an effective tool with which to generate change. It’s a model which focuses upon social oppression while the moral duty of society to alter itself, so that disabled individuals are able to engage more with it. In addition, the social model has had a positive effect on the self-esteem of disabled people which allows them to create a personal contribution to society.

Its weaknesses range from the proven fact that there is no acknowledgement that an individual’s impairment has an effect on a disabled individuals life. In addition, it creates a clear distinction between the impairment (medical) itself and disability (social), the differences between which are even more difficult to differentiate in real life. The idea also does not recognise that, no matter how much change is initiated, a barrier-free life for those who are disabled is impossible to put into operation in its entirety; for instance, every person needs to have the ability to read and write to some extent so that they are able to take part in everyday activity (Shakespeare, 2006).

Learning Issues, Strategies and Inclusion

The following section aims to discuss learning problems to be able to give a better knowledge of a few of the difficulties faced by individuals who have special needs and how educators support them inside their development and learning.

Employing different and/or separate techniques with SEN pupils ensures that they have equality of opportunity (Equality Act, 2010) to your curriculum which promotes a far more inclusive environment within the sense that they’re able to access similar material as their peers, albeit in a slightly modified kind. Different approaches allow children to build up their communication and connection skills, which are enhanced when you are in conventional education. The inclusion of these with learning problems in conventional schools offer opportunities for improvements to be created using their social skills – the other children also take advantage of connection with people who have problems, in that they can develop a sense of empathy because of their issues and embrace their differences which promotes a sense of unity and equality. It should be noted that lots of associated with approaches that can easily be adopted with SEN pupils may also be used to good effect with other students.

The drive for inclusion of most children is evidenced within paperwork produced by the DfE while the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). The DfE (2014) particularly declare that teachers should, in most their dealings with pupils, be familiar with the equal opportunities legislation which covers competition, sex, disability, belief or religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, and pregnancy and maternity. It has additionally recently updated the SEN Code of Practice (DfE/DoH, 2015) to ensure all children and young adults get access to the support they might require from their early childhood right through until the age of 25, which also provides links to your Children and Families Act (2014) while the Special Needs and Disability Regulations (2014). Ofsted make its contribution through ensuring, as part of their examination of schools, that the needs of those designated as having SEN are increasingly being met, inclusive of instance studies involving pupils with disabilities and SEN. Clearly, there’s a commitment to providing the most useful possible begin in life for people who experience learning difficulties of any kind.

This commitment also reaches placing individuals who have special needs within the correct spot: it won’t always be the scenario that their needs are best met through mainstream schooling through limitations in budget, staffing and also the physical environment. Where a person’s condition is very severe or requires more professional support, provision inside a special school might become more appropriate for them. Inclusive practice involves finding appropriate solutions for every individual pupil, by treating them as someone and placing them in the centre associated with educative process.


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