The article of David Squires and Angelique Arrington entitled A Balanced Curriculum: Standards and Assessments for High Performance, presented a conversation-style elaboration of the said topic enabling the readers to have a better understanding of the points from the different perspectives of the people involved in the process.
The article basically emphasized on how two teachers and a principal discussed their curriculum and the methods they utilize in educating the students through lectures and activities and what needs to be improved for the student's better performance in national tests (Squires & Arrington, 1999). In analyzing this article, both its positive and negative implications are taken into consideration.
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The authors basically asserted that after observing a development program introduced in a specific school, pursuing the next step would be to examine the curriculum of the school. In doing so, the discussants will be able to have an overview of how the school is balancing, aligning and assessing their programs to help prepare the students for state exams.
Squires and Arrington asserted that pursuing a balanced curriculum will help children develop their skills and meet their needs to participate in the society.
To be able to achieve a balanced curriculum, teachers and administrators attend a series of workshops wherein the said strategy is elaborated and simulated.
Then, after the realization of the importance of having a balanced curriculum, these people makes an effort to align their planned curriculum with national and state standards involving a series of modifications and compromises to their own standards (Squires & Arrington, 1999).
The balancing process also involves the assessment of the curriculum in two ways: the performance and the format assessments. These two methods were designed to see both the understanding and application of concepts by the students. It is through this last step that the decision-makers examine if they were able to balance their curriculum or not and fix those programs that are not able to complement their expectations.
As stated earlier, the article poses some strengths and weaknesses. For its strengths, in pursuing a balanced curriculum, the teachers and administrators will find it easier to teach their students while at the same time having an assurance that the students understand the lessons and will be able to integrate such learning in their following years.
Moreover, the students will also find it easier to relate to the lessons with an application of the concepts and have a higher chance of performing well in the national exams with the improved preparations made.
On the contrary, applying a balanced curriculum requires a lot of work and policy-making skills especially since it involves the process of aligning and assessments. In addition to that, a great amount of effort is needed in aligning one's curriculum to the national standards and framework.
To be able to enhance the positive manifestations of a balanced curriculum and to be able to transform the weaknesses to something beneficial for the teachers, the decision-makers should really be consistent and eager in pursuing their desired curriculum especially since it requires a lot of studies and thinking. Moreover, the involved people especially the teachers should continue to have a drive in enhancing their curriculum for the welfare of their students.
Lastly, looking back at the article of Squires and Arrington, it is observably an essential and critical study in the development of the teaching methods of teachers and their standards. It is also very important as a basis for other researchers in developing the curriculum utilized by instructors and how the students will be able to cover everything they need for a specific grade level.
Squires, D.A. & Arrington, A. (1999). A Balanced Curriculum: Standards and Assessments for High Performance. Teacher's College Columbia University.
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