This curriculum plan is meant to provide meaningful learning experiences to K-5 students of Bronx Studio School. As a matter of fact, it is based on the state of New York educational standards, but most importantly it is tailored to the unique academic needs of the school community who apparently happen to be in a high-needs situation. The young students, K-5 have been observed to be experiencing great challenges in coping with learning demands in their respect grades. Basically, Bronx Studio School is currently considered a high-need school, a title it earned starting from a few years ago.
The root cause of this curriculum mess has been the prevailing culture of aloofness among the school’s key stakeholders that ostensibly has gradually grown over the recent years. Precisely, the school management whose one of the key responsibilities is to ensure that all the key stakeholders are actively engaged in all the school matters has terribly been failing in this key area over the years. As a result there has been an evidential rift between the members of the teaching staff and the parents’ body for a period not less than two years in a row.
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As a matter of fact, the school leadership under the former principal was somehow lax in getting the parents informed in good time about the school plans and programs and hence it became a problem in getting them to support such programs whether financially or morally. For that reason, a lax culture was built among the parents fraternity. Again, the relationship between the entire teaching staff and the school principal was also on a frosty situation, the principal seemed aloof with their concerns making them feel as if they were on two parallel programs.
Furthermore, this lack of concern on the welfare and competencies of the teaching staff culminated into a state of professional limbo where teachers stopped attending in-service as well as refresher courses as recommended by the state board of education (Wagner and Keegan, 2005). Ultimately, it was very hard to address the real issues pertaining to the smooth discharge of meaningful instructions experiences to the young and needy students.
Overall, the implementation of the curriculum became a problem as most of the times the students inherent needs and interest were barely addressed making them to grow apprehensive and frustrated by this apparent aloofness. In fact, it was by sheer luck that the school managed to survive the set state educational standards though it terribly failed to meet them on a number of occasions prompting the education board to put it on a high-needs alert in bid to get the mess sorted (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005).
Even so, at the moment the major stakeholders seem to have realized their shortcomings and have now expressed their concern to working together as a team at least to turnaround this looming academic quagmire. The parents for instance are willing to work with the new school principal and the newly elected school committee to identify the root causes of the whole mess so that it can be fixed permanently. Apparently one key issue that has been identified as being in a state of despair is the school curriculum.
Key players’ have indicated changing the existing curriculum would help address mess while not seeming to directly to lay the blame on any member of the school community on what they did or even failed to do in the past. As such, the core props for this new curriculum plan will be made of the strong desire discard the old and seemingly retrogressive school culture and in its place put other strong ones built around purposive and integrative efforts from all the stakeholders (Wiggins and McTighe, 31). Nature of the Curriculum
This curriculum acknowledges the uniqueness inherent in every student and it encompasses all the evidential and unique experiences practiced in other better performing elementary schools within the district. For instance the curriculum recognizes that young and growing children are normally inquisitive, quiet, confident, self-determined, weak, easily distracted, etc. (Wiggins and McTighe, 2007). As such, it endeavors to address this sensitive aspect of the learners by putting in place staggered instructional experiences that suit every age group and every grade.
Tasks are drawn clearly to ensure that the teachers do not deviate from its general and basic idea while addressing all the unique aspects, the weak dropped and the strong ones encouraged. In a nutshell, this new curriculum emphasizes on the holistic development of the unique but worthwhile characters of the learners to ensure that they grow and develop in a supportive, healthy, and safe environment (Follari, 2010). Furthermore, the curriculum recognizes that for children to succeed in school they must be exposed to a wide range of meaningful learning experiences.
In respect to this it seeks to create all-round environments that allows for the development of physical, emotional, social, spiritual as well as cognitive structures of the growing learners. In a nutshell, the curriculum aims at developing all the aspects of the students’ bodies and brains, taking great care to also nurture their delicate souls that are very crucial in determining their future perception of the whole learning process. Conclusively, the curriculum will successfully improve the overall students’ performance and lift the school from a high-needs category to a performing one.
After all, it seeks to gradually engage the students in critical content areas as well as in key language areas. Moreover, it will endeavor to create purposive learning and development activities capable of utilizing and nurturing the rapidly growing students unique and varied capacities. As such, learning will be aligned to such variances and through the utilization of learning areas and other teaching and learning aids (Oldfield, 2001; Pugh and Duffy, 2020).
Students especially those with learning difficulties will benefit much from this curriculum given that it is founded on the basis of the staggered child development stages. As a matter of fact, one of its key facets is that it acknowledges that students tend to behave different differently in different stages of their growth and development, as such teaching and learning should be aligned to suit those behavioral and developmental needs (Follari, 2010). To achieve this, it will partake of holistic and regular appraisal by the teachers and parents alike on the young learners.
This will be done for individual learners, in groups and also in the presence of role models such as teachers and parents so as to determine their inherent needs and achievements as individuals and as members of social groups. Moreover, the curriculum also advocates for kind of learning where the learners respect one another as unique beings, with the respect extended to teachers, parents, as well as other members of the school curriculum. Such respect when reciprocated will go a long way in achieving success at school as the community level (Oldfield, 2001).
That the curriculum will involve high degrees of involvement makes the achievement of such respect an easy endeavor. It wild involve a key figure such as a teacher, or even parents to ensure control as well as to offer support to the learners. To this end the curriculum plans to use parents as they are the most recommended as the have been noted to command huge respect from their own children. He offers that in bid to enhance respect the teacher should be guided by the learners and should not force adult values on the young learners (Renchler, 3-4).
This curriculum is guided by the humble notion that learners have got different talents and that every learner needs to be treated in their own unique way so as to nurture and develop these inherent and unique talents. Briefly stated, the core pillars of this curriculum are; to assist the growing students to achieve the five most important feats of being safe, healthy, being happy and successful, and developing social skills to relate with others well and attaining their optimum academic performance (Wiggins and McTighe, 27-29).
To achieve these seemingly high targets the curriculum uses a set of tested and achievable benchmarks capable of bringing out the expected developmental and academic outcomes. It also seeks to create friendly environments that are home to everyone irrespective of their racial, gender, nationality, and disabilities (Oldfield, 2001). It also seeks to provide meaningful foundations that the students can use to create avenues for future academic achievements. This is enhanced through a systematic procedure that offers learners clear exit paths from one grade to another.
Moreover, that the curriculum provides avenues for new and anticipated collaborations with stakeholders to improve the quality and purpose during the implementation process guarantees a higher probability of succeeding. Furthermore, the growing students are guaranteed of future success in their academic pursuits by the integrative provisions of the curriculum (Pugh and Duffy, 2020). Overall, the curriculum is not so challenging as to frustrate the growing students, yet it is not so easy as to hold back students desire to achieve more.
In a nutshell, it promotes a typical ‘hands-on’ type of learning whereby the learners as well as the teachers use their hearts and brains in equal measures as they indulge in passionate classroom and outside-classroom activities (Wiggins and McTighe, 67). Curriculum Reflection the School Mission The strength of this new curriculum lies on the fact that it adheres to the revised school mission statement and visions. As a matter of fact, the revised school mission statement recognizes that children are unique and they tend to learn at different paces.
As such, it revolves creation of meaningful learning experiences within and outside classroom situations and it endeavors to achieve so by creating integrative environments that brings on board as many stakeholders as possible. Most importantly, given that the underlying concept of this new curriculum is motivation of the learners so as to develop positive habits toward learners it can be argued that this curriculum reflects the inherent needs of the Bronx studio school young children and the Bronx community at large.
Furthermore, that it seeks to integrate all the stakeholders, parents, students, community, experts, teachers, the local government, as well as donors the curriculum will most likely in the education of the young children in the neighborhood, it is anticipated that it will be very easy to engage the parents and other stakeholders alike in its implementation (Renchler, 3). Furthermore, it seeks to inculcate a positive culture that is built around quality learning experiences that embraces motivation of the individual learners.
The paper recognizes on the need to develop new and rich teaching and learning methods that can be easily tested to determine their efficiency. Furthermore it delves on sound teacher-learner experiences that seek to arouse and shape students proclivity in during their class interactions with their teachers and with fellow students. Overall, this curriculum main aims is to “turn the [school] mission statement into specific” (Wiggins and McTighe, 55). Curriculum Resources
Basing on the fact that this curriculum will be integrative in nature with motivation as its key facet, it will require intensive methods and materials for maximum implementation. To this end it will require new books as well regular seminars for teacher. Even so, only a few new books will need to be acquired afresh as most old books which has been revised and modified will still be utilized. Since the curriculum is new it will need a lot regular appraisal and evaluation to determine its ability to meet the prevailing challenges facing the school, as such it will be necessary to have as many teachers working on it regularly.
This will require that the school leadership together with the representatives from the parents body to come up with a budget of the tune of about $100,000 which will be used in the overall acquisition of the materials and recruitment of new and committed teaching staff. Other school facilities such as, desks, tables, new classes, playing areas, etc. will need to be acquired or even modified incase of the existing one. This is necessary as the new curriculum is built on the provision of new learning and teaching experiences that can enliven classroom atmospheres and provoke the learners into thinking creatively.
Additionally, learning areas such, class interest arousing corners, nature corners, as well as other learner engaging areas within the classroom or within the school compound will need to be procured. Evaluation of the Curriculum In order to ensure efficiency, this curriculum will be subjected to a rigorous evaluation and assessment procedure that will involve many approaches. Precisely, it will be subjected to both formative and summative e evaluation methods with the view of identifying its both short and long term impacts to the school needs and mission statement.
The evaluation will start from as early as during the developmental stages where the existing materials will be appraised and their worth determined in regards to their capability to providing the teaching and learning experiences that the new curriculum plans to engage. The existing materials that survives the cut will then be subjected to a revision to given them a new facelift in preparation for the rigorous work that they will be expected to serve. Upon the testing and revision of the materials the curriculum will be now ready for the next stage which will be the piloting stage.
Here it will be tried practically implemented in various grades, with close scrutiny and monitoring coming from the curriculum development committee, members of the school teaching staff together with a few selected parents’ representatives. Other willing stakeholders will equally be involved in the process so as to accommodate as many views as possible. The views as well as the results of the pilot stage will be subjected to a full review by the development committee where necessary adjustments will be carried out in respect to the responses given during the piloting phase (Wiggins and McTighe, 29-30).
Afterwards the curriculum will be formalized ready for the final summative evaluation which will involve the overall effectiveness of the curriculum in light of challenges such as availability and use of key curriculum materials as well as its interactivity with the teachers as well as its effect to other existing curricula with the school district or even within the state. Moreover, efforts will also be made to incorporate the professional views of the renowned curriculum researchers who will be required to carry out snap research studies in view of indentifying the overall impacts of the curriculum in the local learners’ academic pursuits.
Lastly, the regular assessment methods for the curriculum once it has been launched will be identified and with view of putting them on board to enhance the ease with which the overall curriculum will be tested (Ministry of Education and Training, 24). Why the Community Should Invest in the Curriculum The main reason as to why the school community need to support this new curriculum is the apparent causes of the existing academic failure among the students.
It is apparent that the school has been experiencing problems related to the overall academic performance in the last two years due to poor relationships between the parents and the school and between the teachers and the school leadership. Consequently, these two main reasons have given impetus to about a dozen of other problems which have compounded the issue. Luckily, despite these recurring poor results the school community has shown concerns of working together to sort out the mess. As a matter of fact, the development of this new curriculum was prompted by the parents’ body and given the impetus by the school teaching staff.
As such, there is every reason to believe that the school community will be willing to support it financially and morally. The fact that it needs a huge amount of money for its development and implementation means that its success will be wholly dependent on the community support. Even so, that it seeks to change an ineffective curriculum makes it more appealing to the school community. After all the community has a got a reason to invest in the new curriculum given its numerous benefits in enhancing the creation of new avenues for renewed collaborative efforts between the school and the large school community.
Moreover, the new curriculum was created in constant consultation with the parents and the larger school community where efforts were made to ensure that their opinions are given audience in order to enhance a sense of responsiveness on their part, something that is terribly missing in the existing curriculum. Lastly, its learning by doing strategy will seek to create the elusive motivation among the students and ultimately it will enhance their confidence and interest to “learn to love learning for learning’s sake” (Renchler, 3).
Work Cited Follari, L. M. Foundations and best practices in early childhood education: History, theories and approaches. Prentice Hall. 2010. Kelly, A. The curriculum: Theory and practice (6th ed. ). 2009. Ministry of Education and Training. Choices into Action: Guidance and career education program policy for Ontario elementary and secondary schools. 1999. [Web] retrieved from; http://www. edu. gov. on. ca. / 2 May, 2010. Oldfield, L. Free to learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education. Hawthorn Books. 2001 Pugh, G.
and Duffy, B. (eds. ). Contemporary issues in the early years. 5th Ed. Sage Publications. 2010. Renchler, Ron. Student motivation, school culture, and academic achievement: What school leaders can do? ERIC Clearing House on Educational Management. 1992. Wagner, Tony and Keegan, Robert. Change leadership-a practical guide to transforming our schools. Jossey-Bass. 2005 Wiggins, Grants and McTighe, Jay. Schooling by design-mission, action, and achievement. ASCD. 2007. Wiggins, Grants and McTighe, Jay. Understanding by design. ASCD. 2005.
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