Originally posted by ShawnPatrickJoyce
Being an educator DOES NOT automatically qualify you as an expert on education itself. You merely have experience in the field. That DOES NOT mean you have expert knowledge of curriculum theory. Take this excerpt from
Curriculum: Foundations, Principles, and Issues by Ornstein and Hunkins:
It is completely without merit to suggest that the general population is best suited for making decisions about curriculum. They may be the ones who eventually make some of the decisions, but it is only logical to suggest that the best informed are "best suited" to decide.
Not the soccer mom.
Furthermore, you separate "HOW" and "WHAT" like you can actually do that. Tell me how introducing criticism of evolution on whatever scale you want does not pertain to both WHAT will be taught and HOW it will be taught.
I really don't care to have you sidetrack this thread. To put it bluntly curriculum and education are not the same thing. Being an educational expert does not make you a curricular expert and the reverse is true as well. As you go forward in your studies you essentually study more and more about less and less. There are positives and negatives to this approach from my perspective. I have for example seen teaching programs come from curricular experts that obviously did not consider any sort of classroom management.
Expert is defined as:
(n)A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject.
(v) Having, involving, or demonstrating great skill, dexterity, or knowledge as the result of experience or training.
I would say that any teacher who has completed a degree program and a credential program would be an educational expert. Likewise a teacher with experience shows more expertise than a beginning teacher and so on. If you do not consider a person a degree and certificate/credential to be an expert, then you practice a form of elitism that I won't try to argue you out of. You claim experience does not equal expertise when that is simply not true. Likewise a person can be an expert at something with absolutely no formal education. Are you going to suggest that the Beatles for example were not expert songwriters because they don't have a masters in commercial music composing?
I did not suggest that the general populace were best suited for determining curriculum. I simply stated that this was the way the current system works. Since I don't have the ability to alter that fact nationwide I have to work within that system.
However even you should understand that if you are going to tell the majority of the population that they are fools and they should have no say in what their children learn, the public schools would cease to be public very quickly. Public schools serve the public and thus the public makes decisions regarding them. If you don't like it, go sit in an ivory tower.
As for the seperating the what and how of the curriculum. I guess I assumed you were a "curricular expert" and could understand the difference. The "what" right now is state and national standards. The standard would likely state that the students should have a clear understand of the theory of evolution and how the processes associated with it work.Penn Ed Standards
Here is what Pennsylvania has for their state standards on evolution. This is the requirement for grade 12.
D. Analyze the theory of evolution.
* Examine human history by describing the progression from early hominids to modern humans.
* apply the concept of natural selection as a central concept in illustrating evolution theory.
I would just add another bullet that says
* Examine scientific arguments that discuss potential problems with evolutionary theory
Textbook makers hire "curricular experts" or teachers and others with doctorates in curriculum and development, along with experts in the respective fields and writers to help produce textbooks that states then approve for purchase.
The teachers in the district pilot a book or two and make a recommendation. The board decides to either use this recommendation or make a decision of their own. They often go with the teacher recommendation assuming that there is money to purchase the program.
The "how" is the actual teaching. This is why two teachers can get the same book and one of them is going to be teacher of the year and another is going to hand you an unending stream of worksheets to complete.
I believe a good teacher would lead a socratic type discussion on evolution that would lead to questions about both the well defined aspects and the flaws. The students are welcome to question and likewise draw their own personal conclusions about the disputed parts of evolution. Regardless they must demonstrate a generalized knowledge of evolution regarding the process of natural selection, vocacbulary related to evolution, and so forth.
I believe a bad teacher would lecture and likely just give you a worksheet or two with blanks to fill in. They tell you to read and just repeat back the information likely demonstrated via a test with multiple choice questions. No thought, no discussion.
The how can have very little to do with the what of teaching.
As for your quote, it to me indicates that even the "experts" have little idea of what is the idea curriculum. They say there is little agreement. This is likely because education as a field has little research into how people actually learn. It is more philosophy than science. Again I am not declaring one better, just stating the facts of the matter. Since we do not have a clear understanding of consciousness, unconsciousness, thinking, what is speech, etc. It is not likely to be resolved any time soon.