My Vision of an Ideal Curriculum
Education is the key to success for young students. It helps them build a strong foundation on which they can plan their life. Having been born to a family of educators, I have always been inspired to inculcate positive judgments that helped me ascertain my inner strengths and abilities, discovering what truly inspires me.
As a teacher for over five years, I have always aimed at providing a stimulating learning environment that encouraged students to trust their own opinions, while fostering confidence in order for them to realize their full potential. Through my teaching experience so far, I have found method interacting rather than lecturing to be highly beneficial style of teaching. I believe that if students learn by practical methods they will not only retain information longer, but will also have their basics clarified. It is imperative to have basic knowledge imparted faultlessly to build a strong foundation. Having taught in both US and India has given me the multicultural advantage.
Taking my teaching experience to the next level, I would like to be able to design an all-encompassing ‘global’ curriculum that can cater to social needs in different parts of world. The focus will be on ‘Importance of Being Educated’ and ‘Living freely as a Human Being with a Life of Dignity’. The audience will be the young ones who are still open to embracing new ideas and bringing a change in thinking of others.
To begin with, my curriculum will focus on prevailing conditions in India and start with spreading awareness about education. People ‘need’ to be aware about the importance of good quality education before any kind of curriculum can be imparted to them. The Government has done their bit by enforcing the ‘Right to Education’ (RTE) Act but it is flawed in every way possible. Under the act, every child gets Basic Education (up to grade 8) free of cost and there are no exams for students. This is a very new concept in a country where the entire education system is based on tests and exams. If a change is to be brought, it has to be gradual and not just put out there. As a result of this, more students are going to school but their learning outcomes have deteriorated way below acceptable standards. According to Pratham’s Annual Report (2011), the percentage of students in grade 5 who can read the texts of grade 2 have fallen down from 53.7% to 48.2% since the RTE was implemented. To overcome this, my curriculum will focus on spreading awareness for good quality education. This is where it will assimilate the attributes of Critical Enquiry Vision to enable teachers and student to ‘question’ the process of knowledge acquisition and be an integral part of the legislation to bring reform (Giroux, 1994).
In some parts of India educating females is still considered unnecessary because it is believed they do not need to be educated if they are only going to be involved in household chores after getting married. To overcome this problem, my vision will absorb the attributes of Anti-Oppressive Vision. Freire (1993) referred to the current education method as the ‘Banking Education’ in which the education is merely deposited in the students. They fail to rise beyond that to create any change. Anti-oppressive vision will help the students to break their current norms and advocate the education of females. I was particularly inspired by the documentary ‘Path to Dignity’. It shows how the efforts are already underway in a small village in South India and how the girls are overcoming the stigma of being restricted to just household chores.
School should not just be a place where the subjects are taught. Students need to know what their Human Rights are in order to be responsible citizens. Freire (1993) believes that the act of both oppressing and being oppressed can have derogatory effects on the humanity of a person. This is where the Emancipatory Vision will be useful in making them aware of their rights and also give them tools with which they can take hold of those rights.
A global curriculum does not necessarily mean it is Western one. For it to bear the roots of local culture it should have the Sustainability aspect to it. Students need to be aware of their surroundings and be mindful of their impact on the social and cultural environment around them along side learning about their impact on the world. This will help them be better individuals and better citizens (Bowers, 2002).
One last characteristic of my vision is that while imparting all the above aspects, the learners should not lose their power to create. The Aesthetic aspect will pique their creativities and develop their ‘productive idiosyncrasies’ (Eisner, 1990). The teacher will have the flexibility of molding lessons as per the interest of students.
In conclusion, I do not know how feasible this curriculum idea will be in terms of implementation and success in bringing change to the mindset of people. It is just ideal in its perceptions and bringing the desired results. We are going to have with thorough training of the teachers and bringing their dedication to the cause. Before it can bring change, a lot more changes are to be done. However, it does not hurt to have my Idiosyncratic vision.
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