Curriculum Philosophies or Models

Curriculum Philosophies or Models

Philosophy of education is among the branches of philosophy that address question that are related to philosophy that are related to the nature and aims of education as well as philosophical problems that emanate from educational theory as well as practices. This is a practical philosophy, and the philosophers focus on both inward discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practices as well as other fields such as developmental psychology, sociology, and cognitive development, among other disciplines.

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The main problem that is lined with philosophy of education is concerned with the aim. Some of the problem or question includes what are the appropriate aims as well as guiding ideals of education? The second question can be related to evaluation; which are the best strategies for evaluating practices? The other problem entails the authority of the teachers and the state and the rights of learners. Curriculum philosophy entails instruction methods, assessment, and classroom management. There are four main types of educational philosophies that are related to one or more world philosophies, and they normally focus on what teachers are supposed to teach and the curriculum aspects. They include essentialism, progressivism, Reconstructionism, and perennialism.

Perennialism Philosophy

This type of educational philosophy aims at ensuring that all students have understood the ideas of western civilization. These ideas have the potential or the capabilities of solving problems of any kind. This philosophy emphasizes that teachers should teach ideas that are everlasting, constant ideas that will help the students to understand the concept. For instance, teachers must develop strategies that will enable the student to understand the concept being taught (Stojanovska, 2017). In this case, if a teacher is teaching health-related subjects such as medicine, a teacher has to subject students to practical to ensure that they understand the subject, thus preparing them for their career in the future. The perennialists educator is supposed to teach students to think rationally as well as enabling them to develop minds that can think critically. A perennials classroom is well organized as well as a well-disciplined environment. Perennialists believe that education is a good example of making these ideas available to learners and guide their thoughts towards understanding. They are also concerned about the importance of the mystery of the content as well as the development of reasoning skills.

Essentialism Philosophy

Essentialism philosophy is also known as a subject-centered philosophy. This is an educational philosophy that focuses on basic skills as well as training of the mind. The essentialist educator emphasizes on transmitting difficult topics as well as enabling students that are moving to the next level. This model is normally used in the United States. For instance, No Child Left Behind is an Act that was developed in 2001 that was to ensure all students were given opportunities to access education regardless of their background. Before this Act was developed, children from poor backgrounds had were not able to access education because of high charges. This Act enabled them to access education, thus enabling such children to acquire skills. In an essentialist school, teachers transmit knowledge to students through teaching or lecturing and student are expected to take notes. At the end of a lesson or semester, students are subjected to a test and when they pass the test, they are promoted to the next high level, and if the student fails the test is entitled to redo the test again. This philosophy was developed by William C. Bagley.

Progressivism Philosophy

This educational philosophy emphasizes that students should be tested for their ideas through experimentation. It also focuses on the whole child, rather than the teacher and the content they deliver. The learning process is rooted in the question of learners that may arise through experiencing the world (Stojanovska, 2017). For instance, a student may experience something, and he or she might not understand, therefore the student can decide to ask a question. When the question is answered, the student will have gained some new information. This educational philosophy enables learners to be problem solvers as well as critical thinkers who make meaning from his or her personal experience in the physical as well as cultural context.

Reconstructionism/ Critical theory

This educational philosophy was developed by Theodore Brameld who contested against the realities of the first and second world wars. He believed that education is one of the means of preparing people to create new social orders (Stojanovska, 2017). This philosophy focuses on addressing social questions to create a better society as well as ensuring democracy within the society. A critical theorist believes that the system must be changed to overcome oppression within society. Other philosophers such as Paulo Freire stated that education should be used as a vehicle of social changes and as a means of eradicating poverty. He believed that when people are educated, they will have some skills and knowledge that they can use to improve their lives, thus eradicating poverty within the society.

Model of Curriculum Development

Curriculum models are documents that are used in education to determine the aspects of teaching. There are two main categories of curriculums; that is technical and non-technical curriculum models. Some examples of technical curriculum models include Hilda Taba model, Tyler model, Goodlad model, and Miller and Seller model. On the other hand, some examples of a non-technical model include open classroom model and Roger’s model of interpersonal relations. In this section, we will focus on Hilda Taba Model.

Hilda Taba Model

This model was developed by Hilda Taba, who was a curriculum reformer. She contributed a lot to the theoretical foundation of critical thinking and concept development in social studies development. She defined curriculum as a statement that aims to a particular objective. The main goal or the concept of this model states that teachers must be involved in the process of developing new curriculums. This will enable them to suggest the best ways of teaching (Patnauniversity, 2021).

Taba was governed by four main principles when she developed a vision of curriculum theory and curriculum development. The first principle stated that curricula and programs reconstruction is not a short-termed process but is a long-term process because it lasts for many years. This is because the curriculum developer might wish to put some changes that will enhance student’s performance, for instance, allocating more time for a particular study (Patnauniversity, 2021). The second principle states that the development of a new curriculum should be based on democracy. This means that all people must be involved in curriculum development and the strategy that will be voted more the developers should be implemented. Also, this principle focuses more on partnership. When teachers and students are collaborating, teachers will have ample time or an easy time when teaching the students. The third principle states that the process of socialization among people should not be considered linear because it cannot be modeled through linear planning. This means that the process of learning and personality development cannot be considered as a one-way process that establishes educational aims as well as delivering some objectives that are being imagined by a particular authority. The last principle states that social institutions such as schools must be effectively rearranged to deliver services to the students.

Taba developed this model to enhance student’s skills as well as thinking capacity. She believed that teachers are aware of learner’s needs, therefore they should develop strategies that will enable them to address the student’s needs by adopting the inductive approach of teaching. This means that teaching must be from specific to general, rather than using a deductive method that starts from general to specific. In other words, Taba promoted the down-up model which is also known as the grassroots approach. She argued that curriculum development should always follow a specific sequence as well as a logical process. This model contains seven steps; the first step is the diagnose or determining the learner’s needs. In this stage, the teacher starts the process of determining the needs of the students (Patnauniversity, 2021). For instance, many students might have challenges of thinking critically therefore, the instructor will know the strategies he or she is supposed to develop strategies that will enable students to think critically. Formation of objective is the second step. After the curriculum developer has identified the needs of the student, he or she is supposed to specify his or her objectives that will fulfill the student’s needs.

The third step involves the selection of the content. In this stage, the instructors must develop content that is relevant and is related to the objective developed. This content will help the curriculum developer to determine the best strategies. The fourth step is the organization of the content developed. In this case, a curriculum developer must be able to organize the content he or she has developed. Selection of learning experience is the fifth step. In this step, students must be engaged with the content that the curriculum developer has developed. This will enable the student to have a deep understanding of the content. The sixth step is the organization of learning activities which should be organized in a sequence (Patnauniversity, 2021). Evaluation is the last step whereby the planner must determine whether goals have been met.

Focus Philosophy and Model

After reviewing all forms of education philosophies, I have determined that Essentialism philosophy is one of the models that is used in many educational institutions across the world. This is because, when a child is enrolled in school, they are subjected to different forms of learning in different periods. Students are then subjected to tests that are used to determine whether they will be promoted to the next grade. This type of educational philosophy is used in nursery schools, secondary, colleges, and universities.

Value and Hidden/Implied Curriculum

` Hidden curriculum refers to unintended lessons learned in school. It is considered hidden because is not examined. This curriculum involves students learning behavior, developing attitudes and beliefs. For instance, through interaction, students can easily learn behavior from one another as well as influence one’s believes. Also, through hidden curriculum, people are able to transit values and beliefs from one generation to the other as well as maintaining the status quo of the society.

Reference (2021). Retrieved 14 June 2021, from

Stojanovska, V. (2017). PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES OF EDUCATION: A BRIEF OF THE FOUR PILLARS OF LEARNING. International Journal of Education-TEACHER13(1), 114-119.

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