Conceptions of Curriculum - Part 2 - Education Essay Example


Various axioms of thought have perceived and understood curriculum development in relation to five conceptions - Conceptions of Curriculum introduction. This revolves around academic rationalist conception, cognitive processes conception, humanistic conception, social Reconstructionist conception and a technological conception. Throughout the liberal and progressive approach is dependable with the humanistic curriculum conception; it disguises communal realities in which there are winners and losers, by pretending that everyone can succeed if they work hard enough. In response they advocate the collectively critical point of reference and this is at the same time the orientation that fits most closely with the intentions of environmental education and the most complicated to embark on in schools.


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Since the programme of study and the role of schools is noticeable with tensions and contradictions. Often many of these possessions are phenomenon with the same time and the overall brunt is complex to institute from up seal. According to print (1993) the curriculum has been understood based on five schools of thoughts otherwise known as inceptions. This includes the academic rationalist conception, cognitive processes conception, humanistic conceptions, social Reconstructionist conception and technological conception. In view to the military, the prospectus examines the armed forces as a social institution. With the help of sociological concepts, theories, and methods, the curriculum should delve deep into the analysis of the internal association and practices of the armed forces and the relationships between the armed forces and other social institutions. The curriculum should be designed to enhance forum for analysis of a specific set of ideas that contribute to our intellectual capacity of the military from a sociological perspective. The cross-listing of tranquility studies curriculum and focuses on issues of peace, war and social evenhandedness and which involves active class involvement.

Theoretical Perspective

In the military the curriculum is comprehensive and cadets are educated and graded based on the performance in academics, physical fitness, and military leadership. The academic program encompasses of more than 31 fundamentals that are balanced in the arts and sciences. All cadets are required to take at least three engineering courses and three calculus courses. The physical program incorporates both physical education classes and competitive athletics. McNeil (1985). As with the military, cadets must pass a physical fitness test twice per year. The military skills, include; leadership, through a military program that starts on their first day at west point. Moral-ethical development occurs throughout the formal programs as well as a host of activities and experiences available at the Military Academy. These include formal instruction in the important values of the military profession, voluntary religious programs, interaction with staff and faculty role models, and a vigorous guest-speaker program. McNeil, J.D. (1985).

According to Bruner (1960) curriculum organization and design be based on the structure of the academic disciplines. McNeil (1985), program of study of a subject should be resolute by the most deep-seated intellectual capacity that can be achieved of the essential philosophies that give configuration to a discipline. The brass tacks of this school of reflection is centered on the economy, learning permits generalizations, makes knowledge usable in contexts other than that in which it is learned, and enhances memory by allowing the learner to associate what would, if not be easily over and done. Academic domains structure subjects around conceptions of information. McNeil (1985) suggests that “the irreducible building block of program of study is knowledge” and that the “nub of knowledge and the principal substance or subject matter of lessons are found in academic subjects that are first and foremost intellectual”

Contends that the “knowledge of any given time rests not on the essentials but on preferred facts and the selection of the theoretical ideology of analysis. McNeil (1985) also indicates that acknowledged scholars in a turf of authority are the ones who determine the goals and the content of the curriculum. Through the theoretical perspective of structuring subjects around conceptions of knowledge, the academic rationalist standpoint of technology education emanates from classification of technology as knowledge, which provides the precincts or skeleton for a domain. A conceptual framework for technology education was documented by a consortium of twenty-five leaders, who defined technology as a school of knowledge and application of resources to produce outcomes in response to human needs and wants. Hirst, P.H. & Peters, R.S. (1974).

The definition embraces academic rationalism by characterizing technology as cluster of information. In days gone by this school of knowledge was perceived professionally as the practical knowledge. This level-headedness was employed as part of the truth-seeking foundation in the raison d’être for the industrial Arts Curriculum scheme. Eisner, E.W. & Vallance, E. (1979). offered the following description; this body of knowledge is termed ‘theory of practice,’ ‘knowledge of practice,’ or praxiology.’ It covers man’s (sic) ways of doing which about that is valid, or ought to be, through action. McNeil, J.D. (1985), cite work by the polish philosophers Katarbinski, described praxiology as the theory of proficient accomplishment. Hirst, P.H. & Peters, R.S. (1974). The emphasis has indicated that constructing practical models that are achieved progress in technology. Of course, praxiology analyses action from the perspective of efficiency and skolimowski refers to praxiology as a normative discipline. Quite a lot of technology educators have approved the academic rationalist perception of technology and scrutinize technology as a discipline. While this perspective has bent some hullabaloo, the most notable rationalization for this viewpoint was made. McNeil, J.D. (1985).

Intellectual Conceptions

An intellectual discipline has a recognizable and significant occurrence, an identifiable in history. It has an organized cadaver of knowledge which has a configuration with unity among the parts. The social contact constitutes; without prejudice indomitable by demonstrable and agreed upon methods, stood the best of time thereby evidencing robustness. Clarke, Rueben & Franklin (2005). The intellectual capacity has; been found to be snowballing in nature, and deals in concepts and ideas from a conjectural base, deals in concepts and ideas from a theoretical base, is correspondent to man’s (sic) activities and aspirations and becomes indispensable to man by addressing itself to the solution of tribulations of overriding connotation to man and his (sic) society, identifies as a part of its convention and history a considerable accomplishment in both distinguished men (sic) and their ideas and relates to the future man (sic) by provided that the stimulation and brainwave for man (sic) to further his (sic) dreams and to get in touch with his (sic) goals. McNeil, J.D. (1985).

Curriculum Rationale:

From a theoretical framework, academic rationalists believe that the curriculum should construct the mind with objective knowledge that can be tested through empirical evidence and reasoning (McNeil, 1981). Hirst (1974). Purports that, the development of the mind, from a rational perspective, is achieved by mastering the elementary structure of knowledge, commonsensical relations, connotation, and criteria for assessing and evaluating legitimacy. On the other hand, academic rationalists do not boundary their perspective only to the transmission of existing knowledge to prospect generations. Academic rationalism includes the viewpoint that awareness can be constructed and the systems for disciplined exploration are an integral part of theoretical rationale.

Divergent Conceptions.

From the academic rationalist perspective the content reservoir for technology education should incorporate the taxonomy of technology. While there is no uniform agreement on taxonomy, the most widely agreed upon taxonomy emanates from the Jackson mill projects. McNeil, J.D. (1985). This comes within the reach of identifying the disciplines of knowledge and the interaction with the human adaptive systems. The curriculum structure that stems up from Jackson’s Mill is centered on content on four adaptive systems; manufacturing, communication, construction and transportation. Every of these adaptive systems have been categorized in their unique curriculum taxonomies in various state and local curriculum guides. McNeil, J.D. (1985).

The technological domain should not be curtailed to precisely industrial-related technologies as a basis of substance. There are myriad other areas of technological knowledge that are equally important for study. The curriculum fundamental principle from the academic inspection’s point is to erect a defined institutional prototype which transmits knowledge and involves students in the creation of new acquaintance. This justification is embraced by technology educators who systematize curriculum such that students are wrapped up in doing technology, or in knowledge through the technological platform. Clarke, Rueben & Franklin (2005). According to Bruner (1960) “the school boy (sic) learning physics is a physicist, and it is easier for him (sic) to learn physics behaving like a physicist than doing something to boot’, this representation is projected to augment the getting hold of technological acquaintance an knowledge of observe, or ‘to expand knowledge in ‘doing’ technology not just being eloquent about technology. Academic rationalist could also originate a program of study structure based on an analysis of the technological method. Consequently, this stratagem would be to develop intellectual capacity of the technological method and its components. Wraga, F.N (2004). Under this arrangements students would acquaint information how specialists in technology discover knowledge (McNeil, 1981). Thus, the substance becomes the framework of technological approach.

Organizational Conceptions

Contemporary frameworks of disciplines are very diverse and complex, this intricacy suggests that there is no best organizational structure for all disciplines. To a certain extent, there are sundry structures depending on the discipline as indicated by.Hirst, P.H. & Peters, R.S. (1974). Diversity of up-to-the-minute structures imply that we must look, not for a straightforward hypothesis of learning leading to a one best learning-teaching configuration for our schools, but for a complex theory leading to an integer of varied structures each fitting or best for a given discipline or faction of disciplines. McNeil, J.D. (1985).Essentially technology has been a complex, diverse discipline where the fitting structures have not been defined. State curriculum encompasses managerial structures that give a way frontward for technology education. State directives take account of structures such as bio-related technology, corporeal technology, and communication technology. Millie, A., C (1990)

Unresolved Issue

Two pinnacle issues necessitate being resolved in order for technology education to be harmonious with the system of belief of academic rationalism. First, the academic rationalist conceptualization of technology education enhances the piece of information that curriculum should be well thought-out in distinct separate subjects. Millie, A., C (1990). Secondly the subject to resolve concerns the classification of the scholars of technology. Academic rationalism is founded on the premise of recognized domains which arranges prospectus in the region of conceptions of knowledge. These disciplines and conceptions of knowledge are identified and developed over time by a body of scholars. Wraga, F.N (2004).

International and National Issues:

Cultural diversity has hampered the development of the curriculum on a global scale. The complexity of development an effective curriculum is triggered by the communication, journalism, history and cultural birthright regardless of where the world could be. Divergent traditions of most communities has also hampered in constructing a heterogeneous curriculum.

The disintegrated of foreign points of inspection, have been exposed to granting no confidence hence responding unwittingly. This has resulted into a consistent demonstration of national and global narrow mindedness. Millie, A., C (1990)

Global program of study strategies are supposed to be geared towards pleasurable to the eye on the ongoing social service among the group of people which is well thought-out as fundamental for the enhancement of the students as academic studies. Education for life, a conscientious life, opens to the problems of our world and encourages students to give time and energy to bring about change. Wraga, F.N (2004)

Principles are learnt or inherited; education should perform a fundamental role of the factors which shapes values. They do exist in a vacuum and they are not immutable; they can cause one’s belief to change. Cultural relativists squabble that values are very much tied to literary contexts and my be prejudiced by the political, economic and social environment on an international, national, local and even family level. A wide-ranging curriculum that is supranational should address these concerns and may limit their probability in their intercontinental market place. Wraga, F.N (2004)


Institutions are required to maneuver robust network of rights and obligations that are implanted and cosseted in the get-together law, such as the convention on the rights of a child. Navigating rights and responsibilities in the light of an institution offers a comprehensive structure that is embedded and anchors upon the global standards. Wallace D. J (1995). Learners have the opportunity to explore this issue through research findings and investigative comparison where learning is enhanced through integration based on emotions and experiences and those of other learners around the world. Skill development among the citizen’s is also crucial aspect of learning on the global dimension by having the audacity to integrate knowledge and comprehension into action in versatile styles, however institutions should focus on entrenching original frames of knowledge and skills to the requirements of new environments based on global standards.  Maurice. T., H (1992)

Critical thinking skills are of integral significant, since this is a point where questions, assumptions and consultative objectives are determined. Creative thinking skills however, enhance integration from a wide range of learning domains, pausing as a fundamental element for active citizenship. Supporting skills, knowledge and perceptions that are constructed in a given region and tested in a different regions, creates the probability to managing change in new and imaginative ways. Wallace D. J (1995).The central philosophy underlying global dimension suggests that institutions require a legitimate integration that renders an autonomous and symbiotic all rounded academic benefit. The potential integration and partnership prospects should be idealised and be given a scope of the participants by the support of staff development. Bossman, S.A. (1995).


In regard to McNeil (1981) the self-governing subject, academic rationalist; outlook will remain the established outset of curriculum in the future. If technology desires equal status in the set of courses with the conventional subjects, technology educators will need to hold in your arms academic rationalism and advocate the point of view of technology as a new scholarly discipline.

Newer disciplines assert to be supplementary pertinent than the traditional ones. Psychology, for example is an exigent journalism for the honor of interpreting human natural world. Eisner, E.W. & Vallance, E. (1979). Anthropology begs admission on the grounds that it can do an enhanced job of being pupils gain valid world inspection than can history a field known for shimmering unsophisticated interests.

Even though there is space to work within the program of study it remains exigent judgment of the time for becoming knowledgeable on global and local environmental issues before planning, teaching and assessing new topics, especially given the time dedicated to the so called foundation subjects.

These comprise finding the chattels and links surrounded by the animate programme of study and then incorporating all this into daily teaching within meaningful contexts that link to real life.  The opportunities to do this are there but this work takes effort, passion and dedication to initiate. It must be kept in mind that there is a range of ecological truth-seeking values which form a gamut from the Techno centric involvement to the Ecocentric Gaianism.


Bennett, D (2002) Reinforcing Multicultural and Global Perspectives; the Perspective Curriculum.

Bossman, S.A. (1995), “Inter-Continental Values for a comprehensive Core Curriculum” Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 30

Bruner, J.S. (1960). The process of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Commission on Technology Education for the State of New

Clarke, Rueben & Franklin (2005). Curriculum alignment: Lessons Learnt from the Field.

Eisner, E.W. & Vallance, E. (1979). Conflicting conceptions of curriculum. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing.

Hirst, P.H. & Peters, R.S. (1974). Knowledge and curriculum London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, Ltd

McNeil, J.D. (1985). Curriculum: A comprehensive introduction: Technology education in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Millie, A., C (1990) Company Policy Practices and International Dimensions; The international forum review

Wraga, F.N (2004) The Politics and Philosophies of Curriculum: Journal of Curriculum development:

Wallace D. J (1995) Policy implementation on global dimensions of higher education. The European Association for International Education

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