Report When we were considering our curriculum design the initial models we considered were Product and Process. Product Model (taken from Neary, 2002) Aims to design curriculum based on the achievement of aims and outcomes, and designs and encourages learning experiences based on the needs of the decided out comes of the course. Advantages: Clear and precise aims and outcomes provide a defined structure for delivery for teachers and learners. These curricula are easily defined by ability and assessment level, and provide specific outcomes to assess learners by.
Disadvantages: For the lowest and highest levels of ability, the specific aims and outcomes of the product curricula can become pointless or difficult to define. A prescribed curriculum can discourage creativity can be seen to encourage ‘teaching to the exam’ rather than rounded learning. Process Model (taken from Neary, 2002) The curricula take the focus away from aims and outcomes and onto activities and development of both the teacher and student. The idea behind the process curricula is to cultivate an environment in which learning can take place, in which learning can take place, in which a learner can take ownership of the learning.
Advantages: Emphasis on activity and ownership of learning given to the learners. This enforced by the emphasis on learning skills and relevant information. Disadvantages: There is need for some prescribed outcomes in a curriculum to allow for assessment and progression, especially in relation to gaining in funding. The lack of structure may not work in many areas of teaching and learning. With this in mind we planned our curriculum to be Process with some elements of Product. The recommendations of the validating panel. 1) A different structure might promote a better flow of topics
The structure of the course was designed to be quite fluid, allowing learners to pick up the modules at any point during their attendance on the course. I can see how having a more rigid structure may allow for a smoother transition between subjects and progression especially when this is related to learning the relevant functional maths skills required to complete each module. However having the learners take the modules in a specific order, would potentially restrict the flexible nature of the curriculum, as one of our aims was to be a flexible as possible to make the course accessible to as many people as possible. ) Having a one day a week starting point to help build on prior knowledge from previous session. This is an excellent idea and one that would help to ensure that all learners are given the best possible chance to start each module on level footing, allowing the learners to learn and develop the skills for completing each module. All the learners starting each module together would allow for a greater amount peer support, rather than the learners being at different stages of the module and potentially working and learning in isolation.
This could be an issue as we are trying to encourage learners with potentially low confidence to engage with and develop their numeracy skills, having different types of support is crucial in this process. 3) Look at risk assessments The issue of risk assessments within some of the modules, cooking and cleaning, was something that was not covered in our scheme of work. However it was included in the painting and decorating module, this was an oversight and something that we could quite easily include.
Whether we include this as a section in each module or as a generic health and safety module relevant to the whole course, the introduction of the risk assessments was designed to highlight potential risks to the learners, and not to prepare them to undertake risk assessments in a professional environment. 4) Clarify funding Funding is probably the biggest issue facing a course with a curriculum which centres on ‘life’ or ‘community’ subjects and context (process). The dominant method of designing curricula today is the product model.
Where education is seen as methodical; objectives are set, a plan drawn up, applied, and the outcomes graded. (Smith, 2002) To produce a curriculum that was viable we needed to have a product at the end, or some measurable aims that could be presented to meet many of the funding requirements of the current education system. Learners completing a functional maths qualification as part of the course would possibly have to be a requirement of enrolment. This fits into the current culture of measureable achievement allowing for much easier allocation of funding, necessary in the modern system.
Professionalism and professional values. In brief, the core professional are set out by the institute for Learning (IFL) and previously Life Long learning UK (LLUK). For the IFL the code of practice is that of Integrity, Respect, Care, Practice, Disclosure and Responsibility. The LLUK standards set out cover six ‘domains’, that of: Professional values and practice, Learning and teaching, Specialist learning and teaching, Planning for learning, Assessment for learning and Access and progression.
These standards came about due to a perceived need by the last government to standardise and professionalise the further education sector, impacting on the in practice teachers and those considering a move into the Lifelong Learning Sector (LLS). I would say that this would be a positive impact, as government policy change in this area has increased professionalism in this sector, which is beneficial to the wages and prestige of those involved. The increased standardisation is also beneficial to the inspection and regulatory aspect, as it is easier and more relevant to assess teachers and institutions against a set of universal standards.
This will have the aim, and hopefully the effect, of making institutions more accountable and successful. I addition, the implementation of overarching standards prevents any personal values or judgements of teachers influencing the delivery of teaching, and gives the teachers themselves some guidance on their conduct. The importance of having LLS is widespread, as lifelong learning has the potential to improve lives, communities and the economy as a whole. Therefore it is in the interest of the country that it is successful, accountable and regulated.
How these relate to my own area of specialism and continuing development as a teacher is, mainly, that as part previous government initiatives to professionalise the lifelong learning sector, they created the ‘skills for life’ initiative, of which I am training to be a practitioner. The statutory requirements of the IfL’s Care, Disclosure, and Responsibility are particularly relevant to my specialism that I can come into contact with young people and adults who may be deemed vulnerable (learning needs and behavioural issues).
The need to exhibit a care of duty and responsibility for the safety, as well as the learning, of these students, and to follow the rules regarding disclosure, is paramount. In terms of development from these, I am continually looking to improve my knowledge and understanding of these requirements and varied methods of assessment both of and for learning, and this is the main area I foresee the most development taking place in the next few years, as my skill and experience grows.
Finally considering the IfL Code of practice (IfL, 2008), it would also be a responsibility of mine within my specialist area to challenge any discriminatory behaviour should it arise. Respect, both from teachers and between the students, is the foundation of a successful learning environment, and without it no successful learning can take place. If there was anything to arise to threaten the respect in my classroom, I would challenge it immediately, by making it clear that discrimination is not acceptable and will not be accepted. Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement
Assessment is the process of gathering, interpreting, recording and using information to determine the facts about a learner’s response to a prescribed task or series of tasks. Assessment provides a variety of stakeholders, with evidence, numerical or otherwise, from which they can develop useful information about learners, institutions, learning programmes and even about themselves. Evaluation is a process of collecting and communicating information and evidence for the purpose of informing judgement and ascribing value to a particular programme. Worthen and Sanders, 2003 cited by Marsh 2009) The use of evidence acquired through assessment and feedback back to make judgements on the outcome of a learning programme, department or institution. The curriculum that we designed was designed to help learners develop ‘life’ skills, whilst developing or continuing development of the individual’s numeracy skills with the potential to obtain a Functional Maths qualification. As the design of the curriculum concerned the learner taking ownership of their learning, our primary source of evaluation would be through learner feedback.
The learners would be given opportunities to given feedback at the completion at the end of each module through a variety of methods including questionnaires, feedback forms and tutorials where the learners would be able to discuss whether they had achieved their personal goals during the module. The use of retention and achievement rates of the learners would be another important tool in reviewing the quality of the course, this would be especially important with the nature of the course that allowed for a flexible approach to attendance and rolling enrolment.
To help ensure quality assurance there needs to regular reviews of, as mentioned above retention and achievement but also needs to include reviews of learner needs, assessment methods and methods of delivery. Quality assurance is the process of ensuring or attempting to ensure that the requirements of learners and any stakeholders are met. Whereas Quality improvement concerns what actions can be taken in order to better meet the requirements of learners and stakeholders.
The information gathered through the processes of quality assurance, whether this is at an organisational level or at an individual teacher level feed into processes for quality improvement. This enables an institution and regulatory bodies to identify strengths and weaknesses, draw up an action plan with the intention of maintaining strengths and highlighting areas for development. Within my WBE placement at The Manchester College they have a quality strategy, which sets out to define the institutions approach to ensuring quality and the processes in place to ensure quality improvement with a clearly laid out frame work.
The institution has systems in place to help ensure high standards are achieved and embedded, these include: • Performance indicators • Benchmarking and target setting • Performance measurement • People management • Quality management • Feedback from learners and clients The college also has a learner support cycle which identifies the quality assurance process in direct relationship to the learner and their entitlement, starting before joining any programme to completion and the final destination of learner, with the learner based at the centre of this cycle.
The Manchester College has a quality improvement framework which starts and finishes with ‘Impact upon learner’ and includes: • Performance evidence • Cross-college evaluation • Senior management monitoring • Management review • Governing body review • External assessments (Ofsted and SFA/YPLA provider) This cycle of quality assurance and quality improvement feeds back into the formation of plans for improvement with the intention of having a beneficial effect on the learner. Action Plan Template: Curriculum, Quality and Professionalism Development needs in relation to |Action(s) to be taken |By (date) |How will progress be |Reflections/ notes on | |course design and approval | | |identified? |progress | | |Further research concerning the founding | |Through reflection and |I believe that gaining | |Clarify funding issues |available from either government agencies|22/4/13 |evaluation of the curriculum |funding would be | | |or charities.
In relation to increasing | |on whether there is a need for|difficult without having | | |numeracy with the use of contextualised | |the course and suggested aims. |a more structured route | | |learning programmes. | | |to the functional maths | | | | | |qualifications. | | | | | | | | | |By ensuring that the | | | |Ensuring that the curriculum fulfils the | |curriculum works within the |Reflecting on the | |Professional values in relation |expectations and requirements of the | |boundaries of the professional|professional code of | |to Equality and Diversity. professional code of conduct whilst | |role and, follows the |practice and it relation | | |ensuring the curriculum is as inclusive |22/4/13 |overarching professional |to my specialism has been| | |as possible. | |standards of the Lifelong |especially useful. | | | | |Learning Sector. | | | | | | | | | | |Through evaluation and gaining| | | | | |a better understanding of the | | | | | |QI and QA process works | | | |A greater understanding of assessment | |especially in relation to my |Developed a better | | |methods and ways of compiling of figures,| |WBE placement. |understanding of | |Quality Assurance and Quality |facts and opinions. So that future | | |assessment and evaluation| |Improvement. |planning and development strategies can | | |and how they help to | |(how are we going to measure |be devised. | |ensure quality and feed | |success) | |22/4/13 | |into quality improvement | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |