Curriculum Development for Inclusive Practice
D4054960 / M1306723
Tutor: Richard Henderson
Word count: 2,807
ACADEMIC YEAR 2014/15
In the current context of your teaching critically analyse and evaluate the impact of theories, principles and models of curriculum design and inclusive learning on your learners. Justify conclusions and suggest improvements to your own practice with sound academic research and referencing.
For the purpose of this essay the setting will be the Further Education establishment Middlesbrough College. Teaching is classroom based and the learners range from 16 – 19 years of age enrolled onto a BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care course. The course is sub divided into the differentiated pathways of the Care Pathway and the Health Pathway and further dissected into Diploma and Extended Diploma level.
BTEC Nationals are qualifications that are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications in a range of sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare them for employment. The qualifications also provide career development opportunities for those already in work. Consequently, they can provide a course of study for full-time or part-time learners in schools, colleges and training centres. The family of BTEC Nationals includes Awards, Certificates and Diplomas which offer opportunities for the provision and flexibility of delivery. BTEC Nationals are designed to relate to the National Occupational Standards for the sector, where these are appropriate, and are supported by the relevant Standards Setting Body (SSB) or Sector Skills Council (SSC). Some BTEC Nationals form the Technical Certificate component of Apprenticeships and all attract UCAS points that equate to similar-sized general qualifications (BTEC, 2006).
There are many opposing views as to what a curriculum is for. Some extreme connotations recorded have been ‘curriculum is the manifestation of the power distribution in society.’ Cheng-Man Lau (2001) this shows the possible viewpoint of a stakeholder which will be further explored within this essay. Other perspectives have implied it is, ‘plans and intentions [or] activities and effects’ Neary, 2002 p.39. A slightly more humanistic understanding of ‘curriculum’ has been described by Kelly (1983) as ‘All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether carried on in groups or individually.’
In relation to the context of the practice discussed in this essay, curriculum can be defined as, ‘the planned and guided learning experiences […] for the learner’s continuous and wilful growth in personal-social competence.’ Neary, 2002 p.40. The curriculum is planned to provide the best opportunity for the learners to achieve the qualification through learning the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will be utilised in the progressive routes of higher education or within the workplace. In addition to the curriculum above, the core curriculum includes basic key skills such as communication, literacy, numeracy and information technology (Carr & Kemmis, 1986) and is embedded in the current scheme of work (SOW) to allow learners to develop the skills needed for the working world.
It is important to mention the perspectives of education and two main theories inevitably surface. These are the theories of Functionalism and Marxism (1883). Functionalism is a theory which describes society as a living organism in which different society group’s function in different parts (Block, 1980). Simplified, functionalism stresses that individuals within a society identify rules and regulations which enable different social groups to get along; however, they remain different from each other in a meritocratic society as a “higher” or “lower class” citizen. (Block, 1980) Applied to education, the meritocratic society that functionalism creates results in a working