Essay on Reflection: Education and Affective Curriculum

Submitted By bowezov
Words: 822
Pages: 4

When I was studying the lesson readings from second and fifth chapters of VanTassel–Baska and coauthors (2009) I found myself unfamiliar with relevant theories, affective curriculum and its components in a gifted program. VanTassel–Baska et al., (2009, p.31) reports that “Affective curriculum is essential if gifted and talented students are to optimize their potential, relate well to others, express themselves fully, and make good life decisions”. Further, many relevant theories and implications exist that guide and help educators develop affective curriculum throughout the schools or districts. Educators believe that many of research–based needs of low income and minority populations are promoted by tailoring affective curriculum and instruction. Therefore, for low income and minority students, using affective curriculum and instruction techniques are crucial to advanced development in all other areas. Safe risk–taking, group research, and discussion in small collaborative groups are some of the needs of these populations. Particularly, following characteristics of the affective curriculum meet the learning features of low income and minority populations:
• Use of creative expressive activities including open–ended ones,
• Use of concept mapping and metacognition strategies,
• Use of multicultural materials and strategies,
• Use of inquiry approaches (VanTassel–Baska, 2009, p.127).
Both low income and minority learners are usually seem socially disadvantaged and marginalized in school circumstances because of their socioeconomic backgrounds such as clothing, mannerisms, and friendship understanding. For example, I witness in many schools that these individuals exhibit different attitudes and behaviors that are not aligned with other learners and this results them to become independent in their mode of learning. I believe, at this point it is critical to remember VanTassel–Baska and coauthors’ affective strategies for promoting their social and emotional development. For these learners, the understanding of the arts is more appropriate to nurture and promote their development. Students from various cultural backgrounds may respond more to the integration of cognitive and affective elements inherent to the arts because of the adaptation of cognition and affect within their own culture. These populations are encouraged to address cognitive and academic needs in integration with artistic endeavors. “Use of the visual arts, dance, music, and theater all have their special pull for these students because they can serve as an emotional and aesthetic outlets, as well as offer cognitive challenge in a noncore area of the curriculum” (VanTassel–Baska et al., 2009, p.128).
Both direct and indirect curriculum can be used to promote affective development of low income and minority learners. In particular, I believe that direct instruction sounds more appropriate when we work with these populations. Low income and minority learners are tend to engage to the curriculum that promotes independent study. VanTassel–Baska et al., (2009) notes, “… direct instruction curricula explicitly developed to teach social skills such as active listening or conflict mediation”. For example, curricula designed to promote independent study usually accommodate direct instruction on affective abilities such as recognizing interests and designing tasks. Additionally, researchers report that “… the theory of successful intelligence has led to curricula that teach practical thinking, including lessons on affective skills such as handling personal