What, for you, is the purpose of curriculum documents? Who reads them? Why?

Objective:
Define and describe the key terms in the stem. What happened in the 3210 course that drew you to this stem? What elements of the 3210 course are addressed by this stem?

Curriculum documents are a framework to achieve desired objectives or outcomes of the course. The documents “will establish the sequence with and between levels and assures a coherent and articulated progression” (Guide to Curriculum Development:
Purposes, Practices, Procedures). Curriculum documents are not stand alone documents; they are supplemented by other documents such as course syllabus and lesson plans to assist the educator in a process to deliver the required content to the learner. Some examples of content that are in curriculum documents are admission requirements, knowledge and or skills that must be acquired, content to be delivered, assessment and evaluation methods, the required minimum grade that must be achieved to be deemed successful in the course, and resources required for the course or program. Walker believes that the fundamental concepts of curriculum include; content, purpose, and organization (Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum).

While researching and reflecting upon the week one activity of providing my definition of curriculum documents, I realized that I had very little knowledge about curriculum documents, the process of curriculum development and the role these documents have in relation to my role as an Educator.

Curriculum documents may be reviewed by government officials, licensing bodies, accreditation institutes, professional bodies, faculty members, stakeholders, industry groups and community groups. Curriculum documents are read for several different reasons. Government, licensing bodies and accreditation institutes will be required to review the document prior to approving the program. Faculty review the document to assist with facilitating the learners’ learning. Academics may review to consider if changes are required.

The entire module of the PIDP 3210 is addressed by his stem. In order to develop a curriculum document the developer or committee must consider the purpose for the program or course, who will taking the program or course, have knowledge on the
development of curriculum, who will be reviewing the document, why they will be reviewing it, and what content must be in the document. Other aspects taught in this module such as course syllabus and lesson plans are all developed after the curriculum document and must all be aligned in a systematic manner.

Reflective:
Why did you choose this stem? What caught your attention? What thoughts and/or feelings do you associate with this stem? How did the 3210 course help (or not) you learn more about the material associated with this stem? What did you do to help yourself learn more about this material?

I chose this stem for my first journal entry as I needed to research and learn more about curriculum documents as I realized I knew very little about the development or purpose of these documents. In fact, I had never seen the curriculum for the B.C. Practical Nursing Program until I started this module of the PIDP. I made several requests to my employer over the past five years to review the curriculum, but was only ever provided with a course syllabus for the module that I was instructing.

Upon researching and reflecting on this stem I believe that every Instructor teaching in a program has the obligation to review the curriculum for that course prior to the start of instructing it. Prior to starting this module of the PIDP I had very little knowledge of how curriculum was developed. I was not aware that there are two different types of education, competency based education and outcome based education. I have learned a lot about the process of curriculum development during this course.

I expanded my knowledge about curriculum documents through reading the 3210 Curriculum Development Guide, research, and reviewing other learner’s posts throughout this course.

Interpretive:
What for you was a turning point in your understanding of this material? What key insight(s) have been generated for you as you reflected on this stem? Why are these insight(s) significant and/or relevant?

My turning point in developing an understanding of curriculum documents was when I was researching for the week 2 activities. It was then that I gained insight how curriculum documents were created, and that there are two different types of curriculum documents.

The key insights that I have gained as a result of this stem, are that curriculum documents focus on the aims and content to be taught, state the competency or outcomes to be achieved, describes the assessment and evaluation process, resources required, and teaching approaches for the course. These are all relevant as my role as an Educator

Decisional:
How has this stem and the insights you have gained from this journal reflection influenced your ideas of teaching? How will this educational experience inform your professional practice? What are some related practices or activities you plan to introduce (or continue using) in your teaching?

Through reflection I have realized the importance of reviewing curriculum documents prior to teaching the program or course. In my opinion the Instructor has a responsibility to ensure that the course syllabus and lesson plans are aligned with the curriculum. As well as the stated assessment and evaluation processes to be used during the course.

This experience has made me realize that I need to review the BC Practical Nursing Program curriculum to ensure that there is a consistent flow with my lesson plans. A priority for my professional practice is to be aware of the expected competencies that my learners are to achieve to be successful in the course, as well as the stated assessment and evaluation process.

References:
Connecticut State Department of Education, Guide to Curriculum Development: Purpose, Practices, Procedures, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 1,2012 http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2618&q=321162

Infed, Curriculum Theory and Practice, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 1, 2013, http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-curric.htm

Marsh, Colin, J., Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on March 1, 2013, http://qzabansara.com/News/NF23256.pdf

School of Instructor Education, April 2012, PIDP 3210 Curriculum Development Course Guide. Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Community College

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