A curriculum refers to the entire program that is taught to learners in the institutions. It is the academic and lessons that are offered in schools and various institutions (Kelly, 2012). The curriculum is vital for both teaching purpose and learning. The teacher uses the curriculum to deliver content to the students and pupils while the learner requires the curriculum for personal studies. The curriculum is designed in such a way that the students and the teachers find easy time to read and teach respectively. The curriculum exists in various groups depending on the academic heights achieved (Richmond, 2000). This way, the curriculum to grade one individual is different from that one of grade two or grades three and so on. Even on the same subject like Social studies, the curriculum in various grades has different content. The good thing is that the curriculum is designed in such a way that one has to start at a low grade to a much higher grade. The concept in various grades is advanced as one move from one grade to the other. The curriculum also is scheduled such that it allows the assessment to ascertain the proficiency in the content delivered. The curriculum is, therefore, an essential concept in the education. Evaluation of the curriculum assesses the effectiveness of the curriculum given (Green & Stone, 1977). The curriculum outline needs to be in line with the curriculum principles and policies. Evaluation of the curriculum allows the teacher to plan for the lesson, to ensure the knowledge is passed to learners (Green & Stone, 1977). This paper shall be focusing on the curriculum evaluation of social studies.
Social studies are one of subject offered to the learner from the elementary level to even more advanced level of education. A curriculum was decided by the government to be integrated into the educational system so that the student can be taught. The curriculum entails the study of human society. In United States Education system, social studies are an integrated study with various areas of studies such as political science, humanities, history, geography, and social science. The essence of understanding the way of life among the people prompted the incorporation of social studies into the educational system. The curriculum of social studies is arranged into various grades from the first grade to a much higher grade.
The social studies lesson plan attached has various primary learning strategies tailored to ensure that the students can understand and comprehend the content. The primary learning strategies applied includes:
(i) Organizing the group discussion: The lesson plan is such that the student are organized in various groups with each group having the group leader to lead the discussion. According to the lesson plan, group members are organized randomly so that the bias is ruled out. Group discussion brings about the realization of the set objectives by ensuring that the student can comprehend what is being taught. In the group discussion, the student deliberate on the points that have been taught and this gives them a chance to understand them properly (Lund, 2011). The aspects that are not well understood are discussed in the groups, and this allows the student have another chance to grasp them or understand properly. Similarly, group discussion ensures that the students can memorize the points that were taught. Group discussion allows the student to teach each other. This makes it easy for the understanding to be realized since the fellow student using easy language and relevant context for everyone to understand delivers explanations. The discussion of questions in groups allows the student to correct each other and have the knowledge of the proper way to handle the questions when they come (Kelly, 2012). The use of the questions as well ensures the student gain knowledge in the examinable part. It is therefore clear that group discussion allows for the concept of the topic of the lesson to be grasped thus leading to attaining the stipulated objectives (Lund, 2011).
(ii) Creating a conducive environment: This is by allowing the student to know each other in the class setting. The familiarizing with the classmates and the university setting allows the student to understand positively the place they will be spending time during the learning period (Richmond, 2000). Similarly, the student creates the suitable environment by familiarizing with the timetable and what they are expected to learn. The appropriate environment ensures the student to have the freedom to ask questions at the point not well understood. The suitable environment as well allows the student to inquire from any person in case of the challenge. It arises since the students have familiarized with each other properly and therefore they consider each other as friends. The suitable environment builds confidence in the students towards responding to the asked questions. In totality, the appropriate environment allows the student to be able to learn from each other. The ability to freely tell where the concept is not well taken in allows for the assistance from the other classmates as well as from the teacher. This directly ensures mastering of the concept. Conducive environment ensures freedom to share information about education, which builds each other towards excellence, and at the same time enable the mastering of the topic and the associated content (Kelly, 2012).
(iii) Giving homework assignment to the students: The students are given tasks to be done in their home setting the moment they are free. This allows the student to handle the work alone and even consult the books where they do not understand. The plan has this section to diversify the setting for learning. Homework ensures that the students continue to practice and to learn while they are at home (Richmond, 2000). It emphasizes on the fact that education is not only taken in the classroom setting but it should also be practiced at home. The practice of learning at home allows the student to gain more and memorizes the information taught (Taylor, 1997). The exercises are given to be done also equip the student with the ability to apply what they have learnt in answering the question. This sharpens their competence in the knowledge delivery about the topic of study.
(iv) Giving the students work in the form of the essay to write in the class setting: After teaching, and even after discussion the essay relevant to the topic of study is assigned where the students are expected to write over a short period. The essay is also given before the class is concluded to be finished and submitted for a specific duration set. Usually, the short essay is given. The short essay allows the teacher to identify the area where the student has not understood and plan on ways to teach again so that comprehension of the content can be achieved. Similarly, the essay allows the student to identify the student who needs attention and grant them what is needed. Short essay gave train the student to remember what was taught thus upholding knowledge comprehension. This is in line with the intended objectives (Kelly, 2012).
(v) Allowing the student to familiarize with the curriculum and the previous contents: The students are allowed to familiarize with the content that they shall be dealing with by being given the outline and timetable. Similarly, familiarization on the group members and the leader as well as lesson activities are organized on the lesson plan before teaching starts (Kelly, 2012). This strategy allows the students to plan themselves in line with what they will be learning. They will be able to pull every necessary resource needed so that they are set to start learning. It ensures that once learning commences, the students can move at the pace of teaching knowing what is expected of them. The readiness among the learners makes it easy for them to understand what is being taught. Besides, identifying the resources that have a positive impact on the ability to understand thus the learner can master the content properly.
(vi) Identification of needed skills to effective teaching: The teacher in ensuring efficiency in teaching practices usually identifies the necessary skills that should be used for the student to learn more about the topic. The skills ensure that they all kinds of students are attentive while in class. The skills to be able to cater for the academic demand of each student ensure that the all students are able to understand during the teaching despite their differences in understanding, concentration, and attention (Green & Stone, 1977). This ensures that no student is left untaught after the topic is taught. This is in line with the stipulated objective of ensuring students understanding the concept of the causes of The American Revolution.
(vii) Presenting the ideas to be learned in form of the maps and charts: The lesson plan incorporate demonstrating of the topic taught on the map. For example demonstration of the region occupied by the revolution groups in America as being taught in the lesson plan (Youl-Kwan Sung & , 2009). Knowledge gained through demonstration using map utilizes multiple senses. It is therefore referred to as multiple sense learning. It forms a long lasting memory in the brain of the students. They will be able to appreciate what is learnt and this boosts the ability to remember. The comprehension of the taught as well demonstrated information will be enhancing leading to the satisfaction of the objectives set in the curriculum.
This strategy entails the use of demonstrations, video clips, and planning for trips to the historical sites relevant to the topic of study. This strategy aims at enhancing the understanding of the content in the curriculum to the students. Demonstrative teaching allows for easy understanding of the content in the curriculum. The demonstration can be in the form of the maps of pictures and even charts (Youl-Kwan Sung & , 2009). The modification that shall be made will be to attach each given lesson with a relevant demonstration or a video clip or both of them. The plans to visit the historical grounds as stipulated in the curriculum shall also be considered, and each student will find an opportunity to visit them.
This is important to enhance the understanding of the content being delivered in the classroom settings. It allows the student to appreciate what is being taught as realistic. The passion for knowing more develops and it makes the learner seek more information that satisfies the curiosity as well as enables more understanding. Most importantly, the demonstration and use of video clips on the concept taught utilizes multiple senses (Taylor, 1997). Multiple sense learning is effective in enhancing understanding. The pictures show and exhibit made in class coupled together with the content delivered creates a permanent memory in the brain thus improving the knowledge (Youl-Kwan Sung & , 2009).
The strategy is incorporated into the lesson plan together with other curriculum activities (Green & Stone, 1977). The maps and video clips need to be obtained from archived centres as well as from the internet access. Once they have been collected, they are integrated together with the regular teaching activity. The demonstration may come before the teaching starts or in the middle of the teaching. It can as well be the last to be used as a basis for the conclusion. Plans to visit the historical places are planned in the lesson activities where such trips are organized so that students can attend and appreciate what was being taught in class settings.
This refers to the practice of allowing students to be carried out the discussion...
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