The English Language Arts

By Commission on the English Curriculum of the National Council of Teachers of English | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Procedures in Making the Curriculum

FOR THE SAKE OF COMMITTEES WHICH ASK CONSTANTLY, "How shall we begin?" it may be helpful at this point to summarize the procedure used in the present study. Local school systems can make a more thorough analysis of needs in their own communities than is possible on a national scale, but the bases of curriculum-making are the same everywhere.

The problem is one of determining what should be taught, to whom, and when; in other words, defining the scope of the experiences to be offered, deciding upon the sequence or order of presenting them, and planning to care for the needs of individual pupils. What is taught depends upon the basic philosophy of the school. The sequence in which experiences are offered grows out of knowledge of how pupils mature and how learning takes place. Caring for individual differences requires a careful diagnosis of the stage of growth of each individual within the classroom and the adjustment of instruction to the needs discovered.

Acceptance of the program in the end and its successful operation in the schools depend upon the care with which the basic philosophy is agreed upon in advance and understood by all who will be concerned with applying it in practice. Many a course of study has been shelved because those charged with putting it into practice had little to do with making it and lacked understanding of what it was aiming to accomplish.

-55-

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