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Mandhir Singh Sambhi

Pre-Class Writing 1- May 17, 2018

Schiro: Learner Centred

1. What does Schiro mean by a curriculum “ideology”? Is ideology a good word for what
he is describing? (Why or why not?)
a. LC has “humanized education” by putting the focus on the learner
b. Beginning from individual educators like Parker, Dewey and Johnson, waves of
movements (The Progressive Education Association) began promoting change on
a large scale
c. “Ideologies” may affect socio-political cultures, so opposition would be
inevitable: LC lost popularity when challenged to address needs of the poor and
needy (George Counts)
d. Open education movement made LC popular, but ill-informed proponents
undermined the concepts -- greater decline
e. LC advocates waiting for appropriate social and political atmosphere to allow
them to “assert their influence” (p. 149)

2. For the particular “ideology” described in your assigned chapter, how does Schiro
characterize key aspects of the ideology—this ideology’s perspective on:
a. the purpose/s of education
i. “growth, learning, and knowledge come through individuals’ personal
interactions with the world” (107)
ii. First Hand experience rather than reading a book or listening to a teacher
(“The Activity School” below)
b. the nature of students (children as learners)
i. Students find what they are interested in, and pursue inquiry in that
particular topic, not necessarily dependent on , but facilitated by provided
materials (ie. microscopes to observe microorganisms)
ii. own agents of knowledge, learning and to realize their own potential to
grow; inherently good in nature.
c. the nature of school-based learning
i. Schools should aim for a “constructivist” approach, building on
“constructionist” theories of students as centres of knowledge
1. Yes, students will make their own knowledge, but the environment
will have (constructive) effect on their learning
ii. “The Activity School”
1. Experience with reality
2. Experience with physical materials and people
a. Exchanges with peers, teachers, admin;
b. “Paying attention, listening, negotiations, dynamic
communication” (p.108)
3. Experience involving physical activity
a. Rather than sit silently, students are free to move about and
b. Engages all the senses, and can be designed/perceived as
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c. Multiple streams of education rather than one thing at a

4. Experiences inside and outside the classroom
iii. Organic - ‘life-giving’, “growing” - used the word a lot, but didn’t
perceive its depth before!!
1. ‘Training’ vs ‘growing’ - rather than force external demands on
them, let students develop at their own pace
2. Different qualitative experiences from infancy to adulthood
3. Support for different idiosyncrasies
d. the nature of teaching
i. Student interests drive the curriculum; In the scenario provided for the
Pond Water activity, students motivate others to explore pond water from
a different perspective and look for microorganisms.
ii. All students aren’t made to follow the same path: “One group continues its
exploration of poison ivy...” (p.103)
iii. The teacher is observing as she moves through the groups, but not telling
them what to do at every step of the way (facilitating)
1. Teacher as “Diagnostician” (p.137)
iv. Rather than “assume” the presence of the student during instruction, LC
“requires” student presence to define instruction (p. 114)
e. the most important kind of knowledge (what kind of knowledge should schools
focus on?), and
i. Experiential and inquiry driven; teacher no longer sole provider of
knowledge and information
ii. “I have experienced” rather than “I know” (p.106)
iii. Various interests and perspectives of students feed and facilitate each
other as everyone pursues their interests simultaneously
f. the nature of evaluation (how should students be assessed?).
i. Assessment for growth
1. “Observe, record, document” growth
ii. Not in favour of standardized testing
1. Can’t quantify learning (ie. self-concept, curiosity, etc.)
2. students can’t formulate/verbalize abstract expressions in an
objective way on publically standardized ‘forms’ or tests
iii. Grading is qualitative, full of description and feedback, and not a singular
1. Intrinsic value given precedence over external rewards
2. Self-evaluation by students is more important than somebody else
assessing their learning process
iv. Authentic assessment - not a short-term, low effort project--Portfolios,
logs and journals, reports; time-intensive, efforts input
1. Remove value-loading from evaluation: mistakes are a part of
2. View learners as whole instead of evaluating them in categories or
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3. Student evaluation isn’t distinct from teaching: assessment during

teaching, continuous throughout instruction