One of the HOPE program standards is E1 – exemplify professionally-informed, growth-centered practice. The goal of this standard is for teacher’s to gain and maintain a broad spectrum of educational knowledge and pedagogical methods in order to effectively teach their students and maximize their student’s learning potential.
There were many examples in my Intro to Teaching class of ways to achieve this standard, but the one that stood out the most to me was the article we read by Donna L. Milled titled Curriculum Theory and Practice, What’s Your Style?. This article reviews four curriculum styles and includes a quiz at the end of the article for readers to determine their curriculum style. The four curriculum styles listed in the article are: Linear Thinkers, Holists, Laissez-Faire Advocates and Critical Theorists.
When teachers understand their own curriculum style, they can make conscious decisions about incorporating other styles into their practice (Miller, 2011). I have always been a linear thinker and planner and I assumed that would be the type of curriculum style that would fit me best. It was a pleasant surprise to find out after reading this article and taking the indicator quiz that my curriculum style is actually a combination of holistic and linear. I want to plan and organize the curriculum to engage my student’s interest, but I want the students to help direct and take ownership of their learning path.
As I was reading this article, it was both exciting and a little scary to think about letting go of my linear style in a class room (or a gym, since I’m planning to teach P.E.) full of students. It was a little scary envisioning teaching with a holistic style where, as Miller stated in this article, “power is more or less shared and boundaries are often crossed.” I like to have control and work best when I have a structured, organized plan in place. It was exciting, however, to imagine the benefits to my students if I incorporated some of the holistic style into my curriculum. Students have different learning styles, so it makes sense that teachers should have different curriculum styles to effectively teach to these students and maximize their learning.
My next step is to find out more information about the holistic approach through research and communication with current teachers, so I can find specific ways to incorporate this approach into my curriculum.
Miller, D.L. (2011). Curriculum Theory and Practice: What’s Your Style? Kappan 92 (7), 32-39.