Saturday, 2 February 2013

Entry 1 - Curriculum: Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology

My philosophy keeps evolving as I learn but the root of it started with my own mother, who was a teacher for over thirty years, teachers throughout my student career and my own experience in the classroom and as a mother.
I use a mix of lecture, questioning, student demonstrations and discussions which prompts the learner to think and solve problems. 
            Subjects should be related to everyday life so it is meaningful and easily understood.  
            With diligence and discipline, anyone can learn and do well unless there is a disability or other underlying problems. 
I am current in my field of specialty and also the world of work so I can truly prepare my students.
My philosophy encompasses at least three of the five standard philosophies, idealism, realism and experimentalism. 
According to Cohen (1999), under idealism, “the aim of education is to discover and develop each individual’s abilities…..”  Emphasis is therefore on the workings of the mind and focus on intellectual processes which questioning and problem solving will accomplish and thereby leads to truth. 
Realism is about facts, critical thinking and logics which are all critical in the ICT world.  Realism also speaks to discipline and exemplary behavior from teachers, tenets of my own delivery.
 Information Communication Technology (ICT) in its very nature lends itself to experimentalism in that it constantly changes just like the world does.  This is the reality I bring to my students. I encourage them to be current on developments and spur them in to watching trends.

           Beliefs and values are the foundation of a philosophy and will affect teaching and learning and the curriculum. Kurtus (2009), states that “philosophy starts with the view of reality and definitions of truth and goodness”.  ICT is influenced by idealism, realism, experimentalism and existentialism. 
Experientialism influences the ICT curriculum because of advances made every day.   Consequently, the material and methods of delivery will change often.   ICT is used to solve many problems in the world and this is incorporated in the curriculum.
            Existentialism liberates the students allowing them to know who they are and purpose in life.  It is student-centred learning and suitable in ICT, evidenced in distance and web-based learning.
Cherry (2010), states that, “psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior” (pg. 1).  Teachers should be aware of how curriculum must be organized to facilitate and enhance learning.  Questions like how content is made and what type of content is suitable to the age and development of children are important.  
Thaffe (2012), says that Jamaican Psychologist, Dr. Claudine Hyatt expressed belief that our curricula needs to be changed to mee the needs of boys because it is more geared towards girls achievements.  As such boys have been falling through the cracks.
The levels of student participation on the curriculum have to be decided.  There is also the hidden curriculum to be influenced as it in turn influences the whole teaching and learning process. Teachers must use educational psychology to determine this hidden curriculum and how it will influence education.
Anderson and Taylor (2007), states that “sociology is the study of human behavior in society” (pg 2).  Crossman (2013) posits that sociology is broad and covers many areas such as, demography, social inequality, deviance and crime, race and ethnicity, education and religion.
Sociology no doubt will influence the curriculum based on this background.
June 14, 2012, Gleaner editorial, “National School Curriculum to be revised” basically acknowledge that our curriculum at the high school level falls short since enrollment drops between primary and high school.  It suggests that child labour is one such cause and the curriculum needs to address it.
Recently, our Education minister, Ronald Thwaites, re-introduced Civics to be taught in the high school curriculum.  The need existed to influence national pride in our young people so they will be more responsible Jamaicans.  This is another example of sociology influencing the High School curriculum.


Andersen , Margaret L. ,  Taylor, Howard Francis (2007),  Sociology: The Essentials,
Thomson Learning, United States of America.

Cherry, K. (2012) What is psychology?, Adams Media, Retrieved from

Cohen, LeoNora M. (1999), Section III – Philosophical perspectives in education part 2,
four general or world philosophies,  Retrieved from
 Crossman, Ashley (2013), What Is Sociology? An Introduction To Sociology,  Retreieved from

 National School Curriculum to be revised (2012),The Jamaica Gleaner, Retrieved from

Patterson, Chris (2012), Jamaicans Welcome Re-Introduction of Civics, Retrieved from

Thaffe, N. Change (2012) Teaching methods to reach boys, says psychologist,  The Gleaner, Retrieved from

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