Discussion Forum Post #1 Neutral Curriculum Collapse To define

Discussion Forum Post #1 Neutral Curriculum
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To define a neutral curriculum would be like a caged cheetah. We all know the potential that
this type of animal has but would never know its full potential unless it was let go. The same is
with a neutral curriculum. Curriculum itself has vast potential based off the foundations of the
teacher who conveys his or her thoughts to a particular classroom. To neutralize that effect
would not maximize the many possible outcomes to student based learning off indoctrination as
Brummelen explains. “If indoctrination means giving views without complete reasons, then
most education of younger children involves indoctrination”(Brummelen, 2002, p. 3). It also has
everything to do with the teacher and how they present their material. All teachers have their
own bias towards certain ideas and beliefs and to allow their students to base their own opinions
and judgments off what the teacher is trying to explain then allows them to reach their own
conclusions. Brummelen states, “That is the only way to be sincere and get students to think
about what is right and wrong. Interpretation enters any meaningful argument. Good teachers
hold, express and defend moral and religious views” (2002, p. 3).
There are many hurdles in the way a private and public schools would view these
criteria. First off, the curricula are more secular than that of Christian schools. Many different
organizations such as the government and publishing companies play the role in how the
curriculum is delivered in the diversity of the two as well. I think that a neutral curriculum
would be more evident in public schools than in Christian schools because it is a curriculum that
is secular and suitable to all children. It also presents, as Brummelen mentions, a concept of
dualistic view. “It’s a view of the world where Christian faith is a private concern that has little
to do with the warp and woof of life in society”(Brummelen, 2002, p. 4). In regards to both,
curriculum still must be taught with a sense of developing autonomy and allowing students free
will in developing their creative and critical decision making skills. Unfortunately, in today’s
time, teachers who express their Christian beliefs towards students can suffer consequences like
formal reprimands and loss of job. I think that their needs to be more people like myself, who
are Christian, working in a public school system that maintain a sense of fairness and
equity. “You should give students full freedom to consider and adopt points of view that differ
from yours. However, you should not sell your students short by not indicating your beliefs and
your reasons for them at appropriate points” (Brummelen, 2002, p. 12).
Brummelen, H. V. (2002). Steppingstones to
Curriculum (2nd ed.). Colorado Springs,
Colorado: Purposeful Design Publications.
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August 22, 2013 6:03:56 AM EDT 7 hours ago
Deborah Davis
Response to: Discussion Forum Post #1 Neutral Curriculum
Parent Post
I find your words, “In regards to both, curriculum still must be taught with a sense
of developing autonomy and allowing students free will in developing their
creative and critical decision making skills” particularly interesting in light of our
reading in the Miller text this week. “According to Piaget the structuralist, the
nature of mental structures changes as they develop” (Miller, 2002, p. 33). So, if
developing autonomy is part of the instructor’s duties, then the teacher must work
within the mental stages where the students are at the time of the teaching. This
opens up a world of potential. While much of Piaget’s work was with children, I
believe there is never a time when we stop developing. If we do, we die. As
educators, we should never stop teaching – never stop learning.
As Christians, we have an obligation to Jesus to share Him in everything we
do. I’m sure we are all familiar with St Francis of Assisi’s words, “Preach the
gospel always, if necessary, use words.” To that end, the students are our
congregation, and the tools of our teaching are our pulpits. We have to live the
gospel to preach the gospel. Our students are so impressionable, and our position
as teachers makes us in a position of authority. It also makes us vulnerable to the
sin of pride. We must pray for both humility and strength to present the gospel,
through whatever means, as we work with our students where they are in their own
development. That, at the college level is a challenge of diversity.
Miller, P. H. (2002). Theories of
Developmental Psychology. Worth
Publishers: New York.