Faculty of Education - Theses

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    An exploratory study of teachers' planning in secondary social science
    Toomey, Ron ( 1976)
    For approximately the last twenty-five years Tyler's classical model has formed the basis of much curriculum planning. Stated in bare outline the model involves the following logical operations: (a) state objectives (b) select experiences (c) organize experiences (d) evaluate. Over time, this approach has been refined although its fundamental principles are still recommended to teachers by many authorities for the rational planning of courses, units and lessons. In view of a body of literature suggesting that some teachers plan differently from the classical approach, initially a view intuitively supported by this investigator, this study sought to explore the planning models used by some secondary social science teachers. Four teachers for study were identified. Insight into their methods of planning were obtained by interview, by simulated unit development and by classroom observations. The study raises a number of issues deserving closer examination. While it appears that some teachers may consider objectives to be central to the planning process, notwithstanding a disagreement about how specifically they should be stated, others view objectives as being peripheral or of little consequence. This latter group concentrate more on planning around the experiences and content to be presented to the students which, nevertheless, reflect their general intentions. An analysis of these respective approaches, when translated into classroom practice, suggests the usefulness of examining to what extent stating specific instructional objectives results in closed and terminal learning patterns. Additionally, how far teachers are sufficiently clear about their intentions and how much learning is enhanced when specific objectives are avoided in the planning process merit closer study. Comparatively speaking, judgements about any merits or limitations of planning with or without specific objectives require , extensive analysis of learning outcomes. A research pattern for such an analysis is explored in this study.