Implementation of Curriculum Theory in Formation of Specialists in Higher Education
Author describes his contribution to curriculum theory and his experiences in using it in his research, development and teaching. It concerns overcoming the contradiction between the humanist goal in education theory and delivery of subject knowledge in practice. Formation of men, specialists and citizens has been the main curriculum goal more than a century. This goal should determine selection of study materials (subjects, concepts and theories). So far, designers of syllabuses have followed the subject logic and failed to integrate it with humanist concepts. Many curriculum theorists did not find any common theoretical ground for scientific, humanist and educational theories. They combined theories of man with social and cultural demands and treated them as the three main factors for curriculum (and student) development. This framework is eclectic as it contrasts theoretical phenomena with social ones (representatives of society and culture). It also discriminates students. It does not take them as equal partners and actors in their own development. Author has overcome these shortcomings. He has relied on the political or pluralist model of curriculum design in which teachers, students and employers are equal partners. In this model, men are represented by students, society—by employers and culture—by educational institutions and teachers. Author has added to this political model also the conceptual one that combines theories of man, society and culture. It focuses on initial definition of man, society and culture as mutually inclusive and integrated. All curricula, sciences and courses are parts of culture. They are sign systems that refer to different aspect of relations between man, society, culture and nature. This conceptual system enables to integrate all courses, all syllabuses with concepts of man and human development. Author has implemented this new conceptual system in his teaching and curriculum development at the Tallinn University of Technology. He also did this in his research on curriculum practice in Estonia and other countries.
KeywordsCurriculum Estonia Discrimination
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