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Comparison of 7th Grade Language Arts Curriculum Guides of Three Schools Comparison of 7th Grade Language Arts Curriculum Guides of Three Schools Education is a valuable heritage that significantly contributes to an individual’s success in life. Most of education is provided in schools, following an organized curriculum…
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Download file to see previous pages Mark Smith (1996) is one of the theorists who studied various definitions of curriculum as described by many educationalists. He described curriculum in a range of approaches. One of them is linked to syllabus or a body of knowledge to be transmitted to the students. Smith also stressed that curriculum is a set of objectives, where there is a drawn-up plan to apply intended objectives with a measurable outcome. Another alternative definition is that curriculum is a student’s total experience. It comprises teachers’ and students’ communication and relationships between them. Smith also recommends that curriculum is one’s ability to apply theory to practice. Language Arts is one essential subject area that hones communication skills of students. Being knowledgeable in literature, grammar and writing is one important goal for them that will greatly benefit them in their growth and development. This paper will compare 7th Grade Language Arts curriculum guides of three district schools in New Jersey, namely the Hillside, Union and Orange Public Schools. The comparison will only be based on the guides acquired from these schools and not from how their curriculums are implemented. Of the three schools, Hillside Public School provided the most comprehensive curriculum guide. Next was the Orange School which also provided a clear outline indicating the goals of the Language Arts program and how its assessment strategies. Union School provided the least comprehensive guide, with just the use of cue words in enumerating its curriculum content and suggested activities. Demographics The district of Union had the biggest population at 62,629 followed by Orange at 31,165 and Hillside at 21,229. Of these populations, Hillside had the highest number of children of school age (5-17 years) at 18.27%, closely followed by Union at 16.01 % and Orange at 15.29%. Union had the highest number of Caucasians at 71.15%. Hillside had 30.64% and Orange had the lowest number at 9.72%. Its majority is the Black population at 72.96%. Hillside has 53.3% share of the Black population and Union had the least number at 4.95%. Hillside had the highest population of Hispanics at 79.60%. Orange only had 19.73% followed by Hillside at 17.86%. Hillside had the most number of literate people with 83% high school graduates followed by Orange at 77.1%. Union had 64.4% high school graduates. With college graduates, Hillside has the highest number again having 23.2% graduates, followed by Union at 17.3% and Orange at 16.6%. Union had 49.54% of its people speaking one other language other than English. Hillside and Orange are closely tied at 19.04% and 19.85% respectively. In terms of family income, Hillside had the highest median family income at an average of $73,816.00. Orange follows at $48,873.00 and Union at $41,988.00. Consistently, Hillside had the lowest poverty at only 9.6%. Orange has 16.5% and Union had the highest poverty at 19.6%. (New Jersey School District Demographic Characteristics, 2013). Curriculum structure (Understanding by Design vs. Pacing guide) One of the widely adopted curriculum design is the ‘Understanding by Design’ Planning Framework (UbD) by Wiggins, Grant and McTighe (1998). This is also known as the Backward Design Model wherein the teacher starts with the end, the desired results, and then derives the curriculum from the evidence of learning called for by the expectations and the teaching needed to equip students to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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