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Background to the Curriculum Policy Text

Discuss about the Curriculum of Excellence in Educational Policy.

The curriculum of Excellence is an educational policy that has been published by the Scottish Parliament of educational affairs in the year 2010. It was announced by the minister of education and young people namely Mr. Peacock and Deputy Minister of Education and young people namely Euan Robson. This curriculum mainly aimed at including children from the age of 3 to the age of 18 into an educational ground in such a way so that they develop values and morals which would help them to become experienced learners. This policy aimed at making their skills polished in such a way so that they can recognize their talents and employ them in correct fields to achieve the most flourishing careers one can dream. It promised to deliver knowledge that would help them to promote and develop their values, abilities and understanding capabilities (Hedge and MacKenzie 2016).

The curriculum outlines the strategies that must be taken to make the children and young people of Scotland successful in their future. The strategies also promise to look over the inhibitions and make attempts to overcome them like overcrowding, poverty, lack of proper connectivity between stages of curriculum and many others. This curriculum mainly identifies the different values on which the educational goals would be set, the purpose and the outcomes with which the learners can associate and to help schools design their education system with new ways for teachers and educators (Gov.scot, 2010). The curriculum tried to take initiatives that would help the budding children to develop their knowledge in systematic ways without overcrowding of concepts and different subjects.

However, the essay is subjected to two important, crucial areas of inequality and underpinning values that have formed the main foundations behind the preparation of the strategies. Another important question that also needs to be attended is whether the set of values provide significance to ideas and concepts or competence and skills. The essay will critically evaluate the strategies that are mentioned and will try to assess the questions critically in the light of the values that had been set by the Scottish government. The designing and layout along with the readers of the policy is also a question that requires thorough analysis for quality assurance.

This essay will be based on an argumentative approach that will critically analyze the questions to find out the effectivity of the curriculum in the light of the initiative that they had proposed to undertake. It is to be analyzed that one of the main issue faced by the United Kingdom of inequality is properly handled by the policy or not. It would also judge our whether the underpinning values are based on immoral attitudes of sexism, classism, disability and many others. Moreover, it would also cover the evaluation of the designing and the layout that can be observed in the policy papers. The essay will also give an idea to the reader about those cohorts of people who would be intricately interested in reading the paper for the betterment of the beholders of the future generation.

Approach to the Policy

The Scotland government had aimed for the development of a nation where the children of Scotland irrespective of their social background would be liberated enough to achieve their goals in their adult life. They wanted to create a future generation where a proper development of the personality, talents mental and physical abilities of the children will achieve the greatest peak. The government believed that this curriculum would help in creating individuals who would be matured enough to take the responsibilities and career decisions to excel in life (Kidner 2013). The existing policies for achieving educational excellence were verified through conversations with teachers, educators, policy experts, and others to cover the loopholes and publish strategies that would help to achieve the goals. This background was based on the political arena and had covered the political backdrop of the release of the policy (Macdonald 2014).

If one wants to ponder over the social background of the emergence of the policy, then it can be stated that proper educational reforms seemed very important according to the policy makers. The nation needed to understand that if one wants to develop the economic stability of the nation, the proper publication of the policy with correct strategies is very important. Development of a strategy to efficiently handle the growing diversity with kindness and open-mindedness, reduce poverty and low employment issues and for promoting healthcare is very important. Therefore it leads the Department of Education, and the young people believe that providing correct moral, virtues and values through education would help to meet the crisis period. This would have also helped the students to suit themselves with the continuous modifying environment and thereby help the learners to adapt themselves to the changing demands of the global economy. Moreover, it had also been stated that in spite of the current educational policy had numerous features, but somehow the children were not able to achieve entirely what they are capable to (Doyle and Brown 2013).

These backgrounds were responsible for the development of an educational policy that would try to look for all the loopholes. The new policy would try to solve issues faced by all the stakeholders and produce a foolproof plan with correct strategies.

While analyzing the policy, one should follow the Rizvi and Lingard method of assessment of the frameworks of different educational policies. Those authors along with their contemporary researcher Taylor had established that a particular perspective of post-national dimensions is indeed very helpful for the critical analysis of a particular educational policy. However, they did not ignore the realities of the state. To be specific, they stated that national governments should be the collaboration site of transnational institutions and global ideologies. These will seek to steer for the social imaginaries of policy actors also including national traditions and local policies at the same time. They have stated clearly that to study educational policies in the recent era of globalization certain criteria are to be kept in mind. They have found out through various researches over a large number of state, national and global policies (Rizvi and Lingard, review  2010).

Curriculum Policy Analysis and Findings

The interested learners and researchers should study the educational policies by initiating the development of certain specific theoretical and methodological approaches. These approaches would be based on the perspective and compete for evaluation of the global, post-national dimension at the same time of including into accounts of state realities. It helps to shed light on the recent social and economic consequences that arose from the misleading of the concept of neoliberalism in every nation. Its effects on the educational policy are high and therefore the Rizvi and Lingard's method of assessing educational policy as helped researchers to ask various questions. The author views are often found to be credential in assessing critical arguments on the concept of globalizing educational policy. They also represent the theoretical as well as the practical initiation for rethinking and then following re-elaborating educational policy. Hence, their way help in providing many questions which when answered can give a scenario for the loopholes and success of the issues (Rizvi and Lingard 2013).

Main underpinnings:

One can pick out two important areas where one can focus their discussion about. The first important question that one needs to assess while analyzing the current policy is that whether it has focused on the inequality issues or not. It is noted that the policy although keeps inequality as a background for the introduction of the revised policy of education in Scotland, the entire text did not mention any significant initiative to reduce the inequality often faced by different learners in the process. Inequality is not being addressed properly that is no initiative is taken significantly for reduction of inequality. As a result, in the second phase of the term years of the curriculum of Excellence, it is noted that the outcome of the policy has been varying among different schools over Scotland (Smith 2.016). This is mainly because biases and the distinction of students between different privileged and underprivileged backgrounds have still been present in Scotland. Moreover, issue such as sexism, classism, homophobic behavior, disabilities is also not addressed. However in the long run, from different sources, gender differentiation and classism issues have been seen to be reported by different researchers (Priestley and Minty 2013).

To analyze the question that whether the policy text poses importance of knowledge as ideas and concepts or as competence and skills, one needs to have a thorough analysis of the entire text. Although there is no particular mention that the curriculum imposes knowledge into specific categories, an idea can be made after evaluation of the entire text. If one ponders over the phrase used "education should be directed to the development of the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of the child or young person to their fullest potential" and that "due regard, so far as is reasonably practicable, should be paid to the views of the child or young person in decisions that significantly affect them, taking account of the child or young person's age and maturity" From this quote one can assume that the policy makers termed education as the provision of knowledge that would not only help the children to develop ideas and concepts through the application of eight different subjects that are proposed. They would also involve the development of skills and maturities that would help them to be competitive and at the same time give them the capability to achieve their dream career after being extremely talented in the application of their skills (Humes 2013). Therefore, answering the question would be a little tricky as the policy covered a broader aspect of knowledge and education.

If one asks a question about the layout, design and use of color, then it can be said that the vocabulary that had been followed in the text is not too complicated. It is easy enough for ordinary readers to understand and apprehend the text easily. The background of the text is kept in white with writings done in black. To denote the important points and statements, the green color is used that shows high significance value to the readers. The writings are not compact but very clear and therefore it can be read easily.

The questions about the main cohorts of readers of the policy and the text would be the young people who would be interested enough to utilize it as a consort where they would like to include different skills in their active life. It would help them with more options like art, drama, and other activities. They would also read it to achieve the higher standard of education, by focusing on the purposes of learning abilities. Parents can develop a sense of clear understanding of the requirements and the opportunities available for their wards (Priestley and Biesta 2013). Therefore they can provide proper support and hence develop their child’s future. The teachers and educators can also use it as the guidelines which when followed by them clearly will help to develop their skills in teaching (Wallace and Priestley 2016).

To refer to the issue of inequality, it should be stated that the teacher and the educators should be careful enough not to allow any inequality among the learners. Biases between students among different backgrounds need to be avoided by the teachers. Recent studies have shown that quality of education received from all the schools has not been similar and inequality has been a reason behind that. Students should have the scope of receiving the equal share of affection and knowledge from their teacher that would ultimately make the policy successful (Forsyth 2014).

The schools should instill the concept of knowledge in the students in such a way so that not only they develop ideas and concepts about the certain subjects that are included in the curriculum. They should also make the student understand that knowledge could be their main weapon of survival in the competitive world. They have to develop their skills and talents in their field of interest so that they can apply such skills in their employment areas and earn sufficiently to live a happy life (Hayward and Hutchinson 2013).

As the policy shows texts which are easy and can be understood easily, the teachers should not only follow them as guidelines but also can influence the students to go through them so that they can understand the efficiency of education in their future life. Once they understand how going through a routine discipline can help them achieve their goals they would be filled with more enthusiasm.

Various cohorts of readers can go through the curriculum policy. For example, the parents can thereby understand the ways Scottish schools work and would be able to adapt to their environment. They can also assist their children with the school work as they can understand the demands of their schools (McKechan and Ellis 2014). Therefore, in various ways, one can find that the policy can have a propounding impact on the schools of Scotland and other associated stakeholders as well.

Conclusion:

From the above essay, one can thereby understand that curriculum for Excellence provided by the Department of Education and Young people have tried its best to cover a curriculum suitable for the budding children and their future dreams. There are certain areas like inequality and poverty which has not been properly covered in the policy texts. Moreover, they have also explained the gaining of knowledge in a controversial context. However, not many loopholes are found, and the different mentioned underpinnings can be closely evaluated and imposed in the school system. The educators should be polished enough to handle the underpinnings effectively. This essay hopes the success of the policy in the coming terms in the following years to be a major success.

References:

Authority, S.Q., 2014. 174.13 Qualifications Development Consultant (Languages)–Curriculum for Excellence.

Doyle, L. and Brown, V., 2013. Curriculum for Excellence: Impact on higher education. Final report

Fazal, R. and Lingard, B., 2013. Globalizing education policy. Online: Taylor and Francis.

Forsyth, S., 2014. Curriculum for Excellence and the Donaldson Report: a coherent approach supporting teachers in the move towards evidence based practice. The Scottish Association for Teachers of Physical Education On-line Journal, 1(2).

Gov.scot. (2017). A Curriculum for Excellence - The Curriculum Review Group. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2004/11/20178/45862 [Accessed 3 Jan. 2017].

Hayward, E.L. and Hutchinson, C., 2013. ‘Exactly what do you mean by consistency?’Exploring concepts of consistency and standards in Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 20(1), pp.53-68.

Hedge, N. and MacKenzie, A., 2016. Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: a defence of autonomy and personhood. Oxford Review of Education, 42(1), pp.1-15.

Humes, W., 2013. The Origins and development of curriculum for excellence: Discourse, politics and control. Reinventing the curriculum: New trends in curriculum policy and practice, pp.13-34.

Kidner, C., 2013. Curriculum for excellence.

Macdonald, I., 2014. CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE: a study of art & design and the impact on Higher Education. AD, (9), pp.24-25.

McKechan, S. and Ellis, J., 2014. Collaborative learning in the Scottish curriculum for excellence: The challenges of assessment and potential of multi-touch technology. Education 3-13, 42(5), pp.475-487.

Priestley, M. and Biesta, G. eds., 2013. Reinventing the curriculum: New trends in curriculum policy and practice. A&C Black.

Priestley, M. and Minty, S., 2013. Curriculum for Excellence:'A brilliant idea, but...'. Scottish Educational Review, 45(1), pp.39-52.

RIZVI, F. and LINGARD, B. 2010. Globalizing Education Policy. London and New York. [online] orbisscholae.cz. Available at: https://www.orbisscholae.cz/archiv/2010/2010_2_09.pdf [Accessed 3 Jan. 2017].

Smith, J., 2016. What remains of History? Historical epistemology and historical understanding in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (Forthcoming). Curriculum Journal

Wallace, C.S. and Priestley, M.R., 2016. Secondary science teachers as curriculum makers: Mapping and designing Scotland's new Curriculum for Excellence. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

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