Skip to main content

Planning, Instruction and Assessment

Hello everyone,

I wanted to talk a little about what conceptions of curriculum, curricular designs and philosophies guide your planning, instruction and assessment within your adult learning contexts.

According to Dewey (1916), "the business of philosophy is to provide the framework for the aims and methods of schools.” There are main philosophies that help to guide decisions and practices within education.  These include: perrenialism, essentialism and progressivism. Perrenialism is the philosophy that wisdom should be passed down; essentialism is the philosophy that basic skills should be taught through time tested methods; progressivism is the philosophy that students should learn through their own experiences and based on their own needs. These philosophies help to guide conceptions of curriculum, curriculum designs, planning, instruction and assessment. Perrenialism and essentialism are linked to academic rationalism and a subject-centered design approach where traditional subjects are more superior than another and should be passed on. Subjects should be taught separately and not integrated. Progressivism is linked to a humanistic conception of curriculum and a learner-centered design approach where teaching, learning and curriculum are focused on the learner and helping them grow in order to reach their fullest potential. The 21st century teaching and learning seem to have taken on a more learner-centered approach where education focuses more on students learning through they own experiences and based on their own learning needs. As a Learning and Development Facilitator, we have also taken on a more learner centered approach to adult learning where we try to facilitate learning through connecting of learners’ experiences with the new information being given, allowing them to see the relevance of what they are learning and being able to apply it to their own lives; creating opportunities for them to use their experiences to solve problems and opportunities to reflect about and make meaning out of their experiences; and encouraging them to be active participants in their learning.  These all are rooted in adult theory where we create environments where the learner can reach their fullest potential. What philosophies, conceptions of curriculum and curricular designs guide your planning, instruction and assessment within other contexts of adult learning?

Here is a visual breakdown of educational philosophies, conceptions of curriculum and curricular designs:

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.