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The Evolution of Curriculum Development in the Context of Increasing Social and Environmental Complexity

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.38192    7,616 Downloads   13,944 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

The history of curriculum development has been characterized and a series of “crises” with the pendulum shifting between traditionalists’ call for getting back to the basics and the progressives’ focus on the learner. However, tracing this history, one can see a common theme in the criticisms expressed by both parties: the failure of the existing curriculum to meet the demands presented by an increasingly complex society. I follow this theme in order to provide historical context for contemporary calls by scientists and educators for wider use of systems-oriented curricula (i.e. curricula designed to improve systems thinking) at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. With this context, one can view these current calls not as a radical shift of direction, but as a logical next stage in the evolution of curriculum. I conclude with a call for more research assessing the effectiveness of systems-oriented instruction and provide guidelines for enhancing the usefulness of such research in the current United States system.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Plate, R. (2012). The Evolution of Curriculum Development in the Context of Increasing Social and Environmental Complexity. Creative Education, 3, 1311-1319. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.38192.

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