Content Area: Impact of curriculum and decision-making on the system of education, students and teachers
Unit Title: Dewey's Pedagogic Creed in Practicum
Target Course Level: Undergraduate/Graduate Education
Unit Summary: This unit serves to provide a comprehensive understanding and in depth analysis of John Dewey's Pedagogic Creed (1897) and an overview of his and others' peripheral works for support and understanding. After examining multiple educational philosophies, including 21 Century Skills, Pinar's Currere (2004) and John Dewey's philosophy on education, in theory and practice, the student will create their own pedagogic creed as it relates to their own experiences personally and professionally. Research will be conducted alone, with encouragement to interview a teacher from another culture over the internet. The format of the project is completely up to the individual to promote complete creativity. Each student will have the opportunity to look at the professional strategies and goals they currently have in place and make a stronger foundation or change as they see fit. As a capstone, each student will share their own pedagogic creed in a small group discussion that encourages outlook of other perspectives.
Primary interdisciplinary connections: Curriculum studies, Curriculum in the classroom, philosophy, critical discourse, research and professional development
21st Century Connections: The use of technology and practicality in professional practice. Students become project managers of their own growth and development as professionals by working with a diverse group to bring more awareness of others' circumstance and global impact of civil actions.
Unit Rationale: It is imperative that every teacher/instructor have a grasp of different educational perspectives and philosophies, and create their own foundation to connect with the subject and students in order to be most effective in the classroom.
Standards: Monmouth University Conceptual Framework Outcomes #'s 2, 4, 6, 8, 12
• Make connections among and across various disciplinary perspectives and integrate knowledge of other disciplines into specific instructional/professional practice.
• Develop a variety of instructional/ professional strategies that are based on research-based best practices and promote student learning.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the general goals and professional standards of one's professional field (e.g., counseling, educational leadership, teaching) and integrate these frameworks into planning and professional practice.
• Utilize effective communication skills in the classroom/professional practice including verbal and nonverbal techniques, technology, and the media
• Engage in professional development opportunities and collaboration with all available partners that promote content knowledge proficiency, self reflection on instructional/professional practice, and learning/growth in the people they serve.
The student will be able to utilize the internet to find existing theories of education as well as
other Dewey works that relate to his pedagogic creed.
The student will be able to synthesize information from the studied philosophy and apply theory
subjectively, as it relates to the student's profession.
The Student will be able to reference to their own philosophy to be used in their professional
The student will be able to make connections between their own workplace philosophy and
Student Required Reading (to Review)
Dewey, J., & Small, A. W. (1897). My pedagogic creed. New York, NY: E.L. Kellogg.
Dewey, J. (2001). The school and society & The child and the curriculum. Mineola, NY: Dover.
Pinar, W. (1994). The Method of Currere (1975). In Autobiography, politics, and sexuality:
essays in curriculum theory 1972-1992 (pp. 19-27). New York: P. Lang.
Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21st Century skills: Learning for life in our times. Hoboken, NJ
Student Recommended Reading
Dewey, J. (2008). The Middle Works of John Dewey, Volume 3, 1899 - 1924: Journal Articles,
Book Reviews, and Miscellany in the 1903-1906 Period (Collected Works of John Dewey
1903 - 1906) - 1906; [journal articles, book reviews and miscellany in the 1903 - 1906
period] (Vol. 3) (J. A. Boydston, Ed.; D. Rucker, Trans.). Carbondale, IL: Southern
Illinois Univ. Press.
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.
Henderson, J. G., & Kesson, K. R. (2004). Curriculum wisdom: educational decisions in
democratic societies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Hollins, E. R. (1996). Transforming curriculum for a culturally diverse society. Mahwah, NJ:
Pre-formative assessments are necessary in every unit plan. They tell you where your students are coming from and how much they actually know about the subject matter you intend to convey. For the purpose of this unit plan, the pre-formative assessment will be based on a class discussion, utilizing the 3S understanding to see what each student is bringing into the unit. This is particularly important because you want to make sure all of your students are starting on a similar base of knowledge, to ensure proper progress and group work. Diverse professional and personal backgrounds are important to ascertain in order to create truly dynamic working groups for the purpose of social inquiry. This is an assessment by 3S standards (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 149).
Formative assessment will be made by use of requirement fulfillment as laid out in a rubric given to each student with ample time to review and use it during the project. The students will be judged on their ability to work with others, cite references and research properly, present their work and show understanding of the purpose of the assignment in their work. There is no real way to judge the work in this unit any other way, nor should it be. This is an assessment by 3S standards (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 149).
The bulk of assessment or evaluation will be done with summative assessment by informal means. It is important to see how a student has grown from the beginning of the unit until the end of it. Basic observation of each student's contribution to the class conversation, group dynamic and attendance will be observed. The quality of every student's work will be based on whether they show personal and professional growth from this assignment. Students will be judged on the clarity of context and explanation of how they can and use their own pedagogic foundations within their own professional atmosphere. By 3S judgment criteria, this is an evaluation of quality and is part of the Constructivist Best Practices (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 149).
This unit plan is designed to teach each student that integrity in life, education and within their profession starts with a personal belief system and a mission. I chose this framework because according to John Dewey, social consciousness shapes individual perceptions (Dewey, 1897, pg. 70). That point reminds me that 3S understanding is grounded in some of the soundest educational theory in history. The goal of this unit is to incorporate ownership of one's own foundation of education with connection to their subject matter ("Curriculum as Currere," n.d.) and then apply it in the collective. By using supporting education documents, as well as John Dewey's, My Pedagogic Creed (1897) as a foundation to develop their own creed of education, students will be learning pivotal educational philosophy while creating their own. This will force students to reflect on their own professional practices and how they may change them.
Purpose: For those students who are teachers, it is extremely important to understand that you cannot truly teach with transformative curriculum leadership until you, yourself has established a solid background, understanding and connection with the subject, yourself and the world around you. The exercise itself utilizes all of the aspects that are truly indigenous of learning. It is fun and allows students to feel as if their research and work have tangible value. Group work breaks up the monotony of research and solidarity while showing teachers that their own students may benefit in the same way with similar use in the classroom. "Individual student meaning-making is as individual as the student herself (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 116)."
The theoretical framework that has been applied when creating this curricular unit plan is the teaching for 3S understanding. Teaching for 3S understanding requires a healthy balance of the subject, one's self, and of social inquiry (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 8). This type of framework requires self-examination of where we are coming from, what we know, where we are going. I chose for my unit to culminate in each student developing their own pedagogic creed, similar to Dewey's (1897). Like Pinar's Currere, it requires the students to look inside themselves and to investigate their own professional subject, who they are right now and how it affects the world around them. This is similar to Freire's outlook in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, another theory in education that can be argued in support of 3S understanding.
Freire looks at education and society as one. He analyzes the pitfalls of both and offers his own theory on how to rectify common misconceptions believed by society. Freire then ties those concepts in to how society affects education and offers his own ideas on educational theory. Freire asserts that the poor are less educated as a direct result of years of political, economic and social oppression. He argues that authoritarian classrooms are dominating to students. Classrooms must be hands on and devoid of the "banking system" logic. Freire believes that they ought to utilize personal experience and deploy all the tools to bring about every student's sense of self.
By taking that personal inquiry and researching multiple theoretical ideas about education, pedagogy and curriculum, each student should develop a truly unique and holistic foundation for their own educational and/or professional theory. "Students are treated as disciplined, active meaning makers (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 9)." Based on the constructivist's point of view, the "Ah hah" moment is what this perspective is all about. While normative practices make it impossible for the teacher to see what the true meaning of success is, it is important to keep in mind that student knowledge on an organic and personal and social basis is what is strived for (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 9-10). The hope is that with this unit, it helps students figure out a more democratic way to be a teacher
As part of the Deliberative Designing and Planning Process for Unit and Lesson planning (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 117), "Who?", "What?", "Why?" and "How?" are key in planning a unit. In the developing my unit, I used this process:
Students who will become or may also be practicing teachers
The lesson is designed to last three weeks. It contains holistic standards, by which each student's personal experience, research and shared knowledge is determined and developed. For purposes judgment criteria, assessment is done in the beginning of the unit while individual evaluation of the quality of each person's work is used. Generative learning experiences are derived from the students' own use of their professional or personal experience as teachers, and how it directly relates to the subject matter.
The unit covers the objectives laid out in the conceptual framework for the college of education. Students who go through this unit are forced to go through their own "Journey of Understanding", which is an essential experience when considering they will facilitate their students' journey. "Teaching for holistic understanding requires a journey of self-understanding as a democratic historical agent ("Curriculum as Currere," n.d.)." This is also were an understanding of the Currere method, as discussed in the unit template, is useful.
The Seven Reflective Inquiries are included in the very content of the research and of the project. Critical thinking to incorporate poetic, ethical, political, and critical inquiry (just an example of a few) is unavoidable with this kind of work. I believe an important primary question to ask myself is, "Is what I am doing enhancing the quality of life or the quality of learning for the group or individual (Gornik & Henderson, 2008, pg. 77)?" My answer is yes, in theory and then applied in practice within the students' professions. What is effective in this unit plan is that learning affects both the individual and the group. Within the unit, we will be learning how to apply Currere to analyze curriculum and educational practices. This is part of gaining a wholly relevant background leading up to the final project.
21st Century Skills
21st Century Skills are not only relevant to elementary and secondary classrooms, but also in post-secondary education, as well as in vocational training. My curricular unit utilizes these skills as a means of incorporating modern themes to the unit by fostering a deeper understanding of where other educators are coming from (literally and figuratively). Specifically, group discussion and international communication via the internet caters to the Global Awareness standard, "Learning from and working collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, religions and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue in personal, work and community contexts ("Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes," n.d.)." By having discussions with a diverse group and an international constituent, students can foster a greater understanding for the need for change or improvement in their own philosophy.
Under Civic Literacy the "Understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions ("Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes," n.d.)" is addressed by researching and interviewing an international educator as well as by the research and the personal curreres as a capstone. A civic decision impacts people within the community. As a teacher, I believe you are a civic leader. By taking the ideas and experiences that students learn from their international counterparts, they assume the responsibility of educating their students on the implications that their decisions in that classroom affect their community and the world. They will be teaching what they have a complete understanding of because they experienced how decisions impact everyone.
Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes. (n.d.). 21st Century Skills. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from
Curriculum as Currere. (n.d.). Transformative Curriculum Leadership. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from http://curriculumleadership.edublogs.org/curriculum-as-currere/
Dewey, J., & Small, A. W. (1897). My pedagogic creed. New York, NY: E.L. Kellogg.
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.
Henderson, J. G., & Gornik, R. (2006). Transformative curriculum leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Pinar, W. (1994). The Method of Currere (1975). In Autobiography, politics, and sexuality: essays in curriculum theory 1972-1992 (pp. 19-27). New York: P. Lang.
Trilling, B., & Fadel, C. (2009). 21st century skills: learning for life in our times. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.