Planning of a school curriculum is a daunting task because it has a direct relation with the goals that are set by goals and the future academic levels. Therefore, academic institutions give a lot of attention to the planning of curriculum. Herein, it should be noted that new teachers or newly appointed instructors find it extremely difficult to come up with ways that are exciting and helpful for students at the same time. It is a similar instance that was noted in the case. It is suggested that more and more stress is laid on the fact that newly appointed teachers are given prior understanding of curriculum planning. In addition, there needs to be a thorough check and balance before there is wastage of class (Walker and Soltis).
In the case of Jennifer, it was marked that students were not able to understand the benefits of change of curriculum. Students tend to have their respective and generic goals set. In this regard, there is a very certain and negligible percentage of change that is expected by them in their curriculum. As per the study conducted by Walker and Soltis, it was marked that any change regarding curriculum needs to be made in accordance to the psychological factors. At times, change can be useful but lack of presentational aspects may result into a failure. Therefore, strict underlying aspects need to be studied before introducing a change in instructions (Hussain, Dogar and Azeem).
Furthermore, it can be well stated that the selection of articles and book readings for the purpose of academic teaching remains a very critical aspect. In order to select the readings, one cannot only depend on the aspect of diversity. One should be able to find out the major outcomes that would replicate in the class by using the book readings. Excessive lists of readings are also more likely to bring a negative impact on student learning. At times, it is suggested that the teachers can communicate with the students and find out the ways that would help them in learning. The replication of their experiences would allow a teacher to plan a reading list.
Notwithstanding, readings are not solely allowing better learning experience but the interpretation of the text is also imperative. There must be exercises and quiz that must be followed by the readings. Writing assignments can also be a very effective way to make the classroom an interesting place to undertake learning. I would also suggest that a teacher must not just put stress on making the class exciting. The learning experience is most significant and to be focused. The goals and learning experiences should be aligned closely with the outcomes. Thus, from the above analysis, it could be well asserted that there is an avid need of curriculum planning by keeping psychological factors in hand for evaluation. It may result in effective learning and successful teaching experience. Teachers like Jennifer are required to take help from experienced curriculum teachers (Hussain, Dogar and Azeem).
Response to the Case Question:
After careful analysis of the case where Jennifer had to come up with an innovative and exciting activities to help the children learn about literature. The fact remains that there were certain loopholes in the case made by Jennifer. The first was the absence of consideration given to the course outcomes. If I was Jennifer, I would have given extra consideration to the fact that by the end of the course, students were able to utilize the information to utilize in the tests such as SATs for applying to the colleges.
I would have taken care of the readings that were able to make understanding of the timeline of the events that took place. Nevertheless, there needs to be the inclusion of readings that are exciting at the same time, but one need to take care of the psychological understanding of the students. One needs to be sure that students are given enough background of the change that is being made in the class activities. In case, such step is not taken then it is more likely to result into confusion. It is exactly what happened in the class when Jennifer introduced new activities. Students had to lose their interest in the class readings (Walker and Soltis).
Therefore, I would have rather used same approaches as Jennifer. I would have allowed the students to understand the change so that they could expect it as a positive change and not an abrupt change. Among the goals that were set by Jennifer, I would have rather used them in my class program but with the inclusion of questions that would help students in taking tests for college applications.
Hussain, Afzaal, et al. "Evaluation of Curriculum Development Process." International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 1.14 (2011): 263-271.
Walker, Decker F. and Jonas F. Soltis. Curriculum and Aims. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009.