Connecting to Profesional Communities – Overview – GDPI 810

Hello world!

Would you possibly have a look at my blog or my Prezi course output, and reflect on your opinions relating to the content of the course?

I have recently taken part in a course about Conceptions of Curriculum, Philosophy and Assessment as part of the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry at Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario.

Throughout the course I was exposed to many different historical developments relating to curriculum. There are 5 main conceptions of curriculum which link to different styles of assessment as well as being rooted in different educational philosophies, historically.

humanistic/learner centred

  • rooted in the idea that students should first know who they are and are based on personal liberation through character development
  • progressive philosophy base including existentialism and reconstructionism
  • organic curriculum design
  • rich assessment tasks are transdisciplinary

social reconstruction

  • a movement towards social reform to better society as students become agents of change
  • pragmatic philosophical base leading to reconstructionism
  • the curriculum is based on the needs of society and on social problems
  • assessment does not focus on subject content, instead on social issues; students are encouraged to invent new ways of thinking and assessment by challenging their mindsets

technology * recently considered interconnected with others in todays day and age

  • seeks to make learning efficient through the presentation of data; there is little focus on the learner, more on the information being presented
  • perennialism philosophical base
  • learners are guided through a carefully sequenced set of curriculum guidelines
  • straight-forward assessment with output from the course content through short answers or essays


  • rooted in historical and scholarly ideas and is best for learning the large questions that drive academic proficiency in the core subjects
  • traditional philosophy of essentialism, idealism and realism
  • curriculum focuses on single subject design
  • assessment uses large scale testing through forms like multiple choice and short answer


  • identifies the interactive relationship between the goals of learning and cognitive process one takes to meet the learning objectives; aims to sharpen students intellectual process.
  • philosophies of perennialism and realism
  • curriculum is derived from scientific evidence about how students can best learn
  • performance based assessment give students the opportunity to demonstrate their extensive or elaborate thought process to meet their final product

This is only a rough outline of the ideas that are displayed in a Prezi I made for the course. Would you have a look and let me know how you feel about the different curriculum conceptions, or which one relates to your teaching practice now?

In my particular context of practice I use more of a humanistic approach to learning in my primary classroom of 7-8 year olds.  However, I have found that after reflecting on on my learning about conceptions of curriculum for the past few months, I noticed significant overlaps in teaching pedagogy.  I am interested in learning more about how I can use the best teaching practices for my context.