Progressive Junior College of New York
Curriculum should be engaging to the students and should not be designed in a step-by-step framework, but instead should consist of generative topics that are multi-disciplinary (Blythe, 1998). Once the concept is revealed to the students, a discussion should follow about how that specific topic relates to each student individually (Applebee, 1996). From there, students will be able to guide the instruction. Although the teacher acts as a facilitator in this type of learner-centered framework, the teacher is still responsible for the knowledge that each student gains through the discussions and investigations into the topic, therefore the role of the teacher is also to lead the students in the right direction through scaffolding. The direction may take different paths to the same endpoint, however, and that is where the true learning occurs.
A goal of the learner-centered curriculum is that of self-realization. As a curriculum goal, self-realization implies that “the school experience should be such that each individual has the freedom and opportunity to aspire to what he or she dreams of becoming” (Ellis, 2003, p.41). The curriculum at PJCNY allows students to choose their own unique path of learning that will prepare them for their culminating activity of completing an internship and submitting a portfolio of their learning experiences.
Applebee, A., (1996). Curriculum as Conversation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Blythe, T., (1998). The Teaching for Understanding Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Ellis, A., (2003). Exemplars of Curriculum Theory. New York: Eye.