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Curriculum Philosophy and Design

Curriculum Philosophy and Design: ED_LPA 9442

Graduate Certificate Program:

Designing and Teaching with Mixed Reality

Course Artifact
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Before the postmodernism approach to curriculum philosophy the modernism approach was viewed as linear (Cullin, Harris and Hill, 2012). A specific hierarchy existed between the instructor and student. The teacher was the "master" of the subject and the students were there to learn what the teacher knew. The students were not to question what was being taught but to soak up knowledge like a sponge. Content was delivered in a lecture style series with quizzes and tests following units for assessment. Very little collaboration among students was done except for occasional study groups to achieve a good grade. Learning was not student centered but focused on low level learning such as memorization of facts with little or no application. Unfortunately, I think that many undergraduate courses are still designed this way today.

Cullen provided many contrasting ideas for modernist vs. postmodernist views of developing a curriculum (several listed below). The one I thought most insightful was the idea that the shift from modernism to postmodernism reflected a shift from instructor centered to learner centered using Doll's post modern theory of curriculum (1993) as a research design approach to student centered learning (Cullen et al., 2012).

Doll's shift in curriculum development approaches include:

  • Richness- the experience should be enriching with depth and breadth

  • Recursion- using a nonlinear approach to curriculum design acknowledging that learning is active and social

  • Relations- takes into account the personal nature of learning and that it is connected through well thought out learning experiences that involve reflection

  • Rigor- learning designed around problems or issues rather than only discipline content. Strategies involving inquiry, critical thinking, and experiential learning are emphasized.


The course project was to develop a certificate program using the postmodernism approach. The designing and teaching with mixed reality certificate program I developed define faculty/student roles as students creating and generating content and faculty facilitating course content and technology. Courses are learner-centered and include individual and group projects that are authentic and meaningful. (Richness)

Second, using understanding by design principles; the backwards design model (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005) begins with the desired end in mind. Course development begins with determining the desired results, developing assessments to achieve those results and finally planned learning experiences and instruction. (Recursion and Rigor) 

The third criteria is meaningful learning with technology (Howland, Jonnason and Marra, 2012) that includes active, constructive, cooperative, authentic and intentional learning characteristics in the coursework. (Relations and Rigor)


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