Formal criteria for curriculum proposals in teacher education
By: Edmund C. Short
Published: 1965
Uploaded: 10/19/2006
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Curricula, teachers, Teachers colleges, Training of

06 no.pdf
Statement of the Project
This project report recommends a set of broad outlines for the form which curriculum proposals should take if they are to be comprehensive and are to function adequately. Identified with this particular view are six general characteristics and five structural components which encompass satisfactory form in curriculum proposals. In addition, a number of conditions are imposed on the concepts utilized and several on qualitative aspects. A total of twenty-five criteria and sub-criteria comprise this formal standard for curriculum proposals.
The impetus for proposing a set of formal criteria comes from the recognition that curriculum proposals in teacher education are difficult to appraise without such criteria and that no set of criteria is currently available. The kinds of features treated in curriculum proposals, and the manner in which these features are treated, vary so widely that analysis or comparison of them is ordinarily rather haphazard. A conception of form which is carefully specified in all necessary dimensions pertinent to curriculum proposals can make this aspect of appraisal more systematic and rational. Such a standard for form in curriculum proposals is sought and developed in this project. It is related at all times to proposals for teacher education, but the level of discourse in which it is presented is general enough that it can be applied to other types of curriculum proposals as well.
The criteria likewise aim to be applicable to proposals which deal with any kind of substantive recommendations or which are expressed in any mode; their form alone comes within the scope of this standard.
Procedures Followed
Ideas concerning the problem and the technical aspects of form that should be apparent in any curriculum proposal are gleaned from several sources, including a survey of thirteen recent curriculum proposals for teacher education, prepared especially for this project, and the literature of teacher education and general curriculum. Special study of the relation of both educational theory and axiology to curriculum proposals is also conducted in order to extend the fund of ideas upon which the formal criteria are based. All these materials are carefully documented and presented in the five appendices of the project report.
A recommended form for curriculum proposals is then developed from these ideas. The standard is first described and subsequently reduced to a series of criteria. For purposes of delineating the precise meaning of the standard, the criteria are arranged in three groups--general characteristics, structural components, and conditions of quality--to which separate chapters in the central portion of the project are devoted. Each of the criteria is explained and justified individually within the group to which it is related.
Application of the set of criteria to a particular teacher education curriculum proposal is also undertaken to illustrate more concretely the meaning of the standard and to demonstrate its use in analyzing a curriculum proposal for its formal features.
The significance of the formal criteria recommended in this project is to be found in these four factors: they constitute sound expectations for the form desired when creating complete and usable proposals; they permit analysis of existing proposals for their formal strengths and weaknesses; they can help detect the presence or absence of comparable components and features in two or more proposals being appraised; and they can assist in selecting those proposals most worthy of consideration on the basis of formal adequacy. The creators and critics of teacher education curriculum proposals can propose and recognize better curricula with formal criteria at hand. Preferences among them can then be made on the basis of systematic analysis.

Sponsor: Florence Stratemeyer
Dissertation Committee: Arno Bellack
Degree: Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University