Writing for Education
The nature of any course should be determined by the context in which it is used. There are many factors that may affect what can or should be taught and how it should be taught. These can include such things as religious and cultural attitudes, economic and climatic conditions.
Context is also in a constant state of change, so what is appropriate today might not be appropriate tomorrow.
Demand and need are two very important contextual factors; which are sometimes, but not always the same.
Researching Trends in Education
Education research investigates many things including the effectiveness of different ways of developing and delivering education, and their relative effectiveness.
Research can be enlightening, but it can also be subject to easy misinterpretation in a world that changes as fast as ours now does. When the content changes (as it constantly does), the validity of research undertaken when context was different, may come into question.
Researching Trends and Priorities in Employment
Employers will often complain that training courses for apprentices, or other staff, are ineffective; but to be of any value, you must understand the criteria which they use to make statements.
Often employers are involved in an advisory capacity (e.g. on Industry Advisory Committees). There is an inherent problem with such committees though: employers who are relatively financially secure, or politically powerful are often most likely to be on committees. Employers who work hard, understand the industry well, but have little free time, are often less likely to be on committees.
Often employer surveys are used to gauge employer attitudes. The difficulty with surveys is that they are more likely to be filled out and returned by people who are not busy, or are seeking to have a greater political influence. They may not be representative of true opinion.
Equity and ethical issues
These issues vary from place to place. In conservative or very religious societies, the content of a course may need to be a certain way. In many developed countries, religion may not affect course content as much; but legislation may be in place to ensure equity in education; and there may be legal obligations that affect the content, delivery and even assessment of courses.
ESTABLISHING OVERALL COURSE AIMS
The concept of establishing course aims pre-supposes that it is important for each student to have achieved the same thing at the end of a course. While this is almost always the intention when a course is developed, we should consider maybe it shouldn’t always be the intention.
Establishing your place in education
The role of a course developer should be to produce a “guide map” and any other support materials, for use in delivering education effectively and within well-defined boundaries.
Mission and philosophy of the school/educator
Education systems, schools and teaching staff have varying goals, and irrespective of the way a course is developed, there will be pressures from those who deliver it to influence what is delivered to the student.
Rationale for a course
Every course should have a “sensible rationale”. Before developing a course, you need to identify and understand that rationale.
HOW TO LEARN MORE
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