Should the design of talent based courses involve students?

A person playing a guitar

A child possesses a wide range of intelligence and talents. A student requires diverse learning experiences for them to develop this intelligence and talents fully. When it comes to art talent based courses such as those in music, drawing, and fashion among others, students tend to use their own innovation and creativity to get new ways of understanding them better. If these innovations and new ways of doing things get themselves into the curriculum is a question that we are not able to answer, but should they?

How is the existing art curriculum?

The existing curriculum is academically-oriented and stresses more on cognitive improvement and less consideration of students’ individual wants. It doesn’t address abilities, interests, potentials and developmental history of students. It does not also address personal and social growth.

Self-understanding and different levels of life skills training are not clearly included in the curriculum. For instance, when planning the curriculum for the physically challenged students, their needs should also be taken into account. This will give them equal chances to develop their talents as their counterparts. The extent to which their new ideas are taken up and absorbed into new teaching styles is something that we cannot tell.

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In most cases, curriculum developers are college and university researchers. They partner with teachers in the design of any endorsed curriculum. When it comes to such art subjects, should a good curriculum involve the ideas of students as well? Students should not be seen to hold their traditional role as receivers of the intended curriculum, but as probable evaluators and critics of the curriculum. Involving them in designing will create a curriculum that will assist teachers to develop an understanding of different contexts of student motivations.

Why should students be included in design?

The involvement and inclusion of student voices in the curriculum planning and design process is an opportunity to explore student needs and engagement in learning. The concept of teacher thinking will be designed to meet the needs of diverse students in a local setting. Eventually, there will be an understanding of how the teacher thinks versus how the students learn.

Nowadays, there seems to be an argument whether students should have some degree of input into the planning of their own education programs in talent based courses. Firstly, student’s suggestions, cooperation and evaluation can be among the most meaningful elements in the entire learning process. Secondly, another good reason for involving students in curriculum designing is the high level of energy and enthusiasm which can be constructively channeled.

But, there seems to be controversy in the question of whether it’s good to involve students in curriculum design. A good number of responsible curriculum architects feel that students can take education as entertainment, they are not sure on the extent to which students can be responsible or can be allowed to decide their classroom activities.

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What are the expected outcomes?

The Art talent-based courses bring together diverse elements of student’s experience from which a new experience can emerge. Understanding their capabilities can open new ways of learning for the other students. This helps them to apply or document real or imagined information and feelings.

Opportunities to explore their talents can help them understand the practicability of skills in the real world. The self-confidence and satisfaction that is achieved from focused talented activities bring about a positive effect on students education in other areas.

Throughout the designing and planning of a new curriculum, integration of student inputs can strengthen literacy skills as well as foster creative thinking. There is a growing demand in the modern world for the integration of these in all core, and non-core curricula.

Certainly, when making the decision, it’s good to keep in mind the negative as well as the positive implications of it. This will help when choosing whether to involve or not to students during the designing or planning of a curriculum or at what level should they be involved.

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