Curriculum Construction – Week 3 – Ideology Presentation

Today each group presented one of the curriculum ideologies:

  1. Religious Orthodoxy
  2. Rational Humanism
  3. Progressivism
  4. Critical Theory
  5. Cognitive Pluralism
  6. Care (Noddings)

Our group was assinged to Cognitive Pluralism.

Our game plan:

Prompt: Distill and Convey the ideology in a convincing way

Topic: Cognitive Pluralism


  • 7 minute presentation (5min + 2min Q&A)
  • Include Why, What and How
  • Tip from Molly → Preview Gardener
  • Important to include representation (think this means how student can symbolize)
  • Email Molly with presentation

Our Script

Open Role Play – modeling

  • Celine (teacher) introduces the Water unit and prompts each student to come up with a project they’d like to do
  • Each student gives short description of what they want to do and what drives their interest
    • Lucas
      • Erosion – how different water flow rates affect the course of a river
    • Mohamad
      • Energy – how water can be used to produce energy. I want to build a model dam that has the water flow produce electricity that can light a small light bulb, and thus explore water in that way. Might also be interested to build a small tidal energy system and see how water can be used to produce energy that way as well, and which system is better (Spacial & Bodily and a little bit Mathematical-Logical).
    • Lisa
      • Understand native american tribes and the symbols around water
      • I’d like to re-produce a water dance


  • Celine introduces WHAT Cognitive Pluralism is
  • Mohammad explains Gardner’s idea of multiple intelligences
  • Lisa explains WHY we should teach Cognitive Pluralism
  • Lucas describes HOW teachers might incorporate the ideology in practice


Material from Readings

    • Pluralism of meanings
      • Multiple ways of teaching and learning the same concept
        • Analogies (Dan Schwartz)
        • Metaphors
      • Intelligence as a verb versus a noun
        • Not something you have, something you do
        • Fixed versus Growth mindset
        • Brain as a muscle
      • Literacy
        • Expanded definition – not only reading words, but symbols
        • “…encoding or decoding of information in any of the forms that humans use to convey meaning” (Eisner, 1994, p.81)
    • Equity
      • Differentiation
        • Requires teacher to look at ‘internal conditions’ of student
      • “By creating a wider array of curricular tasks … opportunities for success in school are expanded.”  (Eisner, 1994, p.82)
      • Tasks must bare equal merit – arts vs science
    • Null Curriculum
      • Curriculum is as mind-altering device
      • What goes in is as important as what is left out
      • Missed opportunity to increase learner’s repertoire
    • Limited success
      • Teachers must have multiple forms of literacy – but most of us will latch onto one way of understanding and thus have a harder time explaining in multiple ways.


Our presentation slides