New Upper Secondary Curriculum Full analysis

Published: 09-03-2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/49zz8kmbjv.3
Contributor:
Jimena Hernández-Fernández

Description

The 2012 Education Reform in Mexico has an important focus in the development of 21st-century skills. It included a new education model (NEM) and a new curriculum (NC)- I study how the upper secondary school NC aligns with the 21st-century skills framework using the Core Skills (CS) model. The alignment analysis values how the curriculum succeeds in providing a balanced framework to develop 21st-century skills, as “balance”(Barrot, 2018) or “harmony” (Mishra & Mehta, 2017) is crucial for successful implementation. I create matrices listing each of the NC aspects at upper secondary school: graduate profile descriptions and education plans descriptions by discipline: Mathematics, Experimental Sciences, Communication, Social Sciences, and Humanities to compare them with the CS model. To do so, I list the NC descriptions as rows at each matrix and use the CS categories as headings (columns). The analysis consists of observing whether each item of the NC corresponds, relates or answers the description of what has to be developed within the 21st-century skills Core Skills model. This methodology provides an alignment (misalignment) analysis matrix with a weighted sum of values (Hernández-Fernández & Rubio, 2017). Each of the matrices are evaluated as a whole using a color scale, where the areas with the highest value (i.e., the most aligned) are marked in “green”. Likewise, the areas that have lowest values (i.e., the least aligned) are marked in “red”. As such, there is a scale in between which shows three intermediate colors that go from lighter green, yellow and orange. It is important to highlight that the allocation of colors in the table is wholly based on the weighted values at each matrix. In other words, neither the values themselves nor the assigned colors can be used as a means of comparison between the graduate profile and the different disciplines. Data Analysis. The alignment analysis is completed when observing each matrix as a whole. The more balance is observed when a matrix is mostly green; which means that the NC includes a good deal of strategies to develop the six areas of the CS. A matrix does not show balance when it has a mix of colors, as it means that the development in particular areas do not reach balance with all of the strategies that should be in place to foster 21st-century skills. Hence, for the analysis purposes the more aligned/balanced the NC at each level (graduate profile and education plans) the better it is to foster 21st-century skills as it has a balanced set of strategies to develop each 21st-century skill in full.

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I assigned a value of "1" whenever an item of the graduate profile is aligned to a particular aspect of a skill. In other words, assigned “1” when the graduate profile item and discipline descriptions match a particular aspect of a 21st century skill. Conversely, I assigned a value of "0" when there is no correlation between items of the graduate profile with the particular area of a core skill. Once the process is completed the values are added up per item. I sum up all the allocated values of 1 or 0 for each item of both the graduate profile and disciplinary plan. It is important to clarify that each item of either the graduate profile or 21st century skills may have a different number of descriptions. Therefore, an overall weighted value is used to show how aligned or misaligned the certain aspect of the New Curricullum is to each of the Core Skills Model