Title

Reforming Curriculum Design: The Importance of Effective Public Participation

Authors

Kelsey Longmuir

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

This research examines public participation in the health curriculum development process in California public schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is one of the lowest performing urban districts in California and the standardized testing system shows that large urban districts like LAUSD suffer from low rates of achievement and health. Larger districts suffer from a lack of funding that cripples their ability to effectively meet student health needs and state curriculum does not meet the needs of diverse student bodies. As a consequence, the disparities between smaller homogenous suburban districts and large, diverse urban ones increase every year. The study surveyed stakeholders from the state, district and community levels to identify mechanisms that facilitate public participation and their efficacy. By identifying mechanisms for effective participation, curricula design can be refined by the public to better suit the needs of large urban districts. Findings are analyzed within current budget constraints on public schools that make the even distribution of funds difficult. Findings show the need for the public to identify the problems that need the most attention. My research outlines the current mechanism for public participation in health curriculum design, its flaws and a system that would be conducive to more effective public participation. Finally I present recommendations for participation in curriculum that would more effectively suit the unique needs of diverse urban districts and help address health disparities within large urban districts.

Advisor

Martha Matsuoka

Department

uepi

Support

Ford Research Endowment



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