Community Economic Development curriculum for public high schools and charter schools

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Southern New Hampshire University
As stated in the thesis project, "Educational reform is taking place across this country from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. An individual's approach to curriculum development reflects that person's view of the world, including what a person perceives as reality, the values and beliefs he or she deems important and the amount of knowledge one possesses. What is curriculum? A curriculum can be defined as a plan for action or a written document that includes strategies for achieving desired goals or ends. Curriculum development can, however be defined broadly as dealing with the experiences of the learner. Community Economic Development is a field of study that has not really been introduced on the High School level. There are several curriculums that deal with the social environment, community development, environmental study and urban planning. My research did not find a specific curriculum that focuses on Community Economic Development (CED). Some of the curriculums mentioned had some elements of CED, however I found no specific curriculum that address the field of CED. Some of the models however can be useful and can be enhanced to make the learning experience of students in the urban and rural schools better and more effective. There are several schools throughout this country that focus on learning in and outside the classroom, hands on, interactive learning that have the students learning from their social environment. Oral History projects, Environmental, and Architectural Studies by student's are all concepts and approaches that incorporate classroom learning with learning from the environment as a tool for interactive and service learning. Community Based Organization's (CBO's) and community groups are forming their own schools with various curriculums that focus on the community development and the social environment. Charter schools and New Vision schools are being created all across the country with varying degrees of curriculums, teaching tools and methods.With some of the initial research regarding this issue, I saw a unique opportunity to develop a project that would benefit schools looking for a new curriculum that incorporates some unique concepts. Critical thinking skills, hands on projects, and service learning to develop students skills are some of the methods that can provide a meaningful learning experience for students and utilize the abilities and talents they possess. Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development, a New Vision school located in Brooklyn, New York, was an excellent opportunity for my project which is to develop an High School curriculum in the field of Community Economic Development (CED). The school did not have a curriculum that focused on Community Economic Development (CED) and created a unique opportunity for the school, the local CDC and myself to develop a school curriculum and internship program, which the students could learn, about this particular subject area." (Library-derived description)