Updated: Feb 12, 2020
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Spiral Curriculum is based on the predictions of the cognitive theory advanced by Jerome Bruner (1960) who had hypothesized that human cognition occurs in three distinct stages:
1. Enactive: stage where children manipulate with objects
2. Iconic: stage where children manipulate with the images of the objects
3. Symbolic: stage where children manipulate the representation of the actual objects
The key elements of the Spiral curriculum based on Bruner’s work are:
1. The students revisit a topic, theme or subject several times throughout their school career
2. The complexity of the topic or theme increases with each re-visit
3. New learning has a relationship with old learning and is put in context with the old information
The key benefits of this curriculum:
1. The information is re-in forced or strengthened each time the student revisits the topic
2. The curriculum allows a logical progression of a topic from simplest ideas to complicated ideas
3. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge from earlier learning to later course objectives
4. Learning difficulty can be addressed in the early phases of the spiral and interventions can be implemented when needed concepts are encountered later.
Usually in the teachings of Mathematics and Science this curriculum is evident across all educational boards.
In the next part we will explore what happens when the spiral is broken.