Process of selecting curriculum elements from the
subject, the current social life and the students
experience then designing the selected curriculum
elements appropriately so they can for the curriculum
structure and type.
Criteria for effective Curriculum
A curriculum design is a framework or plan of action
for preparing a course of study or a set of students’
experiences .It is a deliberate process of devising,
planning and selecting the elements, techniques and
procedures of curriculum. Curriculum design is a
method of thinking.
Importance of Curriculum Designs
Curriculum design involves the creation of the set of
operating principles or criteria, based on theory, that guide
the selection and organization of content and the
methodology used to teach that content .With the
accelerated rate of social change, schools are preparing
youth for adulthood in a society not yet envisioned by its
members .Hawley’s words still ring true: “it’s not a question
of whether or not to change , but whether or not we can
control the way we are changing. We are living in an Alice
in an Wonderland world where you have to run just to stay
where you are .To get anywhere you have to run even faster
than that. The pieces on the chess board keep changing
and the rules are never the same.”
Models of Curriculum Designs
An effective curriculum must be built on a solid
philosophical foundation that answer the question of what
educational purposes the school should seek to achieve.
The classical model for curriculum design, proposed by
Tyler in 1949,asked four questions of curriculum planners:
What educational purposes should the school seek to
What educational experiences can be provided that are
likely to help attain these purposes?
How can these educational experiences be effectively
How can we determine whether these purposes are
Tyler’s steps for curriculum design included stating
objectives, selecting learning experiences, organizing
the experiences, and evaluating results. Tyler’s model
is most closely aligned with the educational purposes
of preserving the social order and teaching skills and
competencies needed to function effectively in society.
Principles of Curriculum Designs
The problems of curriculum change become the criteria for
determining the desirability of a curriculum. A list of the
problems of curriculum development, recapped and stated
as criteria, following:
Be consistent with the conceptual framework and
implement the conceptual framework commitments.
Derive and test its concepts and theories in teaching
Respond to the educational needs of society and the
immediate concerns of students.
Cope with the knowledge explosion and the short “half-life”
of scientific knowledge
Use the logical, precise, effective, and efficient educational
technology that is currently available.
Use teaching personnel in the most economical and
efficient way (time, energy and money).
Enable utilization of cognitive teaching input.
Provide for student testing of learned behaviour in real
Produce a graduate capable of delivering creative teaching
care for the next fifteen to twenty years.
Spend a reasonable length of the time accomplishing the
goals of the curriculum.
Steps in Curriculum Design
Fiorno and Nowak suggest the following steps in
(1)Identification of the problem.
(2)Diagnosis of the problem.
(3)Search for alternative solutions.
(4)Selection for the best solutions.
(5)Ratification of the solution by the organization.
(6)Authorization of the solution.
(7)Preparation for adopting of the solution.
(8)Adoption of the solution.
(9)Direction and guidance of the staff.
(10)Evaluation of the effectiveness of the solution
Categories of Curriculum Designs
Activity/Experience based curriculum
Subject Centered Designs
Subject centered curriculum is a rigid curriculum , based
on specific courses, which mandates specific amounts of
material to be covered over special periods of time
regardless of student abilities or interests. Subject centered
curriculum assign the greatest importance to subject
matter rather than to the students .It consists of having
students in classes for one subjects at a time such as
mathematics for 45 minutes, science for 45 minutes. And
history for 45 minutes. Three related designs have emerged
from subject centered designs:
Academic Disciplines design
Broad Fields design
This is probably the oldest and most widely used form
of curriculum organization found in schools and
educational systems .This is based on the classification
and organization of subjects matter into discrete
groups, which we have called subjects .These
groupings, which have become known as school
subjects, were initially based on evolving divisions of
labour in research that produced physics
, history, literature and mathematics and so forth. In
more recent times practical areas such as typing
, home economics and industrial arts have become
accepted as subjects.
Academic Discipline Design
This approach to organizing curriculum is essentially a post
second world war phenomenon ,gaining greatest support
in the inherent organization of content, as is the subject
design, the academic discipline design emphasizes the role
played by those distinct entities called academic disciplines
.In a school setting, the content of this design would focus
on what an academician does, that is ,how a biologist
, historian , or a mathematician research is done , how that
research is carried out , how data are analysed, how
research is reported , and so forth. The result , it is hoped
,is that the school would produce mini versions of
Broad Fields Design
This third design was developed to overcome a
perceived weakness in the subject design that was
evident in the nineteenth and the early twentieth
centuries .Broad field design was deemed more suited
to younger learners. The broad fields design is
commonly found in primary and lower secondary
Common Feature in 3 Subject
Collection and organization of all contents into
subjects or subjects-like groupings.
Subjects are clearly defined and distinguished.
A hierarchy of subjects is commonly found according
to their perceived value.
Methodology applied and practised is largely teachercentered and expository in nature
The advantages of subject-centered curriculum are:
Students like it , they are used to it and it fits their idea
of what school should be.
What students learn , they learn well.
This approach is efficient in a field in which resources
for staff development are scant.
The disadvantages of subject-centered curriculum are:
Teachers wouldn’t be able to innovate their teaching
style to help students learn in a creative way.
Students simply memorize what they need to know in
order to pas a test , instead of actually learning it.
Teachers are teaching the students to think inside the
box in order to pass the exams.
Activity/ Experienced Based
This approach is based on determine the genuine
needs and interests of learner , which in turn form the
basis of the curriculum. An important claim of this
approach is that “people only learn what they
experience”. According to M.K Gandhi ,education is
the development of all the aspects i.e. body mind and
spirit . So mind without activities can not develop the
personality perfectly .so education must give
importance to activities. Education ,which has no link
with life is meaningless.
These activities aim at physical development of the
child .it includes physical training ,games and sports.
These activities includes nature study
,excursion, survey,social visit. These activities develop
civic sense and love for nature in children.
With these activities love for work dignity of labor
, production efficiency may be developed. Handwork
craft repairing of tools belong to this category of
Music ,arts creative crafts are included in this type of
activities. These provide opportunities for selfexpression and development of inborn creative
These Activities aim at community development and
include community projects ,first aid ,social service ,
etc these activities also help in the socialization of the
child. The teacher can provide information regarding
history, geography ,and economics with the help of
Advantages of Activity based curriculum are:
The most important feature of Activity based curriculum is
learning by doing .so this method can fulfill the natural
urge of a growing child on one hand also can help them
learn their lesson.
The method also promote better understanding of a lesson
among students as they learn the lesson by practicing the
It inspires the students to apply their creative ideas
,knowledge and mind in solving problems.
It also helps learner psychologically as the can express their
emotions through active participation in something useful.
Activity curriculum method require long term
planning with details of the whole process before
engaging the learners, the teacher has to make sure
that all students have sufficient knowledge and skills
regarding the task they are going to perform .so this
method can not be used on a regular and daily basis as
it involves a lengthy procedure.
The objective of this method can be only be fulfilled if
the planning of the lesson is flawless.
Activity curriculum attaches too much importance on
activities. It neglects other activities needed for
intellectual development of the child.
Personal supervision is needed for every activity which
is not possible in school.
Activity curriculum is not applicable to all stages of
The notion behind a core design, usually called a core
curriculum, is that there exists a set of common learnings
(knowledge, skills and values) that should be provided to all
learners in order to function effectively in a society .The core
concept, however, does vary considerably in interpretation and
one writer has suggested that it is possible to distinguish no less
than six forms of the core design. For our purposes, it is
sufficient to understand that a curriculum may be organized
around the idea of a core as a set of learnings essential foe all
students. The emphasis of this approach to core curriculum was
that all students would experience a set of common and essential
learnings that were necessary for learners to function effectively
Benefits of Curriculum Design
It Focuses Attention On Goal.
It Improves the Probability of Success.
It Improves economy of Time and efforts.
It Facilitates Communication And Coordination of
It Reduces Stress.