What is curriculum?
What is its purpose?
What is its nature?
1. Traditional Points of view of curriculum
◦ “Curriculum is that it is a body of subjects or
subject matter prepared by the teachers for the
students to learn.”
◦ It was synonymous to the “course of study” and
“ Basic education should emphasize the 3Rs
and college education should be grounded on
liberal arts.” -- Robert M. Hutchins
Arthur Bestor believes that curriculum should
focus on the fundamental intellectual
disciplines of grammar, literature and writing.
Joseph Schwab viewed that discipline is the
sole source of curriculum. And to Phenix,
curriculum should consist entirely of
knowledge which comes from various
Curriculum can be viewed as a field of study.
It is made up of its foundation, domains of
knowledge as well as its research theories
It is concerned with broad historical,
philosophical and social issues and
Most of the traditional ideas view curriculum
as written document or a plan of action in
2. Progressive Points of View of Curriculum
◦ “ Curriculum is defined as the total learning
experiences of the individual.”
◦ School subjects, course of study syllabi can only be
called curriculum if the written materials are
actualized by the learners.
This definition is anchored in John Dewey’s
which stated that “reflective thinking is a
means that unifies curricular elements”.
Thought is not derived from action but tested
Caswell and Campbell viewed curriculum as
“all experiences children have under the
guidance of teachers”.
Smith, Stanley and Shores also define
curriculum as “a sequence of potential
experiences set up in the schools for the
purpose of disciplining children and youth in
group ways of thinking and acting”.
Marsh and Wills define it as “the experiences
in the classroom which are planned and
enacted by the teachers and also learned by
TWO MODELS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
1. Ralph Tyler Model: Four Basic Principles
A. What educational purposes should the school seek
to attain? (purposes of the school)
B. What educational experiences can be provided that
are likely to attain the purposes? (educational
experiences related to the purposes)
C. How can these educational experiences be
effectively organized? (organization of the
D. How can we determine whether these purposes are
being attained or not? (evaluation of the experiences)
2. Hilda Taba’s model- the grassroots
Seven Major Steps
1. Diagnosis of learners needs and expectations of the
2. Formulation of learning objectives
3. Selection of learning content
4. Organization of learning content
5. Selection of learning experiences
6. Organization of learning activities
7. Determination of what to evaluate and the means of
1. Recommended curriculum – proposed by
scholars and professional organization
2. Written Curriculum - documents, course
study or syllabi
3.Taught curriculum – what teachers
implement or deliver in the classrooms and
4. Supported curriculum – resources-
textbooks, computers, audio-visual materials
which support and help in the
implementation of the curriculum
5. Assessed curriculum – that which is tested
6. Learned curriculum – what the students
actually learned and what is measured.
7. Hidden curriculum – the unintended
1. Philosophical Foundation of Curriculum
A. Educational Philosophy – Perennialism
Aim of Education – To educate the rational person; to
cultivate the intellect
Role of Education – Teachers help students think with
reason. Based on the Socratic methods of oral exposition
Focus in the Curriculum – Classical subjects, literary
analysis and curriculum is constant
Curriculum Trends – Use of great books and return to
B. Educational Philosophy – Essentialism
Aim of Education – To promote the intellectual growth
of the individual and educate a competent person
Role of Education – The teacher is the sole authority in
his or her subject area or field of specialization
Focus in the Curriculum – Essential skills of the 3R’s
and essential subjects of English, Science, History,
Math, and Foreign Language.
Curriculum Trends – Excellent in education, back to
basics and cultural literacy.
C. Educational Philosophy – Progressivism
Aim of Education – To promote democratic and social
Role of Education – Knowledge leads to growth and
development of lifelong learners who actively learn by
Focus in the Curriculum – Subjects are interdisciplinary
integrative and interactive.
Curriculum Trends – school reforms, relevant and
contextualized curriculum, humanistic education.
D. Educational Philosophy –
Aim of Education – To improve and reconstruct society
education for a change
Role of Education – Teachers act as agents of change and
reforms in various educational projects including research.
Focus in the Curriculum – focus on present and future
trends and issues of national and international interests
Curriculum Trends – Equality of educational opportunities
in education, access to global education
2. Historical Foundations of Curriculum
Some of the curriculum theorists and how they view
curriculum from a historical perspective.
1. Franklin Bobbit (1876-1956) – presented curriculum as
a science that emphasizes on students’ need and
prepares students for adult life.
2. Werret Charters (1875-1952) – like Boobit, to Charters
curriculum is a science.
3. William Kilpatrick (1871-1965) – Curricula are
purposeful activities which are child-centered. The
purpose is child development and growth.
4. Harold Rugg (1886-1960) – to Rugg, curriculum should
develop the whole child. It is child-centered.
5. Hollis Caswell (1901-1989) – sees curriculum as
organized around social functions of themes, organized
knowledge and learner’s interest.
6. Ralph Tyler (1902-1994) – believes that curriculum is a
science and an extension of school’s philosophy. It is
based on students’ needs and interests.
1. Behaviorist Psychology
To the behaviorist, learning should be organized in order
that students can experience success in the process of
mastering the subject matter.
2. Cognitive Psychology
These psychologists focus their attention on how
individuals process information and how they monitor and
To the cognitive theorists, learning constitutes a logical
method for organizing and interpreting learning
3. Humanistic Psychology
Humanistic psychologists are concerned with how learners
can develop their human potential. Curriculum is
concerned with the process not the product; personal
needs not subject matter; psychological meaning and
Schools exist within the social context.
Societal culture affects and shapes schools
and their curricula.
Society as ever dynamic is a source of very
fast changes which are difficult to cope with
and to adjust to. Thus schools are made to
help to understand to these changes.