Curriculam is nerve centre of education. Some of the factors which affect thedecision about what to be included in curriculem depends on:-1. Government2. Professional people3. Ideology of the nation4. Religious groups5. Business and industry6. Social Values7. Material resources8. General consensus on curriculam objectivesThese are always kept in mind and cannot be deviated.School-Based CurriculumIntroductionIn order for you to develop insight into the methods you canuse to deliver teaching content, it is important to understandhow a school-based curriculum is designed. This is the focus ofthis unit.ObjectivesAfter completing this unit, you should be able to:1. Define a school-based curriculum.2. Give reasons why a school-based curriculum should bedesigned.3. Explain factors that influence a school-based curriculum.4. Outline the stages in developing a school-based curriculum.ContentThis unit will cover the following topics:• definition of a school curriculum• reasons for designing a school curriculum• factors that influence a school curriculum• the process of designing a school curriculum.What Is a School Curriculum?The term curriculum was defined in Unit 1 of Module 13. Doyou still remember the definition?For the purpose of this unit, school shall be defined as a social
institution designed to give formal learning to children. As ateacher, you are aware that a school curriculum is aprogramme of selected content and learning experiences offeredby a school and capable of either modifying or changing learnerbehaviour.Included in this definition are the following ideas:• There is a source from which content and learningexperiences are selected.• One or more people select content and learningexperiences. Their selection is based on specified criteriaand/or influenced by a number of factors.• The learner should experience a change in behaviourafter completing a programme. Ideally, the behaviour Module 14, Unit 1: School-Based Curriculum 8changes should be those expected by the educatorsinvolved in the teaching-learning process.As the unit unfolds, these ideas will be developed further. Haveyou ever looked at your own school’s curriculum? You shouldnotice that it is a list of subjects and experiences offered byyour school to the learners. Have you wondered “Why werethose subjects chosen and not others?” Another question maybe, “Who chose these subjects and experiences?” Thesequestions will be addressed in this unit. Let us start by lookingat why it is necessary to design a school-based curriculum.Reasons for Designing a School CurriculumAs you are already aware, a school serves the needs of thechild. All that is done by the school should be for the good ofthe child. You as a teacher should not lose sight of this fact.The school is established to improve the community, theenvironment and the lives of the learners. It therefore becomesthe responsibility of the school to develop the following:
• the capacity of the learner• the manipulative skills of the learner• the attitudes and value systems of the learner.If the school fulfils these three responsibilities, a learner will beable to display new behaviours. A school curriculum shouldhelp all learners to develop their mental capacity, acquiremanipulative or technical skills and develop their emotionalstate. To accomplish these goals, the school curriculum mustmeet certain demands.Self-Assessment 1What is a school curriculum?Possible answers to this activity are provided at the end of thisunit.Factors That Influence a School-Based CurriculumDesignAssuming that the school curriculum developers design theircurriculum with the child in mind, there are a number offactors that they need to consider. These are described below.National Goals of EducationLearning in any country is guided by its national goals andphilosophy. These are influenced by political considerations toensure national identity. Curriculum development can becentralised at the national level or decentralised to the locallevel. Module 14, Unit 1: School-Based Curriculum 9Number of Subject Options AvailableThe central pattern of curriculum design is further influencedby the number of subjects in the national curriculum.Normally, a school cannot include on its list a subject that isnot on the national curriculum, so the school curriculum is
limited to what the national list has to offer.The LearnerIn addition to national goals, the school curriculum isinfluenced greatly by the mental, physical and emotionalrequirements of the child. The school curriculum developerslook at the child’s level of development and maturity. Thejuniors should be given what they can handle in terms of depthand quantity. For example, in science at the primary level,there is more concern with the systems and processes thataffect the learner’s life without giving the principles andtheories behind them. At higher levels, the physical, chemicaland biological systems and processes are described in terms ofthe principles and theories that explain them. The level ofcomplexity increases as the mental capacity of the learnerdevelops.Learning experiences increase in intensity and complexity withincreased manipulative skills. Thus the physical condition ofthe learners also influences the selection of subjects andexperiences. One cannot teach art appreciation to children in aschool for the blind and under normal conditions, one wouldnot teach music to the deaf.Resource AvailabilityBy resources, we are referring to learning facilities, materialsand personal factors such as qualification and experience. Aschool should not select a subject merely because other schoolsare offering it. A secondary school should not offer computerscience if it has no electricity, or opt for rugby if there are nogrounds and trainers qualified to coach the sport. Thedevelopers must look at the resources that are available beforeselecting a subject for the school.Self-Assessment 2
1. What pattern of curriculum design is used in your country?Is it centralised or decentralised? Explain.2. What considerations about your own learners were takeninto account in making the curriculum you are using?Possible answers to this activity are provided at the end of thisunit.Culture of the People Around the SchoolAt a secondary school, it does not make much sense for theBible to be taught in a Hindu society or the Koran to be taughtin a Christian society. In any country, subjects such as Module 14, Unit 1: School-Based Curriculum 10commerce, economics, science and accounting make a lot ofsense because they will help the learners to acquire skillsneeded to produce goods and services. To humanists, it makessense to include literature, history, science and geography. Thecontent and learning experiences provided by a school shouldhave cultural relevance for its learners.The School EnvironmentPlanners should consider what the environment could offer tothe learner and how the environment can be exploited tofacilitate the teaching and learning process. For example, if theschool is located in a desert area, you might think of offering acourse on crop science and farming in arid environments.Evaluation System and StrategiesYou should also note that the designer of a school curriculumshould consider the system and strategy for the evaluation ofthe curriculum. Practical assessments for certain subjects suchas chemistry require special equipment and apparatus that theschool might not be able to afford. Learners might be frustratedif they followed a course of study for which they were not
assessed, because where there is no assessment, there is nocertification. In addition, the instructors teaching thesesubjects may not take them seriously. Without commitmentfrom both the teacher and the learners, teaching these subjectswastes time and money.It also would not make much sense to offer a subject in a tradethat required industrial testing equipment if the school couldnot expose the learners to the same environment andconditions found in industry. These examples stress the needto consider evaluation seriously.Self-Assessment 3List at least three factors that should be considered whendesigning a school curriculum. Explain how each affects thedesign of the curriculum.Possible answers to this activity are provided at the end of thisunit.The Process of School Curriculum DesigningFormulating a school-based curriculum is not different fromdesigning a curriculum in general, which was discussed in Unit4 of Module 13. The only difference is that content and learningexperiences are more localised.Taba (1962: 12) and other writers suggest that the steps belowbe followed:1. Diagnosis of needs Module 14, Unit 1: School-Based Curriculum 112. Formulation of objectives3. Selection of content4. Organisation of content5. Selection of learning experiences6. Organisation of learning experiences
7. Determination of what should be evaluated and the meansof evaluation.As you can realise, this is almost the same as the task analysisprocess referred to in Unit 4 of Module 13. You might bewondering what happens at each stage. Let us examine eachstage more closely.1. Diagnosis of NeedsThis is a fact-finding stage in which you assess the needs ofsociety and the available resources. You might need to findanswers to the following questions:• Who are the learners?• Who are the teachers?• Why is the programme necessary?• Where will the programme be implemented?• How will it be implemented?The answers to these questions will become the basis forestablishing policy or formulating goals.2. Formulation of ObjectivesOnce the goals are established, one needs to determine whatthe outcomes should be. At this stage, the goals are written asstatements of intent that describe the behaviours whichchildren are expected to exhibit as a result of studying thecurriculum. Once this is done, you must then identify thecontent.3. Selection of ContentAfter the intended outcomes have been determined, forexample, to produce children with inquiring minds, you need toselect content that will help achieve that objective. Subjectssuch as science, mathematics and geography may be selected.These subjects are based on inquiry. This stage relates theobjectives formulated in the second stage to the subjects
available from the national curriculum.4. Organisation of ContentThe third stage is concerned mainly with the identification ofcontent that can be included. At this stage, the identifiedcontent is sequentially arranged to correspond to the maturityand development levels of the learners. Related content is alsogrouped and all possible relationships established. Once Module 14, Unit 1: School-Based Curriculum12content has been organised, it will be easier to select learningexperiences.5. Selection of Learning ExperiencesThis stage is concerned with the identification of relevantlearning experiences that will enable the learner to understandand appreciate the content. These are identified in any orderand put on paper. When all the selected subjects have beenreviewed, one then needs to look at sequencing theseexperiences.6. Organisation of Learning ExperiencesLearning experiences are organised in the same manner inwhich the content is organised. Identified experiences arearranged according to their complexity. The simple tasks comefirst and the most complex appear later. This will help thelearner to go through the course with ease. At this point, youshould be aware that a school must grade content and learningexperiences. This is why subject matter is prescribed for eachgrade, standard or form. These stages determine what shouldbe taught at what level, and how.After the content and sequence of learning experiences havebeen determined, evaluation is the final step in the process ofdesigning a school curriculum.7. Evaluation
Consideration is made at this stage as to whether the desiredoutcomes have been met. In order to accomplish this, it isnecessary to measure learners’ accomplishments and comparethem with the objectives identified at the beginning of thecurriculum planning process. The results of the evaluation willbe used for curriculum improvement.TRADITIONAL AND PROGRESSIVE POINTS OF VIEW CURRICULUM The Different Points of View in Curriculum ... charlieI learned that there are different definitions of curriculum but according to what Ilearned. I could come up with two points, the traditional and the progressive.Traditional point of view is just merely saying on the body of subjects or subjectmatter prepared by the teachers for the learners. According to the RobertHutchins, curriculum is like “permanent studies” It meant more on the importantsubjects that learners should study like English, Math, and Science. On the otherhand, progressive point of view opposed the beliefs of the traditional. It adheredto latest definition which is the totality learning experiences of the learners.According to Campbell and Caswell, “all the experiences children have under theguidance of the teacher.I have learned that the traditional point of view is only talking on the listing ofsubjects. It is more concerned with the intellectual trainings for the learners likewhat I aforementioned. It agrees also with the philosophy of teaching which isessentialism that talks on the 3r’s ( reading, writing, and arithmetic). It can beidentified as teacher-centered. Teachers are in authority of the learning process.While progressivism talks about the actualization all the written materials. Itadheres also with beliefs of John B. Dewey; teaching should be done with theprinciple of doing by learning. This activity would help the learners emphasizedthe meaningful one. It is advisable also to do some reflective thinking about theactivities done. According to Smith, et.al, curriculum as sequence of potentialexperiences set up in the schools for the purpose of disciplining children andyouth in group ways of thinking and acting.”As a teacher, we can choose what kind of teacher we want to be. We cannot saythat two points of view are not good whether old or new. Old one has been testedfor many years so we can say traditional one is also good while new one can besaid as adhering to the change. So, I can combine these two points of view bychoosing what is the best for my learners.
Y need to considerIt is because in a classroom, a diverse student could be found. As a teacher youmust fit your teachings to the needs of everyone in your class. All were not thesame, you need tactics so that your students can absorb what you taught and canapply it within their lives for them to survive and to be competitive enough in thisstruggling world.. That is why, whatever curriculum youll choose be sure that yourstudents will going to learn...Episode 1 #3Because societys values and needs change over time. In the 1950s, there was a lot moreemphasis on the home economics and industrial arts type of things, more emphasis on simplymemorizing facts and rules. Nowadays, with technology shifts, and an economy that is based ondifferent skills, if we had the same curriculum, it would be a catastrophe. Curricula havechanged to meet the different needs that we have now.The curriculum should be regularly evaluated and re-developed because the knowledge thatshould be taught at schools are also constantly changing. For example, based on thecurriculums developed in 1990s science teachers taught the students that there were 9 planets.However, several years ago scientists agreed that Pluto was actually not a planet so there were8 planets only. The curriculum for science lessons must be changed to adjust to this.