CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION (CT: 102)
Curriculum Concepts and their Relationships
1.0 Introduction/ Background
In the history of educational theory and practice, different scholars have differently defined curriculum. The main reason behind this scenario is that curriculum is relatively based on practice rather than theory. That is, the practical experience of the educationists which vary from one background/context to another, has greatly influenced the varying definitions of the term. No wonder that curriculum can be viewed in various window.
* The experience window for instance, looks at curriculum as a set of planned learning activities that learners experience in a classroom e.g. experiments, role plays, group discussions, stimulation and debates. * Curriculum as a cultural reproduction one can say curriculum is concerned with passing on socially accepted knowledge, skills, values, behaviours and norms of a given field, profession or society from one generation to another. * Whereas the content window potrays curriculum as topics and subject matter to be taught in different courses. * The intention window denotes curriculum as predetermined aims, goals and objectives that describe what learners should learn and expected learning outcomes/behaviours. * Another window portrays curriculum as a process of providing personal meaning to learners. What is emphasized here is personal growth and self actualization through experiential learning. So, it is not easy to strike a balance on the definition of the curriculum because the term means differently to different people and different educational institutions.
1.1 Curriculum Outlook
1.1.1 The broader (holistic) view
This view was propounded by Franklin Bobbit (1918) and seems to be shared by different curriculum specialists like Tanner et al (1980), Kelly (1989) and Kerr (1968). To them curriculum is regarded as a series of carefully planned and managed activities in learning institutions that learners must do and experience so as to develop their abilities for adult life. The camp believes that students learn from a total environment of the learning institutions’ activities that are purposely planned in or outside the master timetable.
1.1.2 Narrow (academic) view
The view was propounded by G. Beauchamp and is shared by curriculum specialists like H. Taba (1962), R. Tyler (1949), Doll (1979) and B. Bloom (1956). They conceive curriculum as a course of study (list of subjects) purposely developed for learners to cover under their teachers in classrooms in a prescribed period of time. If one critically looks at the two views of definitions of curriculum, is likely to come up with the following observations: * There are many definitions which one can find in one’s reading, but all fall under the two mentioned camps. For example, Kerr (1968) sees curriculum as “all the learning that guided or planned by the school, whether it is done in groups or individually inside or outside the school”. Steves et.al (1975) define curriculum as a plan of sets of learning opportunities to archive broad and specific objectives for an identifiable population served by a single school centre”.
* All definitions concur that curriculum involves all learning that is carefully planned/ guided. The knowledge provided by the subject matter, experiences acquired by learners through participation and interaction with learning opportunities and the expected outcomes in and out of schools as a results of the curriculum, are geared at preparing learners for adult life.
1.2 The origin and Definitions of Curriculum
The word curriculum comes from Latin “Curere” which means “race course” (to run); it was used to describe the process of running course in schools from nursery to university. Ancient Romans defined curriculum as a racecourse, that is track followed by racing...