THE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Curriculum development has no beginning nor end, and there is no perfect product for the final curriculum document. Scales (1985) wrote that “in actual practice, development and implementation of the curriculum is an integral phenomenon developed in a very integrated and interrelating manner; one component, not necessarily springing full grown and naturally from another, nor will any single component usually stand without some revision after subsequent parts are developed”. Although written and schematic representations of curriculum development are generally linear and sequential, this is not how curricula are developed in reality, as noted above. Curriculum development is a highly iterative process, with each decision influencing concurrent choices and possibly causing a rethinking of previous ideas. A unified curriculum results from ongoing communication among groups working on different aspect of curriculum development, review and critique of completed work, and confirmation of decisions. Faculty development activities during development, implementation and evaluation of the curriculum prepare faculty to influence the curriculum through knowledgeable participation. The model of the curriculum development process in nursing education, which is described in this book, is illustrated in figure 1.1 and summarized below. Determine Need for Change – The creation of a new curriculum begins with acknowledging that the existing curriculum is no longer working as effective as desired. This recognition can arise from altered circumstances within the school (e.g., changing faculty or student profile), or outside the school (e.g., changed standards of nursing practice or accreditation standards). Although the need for change may be readily apparent to some faculty members, others may resist the idea of curriculum change. Gain Support – Curriculum change cannot occur without the support of faculty and administrators. Gaining support for...
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