Curriculum Evaluation

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Curriculum Evaluation
For this assignment, I intend to evaluate the Level 2 Diploma in bricklaying as it is my own specialist area. I will be discussing the theories and models of curriculum, influences on the design, evaluation and quality assurance systems. I will also evaluate the level 2 Diploma and discuss proposals for improvement. I currently teach at a HMP Moorland where I permanently deliver the bricklaying diploma alongside my colleague. When curriculum development is being considered, Vashist (2003:1) states that the development of curriculum has been ‘conditioned’ by certain influences. Firstly, the subject matter is an obvious influence, then the course content and the influence of quantitative standards. Kelly (2004:2) suggests that curriculum can be used for many kinds of teaching instructions and programmes. ‘Curriculum’ has many meanings and Kelly (2004:3) suggests that it should not be misinterpreted. Armitage et al (2004:194) defines curriculum as: A formal course of study as at a college, university or training institution And:

The curriculum lays down what is to be covered and to some extent the teaching and learning methods to be used. There are two most prominent models to consider when developing the curriculum. The first model to investigate is the process model. Lawrence Stenhouse (1926-1982) developed the ‘process model’ of curriculum. The process approach concentrates on the active role of the learner in how to use the gained knowledge and ideas. Learners should be allowed to find out and explore subjects at their own pace. Stenhouse states that curriculum should have the following components: * Principles for planning curriculum –content, teaching strategies and sequencing * Principles for researching curriculum

* Justification of the curriculum.
Stenhouse suggests that the journey to the end of the course can be more important than the end product. The learners should take an active role and use their own initiatives. Stenhouse argued that curriculum should be used as guidelines and should not be too dictatorial. Armiatge et al (2003:202) suggest that a process approach to curriculum is: Interested in the processes and procedures of learning so that the learner is able to use and develop the content, not simply receive it passively.

The ‘product’ approach to curriculum is known as the ‘objectives model’. Ralph Tyler (1902-1994), an influential figure in curriculum theory, produced a model based on four questions: * What are the aims and objectives of the curriculum?

* Which learning experiences will help achieve the aims and objectives? * How should the experiences be arranged to make the curriculum effective? * How should the curriculum be evaluated?

Armitage et al (2003:195) summarised that product-based curriculum can provide evidence of planning, indications of how the curriculum can be learned, statements on the role of the learners and explanations behind the idea of curriculum. However, this model is associated with behaviourist learning as the objectives are devised to meet measurable outcomes. Nevertheless, Tyler’s model remains the most influential of all for its design and development.

Curriculum is influenced by government policy drivers and legislation. These policy drivers focus on ways to impact on learning and inclusion. According to Coffield (2008:141): We see policy drivers as the overarching aims that guide government strategy. In 2005, Lord Leitch led an independent review of skills. He concluded that there is a need for continual development in curriculum so that the workforce can become more skilled to maximise economic growth, productivity and social integrity. Leitch’s review (2005:1) highlights that major economic and social benefits would be the result from higher productivity and employment through the improvement of skills. When creating a scheme of work, embedded skills and ‘every learner matters’ must be taken into...
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