Importance of Curriculum Foundations

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Curriculum planning involves making a series of choices (Saylor, Alexander and Lewis, p. 27) In the process of curriculum planning the three bases of curriculum should be considered these bases are society, learner and knowledge. Each of these bases is equally important and cannot be neglected. They are like three legs of a tripod stand, if one leg is bigger than the other than the tripod cannot stand. Similarly each of these bases cannot be given more importance over than the other all have equal importance. Society can be understood through Sociology, Learner can be understood by Psychology and Knowledge can be understood through Philosophy. Thus in order to plan curriculum the foundations of curriculum play a major role. Print (1993) defines curriculum foundations as those that influence and shape the mind of curriculum developers. These curriculum foundations can be categorized under three that is (i) philosophy, (ii) psychology and (iii) sociology. These foundations influence developers’ way of thinking about curricula and in the process, produce conceptions of curricula. The importance of three foundations in planning the curriculum is discussed as under. Philosophical Foundation

Philosophy is basic to all curriculum foundations as it is concerned with making sense of what we encounter in our lives. It is concerned with the clarification of concepts in which our experiences and activities are intelligible (Print, 1993, pp. 33-34). Curriculum developers perceive the world by asking themselves three questions: ontological (What is real?), epistemological (What is good?) and axiological (What is true?) Answers to these questions, emerge different individual philosophies through which individuals perceive and relate to the curriculum. Ontological .

Ontology is concerned with the nature of reality and asks the question: What is real? Different societies perceive reality in different ways. Thus important when what is real to society is very important when constructing a curriculum. Curriculum developers see their roles of recreating society by using curriculum as a vehicle for change. Example: Bhukari, H.M (2010) in his research says that Pakistan has embraced capitalism since the time of its birth. Pakistan inherited different institutions of Modernity and capitalism such as democracy, cosmopolitan nationalism, free market etc from its colonial masters. All institutions including education were used to realize capitalist ends. All education policies from 1947 to 2010 were based on capitalist norms and premises. Capitalism was assumed to be natural. National education policies have sought to produce individuals who could productively serve capitalist institutions. (p.256)

According to Print (1993), epistemology deals with the nature of knowledge and the nature of knowing. What is true? is the question asked in epistemology. Curriculum developers consider which truth and values need to pass from one generation to the other. Example: From the example above, capitalism is assumed as natural in the Pakistani society since the very begining, the society is divided into three classes and the capitalist run the country so it is considered true for the society therefore all educational policies up to 2010 are based on capitalist norms. Axiology

Print (1997) holds that axiology deals with the question “What is good?” Ethics is concerned with the concept of good and bad. Curriculum developers while planning keep in mind such ethical knowledge that is desirable for students to acquire. Sharma (2006) holds that moral education is the concern of every teacher and that all the student – teacher interaction contributes inevitably towards students’ moral learning and can be geared to contribute towards their moral education. (p.58) Example: Dean, L.B (2007) in her research report says that teaching and learning in Pakistani classrooms is simply the transmission of stated goals of civic education in...
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