Saber-Tooth Curriculum

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In this essay I will be discussing the Saber-tooth Curriculum and how it is linked to the implementation of Outcomes Based Education and the National Curriculum Statement. The Saber-tooth Curriculum is a famous satire on curriculum development, which was published in 1939. It tells the story of New-Fist, and his curriculum. In a post-apartheid South Africa we can still learn a great deal from this satire. The universal principle is illustrated by the Saber-tooth Curriculum and I will also be reflecting on different curriculum approaches advocated by Tyler, stenhouse, Kruger and freire. We will also be taking a look on whether the implementation of OBE and NCS in South African classrooms were based on these scholars.

The universal principle is changing the curriculum to meet the needs of the learners as well as society. New-Fist Saber-tooth curriculumintroduced a systematic education for children. He had noticed that children had no purpose in their in their play beyond the pleasure they got from the activity. The children protected themselves from boredom while adults protected themselves from danger. Thus he introduced activities that benefitted not only children but adults as well. The universal principle deals with environmental, political, and technological change. In the saber-tooth curriculum New-Fist devised a new curriculum because of environmental changes that met the needs of learners and society. We learn that in order for teachers to meet the needs of both they must identify problems in the current curriculum to implement a more systematic curriculum.

The first educational theorist and practioner was a man of Chellean times whose name was New-Fist-Hammer-Maker but for short called New-Fist. New-Fist gained his name by producing such artifices that his tribe had never seen before, he knew how to get things done for his community and has the energy and will power to go ahead and do them. He was also an educated man and later on after some developments he became a dangerous man. This was what made this doer and thinker hit upon the concept of a conscious, systematic education.

Having set up an educational goal, new-fist proceeded to construct a curriculum for reaching that goal. He first discovered the first subject of the fish curriculum-fish grabbing, thereafter the wooly-horse-grabbing and lastly saber-tooth-tiger. Having developed a curriculum, new-fist took his children with him on activities. New-fist pointed out the fact that Palaeolithic culture has attained its high level by changes in human nature and it seemed almost unpatriotic deny the very process which had made the community great. By this appeal the forces of conservatism were won over to the side of the new school and in due time everybody who was anybody in the community knew that the heart of education lay in the new curriculum which included saber-tooth.

Outcome-based educations (OBE) are student-centred learning methods that focus on measuring student performance. OBE contrasts with traditional education, which firstly focuses on the resources that are available to the student, which are called inputs. While OBE implementations often have a host of many progressive pedagogical models and ideas, such as reform mathematics, block scheduling, project-based learning and whole language reading, OBE in itself does not specify or require any particular style of teaching or learning. Instead, it requires that students demonstrate that they have learned the required skills and content. However in practice, OBE generally promotes curriculum and assessment based on constructivist methods and discourages traditional education approaches based on direct instruction of facts and straight forward methods.

Under OBE, teachers can use any objective grading system they choose, including letter grades. In fact, many schools adopt OBE methods and use the same grading systems that they have always used. However, for the purposes of graduation,...
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