The success of any programme depends on an appropriate preplan and its accurate implementation. Curriculum is the name of such a preplan encompassing the entire activities in the domain of education. A curriculum of a specific education programme is laid to accommodate desires, tendencies, abilities, experiences and demands of learners in the backdrop of a society or a country. A curriculum contains answers to questions such as to who, why, what, how, with whose help, by what, where and for how long learners will learn. It also shows the ways of assessing their learning as well. A curriculum also addresses the aims and objectives of education, attainable learning outcomes, subjects and their contents, guidelines for teaching-learning activities and the like. Hence curriculum is called the blue-print for implementing education programmes and works as the base of developing textbooks and other teaching materials as well as conducting teaching-learning activities. Curriculum development is a continuous process. As part of this process, serial evaluation of curriculum is very essential to identify its strengths and weaknesses as well as its effectiveness. Needless to say that the rapid changes in the domains of knowledge, science and technology results in social changes and learning demands. These changes and demands necessitate updating a curriculum through necessary revision and reformation. Besides, if any curriculum is too old to be revised and cannot meet the demands of any particular time, development of a new curriculum becomes inevitable. In addition, the implementation of a new education policy equally justifies the need of a new curriculum. All these realities underpin the development of National Curriculum 2012.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum is the agenda for teaching and learning in schools. It establishes the subjects taught and the knowledge, skills and understanding required for each subject. It also sets standards for each subject, outlining targets that children should be encouraged to achieve. Additionally, the National Curriculum determines the assessment methods that are used to measure children’s progress. It is a blueprint for constructing
coursebooks, syllabi, teaching materials and lesson plans. It is a document that represents a consensus of professionals in the field, and will be further refined as teachers and textbook writers add their interpretations. Schools have the opportunity to choose how to best teach the National Curriculum to their pupils, and to create their own lesson plans and learning methods according to their pupils’ individual requirements. The National Curriculum is determined and developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA). The QCDA is part of the Department for Children, Schools and Family. As well as setting the National Curriculum, the QCDA arranges assessments, exams and tests, and makes decisions about the qualifications that pupils can take.
Model followed in the development of curriculum
National Curriculum 2012 has been developed based on the objective-learning outcome model. According to this model, aims and general objectives of education are determined first. Then subjects and subject-wise learning objectives suitable to attaining those objectives are selected. To achieve subject-wise objectives, terminal learning outcomes for different grades are determined. Terminal learning outcomes are classified into class-wise learning outcomes. Class-wise learning outcomes are further divided under three heads: cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Then contents suitable for a class, teaching-learning activities, assessment techniques and other strategies are laid on the basis of class-wise learning outcomes. This model is also called product oriented model. Many countries in the present world follow this model to develop their curriculum....