Module 5: Curriculum development process
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In Module 2, 3 and 4, we discussed how philosophy, psychology, society and history events influence curriculum. In Modules 5, 6, 7 and 8, we will examine the different phases of the curriculum development process. The first phase is curriculum planning followed by curriculum design, curriculum implementation and curriculum evaluation. In this chapter we examine in general the curriculum development process by referring to three well-known curriculum development model; namely, the Tyler model, the Taba model and the Saylor & Alexander model. In the second part of the chapter, we focus on the first phase of the process namely, curriculum planning which involves establishing the goals and objectives of a curriculum based on the agreed educational philosophy.
Curriculum is the foundation of the teaching-learning process whether it is a school, college, university or training organisation. The textbooks used, how teachers are trained, development of instructional plans, evaluation of students, preparation of guides for both students and teachers, and setting of standards, are all based on the curriculum. Thus without a curriculum no educational institution can function efficiently. Given such importance to curriculum a number of questions are raised. How is it developed? How is it organised? Who develops it? What are the principles in developing a curriculum? How do we know whether the curriculum is successful?
Curriculum is a plan for ordering and directing the teaching-learning experiences that students encounter in an educational institution. The process of providing the plan and keeping it running smoothly is known as curriculum development. Curriculum development is the more comprehensive term, which includes planning (determination of aims and goals), design, implementation and evaluation. Since curriculum development implies change and betterment, curriculum improvement is often used synonymously with curriculum development, though in some cases improvement is viewed as the result of development (Oliva, 1982). Curriculum development is a process that continuously strives to find newer, better and more efficient means to accomplish the task of educating the next generation.
What is a model? A model consist of interacting parts that serves as a guide or procedures for action. Some models are simple while others are very complex. In many instances, models are more similar that different and are often refinements or revisions of earlier models. There are many models of curriculum development, but in this chapter, we will discuss three well-known models: the Tyler Model, the Taba Model and the Saylor & Alexander Model. Each of these models is named after their originator.
5.2.1 The Tyler Model
One of the best known curriculum models is The Tyler Model introduced in 1949 by Ralph Tyler in his classic book Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction in which he asked 4 questions: 1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? 3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organised? 4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?
In essence, Tyler’s questions represent the four-step sequence of (1) identifying purposes or objectives, (2) selecting the means for the attainment or achievement of these objectives i.e. what educational or teaching-learning experiences have to be provided for students, (3) organising these educational or teaching-learning experiences, and (4) evaluating the outcomes or what have students attained or achieved. By “purposes”, Tyler was referring to “objectives” and when developing...
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