If we were to study the geography that was prevalent in the fourteenth century, we would be learning that the earth is flat. To stay current, curriculums should change. The rate of change is rapid today. In fact, there are some branches of science where changes take place almost every day. Changes in the curriculum go hand in hand with the speed of technological developments. Some developing countries have already started promoting education through sophisticated computers and advanced telecommunications systems. This reshapes the entire schooling system and the objectives of learning.
In this paper, I shall discuss the curriculum change that is likely to take place in the next ten years and will put forth the reasons for the change. Curricular Changes in the Next Ten Years One of education’s goals is to prepare the students for work and society. The learning process has been changing in recent times. In earlier times, learning was through books and lectures. This has now given way to online learning courses where sound and animation promote a good understanding of the study material. A major curricular change we are likely to see in the next ten years is online learning.
This further expands and fosters the chances of online distance learning, thanks to the Internet. Home schooling and web-based courses will take precedence over other formal types of learning that prevail today. While discussing the future of the learning process, Aureo Castro says that “schools will cease to become a mill where students undergo academic processing, but will evolve into becoming community centers where the students engage in a variety of activities and projects. ” (Castro, 2001) Learning will be made more meaningful and will be relevant to the lives of the students.
By rote learning or simply storing information in the brain—without really knowing when or how it is going to be useful—will be passe. Shifting focus from books and lectures, schools will teach subjects through projects and presentations. Besides, the curriculum will focus on the overall development of the student. Emphasis will be laid on learning that caters to the needs of the society and the business world. Information will be easily accessible on the Net and teachers will not be the sole providers of information. They will serve as facilitators who promote social skills.
To meet this end, teachers and learners should collaborate. Teachers should “break down the barriers of time, space, content, and form” so that learners can “collaborate, communicate, and share ideas. ” (Mulcahy, 2003) This implies that the teachers will have more freedom and the curriculum will become less prescriptive. It also implies that teachers should be technologically more advanced than the learners. They will be competent enough to prepare multimedia presentations and learning models that would foster effective learning in the students.
Lessons will be prepared by use of tools such as MS Word, PowerPoint, Flash, and multimedia. This will make learning fun, exciting, and absorbing. With the right kind of material, it will add relevance and meaning to real life. It will not be limited to the confines of an university or school. It will be an ongoing process. The new curriculum will provide wide-ranging opportunities for teachers to design, evaluate, and revise the existing curriculum. They will constantly improve the quality of project work and tasks. Problem-solving skills will be a part of the curriculum.
Technology will be a powerful learning tool and when it is made available at a low cost, it will be more accessible. Students in remote places can work in groups productively. Virtual communities of scientists, artists, writers, and others already exist. They share information. For example, a research done by a scientist in one part of the globe is already being read and discussed by scientists across the world. Their collective opinion and suggestions throw open a range of possibilities and perspectives for the scientist. This is called “knowledge networking.
” A reality that needs to be overcome in this case is the language and information barrier. However, the current trend is quite positive with computers penetrating more homes. Reasons for Change As a society, we often reevaluate our values. We reconsider the cultural aspects and revise them to suit the current trends. The learning period is short, and given the limited time and opportunities there is a desperate need to often rethink on what we really need to learn. Today, there is a rapid increase in the growth of information exchange worldwide.
Even as a product is being discovered, it is quickly being put to practical use. Students should be equipped to thrive in the dynamic age of information technology. They need to be prepared to take up jobs that are yet to be invented. This implies that they need to be lifelong learners. With the use of the Internet and the Web, learning will be a global experience. Knowledge sharing will be so enjoyable that it would soon cross the barriers of time and place. Teachers can share their knowledge and experience with those across the globe and so can students. It will be a truly international educational experience.
Some of the practical reasons for change will be that it would cut down on the travelling cost and time of the teachers and the learners, and would reduce the paucity of classroom space. Content for the Curricular Changes Curriculum changes can be of different types. In areas of science one thing might replace the other. For example the study of certain diseases before the invention of x-ray used to be different from the study after the invention of x-ray. On the other hand, in subjects like history, the curriculum adds on with the passage of time. The curriculum changes should reflect the latest trends.
The content will prepare the students to face the future by teaching them effective cognitive and social skills. They will be equipped to accomplish a task by collaborating with a diverse team. They will be equipped to create, share, and master knowledge by picking up just the right things from a sea of information. Even while learning students will be working on advanced tools similar to those used in workplaces. The content will expose the learner to exactly those problems that are faced in real-world settings. The content will also bridge the gap between abstraction and experience.
The content will provide different perspectives based on shared experiences and would enhance the students’ cognitive skills. Special tools will be developed to foster learning in disabled and under-privileged learners. Curriculum that offers vocational training will serve as a link between qualification and experience. State-of-the-art training programs will well equip learners to perform well at the workplaces. They will be skilled workers ready to take on challenges. Who and What Will Influence the Content Revamping the learning process is a herculean task since the learning process itself is quite complex.
We need to identify the determinants for better learning outcomes. Many factors determine learning outcomes—the school, the teachers, the society, the family and, of course, the curriculum and the teaching practices. Currently federal, state, and local policies decide the content. There might be a government policy that mandates the use of English, and the language is included in the curriculum. At times the situation will appear so bad that it makes one wonder if the curriculum changes with every new education minister. The curriculum content is also decided arbitrarily currently.
What to select from mankind’s past and present is randomly decided and is put forth as the content for learning. The irrationality of this decision is already being questioned. Economics is another factor that influences the curriculum. The infrastructure and the facilities that a school provides are controlled by financial constraints. In future, the influence of the content in a learner will be investigated before it is put across as a material for learning. Curriculum that is well-researched will enable learners to practice using advanced tools. Students will act as partners in developing learning experiences and in sharing knowledge.
They will learn with the help of simulation and visualization tools to comprehend real-world situations. Rather than providing readymade courses and materials to the learners, they will be given the opportunity to adapt and learn. The need is for the pupils to think and probe evidence rather than studying the facts. This would increase the confidence level of the learners. New ideas would be fostered and would add relevance to their learning. The content that will be developed will be frequently updated and revised and it will have long term validity in the workplace environment.
Company visits, consultation with experts, and case studies will be a part of the curriculum. Who Will Be Involved in the Development and Design Curriculum design spells out what is to be taught and how. Curriculum development puts the design into practice. A wide range of people will be involved in the design and development of content. Principals, teachers and the local authorities will be involved. Due to the global nature of the content, decision-makers and specialists from business and industry, and politics will also be involved. However, the economic, social, and historical factors differ from one place to another.
So it will not be possible to standardize the content at an international level. Some universal strategies can nevertheless be applied to determine the content. Educational reformers will reform the basic educational policy principles. They will decide upon the length of schooling or the length of study. Teachers and instructors will work on the study material and the general schooling. Educators who are genuinely interested in bringing out the undiscovered talents from learners will offer valuable services in developing the content. The learners can also be asked to set their own agenda.
For example, if the subject of learning is “the human brain,” the learners can be asked to come up with methods to approach the subject. They can deconstruct the topic, ask questions, and thus learn. Each learner will learn according to the limitations of their senses. Teachers and facilitators will however be making day-to-day decisions on sequencing, pacing, and imparting classroom curriculum. They use effective instructional strategies to help students meet their goals. The Part I will Play in Curricular Changes I would like to play an active part in the curricular changes.
Every day and every moment of my life is a learning experience. I shall explore global trends in education with a focus on the impact of such an education on learners. I shall investigate the strengths and weakness prevailing in each system. This will provide ample material for deriving at a pattern for online distance learning. I shall evaluate the adequacy of curriculum in supporting students learning. With this knowledge, I would like to impart useful and valuable support to teachers in providing effective learning outcomes to students.
The new trends will have a tremendous on me personally. The deeper I explore the subject the better will be my own learning experience. This will be a thoroughly enjoyable process. ? References Castro, A. P. (2001). Learning in a digital age: Current and future trends in educational technology. Retrieved from http://www. geocities. com/apcastro111/conteduc/edutech. htm Mulcahy, A. (2003, March 11). A new way to work. ICT World Forum CeBIT. Retrieved from http://www. creative010. com/Client/ictwf/press_on_site/speeches/nr_AMulcahy_ICT_World_Forum_2003March11. pdf