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Significance of the Factors of Curriculum Development Essay

In the realms of universal educational system, the term “Curriculum” is widely used. Teacher’s Mind Resources (2011) elucidated that “the word curriculum comes from the Latin word meaning ‘a course for racing’.” By the terminology it self, the definition is so broad that its profoundness, if applied to schools, may define myriad things which might relate to, as what almost all teachers nowadays perceive, as contents to be taught to children. Some also think that a curriculum is a “set of courses for students take in order to reach certain goals in all levels” (wisegeek, 2013). We cannot say that the definition is a fallacy but the meanings are parts and parcel of what the big picture is.

Curriculum is a dynamic, ever-changing series of planned learning experiences. It changes in order to enhance all experiences of the students in schools, as what John Dewey suggests regarding the definition of curriculum as such. Here we notice the relevance for a curriculum to be well-developed so that the goals will be attained. It is mentioned above that these goals are at certain levels. These goals may round about from a micro level, which may pertain to the personal achievement of Diplomas of the students themselves, up to gathering relevant statistics of how good is the aptitude of, an instance, Filipinos compared to other nation’s people. Very comprehensive, John Dewey (1916) defined curriculum as all the experiences of the learner inside and outside the school under the guidance of the teacher.

In order for a curriculum to be structured properly, there are certain factors to be measured in order to achieve the goals. These are the following:

1. Cultural Values-

Ontario Native Literacy Coalition (2001) emphasized how Grundy (1987) defined curriculum and the integration of cultural values. “Curriculum… is not a concept; it is a cultural construction. That is, it is not an abstract concept which has some existence outside and prior to human experience. Rather, it is a way of organizing a set of human educational practices”.

The fundamental teachings of the folks of certain communities which were carried out all throughout the time until now are essential even integrated in the curriculum. This is because these things should be preserved. These cultural values may pertain to as simple as respect, love, peace, equality, and truthfulness. Narrowing down to the values established in a community-based are also included. For Filipinos we have the “Mano po”, and the utterance of the words “po” and “opo”. Curriculum for Liberal Education (2008) explained that the integration of cultural values aims to gain critical and appreciative perspective upon one’s own culture by studying other historical periods and other cultural traditions.

Furthermore, Cultural values which should be well-thought-out can be visible or non-visible. These visible cultural values are Rules, Food, Dress, Language, Music, Dance, Means of Livelihood, Political Behavior, Family, Community, Norms and etc… We also include non-visible cultural values may incorporate philosophy, beliefs and value system.

2. Knowledge of learner-

Oftentimes when we here curriculum, we also associate it with the words “evaluation” and “examination” to be administered to the learners to identify their knowledge, skills, values, or as a whole-level of performance. The learner’s intelligence matters in developing curriculum. The general needs assessment is applied to targeted learners. What kind of doctor do we want to educate it depends mostly on social needs but it can reflect job opportunities, financial rewards and attitudes acquired during process of studding. Sometimes it is very difficult to make balance between these several needs. Needs can be obtained on different ways. It can be done through study of errors in practice. It is very difficult to design curriculum which will fully meet the needs of society and students.

The existing knowledge of the learners needs to be considered as a requisite for developing a curriculum so that the contents of the structure will supplement the established knowledge. The shift toward learner-centered pedagogy represents an important step in the quest to develop creative, autonomous learners who can readily adapt to a rapidly changing society. Learner-centered techniques foster creativity and innovative thinking, absolutely essential abilities for today’s workforce.

How do wee this effective? There is now the implementation of Program for Decentralized Educational Development (PRODED) – Content Based (not on the learner and learning process). Also the implementation of the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) and Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) – addresses the learner and learning process.

3. Knowledge of Teaching-Learning Theories and principles-

Very obvious, learning theories and principles serve as pillars to almost all educational structures like curricula, lesson plans, missions and visions of schools, educational philosophies, and anything related to education since these theories and principles are actually and really factual data gathered from serious and logical experimentation done by proponents in the enterprise to improve and redesign education as it moves along the dynamic world.

For instance, “The New Elementary School Curriculum (NESC) and New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) demonstrate ample evidence of the inclusion of behaviorist psychological principles through the use of behavioral objectives, drills, practices, and homeworks reinforces learning” (Pasigui, 2011)

4. Body of Knowledge-

“Curriculum is a body of knowledge-content and/or subjects. Education in this sense, is the process by which these are transmitted or ‘delivered’ to students by the most effective methods that can be devised” (Blenkin, et al ,1992).

Of course, the content is a core factor in developing curriculum. This includes, literally, the courses which the students should take in order to end up achieving the goal. Where people still equate curriculum with a syllabus they are likely to limit their planning to a consideration of the content or the body of knowledge that they wish to transmit. ‘It is also because this view of curriculum has been adopted that many teachers in primary schools’, Kelly (1985) claims, ‘have regarded issues of curriculum as of no concern to them, since they have not regarded their task as being to transmit bodies of knowledge in this manner’.

References:

* Curriculum for Liberal Education. (2008). Area 2: ideas, Cultural Traditions, and Values. Retreived December 14, 2012 from http://www.cle.prov.vt.edu/guides/area2.html

* Blenkin, G. M. et al (1992) Change and the Curriculu,, London: Paul Chapman.

* Harden, R.M. (2001). AMEE Guide No. 21: Curriculum mapping: a tool for transparent and authentic teaching and learning, Medical Teacher, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 123-137

* Ljuca, F., Lozo, S., Simunovic, V., Bosse, H., & Kadmon, M. (n.d.). Chapter 11: Curriculum Development. Retreieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.bhmed-emanual.org/book/export/html/93

* Pasigui, R.E. (2011). THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
(PHILIPPINE CONTEXT). Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.scribd.com/doc/62806653/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Curriculum-Development

* Teacher’s Mind Resources. (2011). What is Curriculum. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.teachersmind.com/Curriculum.html

* Smith, B. 0., Stanley, W. D., & Shores, J. H. (1957).
Fundamentals of Curriculum Development. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

* Wisegeek. (2013). What is curriculum. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-curriculum.htm

Significance of the Factors of Curriculum Development

We often here the term “curriculum” in the field of education as if there is a need for this to be emphasized. This is why most educators need to undergo certain studies in order to fully understand this term and how far this term can go. Basically, a curriculum, if being asked to teachers nowadays, has a probable mean definition of “sets of subjects to be taught”. Others do also have theirs like “a plan of activities and lessons to be taught” which can be synonymous to the former one.

“Curriculum is a cultural reproduction in a structured way. It is even more: It should also value independent thinking in the context of the widest sense of social responsibility” (Smith, Stanley & Shores, 1957). Not a passé statement, even foundational, in fact curricula are structured not fixed but dynamic, that is why it is stated “it is even more”. Developing curricula is not easy. The developers should tear apart the horizon of possibility and see beyond that regarding how can the curriculum best fit the needs of the society in terms of educational innovation to produce quality education to learners.

Moreover, Harden (2001) has elaborated on this concept “a curriculum is a sophisticated blend of educational strategies, course content, learning outcomes, educational experiences, assessment, the educational environment and the individual students’ learning style, personal timetable and the program of work”.

Structuring and developing a curriculum is essential to the point that the government can even intervene in order to provide relevant statistics to the developers regarding current data of the performance of the students in their state to see a match between the needs of the learners and the content of the curriculum. Furthermore, essential factors should be taken into consideration in order to make a good curriculum. These are the following:

1. Cultural Values-
This “means that the education system is based on a First Nation community’s framework of values, priorities and world view, so that the path of educational development chosen to meet a community’s needs is theirs, not what outsiders might choose for them” (Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2001).

The factor to be considered, very recently became an additional concern, are cultural values. These are values taught in order to attain peace and order in the society or community. Cultural values turned out to be essential since these principles should be conserved most specially these days the world is struggling in chaotic phenomena economically, financially, morally and others. Curriculum for Liberal Education (2008) elucidated that “as a significant factor in developing curriculum, it looks after the recognition on how the interaction of tradition and innovation nourishes both individuality and community”.

In addition, this also includes visible cultural values which are Rules, Food, Dress, Language, Music, Dance, Means of Livelihood, Political Behavior, Family, Community, Norms. We also include non-visible cultural values may incorporate philosophy, beliefs and value system. All of these things can be considered in developing curriculum.

2. Knowledge of learner-

“Curriculum development describes all the ways in which a training or teaching organisation plans and guides learning. This learning can take place in groups or with individual learners. It can take place inside or outside a classroom. It can take place in an institutional setting like a school, college or training centre, or in a village or a field. It is central to the teaching and learning process” (Rogers and Taylor 1998).

The involvement of the knowledge of the learners as factor in developing curriculum bridges the gap between what the students gained and stored in the memory bank regarding knowledge and skills, and what will the contents be in the curriculum. The contents with the knowledge of the learners must be supplementary.

In the Philippines, the effectivity of Program for Decentralized Educational Development (PRODED) – Content Based (not on the learner and learning process) and the implementation of the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) and Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) – addresses the learner and learning process take into account the consideration of the knowledge of learners.

3. Knowledge of Teaching-Learning Theories and principles-

These factors pertain to relevant researches made by known proponents who endeavoured to make the educational system better in order to meet the demands of the dynamic world. These have been applied almost ever since proper schooling emerged.

To concretize this, in the Philippines, The New Elementary School Curriculum (NESC) and New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) demonstrate ample evidence of the inclusion of behaviorist psychological principles through the use of behavioral objectives, drills, practices, and homeworks reinforces learning.

4. Body of Knowledge-

There is what we call “four different approaches to curriculum theory and practice” and one of which considerers Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted. Basically body of knowledge are the inclusion of the contents or the courses to be taken by the students, and to be integrated in the lesson plans of the teachers.

“Many people still equate a curriculum with a syllabus. “Syllabus” originates from the Greek, and it basically means: a concise statement, the contents of a treatise, the subjects of a series of lectures. In the form that many of us are familiar with it is connected with courses leading to examinations.

Where people still equate curriculum with a syllabus, they are likely to limit their planning to a consideration of the content or the body of knowledge that they wish to transmit” (Mednick, 2006)

References:

* Curriculum for Liberal Education. (2008). Area 2: ideas, Cultural Traditions, and Values. Retreived December 14, 2012 from http://www.cle.prov.vt.edu/guides/area2.html

* Harden, R.M. (2001). AMEE Guide No. 21: Curriculum mapping: a tool for transparent and authentic teaching and learning, Medical Teacher, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 123-137

* Ljuca, F., Lozo, S., Simunovic, V., Bosse, H., & Kadmon, M. (n.d.). Chapter 11: Curriculum Development. Retreieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.bhmed-emanual.org/book/export/html/93

* Pasigui, R.E. (2011). THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
(PHILIPPINE CONTEXT). Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.scribd.com/doc/62806653/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Curriculum-Development

* Teacher’s Mind Resources. (2011). What is Curriculum. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.teachersmind.com/Curriculum.html

* Smith, B. 0., Stanley, W. D., & Shores, J. H. (1957).
Fundamentals of Curriculum Development. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

* Wisegeek. (2013). What is curriculum. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-curriculum.htm


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