MODULE 1:Understanding the curriculum concept
·         Concept
·         Types
·         Realization
·         Approaches
·         Stages in curriculum development

Etymologically, curriculum is from Latin word ‘Currere’ which means to run and the experience was derived from horse race.
In education system, the word curriculum means ‘course of race’ later on came to mean ‘course of study’
Curriculum is just imagination which means a course of study or planning actions.
In recent years, the word curriculum still has different explanations.
Curriculum means different things to different people because everyone explains it according to his/her views or experience.
Most people including educators try to equate curriculum with the syllabus.

Various definitions of curriculum
The New international dictionary defines curriculum as the whole body of a course in educational institution or by department.
But, curriculum in this definition is limited to a course while curriculum is more than a course/content

The oxford English dictionary defined curriculum as courses taught in schools or universities.
Evaluation of the definition; how those courses are taught and who teach them?

Curriculum is the inclusion of all experiences that individual learners have in a program of education whose purpose is to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives, which is planned in terms of framework of theory and research or past and present professional practice.

Curriculum -All the social and emotional experiences a child has in school, as well as the academic learning experiences.

Explore various definitions of ‘curriculum’ as put forward by various scholars and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

All the definitions should have common features and show that curriculum is a statement of;-
                                i.            What students should know.
                              ii.            What you what students to be able to do (which skills should you want students to acquire).
                            iii.            How it taught (how should it be instructed)
                            iv.            How it is measured. (assessment)
                              v.            How the educational system is organized which means the context.
Types of curriculum                                    
Since the word curriculum is an imaginary issue, there are three types of curriculum.
1.      Formal or written curriculum.
2.      Non formal curriculum.
3.      Hidden or informal curriculum.

Formal or written curriculum
It is a type of curriculum which appears in documents and teachers’ plans. It is a type of curriculum which is agreed by the state to guide all schools and institutions. It is common in schools throughout the country. It can be reflected in aims of education of a country.

Non formal curriculum
This is a type of curriculum which is specific or common within or for a given institution.
Examples are school rules and regulations, time table, etc.

Hidden or informal curriculum
It is a type of curriculum which is not planned or intended but it leads into production of
students’ learned behaviors which were not openly intended. Knowledge acquired from the hidden curriculum include:-
·         Leadership skills.
·         Love affairs.
·         Theft
·         Conflicts
Three (3) factors that contribute to hidden curriculum
1.      Political understandings, e.g. Leadership.
2.      Social implications- imply issues like economy and interactions.
3.      Cultural implications which implies environment. E.g. theft

Other types of curriculum 
Spiral curriculum - Certain concepts and skills are taught every year, but in an upward spiral of difficulty.  
      In math, each year begins with a review of skills from previous years, and then new skills and concepts are introduced.  
      For this reason, the topics of math units are likely to be similar from year to year, but the way these topics are addressed and the complexity of the concepts vary greatly.

Horizontal curriculum - Basic curriculum taught within a year or a semester.
Vertical curriculum - Curriculum taught from year to year.

Intended curriculum
       is the explicit and approved one and is usually written in the form of curriculum guides or lesson plans.
Hidden curriculum is not written anywhere but is still pervasive.  
      It varies from teacher to teacher, depending on individual values and interests.  
      Teachers can teach the same lesson plans but teach very different lessons depending on their values, subject knowledge and interests.
Experienced curriculum
       Is what the children receive and differs with each child due to differences in aptitude, interests, and preexisting knowledge.
Null curriculum
      is whatever the teacher deletes or omits because of lack of time, interest or knowledge.

Delivered curriculum
      May differ greatly from the intended, planned curriculum.  
Each teacher plans different lessons and delivers the intended curriculum in a unique way.

Realization of curriculum
There are three realizations of the curriculum.
1.      Intended curriculum realization.
           i.     Ideal curriculum sub realization-it includes vision of education/rational which is guided by underlying philosophy of the country.
         ii.     Written curriculum sub realization-it includes intensions as specified in curriculum documents such as syllabus, teachers’ and students’ guides.
2.      Implemented curriculum realization.
           i.     Perceived curriculum sub realization- refers to a curriculum as interpreted by its users especially teachers. How teachers perceive the curriculum can affect students.
         ii.     Operational curriculum sub realization- is the actual process of teaching and learning. It is also called ‘curriculum in action’ or ‘enacted curriculum’

3.      Attained curriculum realization.
           i.     Experiential curriculum sub realization-refers to learning experiences as perceived by students in a classroom.
         ii.     Learned curriculum sub realization-learning outcomes of students as a result of classroom learning experiences.

Curriculum Approaches
There are three curriculum approaches. Whatever curriculum you are providing should be in three approaches which consider curriculum as;-
1.      Content
2.      Product (experience)
3.      Process (framework)
Curriculum as content
*      It is a body of knowledge to be transmitted.
*      It is quite common to most people to equate it with syllabus.
*      Just refers to a list of topics you want your students to learn. That’s why in curriculum we have written documents.
*      In this approach, the task of a teacher or task of implementer is to consider the curriculum documents.
Curriculum as a product
*      Refers to experience.
*      Under this approach, the target will be on looking what desires/experiences do you want students to acquire at the end.
*      Curriculum is not the result of armchair speculation but it is a product.
*      Knowledge, skills, values that are transmitted to students need to be effective.
*      Students have to bring changes about their behaviour.

Treating Curriculum as a process
*      Refers to ‘frame work’ or ‘course of study’ or ‘plan of action’
*      Curriculum is imaginary issue hence it is the process. This can be seen in interaction of teachers, students and knowledge. Also through the interaction between teachers and students.
*      It is based on the implementation of the curriculum especially in the teaching practice.

Levels of curriculum
There are about four levels of curriculum
1.      System, society, nation or state level (macro)
2.      School, institutional level (meso level)
3.      Classroom level (micro)
4.      Individual or personal level (non-level)

Different presentation of curriculum
There are three forms of curriculum presentation:-
a)      Intended curriculum
b)      Implemented curriculum
c)      Attained curriculum

A.   Intended curriculum

B.   Implemented curriculum

C.   Attained curriculum

Curriculum development (curriculum improvement)
Curriculum development is the process of providing the plan and keeping it running smoothly. Since it implies change and betterment, curriculum improvement is often used synonymously with Curriculum development

Stages in curriculum development
1.      Curriculum planning.
2.      Curriculum design.
3.      Curriculum implementation.
4.      Curriculum evaluation.

Curriculum planning
*     Involves the decision about the philosophy of education and aims of education.
*     How you want education to be.
*     This will guide towards developing by;-
                                i.            Philosophical beliefs
                              ii.            Curriculum goals and objectives that will be translated to students.

Curriculum design
*     Refers to the way curriculum is conceptualized and involves the selection and organization of contents, and selection and organization of learning experiences or activities.
*     In organization of learning experiences and activities, consider the wealth and worse.

Curriculum implementation
*     Takes place in the classroom. It involves getting people to practice ideas in curriculum providing the necessary resources, training and encouragement.

Curriculum evaluation
*     This determines the extent to which the effort in implementing the ideas of curriculum has been successfully acquired. What factors have hindered implementation or contributed to the success of the plan.
*     It is the last stage but yet the first stage in curriculum development.

Curriculum models
Model- consists of interacting parts that serves as a guide or procedures for action. Or it is a simplified presentation of reality which is often depicted in diagrammatic form.
A general term gaining greater acceptance as a means of explaining curriculum process than a model is algorithm.
Algorithm- step by step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some ends.
Curriculum models- these are mental pictures that are based on the body of theories about teaching and learning.
A continuum of models depicts three extremes of curriculum process as:
        i.            Rationale/objective models which are normally sequential or linear (cause-effect)
      ii.            Cyclical models which normally indicate endless process
    iii.            Dynamic/interactive models which view curriculum as flexible, interactive and modifiable

A.  Rationale models
a)      Ralph Tyler model
He has developed a mental picture in which he asked four questions:
                    i.            What educational purpose should the school seek to attain? This focuses on changing the learner’s behavior
                  ii.            What educational experiences can be provided that is likely to attain these purposes?
                iii.            How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
                iv.            How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?
In essence, Tyler gives a sequential method of attaining the goals of curriculum which are:
        i.            Identifying purposes or objectives
      ii.            Selecting learning experiences
    iii.            Organization of learning experiences
    iv.            Evaluation of learning experiences

Advantages of Tyler’s model
        i.            Avoids vague general judgment of statement of intentions
      ii.            Makes assessment more preciously/exactly
    iii.            Helps to structure learning content
    iv.            It guides teaching and learning about skills to be mastered
      v.            It makes teachers to be aware of different types and levels of learning involved in particular subject

        i.            Writing objectives to satisfy learner’s behavior is difficult and time consuming especially when we consider that each objective has a certain statement of behavior to be attained
      ii.            Tyler has ignored the unpredictable behavior or nature of teaching and learning process.
    iii.            Tyler does not adequately explain the source of objective
    iv.            The model does not tell what next after evaluation, particularly when we see objectives are not met
      v.            The model does not indicate the adequate interaction and inter-readiness and interdependence of these element or phases

b)    Hilda Taba
She modified the Tyler’s model by introducing other three steps so as to make sense of curriculum. She developed seven phases but also on linear form as follows:-
        i.            Diagnosis of needs-
      ii.            Formulation of objectives-
Things to consider:
a.       Criteria-that should base on relevance, importance and priority
b.      Slope-amount, depth of coverage concentration
c.       Sequence-hierarchy of difficulties
    iii.            Selection of content-
    iv.            Organization of content-
      v.            Selection of learning experiences-
    vi.            Organization of learning experiences-
  vii.            Evaluation and means of evaluation-

Advantages of this model
i.            By this model, we get informed where does objectives come from
ii.            It is more comprehensive rather than that of Tyler because it has included Tyler’s and hers in simplified method.
Not all teachers know the curriculum content.
Time consuming.

B.            Cyclical models
a)  Audrey and Howard Nicholls
This model emphasizes the logical approach to curriculum development, particularly where the need for new curriculum emerged from changed situations. This work refined the work of Tyler, Taba and Wheeler by emphasizing the cyclical nature of the curriculum process and the need for situational analysis.

                    i.            Situational analysis
                  ii.            Selection of objectives
                iii.            Selection and organization of content
                iv.            Selection and organization of methods
                  v.            Evaluation
Audrey and Howard Nicholls


b)  Wheeler’s model
According to wheeler,
                    i.            Aims should be discussed as behaviors referring to end product of learning which yields the ultimate goals. One can think these ultimate goals as outcomes
                  ii.            Aims are formed from general to specific in curriculum planning. This results in the formulation of objectives at both enabling and terminal level.
                iii.            Content is distinguished from the learning experiences which determine that content
Wheeler’s model

It has two limitations:
        i.            Numbering elements suggests that curriculum starts with objectives and ends with evaluation.
      ii.            There is one to one relationship between elements therefore the idea of cyclic is missing

C.           Interactive/ dynamic models
       i.            Malcom Skilbeck model
This model suggests that, curriculum development may commence with any curriculum element and proceed in any sequence rather than the fixed sequence advocated by the rationale model
However, the model concertizes the curriculum developer to be aware of the source of their objectives. To understand this, a situational analysis should be undertaken
It suggest 5 steps but not in logical order because the process can start at any step or stage

Malcom Skilbeck model

     ii.            Kerr’s model
Most of the features in Kerr’s model resemble those in wheeler’s and Tyler’s models. However, Kerr divided the domains into four areas:
·         Objectives
·         Knowledge
·         Evaluation
·         School learning experiences

 A simplified version of Kerr’s model of curriculum design is shown below

The four domains are interrelated directly or indirectly and objectives are derived from school learning experiences and knowledge

In this model, objectives are divided into three groups:
·         Affective
·         Cognitive
·         psychomotor

The model further indicates that, knowledge should be:
·         organized
·         integrated
·         sequenced, and
·         reinforced

Evaluation in Kerr’s model is the collection of information for use in making decisions about the curriculum
School learning experiences are influenced by societal opportunities, the school communities, pupils and teacher relationships, individual differences, teaching methods, content and maturity of the learner’s. These experiences are evaluated through tests, interviews, assessments and other reasonable methods.
In his model, Kerr asserts that everything influences everything else and that it is possible an analysis at any point.

Centralized curriculum design pattern is the one in which the content is decided upon by central national office. E.g MoEV or parastatal organisation

Advantages of Centralized curriculum design pattern
        i.            it makes easy to achieve national goals since all schools use the same documents
      ii.            learners can transfer from one school to another without being disadvantaged
    iii.            entry requirements for universities and colleges can be centrally determined and parity can be ensured
    iv.            communication to schools regarding academic requirements is easy since the ministry of education is directly involved
      v.            learning materials can be mass-produced, making them less expensive for both producers and consumers
    vi.            institutions can be well staffed and richly served because they draw from a national pool of expertise and resources

Disadvantages of Centralized curriculum design pattern
        i.            the process takes long time before the final document is produced
      ii.            the design is sensitive to the needs of some groups within the country
    iii.            there are coordination and communication problems when parastatals  are involved in curriculum in curriculum design
    iv.            there is a limited participation by various members of the community, resulting in little commitment during implementation stage
      v.            it stifles creativity and initiatives on the part of the teacher and other community members.
    vi.            Generally, the centralized pattern stresses content, mainly knowledge at the expense of the development of attitudes and skills. There is scramble for certificates, with little regard for the development and demonstration of productive skills.

Decentralized curriculum design pattern- this happens when the local authorities or individual states draft their own curriculum. This type of designing is common in developed countries. However, some developing countries with large populations and states such as Nigeria, use the decentralized pattern of curriculum design

Characteristics of decentralized curriculum design pattern:-
·         Local communities initiate the changes to suit their local needs
·         Teachers work with the parents to determine the content. The learning experiences are based on what is available.
·         Subjects in schools could be the same, but the content will vary from school to school, state to state or district to district
·         Each school, state or district has its own syllabus that is produced locally.
·         Generally, the textbooks may not have been centrally approved
·         Each school, state or district has its own form of evaluation
·         Very few people are involved in curriculum designing

Advantages of decentralized curriculum design pattern
        i.            It addresses the local needs
      ii.            The local community is directly involved and committed to its implementation
    iii.            The system encourages creativity and initiative on the part of the teacher
    iv.            It takes less time to produce the curriculum than it would take when centralized pattern is used
      v.            Students learn what is relevant to the local community

Disadvantages of decentralized curriculum design pattern
·         There is no guarantee that national goals will be achieved
·         Learners cannot easily transfer from one school to another when their families move.
·         There is generally a problem in developing or accessing teaching materials which if available are expensive to produce
·         There may not be adequate expertise in the local community to develop part of the curriculum

MODULE 1:Understanding the curriculum concept

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