Home News PRINCIPLES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION: MODULE 4: Factors Influencing Curriculum Development...

PRINCIPLES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION: MODULE 4: Factors Influencing Curriculum Development and Evaluation

FACTORS INFLUENCING CURRICULUM
DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION

Curriculum foundations
These are considerations of education programmers’
and policies in light of an interdisciplinary attempt involving philosophical,
psychological, sociological and historical understandings.
Philosophical foundations
These are elements of philosophy which have bearing
on choices made in regard to the purposes and content to the schools.
Philosophy is the starting point in any curriculum
decision making and is the basis for all subsequent decision regarding
curriculum.
Four
(4) Philosophical perspectives:
       
i.           
Perenialisms
      ii.           
Essentialisms
    iii.           
Progressivism
   
iv.           
Reconstractionism
Perenialisms
This is rooted in the philosophy of Plato and
Aristotle.
The main proponents are:
       
i.           
Robert
Hutchins
     
ii.           
Mortimer Adler
Perenialists believe that, human beings are rational
and the end of education is to improve man as man.
Perenialists advocate the permanency of knowledge
that have stood the taste of time and values that have moral and spiritual
basis.
The underline idea is that education is constant,
absolute and universal
Teacher is viewed as an authoritative in his/her
particular discipline and teaching is held as an art of imparting information/
knowledge and stimulating discussion.
On this perspective, students are considered as
immature as they lack judgment required on what should be studied.
They believe that there is only one common
curriculum for all students with a little room for elective subjects. Their
emphasis is on tasting students, enforcing tough academic standards identifying
and encouraging talented students.
Essentialism
Based on philosophy of Plato and Aristotle
The main proponents are:
       
i.           
William Bagley
      ii.           
Arthur Bestor
   
iii.           
Admiral
Recover
In essentialisms, learning should consist of the
mastering the subject matter that reflect the currently available knowledge in
various disciplines.
Essentialisms is grounded in conservatives’
philosophy that argues schools should not try to radically reshape society
rather they should transmit traditional moral values and intellectual knowledge
that students need to become modern citizens.
They believe that, teachers should impart the
traditional values such as respect, fidelity to duty, consideration for others
and practicality. They insist that teachers should transmit knowledge related t
issues in the society.
They focus more in content in academic issues,
academic legacy for both slow and fast learners.
Teaching is teacher centered and teachers decide
what is most important for students to learn with little emphasis on students’
interests.
Not emphasize on the interests of students because:
       
i.           
Wastage of
time
     
ii.           
Disturb
attention of students to learn
Progressivism
Philosophical basis is pragmatisms
It is a philosophical belief that argues that
education must be based on the facts that humans are by nature social and learn
based in real life activities with other people.
Philosophy based from John Dewey
Also believe reality is constantly changed and that
we learn based through applying our experiences and thoughts to problems as
they arise.
Progressivists emphasize on the study of natural and
social sciences. They also advocate that, teachers should plan lessons that
arouse curiosity and push students towards high order thinking and knowledge
constructions.
For example, rather than students reading books only
they must go further learning by doing. Eg. Field trip.
Students are encouraged to interact with one
another, need learners to form discussions.
Students should share knowledge between one another.
Methods
of teaching
       
i.           
Should focus
on problem solving
      ii.           
Experimenting
   
iii.           
projects
Reconstractionism
Philosophical basis is pragmatisms
Proponents are:
       
i.           
Theodore
Pramets
     
ii.           
George Counts
Reconstractionalists favor reform and argue that
students must be taught how to bring about change rather than teaching students
to respect authority.
Reconstractionism is a philosophy that believes in
the rebuilding in social and cultural infrastructures.
Students are to study social problems and to think
on ways to improve on society and they believe that students cannot afford to
be neutral but must take position.
The curriculum is also based on social and economic
issues as well as social services.
The curriculum should be constantly changing to meet
the changes in the society. Teachers are considered the prime agents for social
change, cultural renew and internationalisms.
They encourage challenging the outdated structures
and entrusted with the task bringing about a new social order.
Generally,
Curriculum emphasize social sciences such as
history, political sciences, economics, sociology, religion, ethics, etc
Psychological foundations for curriculum development
These are considerations of psychological issues in
teaching and learning process.
Curriculum developers need to know how humans learn
so that they can incorporate psychological principles when they design, develop
and implement curriculum
Four (4) psychological perspectives:
       
i.           
Behaviourism
perspectives.
      ii.           
Cognitivism
perspectives
    iii.           
Constructivism
perspectives
   
iv.           
Humanism
perspectives
Behaviourism
perspectives
Proponents are Pavlov, Skinner
These argue that behaviour can be conditioned by
altering the environment. In other words, by manipulating and giving a certain
stimulus for certain response to be produced.
They also believe that, motivation to learn assumed
to be driven by drives such as hunger, reward and punishment.
       
i.           
They believe
to use a system of reward to encourage the students to learn
      ii.           
When learning
actual material provide immediate and frequency feedback
    iii.           
When teaching,
a teacher must break down complex materials to simple ones.
    iv.           
Teachers have
to put sequencing materials to encourage learning
      v.           
Reinforce a
student when demonstrate a desirable behavior
    vi.           
State the
learning outcomes and objectives when planning a lesson.
  vii.           
Believe on the
environment as the key learning factor
Cognitivism
perspectives ( J. Piaget, J Brunner, Vygosky)
They believe that, it is necessary to investigate
how learners make sense for what they learn.
Although some event are difficult to measure and not
seen
Different principles under this perspective:
       
i.           
When teaching,
a teacher should first gain attention of students at starting point by use of
cues and signals and change tones during teaching
      ii.           
When teaching,
bring a learner to the relevant prior knowledge/ learning.
    iii.           
Point out
important information when you teach. For example, after teaching, you can
provide a handout
    iv.           
Present
information in an organised manner. i.e from simple to complex.
     
v.           
Provide
opportunities of students to contribute or elaborate for new information.
Constructivism perspectives (Jean Piaget)
Believes that is active construction of knowledge
and social activity
Learners are not passive recipients of information
but are active agents engaging in constructing their own knowledge.
Construction of knowledge is done through 3
mechanisms:
       
i.           
Assimilation
      ii.           
Accommodation
   
iii.           
Equilibrium
Assimilation-fitting a new experience into the existing mental
structure
Accommodation– revising an existing schema because of the new
experience
Equilibrium– seeking cognitive stability through assimilation
and accommodation
Learning is a social activity. They believe that
community is the basic source of students’ learning in compassing the values,
believes, norms, habits and behaviours of the cultures.
Learning is enhanced when students learn how to
learn together, engage in serious discussions, examine important topics and
have shared responsibilities for applying what they know in new information.
In this perspective, there are 2 issues:
       
i.           
Individual
     
ii.           
Society
learning
In this perspective, there is encouragement of
autonomy and initiatives to students.
As teachers have to respect student ideas and
encourage learning independently. Also higher order thinking is encouraged.
 A teacher
should challenge students to make connections, analyze, predict, justify and
make sure that students can defend what they are speaking.
Encourage a dialogue between a teacher and student.
Curriculum emphasizes big concepts, begging from the
whole and expanding the parts. In curriculum, knowledge is seen as a dynamic
and ever-changing with experiences
Humanism perspectives
Proponents are such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers
and Arthur Combs
Humanistic approach to learning refers to a wide
variety of ideas and techniques. They believe that the learning is a person who
has a feeling, attitudes and emotional change.
Emotional such as self efficacy, self assurance,
intrinsic and extrinsic emotion determine how the students approach learning
Arthur Combs
Believes that, how person perceives himself/herself
is most important and that the basic purpose of teaching is to help students to
develop a positive concept
Role of a teacher is to facilitate, encourage, help,
collide and friend of his/her students.
Arthur Combs listed six characteristics of a good
teacher:
       
i.           
They are well
informed about their subjects
      ii.           
They are
sensitive to the feeling of the students and colleagues
    iii.           
They believe
that students can learn
    iv.           
Have a
positive self concept
      v.           
They believe
in helping enhancing all students do their bests
   
vi.           
They use many
different methods of instruction
Humanism
in classroom situation or curriculum
·        
They are
needed to establish a worth, democratic, positive and non threatening
environment which learners’ self concept, self esteem are considered essential
factors in learning.
·        
Teachers have
to facilitate learning
·        
Also a teacher
should be role model and set good examples
·        
They believe
that students and teachers plan together the experience and activities to
curriculum
·        
They argue
that learning is based on life experiences, discovery, exploring and experimenting
There are various factors that can influence the
development of curriculum such as:-
       
i.           
Societal
factors
      ii.           
Political
factors
    iii.           
Economic
Factors
    iv.           
Technological
Factors
      v.           
Environmental
Factors
   
vi.           
Teacher,
learner, parent, inspectors
SOCIAL
FACTORS INFLUENCING CURRICULUM DESIGN
A
curriculum that is designed or developed for use in an education system is
usually a product of various forces that emanate from the society. Society has
its own expectations about the aims and objectives that should be considered
when designing the curriculum. It also has a perception of what the product of
the school system should look like. It is therefore necessary for curriculum
designers to take into account these societal considerations. If this does not
happen, the curriculum becomes irrelevant. The knowledge, skills, values and
attitudes imparted to learners are expected to prepare them to fit in the
society. For example; emphasis may be placed on moral and social aspects with a
view to conserving socialization. Therefore, design of curricular materials and
their presentation should accommodate the culture of the society that the
curriculum is seeking to serve. You should, however, be sensitive to the fact
that the curriculum can be used to perpetuate inequalities. You may have a
curriculum that is gender biased against female children because it includes
instructional materials that portray negative attitudes towards women and
girls. It is therefore possible for culture to have both positive and negative
influences on the curriculum.
       
i.           
Pressure Groups (Special Interest
Groups)
The curriculum developers are subject to
pressures from special interest groups from the community and from further afield,
especially over controversial issues that arise. Consider the number of
groupings in the society in which you live. These can be professional
associations, cultural groups, donor countries, employers, non-governmental
organizations and religious organizations. Organizations such as religious
bodies, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), employers,
professional organizations and trade unions have an interest in education. They
pursue policies with the aim of improving quality of curriculum content and
implementation based on their ideologies. These groups can bring their views to
bear on curriculum design. Special interest groups have their own agenda that
they may wish to see followed in schools. Such groups may attempt to impose
their own curriculum in schools. This is so because any curriculum of value
must result from the broad consultation of a wide range of stakeholders.
Such
issues concern:-
•     
The inclusion of a particular book in a
course or on school library.
•     
The adoption of a new teaching method.
•     
The introduction of curricular units
dealing with sexuality, race, politics, religion, gender equality,
environmental issues, ICT etc.
•     
In extreme cases curricula already being
taught can be vetoed by powerful groups.
      ii.           
Professional Associations
Professional
organizations bring together members of their profession and play a significant
role in the development, implementation and maintenance of the curriculum.
The professional
associations are such as:-
–    
 Teachers Union e.g. Chama cha Kitaalamu cha Walimu
Tanzania (CHAKIWATA)
–    
 Mathematical Association e.g. Mathematical
Associations of Tanzania (MAT).
–    
 Science Association
–    
 Historical Association of Tanzania (HAT),
–    
 Baraza la Kiswahili Tanzania
–    
Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT)
etc.
These associations
publish journals and informative circulars in their various professions to
update members on professional issues.
Hold annual conferences
or workshops and convene their own commissions to study problems and to make
recommendations.
•     
They influence curriculum design by
laying emphasis on specific areas of curriculum context.
•     
 All these activities influence teachers’
administrations, and teacher educator curricular decision makers.
    iii.           
Non-Governmental Organizations and
United Nations agencies
Non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) such as HAKIELIMU; donor agencies such as UNICEF and
UNESCO, and World Bank; and community based organizations have been
instrumental in the development and provision of education through:-
•     
 providing T/L facilities.
•     
Contributing ideas towards policy
formulation such as those on children and gender issues.
•     
Facilitating staff and student exchange
programmes.
•     
Offering scholarships.
•     
Funding of some education projects.
   
iv.           
Publishing
Companies
•     
Publishers publish, print and distribute
educational books and materials in line with demands of the syllabi for the different
levels of learning.
•     
Although publishers may portray their
only interest as creating the finest textbooks available for use within the
curriculum chosen by school / institution / nation, their interests obviously
extend to capturing the largest possible market.
•     
Publishers are constantly concerned that
specific topics included in their texts match the topics that decision makers
include in school curricular.
•     
Sometimes they attempt to influence
educators’ selection of textbooks by involving promotions such as providing
free sample of copies of texts to teachers, by including supplementary
materials (such as teachers’ guide, audiotapes, or/and videotapes.
Textbooks
still dominate majority of classrooms. Textbook content has great impact on
student learning. Textbooks may contain:
•     
unfamiliar examples
•     
Unelaborated vocabulary
•     
Too many facts and insufficient big
ideas
•     
Choppy writing styles
•     
Gender stereotyping
     
v.           
News
Media
•     
On the surface the principal function of
the news media appears to be reporting notable events to the public. However,
news media indirectly exert influence on curriculum decision makers because of
what they have chosen to report about education and how they have chosen to
report it.
•     
The news media are not above suspicion
about their own motives in curriculum issues.
•     
The news media rarely deal with complex
issues involved in education, yet the complexity is precisely what curriculum
decision makers must deal with if their decisions are to be soundly based.
•     
News media create unrealistic expectations
in the public about education, while in other times picking up and heightening
unrealistic expectations in the public about education.
•     
Individuals
   
vi.           
Individuals
may influence the curriculum in various ways such as:
•     
Establishing privately owned schools;
•     
Participating in curriculum
implementation as resource persons; and
•     
Contributing funds for educational
issues.
•     

How Political Factors
Influence Curriculum Design

Education
is regarded as a political activity.
Educational policies
are subject to influence from politicians and political groups. This is because
education can be used to further political ideologies. This, in turn,
influences power structures in the society. Any changes in policies or
political ideologies influence the education system.
National ideology and
philosophy have a tremendous influence on the education system because:
·        
Politics determines and defines the
goals, content, learning experiences and evaluation strategies in education.
·        
Curricular materials and their
interpretation are usually heavily influenced by political considerations.
·        
Political considerations may play a part
in the hiring of personnel.
·        
Funding of education is greatly
influenced by politics.
·        
Entry into educational institutions and
the examination systems are heavily influenced by politics.
The list above is not
exhaustive, but it helps you to appreciate how politics influence curriculum
design.
How
Economic Factors Influence Curriculum Design
One
of the reasons why education is financed by governments is to improve the
country’s economy. Therefore, the national curriculum should concern itself
with the requirements of the economy.
The
economy of the country affects the curriculum in the following ways:-
•     
The children you teach will need to be
employed.
•     
 The skills needed by industry should be
translated into the content and learning experiences of these children.
•     
 The skills, knowledge base and attitudes
required by industry should be developed in the classroom.
•     
 Employers have basic requirements.
•     
Educational institutions find themselves
working to meet these basic requirements academically and professionally.
•     
The market forces dictate what should be
included in the national curriculum. It also subtly determines the quantity of
learners at different levels.
•     
 As a teacher, you require classroom supplies
such as: textbooks, charts, equipment, and chemicals for science experiments.
These materials are products of industry. Without these materials, learning is
compromised. It is therefore crucial that serious consideration.
•     
Also, the state of the economy
determines the shape and direction of the curriculum.
•     
In a country with scarce resources and
multiplicity of demands, for example, curriculum development activities are
restricted.
•     
Curriculum planners should ensure
resources are available and affordable when they recommend resource materials
for various instructional programmes.
How
Technological Factors Influence Curriculum Design
•     
Curriculum development should
accommodate technological advancements.
•     
These may relate to pedagogy or
unrelated to pedagogy but which influence knowledge.
•     
An example of this is the use of
computers in schools.
•     
The computer is the latest technological
innovation that will have a significant impact on education and society.
•     
 If you are not computer literate, you may feel
that you are not up-to-date
•     
  A number of schools have introduced computing
as one of the subjects.

How Technological Factors Influence Curriculum Design
•     
The intention is to equip the learners
with the requisite computer skills and knowledge.
•     
 In addition to computers, other forms of
electronic media are being used in teaching. These have provided a variety of
learning experiences and have facilitated individualized learning.
•     
 Curriculum designers cannot afford to ignore
technology and its influence on the curriculum.

How Environmental Factors Influence Curriculum Design
•     
Over time, people have become
insensitive to their surroundings and natural resources.
•     
 This has affected the sky, the land and the
sea.
•     
 The end result is that humanity is being
adversely affected by these in-considerations.
•     
 Industrial wastes have polluted the world. For
example, the ozone-layer in the atmosphere, which protects us from harmful
radiation from the sun, is being depleted.
•     
 People want this redressed. It is through
education that remediation can be effected.
•     
 Consideration for the environment must of
necessity influence curriculum design to ensure the survival of future
generations.
THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER
IN CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION
•     
Advocates of professional control argue
that teachers are in the best position to understand local needs, and that they
will be more committed and motivated when they are given autonomy in the
discharge of their professional undertakings.
•     
The most important element in the
education process is the people charged with the task of affecting desirable
changes in children and youth at classroom level, namely, the teachers.
•     
It is the teacher’s knowledge, insight
and skills which determines to large extent what learning actually takes place
in a given teaching situation.
•     
Indeed, it is now widely acknowledged in
educational circles that teachers largely determine the curriculum.
The
role of the teacher in the general development and implementation of the
curriculum may be viewed from two main perspectives:
  1. School –based
    curriculum
  2. Central-based
    curriculum
School-Based
Curriculum
•     
In school-based model of curriculum
development teachers are involved at all stages, the degree of involvement
being lowest in the first stage and highest at the classroom level (the
implementation stage).
•     
Teachers are responsible for all
curriculum activities from planning to evaluation.
•     
Teachers translate the broad national
goals of education into specific objectives and content for consumption by
learners.
Central-based
Curriculum
In
this perspective the teacher’s role is dominant mainly at the implementation
stage. Teachers carry out the following activities:-
At
Planning Level:
•     
Being members of curriculum project
teams and curriculum development panels.
•     
Participating in conferences, seminars,
syllabus and material development workshops.
•     
Producing materials such as teachers’
guides or manuals.
•     
Piloting: Some teachers may be involved
in piloting exercise.
•     
The Role of the Teacher at
School/Classroom Level
The
degree of teacher’s involvement is highest at the school or classroom level:
•     
Teachers prepare schemes of work and
lesson plans.
–    
They specify objectives for each unit or
topic in the scheme and for each lesson;
–    
They indicate the content to be covered
and the order this is to be tackled or presented;
–    
 They employ teaching-learning strategies to be
used, and the teaching learning materials required.
•     
They then implement the scheme or plans
in class.
•     
Adapting the curriculum to the school
situation by enriching it using local examples, applying it to the local
situation and using local materials.
•     
Creating, selecting and modifying
instructional strategies for use in class in line with abilities of the
learners.
•     
Improvising resources and providing alternative
resources for use in the learning situation.
•     
Guiding and counselling learners.
•     
Being good role models.
Assessment and
Evaluation
•     
Through the use of accepted procedures,
such as tests, examinations and observations teachers are able to establish
problems inherent in the curriculum.
•     
Teachers also participate in the process
of setting moderating, administering and marking external examinations which
are set centrally.
•     
The teacher evaluates the strengths and
weaknesses of the materials, the teaching learning approach adopted, student
achievement, etc.
•     
He / She is involved in the quality
control stage through interaction with school inspectors. By providing feedback
to inspectors regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum
programme they are implementing; hence providing the basis for revision of the
curriculum.
Teachers and the
Curriculum in Tanzania
•     
In a centralized system of education of
a developing country such as Tanzania curricula are usually centrally developed
and prescribed to schools.
•     
This kind of practice is, to a large
extent, responsible for the common impression that teachers are only marginally
involved and, apparently, are of marginal importance in curriculum development.
•     
The practice and consequently, the
impression based on it, are the roots of the popular misconception that
curriculum development ends with issuing of syllabuses to schools.
•     
 At the policy level; as in the stage of
determination of aims in the systematic model, there is hardly any teacher
involvement.
•     
The national policies and decisions,
including the policy and decisions on aims of education, are issued by the
ruling party which is the final authority in national policy matters.
•     
At the TIE level there is considerable
teacher participation in curriculum development both directly and indirectly
through participation in ad hoc committees formed by the ministry itself for
syllabus development and revision, for textbook and other materials written,
and for syllabus and materials evaluation.
•     
Teachers are also involved in curriculum
development at the TIE level through participation in panel and other
activities of the TIE – conferences, seminars, syllabus and material
development workshops.
•     
Curriculum development at the TIE is
undertaken through the use of subject panels. These panels consist of
curriculum developers, and practicing teachers. University staff and ministry
personnel also provide essential information and data needed by the TIE.
Faculties of Education and other bodies and individuals doing studies on school
curricula and related areas also provide input.
At
School/Classroom Level
•     
The Role is the same as generally stated
in previous sections.
•     
Teacher involvement in curriculum
development at the school or classroom level is also promoted through
membership of  professional associations,
such as the Historical Association of Tanzania (HAT), Mathematical Associations
of Tanzania (MAT), Chama cha Kitaalamu cha Walimu Tanzania (CHAKIWATA) and so
on.
•     
Through the use of accepted procedures,
such as tests, examinations and observations teachers are able to establish
problems inherent in the curriculum.
•     
Teachers also participate in the process
of setting moderating, administering and marking external examinations which
are coordinated by NECTA
•     
The teacher evaluates the strengths and
weaknesses of the materials, the teaching learning approach adopted, student
achievement, etc.
•     
He is involved in the quality control
stage through interaction with school inspectors. By providing feedback to
inspectors regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum programme
they are implementing; hence providing the basis for revision of the
curriculum.
The Role of School Inspectors in Curriculum
Development and Evaluation
•     
School inspection is a vital means for
monitoring the delivery of education according to stipulated curriculum and set
standards.
•     
It also ensures efficiency and quality
delivery in education.
The
general function of school inspectors is to ensure adherence to set policy,
laws, regulations and standards of education in the school system of a given
country.
To
achieve this, school inspectors are required to carry out the following
specific functions:
•     
To inspect all schools and write reports
with a purpose of advising on matters which require decision making for
improvement.
•     
To inspect, educate and advise owners,
managers, school boards/committees and teachers on good implementation of
schools development plans.
•     
To initiate and conduct educational
research and disseminate the information for the purpose of improving teaching
standards in schools.
•     
To act a link between the school, other
institutions and the Ministry.
•     
To take part in book writing, book
review and production of handouts and articles for various academic subjects.
•     
To pursue personal professional and
academic development.
•     
To conduct in-service training for
teachers.
•     
Carry out supervisory visits to improve
the quality of teaching in schools.
The
Role of the Learner in curriculum Development and Evaluation
•     
The student is the central figure in the
process of education and modern education institutions use “student cantered
approach” as their main philosophy in process of curriculum shaping.
•     
The learner is the target of the
curriculum.
•     
The learner participates in the learning
activities that are deemed to lead to the acquisition of the intended
objectives.
•     
Students may be involved in some way in
curriculum planning.
•     
Representatives of students and their
organizations may be involved in work of comities and bodies in charge for
curriculum design. This fact that students are involved in shaping of their
learning gives special quality to education process.
•     
A good teacher will allow a certain
amount of feedback from the students during the planning and implementation of
the curriculum.
•     
The curriculum should reflect specific
capabilities and characteristics of the students for who it is planned and
implemented.
•     
In non-academic activities which are
also part of the school curriculum, students can be much more involved in
decision making, within the limits of the national and school authorities. E.g.
participating in student government, sports, etc.
•     
Without cooperation of the students the
curriculum aims and objectives can never be achieved.
The Role of Parents in Curriculum
Development and evaluation
Parents
may support education by:
•     
Counseling and guiding the learners.
•     
Providing financial and material
support.
•     
Disciplining the learners.
•     
Availing their children for learning
opportunities.

SHARE