Tag Archives: curriculum

Tips on How to Develop a Unified Curriculum for Institutional Amalgamation

Developing a curriculum for an institute or university is a complex task that needs in-depth knowledge, expertise, and collaboration. However, what if the purpose of developing a curriculum is for institutional amalgamation, would it be more difficult? The answer is, yes! Please read on to know some important points that you need to consider.

The curriculum is the heart of the school. Touching it (in terms of revision, reconstruction, expansion, among others) would mean changes that may be beneficial or detrimental to all its stakeholders. Thus, careful strategic planning coupled with innovation and international benchmarking through research and development must be conducted first.

International benchmarking is important because of the pressing issues and trends worldwide. Many countries now are in a dilemma as to how they will cope with the changes brought about by the knowledge-based economy and the 21st-century education. Issues like institutional amalgamation, global communities of learning, accreditation, world university rankings, outcomes-based education, and the future of higher education (globalizing higher education) are today’s buzzwords. If a country or the Commission on Higher Education would like to be at par with other countries that have a world-class education, then a need for innovative curricular landscaping and architecture must be made now!

However, before any enhancement or change in the curriculum, ask yourself first: what is the primary purpose of developing a curriculum? If the purpose is to unify a curriculum for institutional amalgamation with global standards, the following tips can help you a lot:

1. Philosophy, Vision, and Mission of a University

It is important for the governing body or the authority in a university to come up with its vision and mission. For example, if a big private company owns many institutes and universities located in one place, then, there must only be one philosophy, vision, and mission for all the combined schools.

2. Outcomes-based Education, Institutional and Programs Accreditation

Institutional and program accreditations nowadays are based on outcomes. There are national and international accrediting bodies that look at the outcomes (what students can do) to address the needs of the global communities of learners in the 21st century. This means that the curriculum, particularly at the macro level must have international standards. A curriculum committee can benchmark and decide which international framework suits to their stakeholders’ needs.

3. Textbooks

In some countries, unless approved by the Curriculum Development Committee (CDC), teachers are not allowed to use textbooks or any instructional material. So, it is appropriate to select textbooks from credible publishers, preferably with international recognition, to guarantee that the books comply with the criteria set by the CDC. Some publishing companies provide books that suit the learning outcomes of the students, they can customize the books according to the preferences of their clients. Having prescribed textbooks is advantageous because it gives many freebies in terms of discounts, training and support to the administration, faculty, and students. A university can save, and at the same time, earn much money if the books to be used by all students are the same.

4. Levels and Streaming, and Exit Point

Placing students according to their levels of proficiency is also given importance in the development of curriculum. Some countries spend much money by buying licenses to assess students’ proficiency level, and aptitude test scores. Personality test scores can be included (in some cases) to place the students at their appropriate levels. Likewise, the exit point must be also determined to make sure that they already possess the outcomes expected from them when they finish their degree or course.

In conclusion, developing a unified curriculum for amalgamation will only be possible if it serves the purpose of organizations governing it, and it addresses the needs of its stakeholders. The curriculum must be developed and designed according to the philosophy that academic institutions believe in and adhere to. This view will help them craft their vision and mission, and help them come up with the curricular programs through research and innovations. However, there is no perfect curriculum. There are skeptics about it, but if the curriculum is well-planned and manned by a team of experts in curriculum development and subject areas, the proposal will succeed. It will likely to succeed if a pilot testing be conducted first, to determine its viability, prior to its implementation.

Reference:
Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., Javier, R. B., (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City, QC: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-Matter or Content of the Curriculum

This article clarifies the two viewpoints of the curriculum and discusses the 7 criteria for the selection of subject matter or content of the curriculum (Bilbao et al., 2008).

The term curriculum is viewed in two different ways: the micro and the macro. The micro curriculum refers to subjects while the macro curriculum refers to curricular programs. For example, the subject biology is a micro curriculum while BS in Civil Engineering is a macro curriculum.

What do the micro and the macro curriculum contain? The following criteria discusses the content of these two levels of the curriculum.

 Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum

The selection of subject matter for micro curriculum employs the seven criteria below. For the macro curriculum, the subjects needed for the curricular program or course.

1. Self-sufficiency

To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency in the most economical manner is the main guiding principle of subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008). Although the economy of learning implies less teaching effort and less use of educational resources, students gain more results. They can cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.

This criterion means that students should be given a chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This system allows them to learn independently.

With this principle in mind, I suggest that for a high school curriculum or preparatory year, there should be a one-day independent learning activity each week. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.

2. Significance

The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of learning activities, skills, processes, and attitude. It also develops the three domains of learning namely the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills and considers the cultural aspects of the learners. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.

In short, select content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.

3. Validity

Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete.

For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT).

Thus, there is a need to check regularly the subject matter or contents of the curriculum, and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another 5 years to change it.

Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, the school or the country becomes obsolete.

4. Interest

This criterion is true to the learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is meaningful to them. It becomes meaningful if they are interested in it. However, if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and only teach what is in the book. This approach explains why many fail in the subject.

5. Utility

Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not important to them. They view it useless. As a result, they do not study.

Here are the questions that students often ask: Will I need the subject in my job? Will it give meaning to my life? Will it develop my potentials? Will it solve my problem? Will it be part of the test? Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?

Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.

6. Learnability

The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories in the psychology of learning to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize the learning capacity of the students.

7. Feasibility

Feasibility means full implementation of the subject matter. It should consider the real situation of the school, the government, and the society, in general. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish.

For example, you have only one week left to finish the unit but then, the activities may take a month for the students to complete. Thus, this requirement is not feasible.

Do not offer a computer subject if there is no even electricity in the area, or there are no computers at all.

Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.

Also, there is a need to consider the nature of the learners. The organization and design of the subject matter or content must be appropriate to the nature of students.

So, it would be better if students in a subject-centered curriculum (with pacing schedule that must be religiously implemented every week) shall be grouped homogeneously; otherwise, many will flunk in that subject.

In conclusion, teachers in elementary and high school are not directly involved in the selection of subject-matter because there are already lesson plans made by the Department of Education. All they have to do is to follow it. However, they can also customize the lessons if their department heads or principals allows them.

As regards macro curriculum, the Commission on Higher Education sets guidelines and policies on what subjects to offer as minimum requirements for the course. Then, the Curriculum Development Committee will takes charge of the selection, organization and implementation of the curriculum with the approval of the Academic Council.

The Curriculum Development Committee headed by the Director of Curriculum Development sees to it that the selection of the subject-matter and the subjects for a curricular program be examined and scrutinized using the 7 criteria mentioned above.

But, this is not the end of the process yet! The selection of the subject matter or content of the micro and macro curriculum is only one of the considerations in designing the curriculum.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., Javier, R. B., (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City, QC: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 February 7 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (February 7, 2015). Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-Matter or Content of the Curriculum. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/02/07/7-criteria-for-the-selection-of-subject-matter-or-content-of-the-curriculum/

Four Major Foundations of Curriculum and their Importance in Education

This article explains the four major foundations of curriculum and their importance in education. Examples are provided to stress the importance of curriculum in the academe.

Read on and reflect on some of the experiences you have had in school to match it with how philosophy, history, psychology and sociology influence those experiences of yours.

The Influence of Philosophy to Curriculum

Educators, curriculum makers and teachers must have espoused a philosophy or philosophies that are deemed necessary for planning, implementing, and evaluating a school curriculum. The philosophy that they have embraced will help them define the purpose of the school, the important subjects to be taught, the kind of learning students must have and how they can acquire them, the instructional materials, methods and strategies to be used, and how students will be evaluated.

Likewise, philosophy offers solutions to problems by helping the administrators, curriculum planners, and teachers make sound decisions. A person’s philosophy reflects his/her life experiences, social and economic background, common beliefs, and education.

When John Dewey proposed that “education is a way of life”, his philosophy is realized when put into practice. Now, particularly in the Philippines, Dewey’s philosophy served as anchor to the country’s educational system.

History and Its Influence to Curriculum

The history of one’s country can affect its educational system and the kind of curriculum it has. If we are going to trace the formal beginning of curriculum, we get back in time to Franklin Bobbit’s book entitled, “The Curriculum” which was published in 1918.

From the time of Bobbit to Tyler, many developments in the purposes, principles and contents of the curriculum took place. Please read the Six Famous Curriculum Theorists and their Contributions to Education for more information.

The Influence of Psychology to Curriculum

Curriculum is influenced by psychology. Psychology provides information about the teaching and learning process. It also seeks answers as to how a curriculum be organized in order to achieve students’ learning at the optimum level, and as to what amount of information they can absorb in learning the various contents of the curriculum.

The following are some psychological theories in learning that influenced curriculum development:

1. Behaviorism

Education in the 20th century was dominated by behaviorism. The mastery of the subject matter is given more emphasis. So, learning is organized in a step-by-step process. The use of drills and repetition are common.

For this reason, many educational psychologists viewed it mechanical and routine. Though many are skeptical about this theory, we can’t deny the fact the influences it had in our educational system.

2. Cognitivism

Cognitive theorists focus on how individuals process information, monitor and manage their thinking. The basic questions that cognitive psychologists zero in on are:

  • How do learners process and store information?
  • How do they retrieve data and generate conclusions?
  • How much information can they absorb?

With their beliefs, they promote the development of problem-solving and thinking skills and popularize the use of reflective thinking, creative thinking, intuitive thinking, discovery learning, among others.

3. Humanism

Humanism is taken from the theory of Gestalt, Abraham Maslow’s theory and Carl Rogers’ theory. This group of psychologists is concerned with the development of human potential.

In this theory, curriculum is after the process, not the product; focuses on personal needs, not on the subject matter; and clarifying psychological meanings and environmental situations. In short, curriculum views founded on humanism posits that learners are human beings who are affected by their biology, culture, and environment. They are neither machines nor animals.

A more advanced, more comprehensive curriculum that promotes human potential must be crafted along this line. Teachers don’t only educate the minds, but the hearts as well.

4. Sociology and Curriculum

There is a mutual and encompassing relationship between society and curriculum because the school exists within the societal context. Though schools are formal institutions that educate the people, there are other units of society that educate or influence the way people think, such as families and friends as well as communities.

Since the society is dynamic, there are many developments which are difficult to cope with and to adjust to. But the schools are made to address and understand the changes not only in one’s country but in the world as well.

Therefore, schools must be relevant by making its curriculum more innovative and interdisciplinary. A curriculum that can address the diversities of global learners, the explosion of knowledge through the internet, and the educational reforms and policies recommended or mandated by the United Nations.

However, it is also imperative that a country must have maintained a curriculum that reflects and preserves its culture and aspirations for national identity. No matter how far people go, it is the country’s responsibility to ensure that the school serves its purpose of educating the citizenry.

Now, it is your time to reflect. Can you think of your experiences in which the major foundation of curriculum can explain it?

Try to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why should I take history, philosophy, psychology or even PE subjects in college?
  2. Why is it that there is K to 12 and the mother tongue-based curriculum being implemented by the Department of Education?
  3. Why is there institutional amalgamation?
  4. Why is there “One UP” (One University of the Philippines) now in the Philippines?
  5. Why is there a need for a globalized higher education?

These questions imply that change will take place in the near future. So, brace yourself for the many changes that will take place in education!

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 January 9 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (January 9, 2015). Four Major Foundations of Curriculum and their Importance in Education. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/01/09/4-major-foundations-of-curriculum-and-their-importance-in-education/

Five Characteristics of an Effective Communication Arts Teacher

This article deals with the five characteristics of teachers who would like to be effective in teaching communication arts subjects. In addition, this article tackles the three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching, namely: the approach, method and technique.

Are you a student majoring in English? Or perhaps, you have been teaching English for so long, but is still interested to hone your craft in teaching? To begin with, you must be familiar with the characteristics of an effective communication arts teacher.

Five Characteristics of an Effective Communication Arts Teacher

1. A competent user of the language.

This means that aside from your ability to express your ideas in English through oral and written communication, you must have a good academic preparation particularly on how to teach English. Identifying the knowledge and skills that students need to learn can help you conceptualize the structure and functions of language that must be organized and chunked into lesson-sized experiences. In addition, you should also have a communicative competence in which you have the ability to use your ideas in a right place, in a right manner, at a right time, and to a right person.

2. Ability to interact with students

You should have the ability to interact with students. Interacting successfully with students means that you have stimulated their interest and have motivated them to learn.

Interacting is not just simply asking low level type of questions where the students give their responses from a book. A good interaction is when students give their answers by relating what they have learned to their own experiences or current issues. Or when they give their opinions or ask thought-provoking questions to their classmates.

Thus, there is a need for you, as a teacher, to diagnose your students’ needs and interests and plan for activities that will improve their critical thinking ability.

3. Interested in literature

You need to have a healthy interest in literature. A teacher must be a bookworm.

There are great books and literary pieces to read about and share to your students. Literature is the best way to educate the heart and mind of students.

Teach your students not only of the knowledge that they need for work but teach them how to be more compassionate with others and live life without prejudices or biases due to skin color and religious affiliations. After all, we are all human beings who need to love and be loved.

4. Adopts a positive attitude towards communication arts

As a teacher, you should have a positive attitude towards the communication arts curriculum. There’s no perfect curriculum.

Sometimes, you may not like a particular subject matter or activity to teach in class, but if that subject matter or activity is mandatory, you still have to show your enthusiasm and interest in teaching it; for interest begets interest.

Even if you wouldn’t tell the students of your attitude in teaching, they could discern if you are interested or not in imparting knowledge to them. So, you better adopt a positive attitude and always wear a smile while teaching them.

5. Applies various teaching approaches

A good communication arts teacher should apply the various approaches, methods, or strategies in teaching. Since you will be teaching students from different backgrounds, interests and needs, it is therefore important to have a repertoire of approaches, methods, techniques and strategies of teaching to meet your students’ individual needs.

Approach, Method, and Technique

Now, there are three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching as identified by Anthony (1963) as cited by Villamin et al. (1994). These are the approach, method and technique which are hierarchically arranged.

The approach refers to the assumptions and beliefs about what your students must learn in a particular subject. For example, you should know the nature of a subject matter from language specialists or researchers. Based on the selected approach, you have to think of a method to demonstrate it. A method is an over-all plan as to how you will organize and present your lesson. Once you have a method in mind, think about how you will implement it in class. The classroom procedures or techniques you have learned can help you carry out the plans.

At this point, it would be easier for you to choose a teaching strategy that is best suited to your purpose and to your students’ needs.

So, why don’t you apply this information, and find out if you can use the Total Physical Response Method in your class?

Reference

Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., and N.R. Sunga (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City, QC: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

© 2015 January 8 M. G. Alvior

Seven School Curriculum Types and their Classroom Implications

This article describes the 7 types of curriculum and their classroom implications. Upon reading this article, you will realize the complexity of the term “curriculum” as I discuss each type, along with the examples. Read on and find out the different types.

Allan Grathon (2000), as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008), describes the seven types of curriculum as follows:

  1. Recommended CurriculumPerhaps you have asked these questions: Why should I take all these subjects and follow the course flow religiously? Why is there a need to implement the K to 12?The answer is simple! The Ministry of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, or any professional organization can recommend and implement a curriculum.

    In the Philippines, for example, what is being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) or the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), is an example of a recommended curriculum.

    In some cases, a law making body like the congress and the senate, or a university or a school can recommend a subject, a course, or any academic program which is deemed necessary for national identity and security, for environmental protection and sustainable development, among others.

  1. Written CurriculumThis refers to a lesson plan or syllabus written by teachers. Another example is the one written by curriculum experts with the help of subject teachers. This kind of written curriculum needs to be pilot tested or tried out in sample schools to determine its effectiveness.
  1. Taught CurriculumThis is about the implementation of the written curriculum. Whatever is being taught or an activity being done in the classroom is a taught curriculum. So, when teachers give a lecture, initiate group work, or ask students to do a laboratory experiment with the their guidance, the taught curriculum is demonstrated. This curriculum contains different teaching styles and learning styles to address the students’ needs and interests.
  1. Supported CurriculumInstructional materials, such as textbooks, audio visual materials, blogs, wikis, and others are examples of support curriculum. Other examples are playgrounds, zoos, gardens, museums, and real life objects. It is called supported curriculum because it helps teachers implement a written curriculum thus enables the students to become life-long learners.
  1. Assessed CurriculumWhen students take a quiz or the mid-term and final exams, these series of evaluations are the so-called assessed curriculum. Teachers may use the pencil and paper tests, and authentic assessments like portfolio and performance based assessments in order to know if the students are progressing or not.
  1. Learned CurriculumThis type of curriculum indicates what the students have actually learned. This can be measured through learning outcomes. A learning outcome can be manifested by what students can perform or do either in their cognitive, affective or psychomotor domains. The learning outcome can be determined by the results of the tests, and it can be achieved by the students through the use of learning objectives.
  1. Hidden CurriculumThis refers to the unplanned or unintended curriculum but plays an important role in learning.

Now, let’s discuss some classroom implications of the different types of curriculum by taking the following situation as example.

Let’s assume that you are a college student taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English. Your course or degree program is a recommended curriculum prescribed by CHED. The syllabi given to you by your teachers are the written curriculum. When your teachers start to teach, that is a taught curriculum. And when they ask you to use the internet and search information about a given topic, this is a supported curriculum.

Furthermore, teachers need to evaluate your performance. So, when you are given a test or exam that is the assessed curriculum. The results of the assessed curriculum will determine what you have actually learned – and that is the so-called learned curriculum. However, the hidden curriculum can affect what will be taught and assessed by your teachers, and eventually may affect what you will learn.

To sum it up, curriculum is not only about a course or a simple listing of subjects but it is the total learning experience of students as indicated by the seven types of curriculum.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 January 7 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (January 7, 2015). Seven School Curriculum Types and their Classroom Implications. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/01/07/seven-school-curriculum-types-and-their-classroom-implications/

The Meaning and Importance of Curriculum Development

This article explains the definition of curriculum development, and its importance in school, country, and society, in general.

Before I discuss the definition of curriculum development, let me describe to you first the importance of curriculum. A curriculum is considered the “heart” of any learning institution which means that schools or universities cannot exist without a curriculum. With its importance in formal education, the curriculum has become a dynamic process due to the changes that occur in our society. Therefore, in its broadest sense, curriculum refers to the “total learning experiences of individuals not only in school but society as well” (Bilbao et al., 2008).

Definition of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development is defined as planned, a purposeful, progressive, and systematic process to create positive improvements in the educational system. Every time there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected. There is a need to update them to address the society’s needs.

To illustrate this contention, let’s trace back history.

During the ancient times, people taught their children knowledge and skills to survive by catching fish or hunting animals for food. They had no formal education during that time, but their children learned and acquired the knowledge and skills for survival. So, during that time, they already had a curriculum that other educators call as, the saber-tooth curriculum. This type of curriculum refers to a kind of curriculum that existed during the ancient times in which the purpose of teaching was for survival.

However, when the effects of discoveries and inventions became inevitable, ancient people’s way of life had changed for the better. As a result, education became formal, and curriculum development evolved as systematic, planned, purposeful and progressive, even today.

Importance of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development has a broad scope because it is not only about the school, the learners, and the teachers. It is also about the development of society in general.

In today’s knowledge economy, curriculum development plays a vital role in improving the economy of a country. It also provides answers or solutions to the world’s pressing conditions and problems, such as environment, politics, socio-economics, and other issues of poverty, climate change, and sustainable development.

There must be a chain of developmental process to develop a society. First, the school curriculum, particularly in higher education, must be developed to preserve the country’s national identity and to ensure its economy’s growth and stability. Thus, the president of a country must have a clear vision for his people and the country as well.

For instance, in the Philippines, if President Aquino would like the country to become the Asia-Pacific’s tourism hub, then the school curriculum must be developed along that line. Curricular programs for higher education can be crafted in such a way that it will boost the tourism industry. For example, different models may arise such as edu-tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, medo-tourism, biz-tourism, techno-tourism, agri-tourism, archi-tourism, among others.

If universities have curricular programs that are innovative and in demand in the local or global markets, many students even from foreign countries will enroll. A higher number of enrollees would mean income on the part of the universities. As a result, if the income is big, it can be used for teachers’ promotion, scholarship, and remuneration. It can also be used in funding research and development endeavors, and in putting up school facilities, libraries, and laboratories.

I believe that the country’s economy can improve the people’s way of life through curriculum development. And to develop it, curriculum experts or specialists should work hand in hand with lawmakers such as senators and congressmen, the local government officials, governors, mayors, among others. Likewise, business communities and industries, and other economically oriented players in society may be engaged in setting and implementing rules and policies for educational reforms.

Hence, curriculum development matters a lot in setting the direction of change in an organization, not only at the micro but also at macro levels. As long as the goals and objectives of curriculum development are clear in the planner’s mind, cutting-edge achievements in various concerns can be realized.

For additional information on curriculum development, please read Edecolepmentalism: a Personal Philosophy of HIgher Education, and Translating the Edecolepmentalism Philosophy Into a University’s Vision, Goals, and Program Objectives.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Philippines: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2014 December 13 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (December 13, 2014). The Meaning and Importance of Curriculum Development. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2014/12/13/the-meaning-and-importance-of-curriculum-development/

Curriculum Definition from Progressivism Point of View

How is curriculum defined from a progressive point of view? Who are the advocates of progressivist definition of curriculum and what are their influences in the educational system?

Read on to see how the progressivists define curriculum and how they contributed to current understanding of the curriculum as we know it today.

Definition of Curriculum

The progressivists disagree with the way curriculum is defined by the traditionalists (Compare this with the definition of the curriculum from a traditional viewpoint.) For them, if the lesson plans or syllabi are not actualized or learned by the students, it is not considered as a curriculum. So, curriculum is defined as the total learning experiences of individuals which means that students be given all the opportunities to apply what they learn.

The Advocates

John Dewey

John Dewey is a famous proponent of progressivism. He argues that reflective thinking is important. It is a tool to unify all the curricular elements, such as aims, goals, and objectives; subject matter/content; learning experiences; and evaluation approaches. For him, it is important to test the knowledge or thought through application, or the learning by doing, which became influential in education. His famous philosophy is pragmatism.

Hollis Caswell and Doak Campbell

Hollis Caswell and Doak Campbell define curriculum as “all experiences children have under the guidance of the teachers.”  In this regard, curriculum should contain all the experiences needed by the children to learn, and a teacher should only act as a guide or facilitator.

B. Othanel Smith, William O. Stanley, and J. Harlan Shores

Smith, Stanley and Shores share the same view that the curriculum, as the way Caswell & Campbell view it, as “a sequence of potential experiences set up in the schools for the purpose of disciplining the children and the youth while doing group activities.”

Colin J. Marsh and George Willis

Colin J. Marsh and George Willis define curriculum as the “experiences in the classroom which are planned and enacted by the teacher, and also learned by the students”. In this definition, the experiences are done in the classrooms.

In a nutshell, progressivism comes from the word progress, which means making changes, reforms, or improvements toward better conditions. In the way curriculum is defined and implemented from the progressivists’ perspective, the people mentioned above have contributed much in educational reforms. They all believe that teachers must provide sets of experiences that are planned and facilitated by the teachers in order for the students to actualize what they have learned within or outside the classrooms.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Philippines: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

MA in Curriculum and Instruction: Why is it so important?

Are you wondering what to take up for an MA course? If you are a teacher, I strongly suggest that you take up an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. Please read the article below to find out why you should do so.

With the 21st Century Education in mind, it is deemed important to take a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. This is because of the existence of e-learning and globalized education that has prompted many researchers and educators to re-engineer the educational system. This educational milieu has brought many changes and challenges to teachers. They need to have an in-depth background in curriculum and instruction in order to ensure the alignment between the learning objectives and the learning outcomes. Another reason for taking up this course is to be equipped with skills on how the outcome-based education or OBE must be implemented, and how the needs of the students for the 21st century can be addressed.

Let’s take a look at the table below to see the differences between the 20th century and the 21st century classroom:

20th Century Classroom21st Century Classroom
 Time-based Outcome-based
Focus: memorization of discrete factsFocus: what students Know, Can Do, and Like after all the details are forgotten
Lessons focus on the lower level of Bloom’s Taxonomy – knowledge, comprehension, and applicationLearning is designed on upper levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – synthesis, analysis, and evaluation
Textbook-drivenResearch-driven
Passive learningActive learning
Learners work in isolation, classroom within four wallsLearners work collaboratively with classmates and others around the world – the Global classroom
Teacher-centered: teacher is center of attention and provider of informationStudent-centered: teacher is facilitator/coach
Little to no student freedomA great deal of student freedom
“Discipline problems”educators do not trust students and vice-versa. No student motivation.No “discipline problems”- students and teachers have mutually respectful relationship as co-learners; students are highly motivated.
Fragmented curriculumIntegrated and interdisciplinary curriculum
Grades averagedGrades based on what was learned
Low expectationsHigh expectations – “If it isn’t good it isn’t done.”  We expect, and ensure, that all students succeed in learning at high levels.  Some may go higher – we get out of their way to let them do that.
Teacher is judge. No one else sees student work.Self, peer, and other assessments. Public audience, authentic assessments.
Curriculum/School is irrelevant and meaningless to the studentsCurriculum is connected to students’ interests, experiences, talents and the real world.
Print is the primary vehicle of learning and assessment.Performances, projects, and multiple forms of media are used for learning and assessment.
Diversity in students is ignored.Curriculum and instruction address student diversity.
Literacy is the 3 R’s: reading, writing and mathMultiple literacies of the 21st century – aligned to living and working in a globalized new millenium
Factory model, based upon the needs of employers for the Industrial Age of the 19th century; scientific managementGlobal model, based upon the needs of a globalized, high-tech society.
Driven by the NCLB and standardized testing mania.Standardized testing has its place. Education is not driven by the NCLB and standardized testing mania.

Nowadays, with the paradigm shift taking place in favor of the 21st century education, it is therefore important that schools and universities hire teachers with MA in Curriculum and Instruction to implement a totally different type of curriculum. Demand for teachers with knowledge and expertise along this area will increase.

So, what are you waiting for? Enroll now and be one of the new breed of curricularists!

Reference

21st Century Schools (2008). What is 21st Century Education? Retrieved on December 5, 2014 from http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/What_is_21st_Century_Education.htm

© 2014 December 10 M. G. Alvior

Six Famous Curriculum Theorists and their Contributions to Education

This article deals with influential people in the educational system particularly in shaping the curriculum as we know today. It also talks about their specific contributions that can still be observed by the present generation of learners.

Let’s enumerate and discuss the curriculum theorists and their contributions by chronological order.

The Six Famous Curriculum Theorists

1. Franklin Bobbit (1876-1956)

Bobbit believes that the learning objectives, together with the activities, should be grouped and sequenced after clarifying the instructional activities and tasks. He also views curriculum as a science that emphasizes the needs of the students. This viewpoint explains why lessons are planned and organized depending on the needs of the students and these needs must be addressed by the teachers to prepare them for adult life.

2. Werret Charters (1875-1952)

Aside from emphasizing the students’ needs, he believes that the objectives, along with the corresponding activities, should be aligned with the subject matter or content. For that reason, department chairpersons or course coordinators scrutinize the alignment or matching of objectives and subject matter prepared by the faculty members.

3. William Kilpatrick (1871-1965)

For him, the purpose of curriculum is child development, growth, and social relationship. He also introduced the use of small group interaction, and the project method in which the teacher and students plan together. Thus, it is called as the child-centered curriculum.

4. Harold Rugg (1886-1960)

He introduced the concept of the development of the whole child, the inclusion of social studies, and the importance of curriculum planning in advance.

5. Hollis Caswell (1901-1989)

He believes that subject matter is developed around the interest of the learners and their social functions. So, the curriculum is a set of experiences. Learners must experience what they learn.

6. Ralph Tyler (1902-1994)

And as to the hallmark of curriculum development as a science, Ralph Tyler believes that curriculum should revolve around the students’ needs and interests. The purpose of curriculum is to educate the generalists and not the specialists, and the process must involve problem solving. Likewise, subject matter is planned in terms of imparting knowledge, skills and values among students.

To sum it up, the famous curriculum theorists have almost similar views. All of them believe that the curriculum should be learner-centered – addressing the needs and interests of the students. All of them have salient contributions to the educational system of the world today.

If you are an observant student, you might ask the following questions about your teachers:

  • Why is it that we are required to do projects, solve problems, and work in groups?
  • Why is it that our teachers are being observed in class, and their lesson plans or syllabi are checked?
  • Why is it that all of us should take social studies, and not only the 3Rs?
  • Why are the lessons being prepared in advance?
  • Why should we experience what we have learned?
  • Why do our teachers integrate values in our lessons?
  • And why is it that the school is after our development as whole individuals (to become generalists) and be ready to face life’s challenges?

The answers to your questions are the people behind our educational system. They are the curriculum theorists.

Now, would you like to become one someday?

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and Javier, R. B. (2008). Curriculum development. Philippines: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2014 December 3 M. G. Alvior

A Definition of Curriculum from a Traditional Viewpoint

How is curriculum defined from a traditional perspective? Who were the advocates? And how can a school system work with this point of view?

This article provides answers to these questions by expounding on the curriculum concept. Read on to familiarize yourself with this popular, very basic and critical aspect of the educational system.

Traditional Definition of Curriculum

If the word curriculum is defined as a written document or a plan of action to accomplish goals; a body of subjects or a subject matter prepared by teachers in order for the students to learn; a course of study; syllabus, lesson plan, or a field of study – then these definitions come from the traditional point of view (Bilbao et al., 2008).

The Advocates of Curriculum

The following theorists are the advocates of the curriculum concept. Their perspectives helped shape current understanding of how curriculum is used in meeting educational goals.

Robert M. Hutchins

Hutchins believes that college education must be grounded on liberal education while basic education should emphasize the rules of grammar, reading, rhetoric, logic and mathematics. For him, curriculum is viewed as permanent studies which explain why some subjects are repeated from elementary to college, such as grammar, reading, and mathematics.

Arthur Bestor

Bestor is an essentialist who believes that the mission of the school is to train the intellectual capacity of learners. Hence, subjects to be offered are grammar, literature, writing, mathematics, science, history and foreign language.

Joseph Schwab

Schwab views that discipline is the sole source of curriculum, and so, the curriculum is divided into chunks of knowledge which are called subject areas like English, mathematics, social studies, science, humanities, languages, and others. As a leading curriculum theorist, Schwab used the term discipline as the ruling doctrine for curriculum development. Therefore, curriculum is viewed as a field of study and it should only consist of knowledge that comes from the disciplines; for example, linguistics, economics, chemistry, among others.

How the School System Works Using Curriculum as a Basis

In a traditional point of view, teachers are required to write lesson plans and syllabi. The subjects offered in basic education are grammar, literature, writing, mathematics, science, history and foreign language which help develop the intellectual capacities of learners. However, curriculum is viewed as a field of study in higher education. So, curriculum refers to the degree programs such as Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English, BS in Accountancy, BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Environmental Science, Ph.D. in Education, major in Curriculum Development, and others.

As a field of study, curriculum consists of domains of knowledge as well as their research theories and principles, and the foundations (philosophical, historical, psychological, and social) which are broad in nature. Thus, curriculum is taken as scholarly and theoretical.

Would you dare take a Ph.D. in Education, major in Curriculum Development? What I have discussed is only one of the many aspects of the curriculum. I will be writing more about this subject. So, stay tuned for more.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Philippines: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2014 December 2 M. G. Alvior