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.
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