Curriculum Is a Set of Influences WhichEnvelopes and Shapes Children’s Lives inThe ClassroomThis book attempts to explain a rationale for viewing, analysing and interpreting thecurriculum and instructional programme of an educational institution. It is not a textbook,for it does not provide comprehensive guidance and readings for a course. It is not amanual for curriculum construction since it does not describe and outline in detail thesteps to be taken by a given school that seeks to build a curriculum. This book outlinesone way of viewing an instructional programme as a functioning instrument of education.The teacher is encouraged to examine other rationales and to develop his own conceptionof the elements and relationships involved in an effective curriculum.The rationale developed here begins with identifying four fundamental questions,which must be answered in developing any curriculum and plan of instruction. These are:1.What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?2.What educational experiences can be provided those are likely to attain these purposes?3.How can these educational experiences be effectively organised?4.How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?This book suggests methods for studying these questions. No attempt is made toanswer these questions since the answers will vary to some extent from one level of education to another and from one school to another. Instead of answering the questions,an explanation is given of procedures by which these questions can be answered. Thisconstitutes a rationale by which to examine problems of curriculum and instruction.This book does not suggest any one approach to curriculum research anddevelopment, but to put a great deal of diverse material into a new overall framework.The aim is to give teachers an initial ‘sense’ of the field of curriculum studies and a ‘feel’for its concerns and complexities. It provides a springboard for further study andreflection rather than a definitive all-encompassing account. The purpose is to provideteachers with a mode of inquiry that will allow them to explore curriculum designs and toconsider how these influences might be used to achieve educational purposes.Our goal is to have classroom teachers become expert designers in their own right; because it is the classroom teacher who converts curriculum blue prints into classroominstruction. School committees and superintendents set policy and manage the curriculumenterprise from a distance, but it is the teacher who is at the hub of activity. It is theclassroom teacher’s leadership, which determines the realisation of curriculum in fact.Curriculum plans are most effective when they are made and applied from the bottom uprather than from the top down.To me, a curriculum consists in:
‘the planned structuring of the educational ideals of a school in accordance with the psychological needs of the pupils, the facilities that areavailable, and the cultural requirements of the time’.