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“Curriculum evaluation is too important to be left to teachers.” Discuss

“Curriculum evaluation is too important to be left to teachers.” Discuss

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Published by Hwee Kiat Ng
Module Assignment: Understanding the Curriculum
Module Assignment: Understanding the Curriculum

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Published by: Hwee Kiat Ng on Apr 10, 2012
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Module Assignment: Understanding the Curriculum
“Curriculum evaluation is too important to be left to teachers.” Discuss
Tutor: Dennis SaleAn assignment submitted by Ng Hwee Kiatto the Division of EducationThe University of Sheffieldin partial fulfillment of the requirements for theMaster of Education (Higher Education) Degree13 May 1997
“Curriculum evaluation is too important to be left to teachers.” Discuss
In the past decade, there has been increasing demand for education to be publiclyaccountable to justify the increasingly tight funding amidst falling confidence in thecompetency of the educational system (Nixon 1992, pp. 1-22). Developments wheregraduates have been found to be unsuitable for employment has also contributed to thequestion of educational accountability. These issues has led to the educational curriculum being questioned. There has been arguments that the traditional autonomy of theteacher/principal in curriculum decision should be removed in lieu of a centrally dictatedcurriculum, known as the National Curriculum in the UK (Anon 1997). With a centrallydictated curriculum, curriculum development and evaluation would then be shifted fromteachers to the central curriculum development body. The argument is that “curriculumevaluation ( and development) is too important to be left to teachers”. I will be exploringthis issue in this essay.I will be introducing this essay by defining curriculum evaluation and showing thatcurriculum evaluation is important as an integral part of curriculum development. Thecentral issues involved in curriculum evaluation and development will then be highlightedin view of the teacher’s role in all these issues. Finally, I will be developing the argumentthat, of all those involved in curriculum evaluation, the teacher is in the best position to beinvolved due to his/her strategic position as the curriculum implementor.
What is Curriculum Evaluation?
What is the curriculum? Curriculum is a set of planned and purposeful learningexperiences, based on intended learning outcomes and organized around thedevelopmental levels of students. It can take many forms according to the viewpoints from
which it is approached. I will be basing my discussion on the formal curriculum withoutreferring to the informal or hidden curriculum.In my discussion, teachers will include lecturers, instructors, trainers and all other educational practitioners. However, I will also qualify that when I use the term “teachers”,they refer to educational practitioners in the general education system (i.e., Primary andSecondary schools). I will be using the term “lecturers” when they refer to educational practitioners in the specialist education system (i.e., Tertiary Institutions and VocationalInstitutions). I will also attempt to relate the aspects of curriculum development to my personal experience in Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic wherever possible.Tyler (1949) quoted in Kelly suggested that the curriculum has to be seen as consisting of four elements: objectives, content, methods and evaluation. He seeks to answer the four fundamental questions in developing any curriculum:1.What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?2.What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?3.How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?4.How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?These four questions can be viewed as the four main elements in the CurriculumDevelopment Process.As can be seen in Tyler’s last question and the model of the Curriculum DevelopmentProcess, curriculum evaluation is an integral part of curriculum development. Curriculumevaluation is used not only to determine the attainment of the purposes but also “to gaugethe value and effectiveness of any particular piece of educational activity - whether anational project or any particular piece of work undertaken with our own pupils” (Kelly1989, p. 187).
O b j e c t i v e s ,P u r p o s e sC o n t e n t s ,K n o w l e d g eM e t h o d s ,M a t e r i a l s ,A s s e s s m e n t s
E v a l u a t i o n
Figure 1. Model of the Curriculum Development Process

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