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Paper presented at the 1st National Conference of the Faculty of Education, Nasarawa State University, held at the 1000 seat Auditorium, Nasarawa State University, Keffi,



11th 14th, June 2012


Abstract: The paper describes the general guidelines for fostering and managing curriculum change in Nigeria. It focuses on the process of curriculum change and its management even at the school level. It also emphasizes the relevance of managing curriculum change in maximizing the effectiveness of teaching/learning through change in planned content, activities and arrangement for educational process. It also emphasizes the desirability of teachers competency development and participation in the planning and managing curriculum change. It recommends that management of curriculum change must involve careful data gathering, planning, experimenting, monitoring, consulting and evaluation; and evaluation which take place at every stage of curriculum development process.


Introduction: One effective way of looking at change is to determine whether it is imposed on an organization or initiated by the organization. In either case, the pressure for change may have originated as a sound process; for example, peoples value may change, and this forces an organization to respond in one way or the other. If people begin to demand for more meaningful and intrinsically rewarding work, an organization may respond by enriching jobs through extensive redesign of the tasks performed; thus, a change is forced upon the organization. At the other extreme, the management of an organization may not be satisfied with the collective performance on the ground; it therefore initiates a programme to redesign jobs in order to improve performance. In this case, the organization is not responding to change but rather initiating change. There are numerous ways to classify change; change takes place whether or not one plans or initiates it. When one simply allows change to happen and makes no attempt to plan it or to influence its direction, it is said to be random or haphazard. The idea is that no human effort has been invested to direct it. Planned change by contrast is a conscious and deliberate attempt on the part of some agents (individual or group) to bring about alleviations in a system. Planned change therefore is goal oriented. It is initiated for the purpose of obtaining a specific outcome. Change in society can lead to major changes in school curricula for instance, as the space age began, real and imagined deficiencies in the scene and mathematics preparation of American citizens led to major changes in curricular emphasis and methods of teaching. Similarly, the introduction of 6-3-3-4 Education System in Nigeria led to change in curricula and methods. Concerns for equality of educational opportunity also led to both locally initiated curricular changes and changes that have been governmentally mandated. Education like other organizations introduces or is forced to introduce changes as new ideas and information about man and his environment emerged; beliefs and situation changed, and the new practices, approaches and materials are developed. Innovations are important in education and in curriculum; it is mans means of survival in a rapidly changing environment.

In the context of education, some changes have evolved and more innovations will continue to be evolved since education and curriculum are dynamic and always in a state of change. Curriculum change Curriculum could be defined as the planned and or unplanned learning experiences or activities which a child is exposed to at the course of his development. According to Doll 1982, curriculum is the formal and informal content and process by which learners gain knowledge and understanding, develop skills and alter attitudes, appreciations and values under the auspices of the School. To John 1967, it is seen as a structured series of intended learning outcomes; the activities engaged by the students nowadays are quite different from the activities that engaged students 20 years ago A worthwhile curriculum is never static, it is supposed to be dynamic; when analyzed the intended objectives, the learning experience, the content, and the methods of evaluation are parts or steps in curriculum development and have continued to change. What should be borne in mind is that curriculum innovation entails the introduction of new ideas and practices in anyone part of the curriculum; it means to renew an existing curriculum or add something new to the curriculum so as to make it more relevant to the varying needs and aspiration of the learners, and to the ever changing needs of the society. Curriculum Change refers to a replacement that supersedes the previously planned curriculum. The discussion for change takes place in a National Conference where University Professors, Faculty Deans, Senior Lecturers, Secondary and Primary School Teachers, Parents, Business executives, Educationalist, Ministry of Education Personnel, Farmers, etc, all meet to discuss what is good for Nigeria in terms of education. They argue whether the existing curriculum should be dropped and an entirely new one developed to replace it or whether new programmes should be added, or to drop some old programmes or mostly certain aspects of the curriculum e.g., unwanted teaching methods and classroom management procedure or doing away with colonial aspects of the curriculum. The action of adding, dropping or modifying aspects of the curriculum is referred to as curriculum revision or change. This means that to renew a curriculum implies revision of it or modification with the hope that it will provide a better programme for the benefit of education and society to meet the needs and aspirations of Nigeria. Okeke (1981) gave five factors that influence curriculum change as follows. 4

1. Change in objectives of education arising from change in social values, social beliefs, traditions and culture. 2. Change in the nature of knowledge 3. Change in learning process 4. Change in the system of education 5. Change from curriculum evaluation Agencies for the process of curriculum changes or development There are various government agencies and subject association that have been involved in curriculum development and innovations in Nigeria. They are set up for the purpose of monitoring the educative enterprise as it is, with a view to improving it, they are charged with the responsibility to ensure that Nigeria keeps abreast of contemporary practices in education and also initiate innovations and take the responsibility for the revision of curriculum. The Agencies include: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) Comparative Education study and adoption centre (CESAC) National teachers Institute (NTI) National Universities Commission (NUC) National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) West African Examination Council (WAEC)

Other subject Associations in Nigeria are numerous and they include: Science Teachers Association (STAN) Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN), even in the field of education as a discipline some other associations exist. In summary, at each level of planning, certain agencies or bodies are involved and they produce particular curriculum products at the national level, the agencies or establishments like the NERDC, WAEC, NTI, NUC, NBTI, NCCE, and other professional bodies produce national guidelines and policy statements, minimum standards, uniform curriculum guides, requirement for certification and syllabus for external examinations. Whatever comes out of the national level is translated from the State level down to the Classroom level where the 5

focus is on implementation of the curriculum through different teaching/learning process. At the State and Local Government levels, the various Ministries of Education, School Boards, Curriculum development Centres and some Professional bodies translate Federal guidelines into specific subject syllabus, produce text materials, resource materials, supply teachers, plan and execute seminars and workshops. At School level, the School heads, with some support Staff develope schemes of work, unit plan, curriculum materials for teaching and learning Whichever, agency is responsible for the periodic evaluation for the curriculum for necessary modification; it must get the blessing of the Ministry of Education before the final adoption. Managing curriculum change A major innovation in a curriculum is a complex process that requires a meticulous planning and sustained efforts. If developing a curriculum is important, its implementation and evaluation are equally as significant. Care should be taken throughout all stages of the process to ensure that the differences associated with managing change are not under estimated; strategic planning is essential. It is crucial to foresee mechanism for regulating the implementation of any innovative programme. i. An objective, detailed assessment of the situation must be carried out: analyze the strength and weakness of the current programme; analyze the context in which the programme evolves; analyze internal and external forces acting on the programme, opportunities, and challenges in the context. ii. What the organization agency intends to do in following up the results of the analysis must be expressed in a mission statement that means clarifying what you want to do by formulating objectives in terms of measurable results. The mission statement is extremely important; it must reflect a broad consensus that is shared and supported by all stake holders, the various decision-making authorities in the education systems, the students, teachers, employers from all walks of life iii. An action plan must be established to determine and prioritize the missions development strategies. The resources required for the projects success must be sought out and located. This plan must follow a schedule that is slack enough to take

into account the resources and the specific development context, but tight enough to sustain, maintain mobilization for the mission and project for change. iv. The fourth phase is the curriculum detailed design and its implementation. Although not necessarily the longest phase, it surely mobilizes the school system most. It is at this juncture that the learning and conceptual frameworks discussed above are selected and developed. This is a complex task requiring constant teamwork from the whole school. Often, an innovative curriculum project comes along with important changes to educational practices, such as tutorials, design studies, cooperative learning, in many cases before the new programme can be implemented, school members and teaching assistants must be given special training organized by University Educational Support Service, seminars, workshops, training and retraining are also organized for building the capacity of teachers and all the participant in this new practices. The issue remaining to be settled at the end of this phase is how to make the transition from the old curriculum to the new smooth. Should the change begin with fresh learning? Should a pilot group of learners or the whole class or the whole school system be involved? The answers depend on the extent of reform, its nature, and the local context. v. Monitoring tools must be designed and implemented. These tools need to be conceived with a dual objectives: (a). Measuring Programme quality programme; at first locally (does each activity contribute to meeting programme objectives) and then globally (does every learner have all the attributes targeted by the programme, and; (b). providing for immediate feedback to identify and correct student learning difficulties or any deviation from the programmes educational principles. These mechanisms are essential to improve the new programme through formative evaluation and feedback process during implementation. If the new programme calls for new learning methods, such as self-learning, teamwork, tutorial, counseling, field trips et cetera, support resources and special training, retraining, workshops and seminars must be put in place to guarantee their success use. Implementing the plan does not guarantee success or level the obstacles arising from resistance to change. 7

To ensure success in implementation of a curriculum: Teachers (at all levels) participation in all curriculum decisions is imperative: Teachers are to make inputs to decision making on curriculum matters because they will eventually implement curriculum decision in class rooms. Teachers capabilities: to have the will and potential to carry out change in curriculum successfully, teachers must possess the new knowledge, techniques and skills. Majority of teachers may not possess these attributes; this means they will be found deficient in their effort to implement the revised curriculum. The inability of teachers to teach the new programme arising from professional deficiency may cause a delay in implementation. This delay may demand a crash programme of training of existing teachers on the new ways and method of the new curriculum, if this is not done due to heavy cost involved, it may lead to abandoning the new curriculum; no wonder Adenipekin (2010), viewed that the new senior secondary school curriculum (SSCE) that contains civic education and whose implementation was to commence from September 2011 threw up a big challenge to teachers education in the nations Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities, to review their teacher preparatory programmes in the context of the knowledge of the subject matter teaching skills and competencies. Heavy expenditure: Curriculum change is a costly affair therefore; it calls for sizable chunks of the years budget to get through it. The old curriculum materials should be abandoned, old methods of teaching would be dropped; training of teacher educators for the new programmes is imperative; the building of new workshops to suit new curriculum is necessary. All these cost a great deal of money to enable the changed curriculum take off. If there are no materials, facilities and teachers to back up the new change, the curriculum will not take off. Conservatism among Teachers at all level. Educators look at change with suspect and fear of the new technique. This can stampede the proposed change. The objectives and goals of the proposed change should be specified on time, and then plan a change in phases (1 have discussed these earlier) so that all the teachers will be used and be intimated; this will reduce the tempo and dimension of suspicion. Model

demonstration Centres can also be introduced to carry out experiments and evaluate curriculum change and give feedback. Congenial Relationship and conducive climate in the school system: The school system must maintain a congenial tune to enable it carry out activities that relates to teachers, the administrators must be in harmony with the teaching staff; the new curriculum must be practiced by the teachers through various means to get used to the new system. Therefore it calls for proper incentive packages and payment of teachers salary to induce motivation because the teacher sets goal for the students and encourages them to work on their own, et cetera. Dissemination of curriculum change material to those concerned. There must be adequate curriculum materials, all the agencies that are mandated for this service should work hardizously for their production, e.g., CESAC, and the materials should be disseminated to all persons who are in the process of implementation. Evaluation of the effect of management of curriculum change on educational reform and innovation: Evaluation is a systematic process of determining the extent to which objectives are achieved in relation to change; it is also the process of determining the extent to which actual experiences conform to objectives. It is a process of delineation, obtaining and providing useful information for judging among decision alternatives. Indeed, a major reform to be done in education sector must not underscore the issue of evaluation before, during and after such reforms. The main purpose of evaluation is to assist decision makers at various stages, taking appropriate action to ensure programme efficiency.


Environmental analysis: Monitor the environment (external and internal) that can influence the school Planning: Reflect on the results of an environmental analysis Predetermine a course of school actions 1. Establish school direction 2. Develop school policies 3. Establish programmes 4. Budget 5. Set procedures Structuring (organizing): Arrange work for accomplishment of programme/school objectives 1. Establish organizational structure 2. Delineate relationships 3. Create position descriptions 4. Establish position qualifications

Staffing: Develop competence people for positions 1. Select 2. Orient 3. Train 4. Develop Directing: Bring about purposeful action towards objectives 1. Delegate 2. Motivate 3. Co-ordinate 4. Manage differences 5. Manage change


Controlling: Ensure progress towards objectives 1. Establish reporting systems 2. Develop performance standards 3. Measure results 4. Take corrective action 5. Reward

SOURCE: International Journal of Education Management, 8(3). 1994

Strategic management of curriculum change process in school is also very crucial and it is illustrated as shown in figure 1 above These sequential components are followed in the process of management of curriculum change in the school to ensure school performance, achieve school objectives and school mission, 1. Environmental analysis; the internal and external environment which can influence the school is monitored and information is procured and processed for planning. 2. Systematic planning and Structuring; based on the reflection on the information of an environmental analysis, a course of individual/programmes/school actions is 10

predetermined and all the necessary jobs, relationships and resources are arranged for accomplishment of programmed school objectives. 3. Appropriate staffing and directing; competent people are developed for positions and helped to bring about purposeful actions towards individual/programme/school objectives according to plans. 4. Constructive Evaluation and controlling; by establishing reporting system and performance standards, implementation of plans at the individual/programme/school levels is monitored and performance at all these levels is evaluated in order to ensure progress towards planned objectives. Teaching and learning in Schools are expected to be in line with the demands of curriculum innovations. Team buildings, teacher empowerment, delegation of authority, garnering support for schools programmes, use of Information Technology and increased community participation in provision of curriculum resources are parts of management and implementation of curriculum change process Obanye, (2003). The need to bring about efficient and effective management of curriculum change becomes necessary in view of the fact that it is extremely difficult to discuss educational development in isolation without mentioning curriculum change and reform. Approaches to maximizing teaching/learning effectiveness through management of curriculum change Management of change in curriculum is a prerequisite for educational improvement, and the planned curriculum change is likely to be more effective in teaching and learning than unplanned change. Three approaches are plausible as follows: i. Simplicity curriculum change approach; Curriculum should be developed or changed at individual level, at the programme level or at the school level to fit in with teacher competency and student characteristics. ii. Teacher competency development approach; teachers competency should be developed to meet the demand of curriculum. iii. Dynamic curriculum change approach: 11

Both the curriculum and teacher competences should be developed and changed in order to maximize curriculum effectiveness which ensures quality and standard and as well facilitates teaching/learning. This implies that effective management of curriculum change should involve not only administrators or external experts but also teachers in curriculum planning and decision making Mortimore (1993). The implications of management of curriculum change at all levels: Provides the important human resources in terms of participants time, experience. Knowledge and skills for better planning and implementation of curriculum change. Produces high quality decisions and plans of change by involving different perspectives and expertise; Promotes greater responsibility, commitment and support to implementation and results of curriculum changes; Builds culture which contributes to team spirit and organizational integration in school; Provides opportunity for individuals and groups to enrich their professional development; Provides more information and greater opportunities to overcome technical and psychological resistance and change ineffective practices at different levels; Helps to ensure congruency between curriculum change and teacher development and across levels, which is critical to effective change management Cheng, (1994). Participation of those concerned can enhance quality assurance and standard in their competence. provides a basic mechanism for continuous curriculum and teaching competency Cheng (1989), this involves inevitably, transformation of teachers behavior, skills, motivation conceptions and beliefs about curriculum change, teaching and learning development; It also involves changes occurring in the process of production, the personnel, equipment/ machinery, hours of work, and procedures of work.


New operations bowing to new institutional objectives which will have to replace the previous objectives, the new operation will depend on whether there is adequacy of resources or not, whether there is readiness on the part of the workers or not and whether employees attitude to change is positive or negative.

Newly mounted programmes conforming with the skills ability and competences of the employees; this means that before programmes are mounted a crash programme of training or workshop lasting several weeks will be arranged to enable employees become familiar with operational processes of the new programmes; this again calls for adequacy of resources, readiness and employees attitude to change; their willingness to adapt to change must all be considered.

Assurance of availability of resources and facilities to be used and to fit the new change before the change is launched. The old equipment and facilities may not fit and may not be useful for the change programmes. This new equipment and necessary materials will be procured to match the changed process.

Study programmes changing as a result of change; this implies that the new students have to be admitted based on the new programmes while phasing out gradually the already admitted students on existing programmes; the newly admitted students will form the nucleus of the new programme (learners) and they will be pioneers of the change. For instance, the establishment of Cross River University of Technology is an example of change which replaces the Polytechnics Mgbekem (2004). If the existing staffs are not suitable to bring about effective teaching/ learning for the new programme, new staff who have the quality and standard to teach the new programmes will have to be employed, while the existing staff may be laid off or be retained, if they accept to remain, they have to be retained to fit the requirements of the new change. Increase in enrolment which brings about increase in students population. A new

organizational structure will be compelling to replace the existing one. It also involves invitation of a new system of funding.



Management of curriculum change is a tool for the provision of adequate means with which educational practices can meet up their inherent diverse roles at any point in a time; Careful planning and management of curriculum change are key to the operations It aims at having dynamic educational practices that are not at variance with the changing values and aspirations of the society in which the school exists; it is directed towards improving performance and standards of the school system so as to guarantee quality assurance and standard in effective teaching/learning so as to be result oriented. Curriculum is defined as a set of activities and content planned at the individual level, the programme level or whole school level to foster teachers teaching/students learning. Furthermore, it assumes that management of curriculum change aims to maximize the effectiveness of teaching/learning through change in planned context, activities and arrangements for educational process. Recommendation: Management of curriculum change must involve careful data gathering, planning, experimenting, monitoring, consultation and evaluation. Evaluation should take place even at every stage of curriculum development process. It must not be top-down in nature but must be open to questions by the teachers that the innovation/change affects directly. These must be evaluation elements to verify achievement or otherwise of the stated curriculum goals. If indeed any such goal is specified, this will provide continual feedback process by which modifications can be made to keep the process on target. There must be good reason for making the change not just for the sake of it. Involve the appropriate people in the planning of change. A change process should be manned by effective leadership A transitional Management Team should be created. E.g., Committee that cut across the staff; such team will have the responsibility to plan, to anticipate trouble shout, coordinate and direct efforts towards the change. Provide training in new values, that is to some preliminary orientation on any change; counsel people about the new values Establish symbols of change e.g., slogans, inauguration, seminars to educated people about the change. 14

Acknowledge and reward those who make the change work, and enable society see the gain of change.


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