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Book 2

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

AND

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Dr. M. P. Chhaya
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THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO

My uncle and aunt


Harsukhray & Ranjanbala
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Preface

Curriculum Is a Set of Influences Which


Envelopes and Shapes Children’s Lives in
The Classroom

This book attempts to explain a rationale for viewing, analysing and interpreting the
curriculum 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 a
manual for curriculum construction since it does not describe and outline in detail the
steps to be taken by a given school that seeks to build a curriculum. This book outlines
one 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 conception
of 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 to
answer 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. This
constitutes a rationale by which to examine problems of curriculum and instruction.
This book does not suggest any one approach to curriculum research and
development, 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 and
reflection rather than a definitive all-encompassing account. The purpose is to provide
teachers with a mode of inquiry that will allow them to explore curriculum designs and to
consider 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 classroom
instruction. School committees and superintendents set policy and manage the curriculum
enterprise from a distance, but it is the teacher who is at the hub of activity. It is the
classroom 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 up
rather 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 are
available, and the cultural requirements of the time’.
M.P.Chhaya
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Content

Preface...............................................................................................................................iii
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT..................................................................................i
AND......................................................................................................................................i
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.....................................................................................i
Preface ..........................................................................................................................iii
Content...............................................................................................................................iv
Chapter 1............................................................................................................................1
The Scope and Purpose of Curriculum Studies..............................................................1
Introduction....................................................................................................................1
..............................................................................................................................................8
Chapter 2............................................................................................................................8
Conceptions of Curriculum...............................................................................................8
Traditionalist conceptions and functions of curriculum............................................8
Progressivist conceptions and functions of Curriculum...........................................11
The collateral curriculum or hidden curriculum......................................................13
A unitary conception of curriculum...........................................................................14
Influences on curriculum conceptions.......................................................................14
Ideologies of education................................................................................................15
............................................................................................................................................18
Chapter 3..........................................................................................................................18
Curriculum Development................................................................................................18
Planning modes............................................................................................................19
Steps used in planning.................................................................................................20
............................................................................................................................................24
Chapter 4..........................................................................................................................24
Curriculum Design...........................................................................................................24
The objectives model and its variants........................................................................24
2. The Process model....................................................................................................28
3. The Situational Model.............................................................................................29
............................................................................................................................................32
Chapter 5..........................................................................................................................32
Organising Learning Experiences for Effective Instruction........................................32
What is meant by Organisation..................................................................................32
Criteria for effective organisation..............................................................................33
Elements to be organised.............................................................................................34
Organising principles...................................................................................................35
The organising structure.............................................................................................36
The process of planning a unit of organisation.........................................................37
............................................................................................................................................40
Chapter 6..........................................................................................................................40
The Curriculum in Operation and in Context..............................................................40
Time and its allocation.................................................................................................40
Time and curricular intentions...................................................................................42
Organisation of subject matter...................................................................................42
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Curricular milieu................................43
Schemes of work and syllabuses........43
Teaching and the operational curriculum.................................................................44
............................................................................................................................................46
Chapter 7..........................................................................................................................46
Curriculum Evaluation...................................................................................................46
Basic notions regarding evaluation............................................................................46
Evaluating a curriculum project................................................................................47
Sample evaluation models...........................................................................................48
Making an evaluation design......................................................................................51
Using the results of evaluation....................................................................................55
............................................................................................................................................57
Chapter 8..........................................................................................................................57
Improving the Curriculum..............................................................................................57
Factors affecting curriculum improvement...............................................................57
............................................................................................................................................65
Chapter 9..........................................................................................................................65
Paths to School Improvement.........................................................................................65
The magic bullet approach..........................................................................................65
The comprehensive-connected approach...................................................................67
Segmental approaches impede renewal.....................................................................68
Impact of effective schools research...........................................................................69
Improving teaching and learning...............................................................................69
Creating support for curriculum change...................................................................71
Continuous curriculum development.........................................................................71
............................................................................................................................................73
Chapter 10........................................................................................................................73
Classroom management..................................................................................................73
Managing inappropriate behaviour in the classroom .............................................73
Honour levels and positive recognition......................................................................75
Some classroom techniques.........................................................................................78
Appendix 1........................................................................................................................83
How a school staff may work on curriculum building.................................................83
Appendix 2........................................................................................................................85
What preparation do curriculum practitioners need?.................................................85
References.........................................................................................................................88
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Chapter 1

The Scope and Purpose of Curriculum Studies

Introduction

Recent years have seen a great interest in what is taught in schools and what ought to be
taught there. This interest has arisen for a number of reasons. There have been changes in
society, in its attitudes and values. There have been moves towards greater social equality
and away from social discrimination of all kinds, whether on the grounds on sex or colour
or creed. Social relationships are now less constrained and less authoritarian than once
they were. Alternative, and less conventional, ways of living together in society have
become acceptable.
Changes in society and in people’s views about what is permissible and what is not
are only two areas of change which affect what people think should be taught in schools.
Economic and technical changes also influence what people think the content of
education should be. This century, developments in science and technology have been
largely responsible for the rise in material prosperity, which most Western countries have
enjoyed, and on which they continue to depend. Because of this knowledge of science
and very recently, technology has come to be considered as essential an ingredient in the
education of most children as reading, writing and mathematics.
Science and technology have not only brought prosperity, they have also brought
problems – problems of pollution and the potential destruction of the world in which we
live. At the heart of such problems lie moral issues about how man should use his
knowledge and the resources of the world in which he lives, and how he should treat his
fellow men. ‘Should we not teach the young how to confront such problems?’ has been a
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question raised by many educationists in recent years. This has been behind the
attempts to have social studies and moral education taught in schools, and has
influenced the development of humanities courses.
Interest in the content of education, in the curriculum, is not simply a contemporary
phenomenon. It has many historical counterparts. Over 2000 years ago Plato was
interested in what the leaders of an ideal state should be taught, and so have been many
philosophers and statesmen since, when they came to consider the educational problems
of the society. The reason for their interest is simple: the content of education, the
curriculum, is at the heart of the educational enterprise. It is the means through which
education is transacted. Without a curriculum education has no vehicle, anything through
which to transmit its messages, to convey its meanings, to transmit its values. It is mainly
because of the crucial role, which the curriculum plays in educational activities that it is
worthy of study.

The meaning of curriculum


Scholars in the curriculum field have sometimes become lost in arguments about the
semantics of curriculum definitions. A definition commonly used during the thirties and
forties was “the curriculum of a school is all the experiences that pupils have under the
guidance of that school.” A counter definition, generally considered to be too broad, was
“a child’s curriculum in a given day of his life is all that he or she experiences from the
moment of waking to the moment of falling asleep.” The other definition of the
curriculum is “the planned and guided learning experiences and intended learning
outcomes, formulated through the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and
experience, under the auspices of the school, for the learner’s continuous and wilful
growth in personal-social competence.”
Persons have interpreted the term ‘curriculum’ very differently over the years. Oliva
(1988) provides us with an interesting range:

Curriculum is that which is taught in school.


Curriculum is a set of subjects.
Curriculum is content.
Curriculum is a set of materials.
Curriculum is a set of performance objectives.
Curriculum is that which is taught both inside and outside of school directed by the
school.
Curriculum is that which an individual learner experiences as a result of schooling.
Curriculum is everything that is planned by school personnel.

To define curriculum as ‘what is taught in schools’ is of course, very vague. Persons


often talk about the ‘school curriculum’ in this general way and they tend to mean by this
the range of subjects taught and the amount of instruction time given to each in terms of
hours or minutes.
Curriculum defined as “content’ is an interesting emphasis and brings into question
another term, namely the ‘syllabus’. A ‘syllabus’ is usually a summary statement about
the content to be taught in a course or unit, often linked to an external examination. This
emphasis on WHAT content to be taught is a critical element of a ‘syllabus’ but a
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‘curriculum’ includes more than this. For example, HOW you teach content can
drastically affect what is taught. Also, the extent to which the students are sufficiently
prepared and motivated to study particular content will affect very greatly what is learnt.
Curriculum is quite often defined as a product – a document that includes details
about goals, objectives, content, teaching techniques, evaluation and assessment,
resources. Sometimes these are official documents issued by the government or one of its
agencies and which prescribe HOW and WHAT is to be taught. Of course, it is important
to realise that a curriculum document represents the ideal rather than the actual
curriculum. A teacher may not accept all aspects of a written curriculum and/or be unable
to implement a curriculum exactly as prescribed due to lack of training and
understanding. There can be gaps between the intended, ideal curriculum and the actual
curriculum. It may be that the level and interests of the students, or local community
preferences, may prevent a teacher from implementing a curriculum as prescribed.
A curriculum is defined as a ‘set of performing objectives’ or student learning, which
is a very practical orientation to curriculum. This approach focus upon specific skills or
knowledge that it is considered should be attained by students. Proponents of this
approach argue that if a teacher knows the targets which students should achieve, it is so
much easier to organise other elements to achieve this end, such as the appropriate
content and teaching methods. Few would deny that strength of this approach is the
emphases upon students. After all, they are the ultimate consumers and it is important to
focus upon what it is anticipated that they will achieve and to organise all teaching
activities to that end. Yet it must also be remembered that this approach can lead to an
over emphasis upon behavioural outcomes and objectives which can be easily measured.
Some skills and values are far more difficult to state in terms of performance objectives.
Also, a curriculum document, which is simply a listing of performance objectives would
have to be very large and tends to be unwieldy.
To define curriculum as ‘that which is taught both inside and outside school directed
by the school’ indicates that all kinds of activities that occur in the classroom, playground
and community comprise the curriculum. This emphasis has merit in that it demonstrates
that school learning is not just confined to the classroom. However, it should be noted
that the emphasis is upon ‘direction’ by the school, which seems to indicate that the only
important learning experiences are those which are directed by school personnel. Few
would accept this statement and so it is necessary to look at other definitions.
To define curriculum in terms of ‘what an individual learner experiences as a result
of schooling’ is an attempt to widen the focus. The emphasis here is upon the student as a
self-motivated learner. Each student should be encouraged to select those learning
experiences that will enable him/her to develop into a fully functioning person. However,
it should be noted that each student acquires knowledge, skills and values not only from
the official or formal curriculum but also from the unofficial or hidden curriculum. The
hidden curriculum is implicit within regular school procedures, in curriculum materials,
and in communication approaches and mannerisms used by staff. It is important to
remember that students do learn a lot from the hidden curriculum even though this is not
intended by teachers.
The definition, which refers to curriculum as ‘everything that is planned by school
personnel’ is yet another orientation, which emphasises the planning aspect of
curriculum. Few would deny that classroom learning experiences for students need to be
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planned although unplanned activities will always occur (and these can have positive
or negative effects). This definition also brings to bear the distinction between
curriculum and instruction. It may be argued that curriculum is the WHAT and
instruction is the HOW, or another way of expressing it – ‘curriculum activity is the
production of plans for further action and instruction is the putting of plans into action’
The definition presupposes that some conscious planning is possible, and indeed
desirable, and there are some important elements, which are common to any planning
activity, regardless of the particular value orientation. It also assumes that the learning
activities experienced by students in classroom settings are managed and mediated by
teachers so that intended outcomes can be reconciled with practical day-to-day
restrictions.

Aims, Objectives and the Curriculum


Subjects studied and activities provided in schools are there for a reason. In the most
general terms, they are there because it is believed they will serve worthwhile purposes
and are likely to achieve intended and desired ends.
The major purpose of the subjects to be studied is to provide ‘a basis for the future
development of your mind, including your various skills’. The training in different ways
of learning, thinking and acquiring knowledge is a means to this end. It is not the end in
itself. The end is a basis for continuing intellectual development, which is taken to
include the capacity to exercise a range of relevant skills. The end or aim is not assured
of achievement, of realisation. It is what is hoped for, what is intended as the outcome of
the endeavour.
It is clear that the curriculum serves a purposive function, which is broad in scope,
and that constituent part of the curriculum – subject studied or activities provided – are
the means through which worthwhile purposes may be achieved. The intended ends of
studying subjects, the different ways of learning, which they help to develop, the skills
and capacities engendered by learning experiences, are the objectives of the curriculum.
They are not the overall purposes or aims, which the curriculum is intended to serve.
Much has been made of the distinction between the aims, which the curriculum
serves and the objectives through which the aims may be achieved, because of the strong
emphasis on objectives. When placed in the correct perspective, as means not final ends,
curriculum objectives can be valuable aids in curriculum planning but only after the
overall purposes of the curriculum are made explicit.
Teasing out the aims that a curriculum serves comes not from a consideration of the
activities or subjects which comprise the curriculum but from a study of the reasons given
for justifying the selection of subjects to be studied or activities to be experienced. In
most cases the reasons are rooted in particular conceptions of education – in beliefs about
what education is.

Conception of education and the curriculum


Views about what education is for are not fixed and permanent. They are subject to
change and, because this is so, views of what should be taught in schools are also subject
to change. At the beginning of this century the goal of education for the most of the
population was universal literacy. Today education aims at very much more even at the
primary stage – as social, moral, aesthetic, physical, intellectual and ‘personal’
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development. Language and literacy have a role to play in the achievement of all these
aims.
More than change is responsible for differing views of education. There are the
beliefs, strongly held, about what aims education should serve. There is the belief that in
essence education is the transmission of culture –the means where by a society ensures
the continuity of values from one generation to the next and so conserves itself. A
contrary belief holds that it is not the function of education to help conserve society but to
enhance to the maximum the individual’s potential. There are other beliefs too, for
example, the function of education in servicing the ‘expert’ society with skilled
manpower.
It is these beliefs about the nature of education and its aims, which set the context for
decisions about what to teach, and even about how much to teach it. This is because
beliefs about what education is encompass beliefs about what knowledge is, about
knowing, about meaning and about how learning takes place.
One ideology prominent in primary education asserts that knowing is an active
process in which the child must be caught up; that knowledge is what has meaning for the
child at the child’s stage of development; and that learning takes place by a process of
exploration and discovery. In contrast a very different ideology, especially dominant in
traditional middle school education, asserts:
a) that knowledge is organised in subjects;
b) that knowing is the acquisition of the ordered information within these subjects;
c) that meaning is acquired from an understanding of the principles which govern ways
ordering the information within specific subjects;
d) and that learning takes place by submitting oneself to the discipline of the subject.

Moreover the best kind of learning is that which requires ‘depth’ and comes from the
study of a few subjects.

Curriculum development
In theory, at least, the curriculum is developed from particular views as to what education
is. In practice, beliefs about the nature of education are mixed – more a matter of relative
emphasis than complete reliance on one view to the exclusion of others – and much a
matter of habit and history. What was taught yesterday tends to be taught today unless
conscious efforts are made to change it through developing alternatives.
The planning and creation of alternative curricula is what curriculum development is
about. Its end products are a range of intended curricula comprising proposals for what
ought to be taught in schools. The processes of curriculum development range from
small-scale modifications of current practices to large-scale innovations in which new
curricular possibilities emerge. The development of this project begins with a general
point of view about what should be taught and proceeded to develop the means to give
these ideas a practical realisation. This happens through the employment of some media.
This material becomes the focus of teaching and learning of skills and capabilities,
attitudes and values which are considered worthwhile in that they will lead to a better
understanding of mankind’s problems.
The development of new points of view about what should be taught is surrounded
by contention. New curricular possibilities have to compete with already established
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assumptions about what should be taught in the schools. From the time when a new
curricular possibility emerges to its implementation in the schools may be as
long as fifty or more years. It is also the case that some potential curricular innovations
are never realised, as was the case with the movement to establish Citizenship as a
subject in the secondary school curriculum.
Understanding the issues involved in activities concerned with curriculum
development is a crucial area of the curriculum studies. Without an understanding of the
issues teachers remain at the mercy of events, of unnoticed assumptions, of unrecognised
influences and of the prejudices of habit and practice. Equally important to an
understanding of the process of curriculum development is an understanding of what
happens to intended curricula as they are worked upon in schools and classrooms.

The curriculum in operation


It is only when the curriculum is enacted, given meaning through teaching, that it finally
becomes a reality for pupils. It is through the operations of teaching and learning which
follows that intended curricula are realised. However, between intention and realisation
there are many decisions to be taken and issues to be resolved, and there are many factors
that constrain the best efforts of teachers to achieve the aims of curriculum. At a self-
evident level are the abilities of the children, their eagerness to learn, and the support they
receive from home. There are the numbers of the children, which a teacher has to
manage, the physical conditions of school and classroom, and there is the skill and the
experience of the teacher. These factors and many more make the realisation of the
intended curriculum problematic.
At a less obvious level, the teacher’s perception of what was intended by the
curriculum developers and his ability to shape his teaching so as to facilitate the
achievement of their intentions add to the difficulties in realising the objectives and the
aims of the curriculum. It is in the unnoticed assumptions which teachers make about
teaching and learning and in their habits and practices that the problem may have its
roots.
The factors such as how intended curricula are enacted, how they become
operational, the factors which may affect them and result in unintended effects, are all
important to study. It is in the school and the classroom that students of the curriculum
must look to see what the curriculum is, and in doing so to begin to appreciate just how
complex is the task of giving reality to the aims and objectives (and conceptions of
education) which it was developed to convey.

Curriculum evaluation

Curriculum evaluation is seen as essentially concerned with judging curricula


through processes of measurement or valuing or a combination of the two. In the past,
curriculum workers have placed greater emphasis on measurement; they have been
concerned to assess the extent to which the aims and objectives of curricula (skills,
capabilities, attitudes etc.) have been achieved. In this form curriculum evaluation has
employed various types of assessment – tests, scales, inventories and examinations – and
has attempted to quantify its results. It has focussed on the output of operational
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curricula, comparing this with the intentions embedded in intended curricula. It has
tended to deal in quantifiable evidence, more than in values.
However, more recently, the centrality of values in evaluation has been stressed.
Values enter into the determination of curricular aims and objectives, into the means
proposed to achieve these and into the interpretation of any measurement process that
may be employed. Values are involved in the understandings, meanings, interpretations
and motivations of those concerned with curriculum development and operational
curricula. A particularly important aspect of evaluation is congruence or the
establishment through judgement of the extent to which values embodied in conceptions
of education are incorporated in intended curricula. This is a more reflective process than
a measurement process. It is usually less deliberately exercised than the process of
measurement and tends to be overlooked.
Another important form of evaluation judgement is ‘curriculum appreciation’ which
takes into account both facts and values. It aims to make a judgement about whether what
is taking place is what is wanted, to consider the worthwhile ness of the educational
process (including the role which the curriculum plays in it) and to decide whether or not
to propose changes.

Curriculum theory
There are two types of curriculum theory – prescriptive and scientific. The aim of the first
one is to provide guidance for curricular practices. The aim of the second is to provide
description, explanation, understanding and, if possible, prediction. The second takes
curricular practices as they are. The first strives to move curricular practices toward a
desired pattern. Prescriptive curriculum theory draws on the findings of scientific
curriculum theory if it finds them useful. In turn scientific curriculum theory may take
prescriptive curriculum theory as an object of theorising if it promises to enhance the
understanding of what the curriculum is and how it comes about.

Purpose of curriculum studies


The following reasons may be offered for studying the curriculum:
1. The central role which the curriculum plays in the educational process makes it
important that we should know as much as possible about how curricula come into
being and function. Here the concern of curriculum studies is to improve our
understanding of an important part of the educational enterprise.
2. The concern to improve the curricula can be provided with practical backing from
a study of the curriculum development and planning processes.
3. The need to monitor the effects of curricula can be better served by a clearer
understanding of how curricula are intended to function and of the factors, which
affect their actual implementation.
For these and other reasons the study of the curriculum promises to be useful to
teachers who have to enact the curriculum and to pupils and society whom it is intended
to benefit.
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Chapter 2

Conceptions of Curriculum

Curricula embody perspectives from human culture considered important enough to merit
systematic transmission. But unlike oral transmission of culture in technologically
‘primitive’ societies, curricula are found in specific institutional settings such as schools,
colleges and universities. They are part of educational systems. As such they also
embody beliefs about education; they invest the educational enterprise with different
kinds of meaning. Embedded in them are conceptions of education – of what the
enterprise is about and how it often taken-for-granted, these embedded conceptions give
form to curricula, result in different curricular emphases and lead to very different
practices in school and classroom. Such conceptions constitute an input into the
curriculum development. An examination is made of the conflicting conceptions and
functions of the curriculum as reflected in conflicting educational ideologies or
philosophies.

Traditionalist conceptions and functions of curriculum

1. Curriculum as the cumulative tradition of organised knowledge


During the early years of the twentieth century, most educators held to the traditional
concept of curriculum as the body of subjects or subject matters set out by teachers for
students to cover. Many traditionalists found such a definition far too broad, for it
allowed room for any new subject to be added and any established subject to be deleted
from the curriculum. Holding that there are permanent or essential subjects or bodies of
knowledge, these traditionalists contended that any conception of curriculum must
embrace these particular studies. In their view, any concept of curriculum that does not
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reveal what the body of subjects or subject matters should consist of is meaningless.
Adding to the confusion, such terms as course of study and syllabus were also
being used synonymously with curriculum.
The perenialist position holds that the curriculum should consist principally of the
‘permanent studies’ – the rules of grammar, reading, rhetoric and logic, and mathematics,
and literature. The three R’s rightly recognise and state the studies, which are proper in
elementary education, because they require no special knowledge or experience for their
comprehension. The perennialist or classical humanist devalues the dynamic nature of
knowledge, the modern scientific studies, and the practical application of knowledge.
Another problem with perennialism is its fundamental premise that the sole purpose of
education should be the cultivation of intellect, and that only certain studies have the
power. Grammar disciplines the mind and develops the logical faculty. Correctness in
thinking may be more directly and impressively taught through mathematics than in any
other way and the permanent studies cultivate the intellectual virtues.
Essentialists believe that the mission of the school is ‘intellectual training’ and this is
to be accomplished through a curriculum concentrated on ‘the fundamental intellectual
disciplines in five great areas:
1. Command of the mother tongue and the systematic study of grammar,
literature and writing;
2. Mathematics;
3. Sciences;
4. History; and
5. Foreign language.’
Although the essentialist, unlike the perennialist, recognises the place of the modern
laboratory sciences in the curriculum, the essentialist places the modern social sciences,
vocational education, physical education, art, music, and other non-academics studies at
the lowest priority levels in the curriculum. The first duty of the school is to provide a
standard programme of intellectual training in the fundamental disciplines.

2 Curriculum as an instructional plan or course of study


One of the most longstanding conceptions of curriculum is that of instructional plan or, a
course of study. The most systematic application of this concept of curriculum was made
through the disciplinary curriculum reforms. Although the method claimed for the
implementation of the discipline-centred curriculum was to be that of inquiry learning,
the method of inquiry (or discovery) became little more than a slogan, especially when
many of those responsible for creating the disciplinary curriculum packages sought to
make them teacher proof.
Curriculum revision encompasses four distinct components:
(1) Determining the precise boundaries of the educational unit,
(2) Identifying the subject matter within the unit,
(3) Embodying the subject matter in material form (textbook, laboratory and
classroom materials, and other learning aids), and
(4) Preparing teachers in the subject matter and use of materials.
In effect, the curriculum was seen as synonymous with the course of study.
Beauchamp points out that curriculum include at least one of the following four elements:
(1) an outline of the culture content to be taught,
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(2) a statement of goals and/or specific objectives,


(3) a statement of the purposes for the creation of the curriculum and the ways in
which the curriculum is to be used, and, more rarely,
(4) an appraisal scheme.

3. Curriculum as measured instructional outcomes—A technological production


model
The new instructional technology and the growing trend toward standardised-
achievement testing have given impetus to conceiving of the curriculum in terms of
test results. With schools and teachers being evaluated according to student scores on
standardised tests, there has been an increasing tendency for teachers to teach to the
test. Hence the test not only provides the quantitative data on the outcomes of
instruction, but also exerts a powerful influence on instructional processes and very
largely determines the curriculum. In effect the curriculum is seen as the
quantitatively measured outcomes of instruction. Such a conception of curriculum
reduces the schooling process to a technological system of production.
The conception of curriculum as a plan is extended considerably further by
Popham and Baker, who define curriculum as all planned learning outcomes for
which the school is responsible, and that curriculum refers to the desired
consequences of instruction. The distinction between ends and means is not difficult
to make, and can help the teacher greatly in his instructional planning. This view is
highly mechanistic, for the focal point is the ends and the assessment of the end
products; only those end products that can be measured quantitatively as behavioural
objectives are considered legitimate. Curriculum is reduced to ends, and instruction is
reduced to means.
Although those curriculum writers who see curriculum as ends are in sharp
conflict with those who regard curriculum as instructional content, each group shares
the notion of the dualism between curriculum and instruction, between ends and
means. However logical such a distinction may appear in theory, it leads to serious
conceptual and practical difficulties. To separate curriculum from instruction, or to
separate subject matter from method, is to make the same error as in separating
knowledge from that which it renders our actions intelligent. Thus, to see the
curriculum merely as ends is like conceiving of getting to a destination without
having to take the trip.
The conception of curriculum as a technological system of production is also
embodied in performance contracting. The early 1970s witnessed a revival of the
conception of the school as a production system not unlike an industrial plant. Under
the banner of accountability, the schools were pressured to adopt the techniques of
industrial plant management in assessing their efficiency through quantitative input-
output measures.

Curriculum as cultural reproduction


Functioning as a kind of academic federation of critical theorists, revisionists, neo-
marxists, anarchists, and radical reconstructionists left portrayed the school
curriculum as cultural reproduction—a selection of studies or subject matters
designed to maintain the existing social order.
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The perennialist sees the function of curriculum as preservation and


transmission of the cultural heritage in terms of the great exemplars of Western
civilisation. Whereas the perenialist sees this as constituting a powerful curriculum,
the new academic left, in couching curriculum as cultural reproduction, is negating
the power of the school curriculum.

Progressivist conceptions and functions of Curriculum

The need for a radically new conception of curriculum was the inevitable result of a
number of forces:
1. changes in the conceptions of knowledge, particularly scientific knowledge;
2. changes in the knowledge of the learning process as a result of the child-study
movement;
3. and the need to link formal school studies with the life of the learner and
the changing demands of the larger social scene.
Nevertheless, in the process of rejecting traditional conceptions of curriculum,
progressive educators were far from universal agreement as to how curriculum should be
defined. Moreover, traditional conceptions of curriculum have remained influential to this
day.

1. Curriculum as knowledge selection from the experience of the culture


Although the conception of curriculum as the cumulative tradition of knowledge, as
exemplified by perennialist and essentialist educators, is an essential part of the human
race experience, it is only a limited part of such experience. Such experience embodies
not only the cumulative tradition of knowledge but also the total culture of a society.
Dewey’s mandate for recognising the vital importance of transferring and reconstructing
th3e cultural experience through the curriculum is reflected in the definition of
curriculum. A sequence of potential experiences is set up in the school for the purpose
disciplining children and youth in-group ways of thinking and acting. This set of
experiences is referred to as the curriculum.
Thus, to Dewey, by virtue of educating the rising generation, the school is serving to
develop the potentials of the future society. Although Dewey recognised the importance
of encompassing in curriculum the codified experience of the culture, to Dewey such
experience is not an end point but a turning point in the continuous reconstruction of
knowledge and society.
The increasing specialisation of knowledge made the curriculum more remote from
pervading personal and social needs and problems. During the early decades of the
twentieth century, emerging social reforms and the new demands for education reforms
called for a closer relationship between the curriculum and life. Newer and wider
conceptions of curriculum were the inevitable result.

2. Curriculum as modes of thought


Dewey saw reflective thinking as the unifying process in curriculum—the mode of
thought so vital to productive citizenship in a free society. Dewey clearly stressed that
12

this was not to be confused with disciplinary inquiry, which is abstract,


specialised, and remote from practical applications in the affairs of living.
Phenix observed that education should be conceived as a guided recapitulation of the
processes of inquiry, which gave rise to the fruitful bodies of organised knowledge
comprising the established disciplines. According to Belth, the curriculum is considered
to be the increasingly wide range of possible modes of thinking about men’s experiences
—not the conclusions, but the models from which conclusions derive, and in context of
which these conclusions, these so called truths, are grounded and validated.
Unaccountably, a number of leading educators failed to recognise the difference
between disciplinary inquiry and Dewey’s conception of reflective thinking. To Dewey,
learning is learning to think, but the child’s style of thinking is qualitatively different
from that of the adult scholar. Dewey also warned that the “so called disciplinary studies”
raise the “danger of the isolation of intellectual activity from the ordinary affairs of life.”
Although Dewey did not confine his conception of curriculum to modes of thought,
he saw reflective thinking as the means through which curriculum elements are unified.
To Dewey, reflection is not merely confined within specialised domain of knowledge but
is extended to social problem solving. Thought is not divorced from action but is tested
by application. Dewey viewed curriculum as more than the transmission of established
modes of thought and the validating of so-called truths within disciplinary boundaries.

Curriculum as experience
Dewey wrote: The scheme of a curriculum must tale account of the adaptation of studies
to the needs of existing community life; it must select with the intention of improving the
life we live in common so that the future shall be better than the past.
In their battle to make the curriculum more relevant to the life experience of the
learner, some romantic progressivists went so far as to advocate that virtually all school
learning activities be centred around the felt needs and the interests of the child. Dewey
stressed the need to develop and conceive of various studies as exemplifying the
reflectively formulated human experience. He observed that when personal fulfilment is
severed from intellectual activity freedom of self expression turns into something that
might better be called self-exposure.
A definition by Caswell and Campbell states that the curriculum is composed of all
the experiences children have under the guidance of teachers. The curriculum is now seen
as the total experience with which the school deals in educating young people.
These emerging definitions were a sharp break from the traditional conception of
curriculum. The recognition that what pupils learn is not limited to the formal course of
study but is affected, directly and indirectly, by the total school environment, called for a
broad definition of curriculum as guided school experience. The implication was that
everything that influences the learner must be considered during the process of
curriculum making. The concept of curriculum had broken loose from its academic
moorings and moved on out into the total programme of activities that was to serve the
individual learner while under the guidance of the school.
Another problem with such broad definitions is that they do not differentiate between
educative and other kinds of experience (non-educative and mis-educative) that students
have in school setting. Most significantly, the concept of curriculum as guided learning
experience conceives of the teaching learning process as integral to curriculum. However,
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no explicit mention is made of knowledge in most definitions that regard curriculum


as guided learning experience. The dominant view among contemporary
curriculum theorists regards curriculum and instruction as separate and distinct realms.
The unprecedented curriculum reforms of the late 1960s which sought to modernise
the curriculum in terms advanced scholarship in the disciplines, actually induced a
reversion to the traditional subject-centred conception of curriculum. With curriculum
reforms during the modern era being confined to each of the separate disciplines, the
reformers favoured a subject-centred definition.
With a mounting body of research revealing that extracurricular activities, and even
patterns of informal student association in school life have powerful influences on
educational growth, educators were impelled to see the educational institution as a
uniquely comprehensive environment for linking codified knowledge to the life and
growth of the learner.
The curriculum – instruction dualism
The contention that curriculum and instruction are two separate realms has gained
widespread acceptance among contemporary curriculum theorists. The emergence of this
dualistic view stems from several developments. The curriculum – instruction dualism
has emerged as a veritable doctrine for the curriculum field.
According to Macdonald, they are essentially two separate action contexts, one
(curriculum) producing plans for further action; and the other (instruction) putting plans
into action. He further insisted that until such time as there can be common agreement
upon at least the basic phenomena we are labelling, there will be little chance of making
conceptual progress. It is difficult to see how much a definition and the notion of
curriculum and instruction as two distinct realms will help curriculum workers make
conceptual progress.

The collateral curriculum or hidden curriculum

In recent years education has given increasing attention to the hidden curriculum, or the
discrepancy between what is intended and what is actually experienced. The tendency has
been to couch the hidden curriculum negatively, although its power may indeed be
positive. It appears to be more productive to use the term collateral curriculum rather than
hidden curriculum.
The collateral learning will have a more powerful and enduring impact on the
learner’s present and future behaviour than the target subject matter. Indeed, most of the
factual information learned in school is readily forgotten soon after the examination,
whereas collateral learning as connected with attitudes, appreciation, and values can be
far more enduring.
Collateral learning must not be regarded as something outside the curriculum or as
merely an incidental or accidental outcome of the curriculum. Desirable collateral
learning is much more apt to occur if it is treated as integral to the planned and guided
learning experiences that comprise the curriculum.
Similarly extra class activities should not be considered as outside the curriculum. If
the curriculum is so conceived as to correlate such activities with those more directly
connected with the formal course of study, the possibilities for realising the desired
14

learning outcomes of the curriculum are enhanced enormously. As noted by Pollard


and Tann, the hidden curriculum is implicit within regular school procedures, in
curriculum materials, and in communication approaches and mannerisms used by staff. It
is important to remember that students do learn a lot from the hidden curriculum even
though this is not intended by teachers.

A unitary conception of curriculum

The emergence of the curriculum field as a distinct subject of study has given rise to
many conflicting conceptions of curriculum. No single definition can satisfy all parties
concerned because the different definitions reflect the different schools of thought in the
curriculum field—as well as changing conceptions of organised knowledge, the learner,
the educative process, and the larger social situation.
Curriculum has been variously defined as:
(1) the cumulative tradition of organised knowledge,
(2) the instructional plan or course of study,
(3) measured instructional outcomes (technological production system),
(4) cultural reproduction,
(5) knowledge selection/organisation from the culture,
(6) modes of thought, and
(7) guided living/planned learning environment.
Each definition reflects a particular and often conflicting perspective and fails engender a
full meaning of curriculum. Some definitions are so narrow that they convey a restricted
and only partial meaning of curriculum. Other definitions are so broad that they fail to
distinguish between the function of the school from that of any other agency having some
sort of educative function. Nevertheless, curricularists may utilise a definition to describe
the orientation of the work in the field.
Dewey offered a definition of education as “that reconstruction or reorganisation of
experience, which adds to the meaning of experience, and which increases ability to
direct the course of subsequent experience.” We can define curriculum as: that
reconstruction of knowledge and experience that enables the learner to grow in exercising
intelligent control of subsequent knowledge and experience.

Influences on curriculum conceptions

The fact that certain conceptions of curriculum occur widely in some countries and to a
much lesser extent in others, can be traced to the influences that various individuals and
groups can exert on educational decision-making. The term ‘group’ is often used to
indicate that individuals or groups consider that they have the expertise and/or are
directly affected by certain decisions and must be part of the decision-making process.
Many groups could be cited but major ones include:
• Political leaders
• Religious leaders
• Head office officials
15

• Teachers
• Business groups/employees

Political leaders are very concerned about schools and the curriculum in that
they expect children to understand their country’s rules and institutions and to be
committed participants when they attain adulthood. They exert control over the
curriculum of schools using such measures as establishing academic standards and
examinations, providing national curriculum guidelines, and requiring training
programmes for teachers.
Religious leaders can have an enormous influence over the types and levels of
schools that are provided for children and the nature of the curriculum practised in
these schools. Religious beliefs can influence in particular the amount of effort that
students are prepared to devote to their studies and the extent to which families
encourage and promote intensive study and commitment to learning in their children.
Most education systems retain head office or central administration divisions to
enable strategic policy decisions to be about such matters as staffing, buildings,
curriculum and standards. The degree of centralisation/decentralisation varies
enormously from one system to another. In a highly centralised education system,
curriculum documents and syllabus statements are specified in great detail and
implementation procedures in schools are explicitly stated and systematically monitored.
In such a situation a head office is obviously a very important stakeholder.
Teachers are also major stakeholders. The majority of teachers have chosen teaching
as a career and take very seriously their responsibilities to provide for the intellectual,
emotional, social and spiritual growth of their students. They receive some training in
curriculum planning skills but they are constantly under pressures of time due to the daily
demands of the classroom situation.
Where there is intense competition for goods and services, employers expect their
employees to be not only literate and numerate, but also to have well developed problem-
solving and social skills. The media often criticise the basic skills levels of newly
employed youth. Employers tend to be extremely critical of schools and maintain that
insufficient rigour and standards are required.

Ideologies of education

Educational ideologies represent different clusters of beliefs, values, sentiments and


understandings but all purports to explain what education is. They employ their own
combinations of concepts and metaphors which give insight into how they view
education and which give their adherents a sense of what is right and natural for children
in schools. Ideologies constitute systems, which give meaning to the complex and diverse
practical enterprise of teaching and provide general guidelines towards which this
enterprise can be directed.
It would be a mistake to identify anyone educational ideology exclusively with any
particular social class, economic or political group in a society. An ideology may draw
the bulk of its adherents from such a group, it may help serve that group’s interests but
many of its beliefs about education may be held by members of other groups. Again not
16

every individual concerned with education can be identified exclusively with one
ideology. Frequently individuals’ conceptions contain elements from more
than one ideology, often in uneasy association with one another, but with one being
predominant. Four-fold classification of major educational ideologies – conservative,
revisionist, romantic and democratic – is adopted here.
1. Conservative ideology: It values stability, continuity with the past and the
transmission of the nation’s cultural heritage. It stresses the centrality of
initiating the young into this precious inheritance and the necessity of elite to
preserve and extend culture excellence. It employs concepts such as standards,
high culture, folk culture; it uses metaphors such as structure, inheritance, and
apprenticeship. It takes a hierarchical, differentiated view of knowledge with
some aspects such as pure mathematics, the study of literature and classics being
regarded as far more worthwhile than others. It does not take such knowledge
equally accessible to all but support a differentiation of curricula for the elite and
non-elite. It favours a subject-centred curriculum for the able, an emphasis on
‘basic skills’ in the primary school, a teacher dominated pedagogy and a
conception of ‘objective knowledge’ to which children have to accommodate.
2. Revisionist ideology: It values modernisation, efficiency and the expansion of
education to produce a skilled labour force. Educated manpower is regarded as
one of the nation’s greatest assets in international economic competition. An
effective up-dated curriculum is seen as an essential component of the nation’s
ability to compete. Vocational relevance, efficiency, evaluation and renewal are
some revisionist key concepts. Metaphors such as pools of ability, untapped
resources and wastage are used to argue for an expanded educational system,
which will make the maximum use of the nation’s resources. This ideology
values scientific and technological studies and aims to make these available to
any pupil provided he has the ability. Childhood is essentially a preparation for
later roles in society. Children’s achievements are the result of IQ plus
motivation. Knowledge structures are objective and teaching is to be adult
managed.

3. Romantic ideology: It centres on the individual rather than the nation, on the
present rather than the past or the future, on the child rather than the adult. It
stresses the importance of the young coming to understand themselves and their
environment in their own terms; it stresses spontaneity, variety of first hand
experience and diversity of response. Its key concepts include self expression,
play, creativity, active involvement, children’s needs and interests, and learning
by experience. It employs a rich variety of metaphors such as growth, harmony,
discovery, and cultivation. It does not recognise a hierarchy of knowledge forms
and takes a subjective view of knowledge with children as constructors of their
own reality. It advocates teaching as a process of mutual exploration between
near-equals; it views childhood as valuable in its own right and children as
seekers after their own meanings.
4. Democratic socialist ideology: It values equality, and supports change in
education (and the wider society) in order to realise this. It stresses the
importance of creating a common culture and a genuine democracy in which all
17

social classes can participate on equal terms. Its concepts include equality
of educational opportunity, relevance, continuing education and
democratic participation. It talks of opening doors to knowledge, providing
access to the higher culture for all and building on a common core of meanings.
Common schools and a common curriculum feature prominently as part of its
platform. Teaching is seen as open to negotiation between teacher and pupil;
knowledge is objective but needs constant reinterpretation in contemporary
terms. All pupils require access to these knowledge structures, though the
importance of their everyday experience and common sense knowledge is also
acknowledged.
Such ideologies encapsulate the views of different groups, each seeking to make
its particular view of education. The meaning accorded ‘education’ in any society
varies according to the salience of ideologies and their ability to attract public and
professional support. The relative prominence of any one ideology is not simply the
result of the inherent persuasiveness of its views nor the activities of its adherents.
Ideological factors interrelate in very complex ways with social, technological and
other cultural factors. As these factors and their interrelationships change so does the
salience of ideologies and views as to what and how the young ought to be taught.
The struggle among ideologies can be viewed as a ‘political’ one in the sense
that it influences the distribution, exercise and justification of power in society. It is a
struggle for power to define education and to transmit particular beliefs and values to
the young. It represents a struggle for control over the educational system, which is
itself a major agency for controlling social groups. Curricula are seen, then, as not
concerned with transmitting part of the cultural stock, but as helping control people
through exposing them to particular vales and beliefs.
Curricula, then, are more than inert bodies of information; they have
considerable cultural and political significance. As society changes, so proposals are
put forward by individuals or groups for changes in what ought to be taught the
young. Such proposals are created from scratch but are based on understandings,
beliefs and values shared by those according roughly similar meanings to
‘education’. In the process of translation into more detailed proposals for intended
curricula they are inevitably changed, distorted or elaborated; they are subject to
constraint and compromise. Yet despite this they shape the form and direction taken
by proposals for new course of study or pattern of educational activity.
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Chapter 3

Curriculum Development

“Let me show you our curriculum,” said the principal to the visitor in his school. Proudly
the principal removed from his desk a mimeographed document that told teachers what to
teach, subject by subject.
The visitor scanned the document and replied, “Now let me see your real
curriculum.” “What do you mean?” the principal asked.
“I mean that I must spend at least a few hours in your school. I need to visit several
classrooms at random. I want to stand aside in the lobby as the children move through it
and wander through the dining hall while children are eating and while they are talking
freely. I want to attend a school assembly and would like to visit the library and then
follow the children out to the playing field while they are under teacher’s supervision and
while they are on their own. By doing these things I will get at least a limited view of
your real curriculum.”
What does this dialogue between principal and a visitor suggest? It suggests a
number of ideas about a school curriculum:
1. The curriculum cannot actually be reduced to a lifeless sheet of papers.
2. The curriculum belongs in two categories: that of objective reality and that of mode
and style. The curriculum should be viewed as a product and also as process. The two
categories become interrelated.
3. A given curriculum has a life span, determined largely by its usefulness and
timeliness. A curriculum may be revised at intervals so that its usefulness and
timeliness may be increased.
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4. The real curriculum no matter how formally and carefully planned it is alleged
to be has aspects of the unplanned.
5. The curriculum, being of the human spirit, is active and changing. It is affected by
wishes, thoughts, and restraints.
Curriculum includes both formal and informal aspects of schooling, what one learns
(content) and how one learns (process), and products or outcomes in the forms of
knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes, appreciations, and values. Thus, the
curriculum involves what happens in classrooms, auditorium, gymnasium, dining hall,
and school lobby and school sponsored community service, field trips and work
experienced programmes.
Curriculum improvement refers not only to improving the structure and the
documents of the curriculum but also to stimulating learning on the part of all the persons
who are concerned with the curriculum. These persons include students, teachers,
classroom helpers, supervisors and administrators, and parents and community members.
Obviously, curriculum improvement deals directly with the improvement of the people.

Planning modes

As it is with many concepts in education, that of curriculum development is not easy to


grasp and impossible to pin down definitely. It is elastic with a range of meanings from
one, which involves almost every type of educational change to one, which refers to the
specific processes of planning a course of study. Owen discusses forms of organisation
and instruction such as microteaching, team-teaching, non-streaming and vertical
grouping in his examination of the management of curriculum development. Johnson, on
the other hand, views curriculum development as the process whereby a set of learning
outcomes are derived for an educational institution, but does not see it as being concerned
with how much outcomes are to be realised in the context of the classroom and the
school. Both these positions seem inappropriate: one legislates too strictly the area of
concern, the other readers it too loose and ill defined.
Here a middle course has been adopted. The term ‘curriculum development’ is
considered as comprising those deliberately planned activities through which courses of
study or patterns of educational activity are designed and presented as proposals for those
in educational institutions. Such courses intended curricula necessarily include selections
from a society’s stock of meanings and embody a variety of views, implicit or explicit,
about purposes, knowledge, children, society, teaching and learning. The conceptions of
education held by individuals participating in the development enterprise and the
ideologies to which they subscribe play a crucial role in influencing how such courses are
designed and presented and how they are received by teachers and pupils. No matter what
ideologies are involved, curriculum development implies a degree of systematic thinking
and planning in which individual decisions about content, teaching and learning are
taken, not in isolation, but in relation to an overall design or framework. At one extreme
curriculum development may result in curriculum innovation, where radically new
proposals are produced with far reaching implications for teacher-pupil transaction. On
the other hand, curriculum development may just result in the modification and reshaping
20

of current courses of study with few new components but with a clearer articulation
of the various elements comprising the course.
Choice of modes can be influenced more subtly by the rationale that underlines an
attempt of curriculum improvement. The most common rationale relies basically on four
classical foundations of the curriculum – philosophy, learners and learning, society and
culture, and subject matter. Curriculum planners sometimes add interpretation, which
includes ways of knowing, thinking skills, decision making, problem solving, valuing,
and concept development.
Departing from traditional subject matter, a second rationale – the experimental –
features learner-centred ness and activities that especially develop the individual and
frequently are chosen by individual learners. This rationale has led to the planning of
Montessori schooling, open education systems, mini-courses, schools without walls, and
extensions of the humanities and the arts.
A third rationale – the technical is marked by terms like systems, production, and
management. A natural concomitant of similar perspectives in business and industry, the
technical rationale is analytical, systems-oriented, and behaviourally centred. From it
have arisen computer-assisted instruction, performance contracting, and competency-
based education.
A fourth rationale has its bases in pressure brought by school boards, local
administrators, influential community members, state legislators, professional
associations, givers of grants, the courts, scholars, business firms, and civic organisations.
The interaction of these groups with one another and with school systems results in many
kinds of curriculum plans, which differ from community to community.
These wisely differing rationales give rise to very different planning modes.

Steps used in planning


There are several steps that may be used in planning. A given situation may not require
all these steps or may not require them in order in which they are listed below.
Nevertheless, all of them are eligible for inclusion in the planning process. They are
surveying the scene, assessing needs, identifying and defining problems, recalling
accepted aims and goals, making and evaluating proposals, preparing designs, organising
the work force, supervising the planning process, utilising the products of planning,
applying evaluation means, and anticipating the future.

Surveying the scene


Surveying the scene involves knowing what makes a particular school system the
same as other systems and what makes it markedly different from the rest. Included in
the curriculum scene are tradition, expectations, people, funds or scarcity thereof,
school system organisation, and several others features.

Assessing needs
Needs can be thought of in two ways. The first is singular: need for any change. The
second, or plural, form expresses the needs of pupils and teachers. Pupils have their
recognisable educational needs; teachers have needs related to performing their work
effectively and improving their own functioning.
21

Identifying and defining problems


As a result of assessing needs, planners can identify problems of teaching and
learning. Additional problems not initially identified in the needs assessment may be
discovered as the planning process proceeds. Any curriculum problem that is deemed
worth solving and that can be managed should be defined to clarify its meaning and
implications.

Recalling accepted aims and goals


Aims and goals that, when formulated, had the support of a broad constituency in the
school system should be reviewed and used as guides whenever curriculum planning
is done within that system. Two questions should arise as each new curriculum
proposal is made: How does this proposal accord in general, with one or more aims or
goals our school system has accepted? And from which goal or goals can we generate
objectives that are specific to our proposal?

Making proposals and evaluating them


The most promising problems can form the basis for making proposals for curriculum
change. Some of the proposals can eventuate in carefully developed designs.
Proposals can be evaluated informally by determining whether they conform to aims
or goals and then formulating critical questions about them, which are then answered
by the most competent school system personnel and, if possible, by outside
consultants.

Preparing designs
Designing that capitalises on the most promising proposals usually follows steps like
these: Stating programme or project objectives, identifying evaluation means,
choosing a type of design, selecting learning content, determining and organising
learning experiences, and evaluating the programme or project summatively.

Organising the work force


Organising the work force requires finding the best available personnel to perform the
designated tasks, and then judging how to organise these personnel so that their
talents are used well. Constant scouting or inquiry among present staff members is
needed for personnel search. Occasionally, new personnel can be brought in to
provide certain necessary abilities. The identified personnel are then organised into
study groups and committees to do the most difficult part of the planning and to
perform the easy tasks too.

Supervising the planning process


Planning cannot proceed smoothly without direction. Central steering committees
often make policy and arrange for resources. Daily direction usually comes, however,
from leaders such as curriculum co-ordinators and school principals.

Utilising the products of planning


Whatever has been planned needs to be implemented. Implementation or the act of
putting plans to intelligent use usually is done by classroom teachers. Because that
22

which is new or different is likely to be puzzling, teachers need help and


encouragement from supervisors who know what to expect in the implementation
process.
Applying evaluation means
Applying evaluation means could be called applying the test of reality and other tests.
Many projects and programmes look good on paper, but the crucial question is “Do
they work?” This question often yields offhand judgements, only, some of which are
valid. The validity of a judgement can be checked by formal evaluation of the project
or programme. It is impossible to tell what a plan has accomplished in action without
applying appropriate evaluation means.

Anticipating the future


The future begins with the feedback of information regarding the apparent success of
a plan. This information includes data from formal evaluation as well as little items
of news about the experiences that the teachers and pupils have had with the plan.
When conditions change rapidly, as when the details of subject matter change, the
plan should be revised. Looking to the future can be systematised by projecting
revision schedules in subject matter fields and other curriculum areas.

The planning steps described above can be put into place only if an organisation is
developed for allocating and assigning people and material resources. Experience in
curriculum planning offers several guidelines that are helpful in organising people and
materials.
• Start small by involving only a few persons at first.
• Choose these people carefully. They should be interested, able persons who are
eager to see the schools improved.
• Hold planning sessions when they are needed, having due regard for the time
schedules of the planners.
• Give credit to the planners, rewarding them sensibly and openly.
• Provide the planners with necessary time, resources, and materials.
• Fix responsibility for the subparts of the planning operation.
• Establish time limits for completing the portions of the work, but do not rush the
participants.
• Help the planners see what is important by personally emphasising the important
as opposed to the trivial.
• Have some criteria for determining what is to be done. For example, the first
proposals should be of the right size and complexity to be pursued successfully.
• Encourage participants to get the job done well – without stress – remembering
that what happens during the first attempt will colour or condition subsequent
attempts.
Curriculum planning is most likely to succeed if certain expectations are kept in
mind:
• Person in local schools and school systems should accept responsibility for
planning. This responsibility should be distributed among numbers of people.
• Feelings of personal security and worth, as well as satisfactory interpersonal
23

relations are essential.


• Adequate time, facilities, and resources should be provided.
• Curriculum workers should attempt to solve problems that seem real and
important.
• Effective communication about plans, policies, procedures, and achievements
should be established and maintained among persons who have a stake in the
projects.
• Curriculum development should be considered a continuous, normal activity and
not a stop-and-start activity.
• All persons affected by a given project should be involved in it in some way.
• Nothing of real importance should be undertaken without developing an
understanding of its purpose.
• Continuous evaluation of improvements should be built into the design of each
project.
• Balanced must be achieved in both the types of activities to be performed and
their positions on the ongoing experience of learners.
• Consistency must be maintained between the means and the ascribed ends of
each project.

Persons who undertake curriculum improvement should not accept that great
changes would necessarily occur within a period of a few months. Initially, growth may
come only in the form of people’s sensitisation to themselves, to one another, and to the
nature of the curriculum and its changes. Values, attitudes, and skills change to some
extent almost immediately, but progress of lasting significance takes time.
An interesting way of projecting the curriculum into the future is to raise questions
concerning how the curriculum is to be viewed. Answers to the questions may suggest
metaphors such as:

(1) the curriculum as medicine for educational ills;


(2) the curriculum as a greenhouse that encourages growth;
(3) the curriculum as a route for travelling to a destination;
(4) the curriculum as a means of production; and
(5) the curriculum as a resource for developing and using human abilities.
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Chapter 4

Curriculum Design

The task of creating new courses of study or new patterns of educational activity for
pupils in schools requires curriculum design. The design of such intended curricula
involves a multitude of factors – ideological, technical, epistemological, and
psychological, to name but the some. Developing curricula in a systematic way, as
opposed to piecemeal, one-off modifications to current practice, is still relatively new and
in consequence is both tentative and primitive.
Three principal curriculum design models have been produced to further this
enterprise. It is important to note that these three – the objectives, the process, and the
situational models – do not describe how curricula are in fact designed but make
recommendations for design. Their recommendations or prescriptions involve differing
conceptions of the teaching/planning task, and all three are in need of further refinement
and elaboration. The following guidelines provide frameworks through which
conceptions of education can be given tangible form as curriculum proposals.

The objectives model and its variants


25

The design model, greatly influenced by behavioural psychology and systematised


into a coherent rationale by Tyler has directed a great amount of theorising and
practical activity, especially in USA. The Tyler rationale as it has been called, centres on
four major stages, which Tyler considers essential in the development of any curriculum.
The first of these involves getting clear about goals i.e. what it is hoped the curriculum
will achieve. According to his view, if such goals are to be clearly formulated, vaguely
stated aims are not sufficient.
Statements of goals need to indicate both the kind of behaviour to be developed in
the pupil and the area of content in which the behaviour is to be applied. Such closely
formulated statements of intent are termed as ‘objectives’. It is very important to note
here that such objectives are to be specified before the remaining components of the
design model are considered (i.e. objectives are to be pre-specified). In the light of such
objectives the learning experiences offered children are selected at stage two. As a third
stage these experiences are organised to reinforce one another and to produce a
cumulative effect. The last stage is that of evaluation, which examines the extent to which
the objectives are realised in practice, thereby indicating in what respects the curriculum
is effective and in what respects it requires modification. This basic four-stage model
(Figure 4.1), which is cyclic in that evaluation feeds back to objectives, is often termed
‘the rational planning’ model on the grounds that it is rationale to specify the ends of an
activity before engaging in it. An alternative term sometimes used is ‘means-ends’
planning.

2. SELECTION OF
LEARNING EXPERIENCES

1. AIMS / OBJECTIVES
3. ORGANISATION OF
LEARNING
EXPERIENCES

4. EVALUATION OF
LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Figure 4.1 The ‘Tyler’ model for curriculum planning

Since its formulation much work by educationists such as Popham, Mager and
Gronlund has been concentrated on making the first stage as clear-cut as possible in order
to provide clear goals towards which pupils and teachers can work and in order to
facilitate the measurement and evaluation of the results of the curriculum. Both of these
concerns have led to an emphasis on behavioural objectives which specify in terms of
observable behaviours what a pupil should be able to do, think or feel as a result of a
course of instruction. For the purpose of assessing whether or not they have been
achieved such objectives have to be specific, measurable and unambiguous.
26

A group of psychologists have produced two taxonomies to aid in the


identification, description, classification and measurement of educational
objectives. They distinguish three broad areas or domains: the cognitive concerned with
intellectual abilities and operations, the affective concerned with attitudes, values and
applications, and the psychomotor which covers the area of motor skills. Within the
cognitive domain six broad levels of understanding (each with subdivisions) are
classified, ranging from objectives concerned with simple recall of specific facts to
objectives involving the evaluation of complex theories and evidence (Figure 4.2).
Objectives in the affective domain range from those concerned with attending to
phenomena to those indicating commitment to a philosophy of life. Bloom and his fellow
workers have not produced a psychomotor classification, though others have attempted to
provide one. By means of such classifications Bloom hopes to promote greater clarity in
thinking about behavioural objectives, a more exact language for communicating about
objectives and a more effective means of evaluating objectives so classified.

Figure 4.2, Levels in the cognitive and affective domains and sample objectives

Cognitive Domain

Level 1 Knowledge
‘To make pupils conscious of correct form and usage in speech and writing’
‘Knowledge of a relatively complete formulation of the theory of evaluation’

Level 2 Comprehension
‘Skill in translating mathematical verbal material into symbolic statements and vice versa’
‘Skill in predicting continuation trends’

Level 3 Application
‘The ability to predict the probable effect of a change in a factor on a biological situation
previously at equilibrium’

Level 4 Analysis
‘Skill in distinguishing facts from hypotheses

Level 5 Synthesis
‘Ability to tell a personal experience effectively’
‘Ability to propose ways of testing hypotheses

Level 6 Evaluation
‘The comparison of major theories, generalisation and facts about particular cultures’

Affective Domain

Level 1 Receiving (attending)


‘Attends carefully when others speak in direct conversation, on the telephone, in audiences’

Level 2 Responding
‘Finds pleasure in reading for recreation’

Level 3 Valuing
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‘Assumes responsibility for drawing reticent members of the group into conversation’

Level 4 Organisation
‘Forms judgements as to the responsibility of society for conserving human and material
resources’
Level 5 Characterisation by a value or value-complex
‘Readiness to revise judgements and to change behaviour in the light of evidence’

The influence of Tyler and the rational planning model is most clearly seen in a
design model offered by Wheeler. This model (Figure 4.3) has five basic stages. The first
of these is extremely complex as general aims embodying broad conceptions of education
are analysed into ultimate goals, mediate goals, proximate goals and specific classroom
objectives. These provide the direction required for the selection of learning experiences,
the selection of content, the organisation and integration of learning experiences and
content, and the final evaluation stage which enables the designer to determine the
effectiveness of the curriculum and hence to make modifications to it next time round. Its
close similarity to the basic Tyler model is obvious.
Kerr’s views are very much in tune with the rational planning approach. ‘For the
purpose of curriculum design and planning it is imperative that the objective should be
identified first, as we cannot, or should not; decide ‘what’ or ‘how’ to teach in any
situation until we know ‘why’ we are doing it.
Perhaps the most extreme elaboration of Tyler’s basic model is Merritt’s eight stages
AOSTMTEC, comprising: (1) aims, (2) objectives, (3) strategies, (4) tactics, (5) methods,
(6) techniques, (7) evaluation, and (8) consolidation.

Figure 4.3 Wheeler Curriculum Process Model

2. SELECTION OF LEARNING
EXPERIENCES

1. AIMS, GOALS AND 3. SELECTION OF CONTENT


OBJECTIVES

5. EVALUATION 4. ORGANISATION AND INTEGRATION OF


LEARNING EXPERIENCES AND CONTENT

Rational planning models based on objectives have come in for considerable


criticism. The have been attacked for taking a very restricted view of rationality:
‘determining ends first, then determining means’ is rationale in some contexts, but not
always in curriculum design. Here, it is argued, ends and means cannot always be
28

divorced; certain ends presuppose certain means and vice versa. Content and learning
experiences cannot always be separated, nor can aims and content.
Of all the components in such models, objectives (especially behavioural objectives)
have attracted most criticism. The objectives can be classified as originating in general
philosophical considerations, specific discipline considerations, and practical
considerations. Perhaps the most telling general objection is that such important
outcomes of education as understanding, appreciation and knowledge cannot be fully
translated into clear-cut observable behaviours capable of measurement. Only low-level
mental operations such as the recall of specific facts or the performance of certain
physical skills can be unambiguously specified beforehand. The idea of translating
general aims into specific objectives runs into other philosophical difficulties, where this
involves specifying subsets of skills or items of knowledge. The ideal of no ambiguity is
also regarded as false; objectives cannot have exact, true and real meaning, because the
meaning of words depends on the way they are used, and the way they are used does
vary. Objectives have also been criticised for doing violence to the nature of teaching
which is an on-going activity has ends-in-view which are constantly changing, nor does
the notion of pre-specifying objectives before teaching take into account the autonomous
nature of teacher or pupil who inevitably interpret educational processes in an individual
way.
Even two of the foremost critics of design through objectives accept that behavioural
objectives have a part to play though necessarily a limited one. Eisner suggests that three
broad types of objectives can usefully be employed in curriculum design, only one of
which (instructional objective) specifies the outcomes of a curriculum in behavioural
terms. Expressive objectives can be used to describe learning situations intended to evoke
personal responses from pupils, and type three objectives used to detail problematic
situations, with the solutions to these problems being left to the pupil initiative and
justification. Stenhouse suggests that education in schools necessarily comprises at least
four processes: (1) induction into knowledge, (2) initiation into social norms and values,
(3) training, and (4) instruction. He argues that the objectives model is appropriate for
both training and instruction but breaks down when it comes to inducting pupils into
knowledge. The latter involves getting pupils on the ‘inside’ of the knowledge forms,
getting them to think creatively and to make considered judgements. According to
Stenhouse, knowledge is not something to regurgitate, but something to think with.
Education as induction into knowledge is successful to the extent that it makes the
behavioural outcomes of the students unpredictable. Improvement from education comes
not from teachers being more precise about objectives but from them analysing and
criticising their own practice.

2. The Process model

Stenhouse developed the process model framework for curriculum design. He argues that
a process model is more appropriate than an objective model in areas of the curriculum,
which centre on knowledge and understanding. Basically he contends that it is possible to
design curricula rationally by specifying content and principles of procedure rather than
by pre-specifying the anticipated outcomes in terms of objectives. It is possible to select
29

content on the grounds that it represents a particular form of knowledge, which is


intrinsically worthwhile. Content can be selected to exemplify the most important
procedures, the key concepts and the criteria inherent in a form or field of knowledge.
The justification for choosing such contest rests not on the pupil behaviours to which it
gives rise but on the degree to which it reflects the form of knowledge, which itself needs
no extrinsic justification.
In areas of the curriculum such as the arts or philosophy general aim can be couched
in terms of ‘understanding’ principles of procedure or ‘appreciating’ particular art forms.
Planning rationally involves devising teaching methods and materials, which are
consistent with the principles, concepts, and criteria inherent in such activities. In this
design the process is specified, i.e. content being studied, the methods being employed
and the criteria inherent in the activity. The end product produced by pupils is not
specified beforehand in terms of behaviours but can be evaluated after the event by the
criteria built into the art form.
Stenhouse illustrates how such a model can be applied to the planning of curricula in
any form of knowledge. If you define the content of a philosophy course, define what
constitutes a philosophically acceptable teaching procedure and articulate standards by
which students’ work is to be judged, you may be planning rationally without using
objectives.
Stenhouse has illustrated how such a design can be also used in an area of the
curriculum, which has no one specific form of knowledge underpinning it. This project
aims at developing in pupils an understanding of social situations and human acts and the
controversial value issues which they raise. It deals with themes such as War, Poverty,
Education, and relation between the sexes. It operates a discussion-based form of
teaching in which the group of pupils critically examine evidence as they discuss such
issues under the chairmanship of a teacher who aspires to be neutral. In the project
behavioural objectives are absent. The teacher does not seek to promote any particular
point of view or response in his pupils. In place of objectives the emphasis is on defining
acceptable principles of procedure for dealing with such issues e.g. principles concerned
with protecting divergence of opinion within the group, with developing critical standards
by which evidence can be appraised, with extending the range of relevant views and
perspectives accessible to the group.
Stenhouse acknowledges that a process model is far more demanding on teachers
and thus far more difficult to implement in practice, but it offers a higher degree of
personal and professional development. In particular circumstances it may well prove too
demanding.

3. The Situational Model

If the objectives model has its roots in behavioural psychology and the process model in
philosophy of education, the third major framework for design has its roots in cultural
analysis. Skilbeck’s model locates curriculum design and development firmly within a
cultural framework. It views such design as a means whereby teachers modify and
transform pupil experience through providing insights into cultural values, interpretative
frameworks and symbolic systems. The model underlines the value-laden nature of the
30

design process and its inevitable political character as different pressure groups and
ideological interests seek to influence the process of cultural transmission. Instead of
making recommendations in vacuum it makes specific provision for different planning
contexts by including as one of its most crucial features a critical appraisal of the school
situation. The model is based on the assumption that the focus for curriculum
development must be the individual school and its teachers, i.e. that school-based
curriculum development is the most effective way of promoting genuine change at school
level. The model has five major components:
(1) Situational analysis which involves a review of the situation and an analysis of
the interacting elements constituting it. External factors to be considered are
broad social changes including ideological shifts, parental and community
expectations, the changing nature of subject disciplines and the potential
contribution of teacher-support systems such as colleges and universities.
Internal factors include pupils and their attributes, teachers and their knowledge,
skills, interests, etc., school ethos and political structure, materials resources and
felt problems.
(2) Goal formulation with the statement of goals embracing teacher and pupil
actions. Such goals are derived from the situational analysis only in the sense
that they represent decisions to modify that situation in certain respects.
(3) Programme-building which comprises the selection of subject-matter for
learning, the sequencing of teaching-learning episodes, the deployment of staff
and the choice of appropriate supplementary materials and media.
(4) Interpretation and implementation where practical problems involved in the
introduction of a modified curriculum are anticipated and then hopefully
overcome as the installation proceeds.
(5) Monitoring, assessment, feedback and reconstruction which involve a much
wider concept of evaluation than determining to what extent a curriculum meets
its objectives. Tasks include providing on-going assessment of progress in the
light of classroom experience, assessing a wide range of outcomes (including
pupil attitudes and the impact on the school organisation as a whole) and
keeping adequate records based on responses from a variety of participants (not
just pupils).
Skilbeck’s situational model is not an alternative to the other two. It is a more
comprehensive framework, which can encompass either the process model or the
objective model depending on which aspects of the curriculum are being designed. It is
flexible, adaptable and open to interpretation in the light of changing circumstances. It
does not presuppose a linear progression through its components. Teachers can begin at
any stage and activities can develop concurrently. The model outlined does not
presuppose a means-end analysis at all; it simple encourages teams or groups of
curriculum developers to take into account different elements and aspects of the
curriculum-development process, to see the process as an organic whole, and to work in a
moderately systematic way. Very importantly, it forces those involved in curriculum
development to consider systematically their particular context, and it links their
decisions to wider cultural and social considerations.
Sockett advocates a process of curriculum design through structure. He sees only
limited usefulness in the objectives model (mainly in the area of skill development), but
31

does view the process model as valuable. He believes that curriculum design and
development have to be slow, piecemeal and uncertain, since there are multitudes of
interacting factors involved and since the activities of those party to the enterprise are
largely habitual. Curriculum design involves understanding the structure of the
curriculum as it presently exists (or in Skilbeck’s terms analysing the situation). A first
stage is to be clear about the focus of attention when anticipating change, for example, by
focussing on the science curriculum of the middle school. Then in the light of the
problem, information has to be gathered about current practices, attitudes, perceptions,
influences and constraints. In this way the shape or design of the curriculum is clarified.
Changes are introduced if current practices cannot be justified or if the proposed new
practices are considered to offer justifiable advantages. Such changes need not be
planned by objectives; they can be designed by paying attention to different aspects of the
structure, to principles of procedure or to content.

Conclusion
The models outlined here are all prescriptive, recommending how the activities of
curriculum design ought to be conducted. They constitute guiding frameworks through
which beliefs, values and assumptions concerning educational purposes, subject matter,
learning and teaching are combined so as to produce intended curricula. These models
point up the complexities of the enterprise and the varied purposes, perspectives, and
assumptions in curriculum studies.
Several needs and demands affect curriculum designing. Among them are an
insistence that the schools teach values, morals, and ethics; that children with a variety of
impairments be taught better than they have been heretofore; and that the children who
are gifted and talented be offered better programmes of instruction. Several terms now in
common parlance among curriculum workers suggest some of the possible future
emphases in designing:
• the systems approach,
• the humane school,
• educating a more diverse population,
• achieving equity with excellence in schooling,
• and restructuring schools so that they really improve.
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Chapter 5

Organising Learning Experiences for Effective Instruction

We have been considering the kinds of learning experiences useful for attaining various
types of objectives. These learning experiences have been considered in terms of their
characteristics but not in terms of their organisation. Since learning experiences must be
put together to form some kind of coherent programme, it is necessary for us now to
consider the procedures for organising learning experiences into units, courses, and
programmes.

What is meant by Organisation

Important changes in human behaviour are not produced over night. No single
learning experience has a very profound influence upon the learner. Changes in ways of
thinking, in fundamental habits, in major operating concepts, in attitudes, in abiding
interests and the like, develop slowly. It is only after months and years that we are able to
see major educational objectives taking marked concrete shape.
In order for educational experiences to produce a cumulative effect, they must be so
organised as to reinforce each other. Organisation is thus seen as an important problem in
curriculum development because it greatly influences the efficiency of instruction and the
degree to which major educational changes are brought about in the learners.
33

In considering the organisation of learning experiences we may examine their


relationship over time and also from one area to another. These two kinds of
relationships are referred to as the vertical and horizontal relations. When we examine the
relationship between the experiences provided in the fifth class geography and in the
sixth class geography we are considering the vertical organisation. Whereas, we consider
the relationship between the experiences in fifth class geography and fifth class history,
we are considering the horizontal organisation of learning experiences. Both of these
aspects of relationships are important in determining the cumulative effect of educational
experiences. There will be depth and breadth in the development of geographic concepts,
skills, and the like in the vertical organisation of learning experiences. The horizontal
organisation of learning experiences reinforce each other, provide for larger significance
and greater unity of view and thus be a more effective educational programme. Whereas,
if the experiences conflict they may nullify each other, or if they have no appreciable
connection, the student develops compartmentalised learning.

Criteria for effective organisation

There are three major criteria to be met in building an effectively organised group of
learning experiences. These are: continuity, sequence, and integration.
Continuity refers to the vertical reiteration of major curriculum elements. For
example, if in the social studies the development of skills in reading social studies
material is an important objective, it is necessary to see that there is recurring and
continuing opportunity for these skills to be practised and developed. This means that
over time the same kinds of skills will be brought into continuing operation. In similar
fashion, if an objective in science is to develop a meaningful concept of energy, it is
important that this concept be dealt with again and again in various parts of the science
course. Continuity is thus seen to be a major factor in effective vertical organisation.
Sequence is related to continuity but goes beyond it. It is possible for a major
curriculum element to recur again and again but merely in the same level so that there is
no progressive development of understanding or skill or attitude or some other factor.
Sequence as a criterion emphasises the importance of having each successive experience
build upon the preceding one but to go more broadly and deeply into the matters
involved. For example, sequence in the development of reading skills in social studies
would involve the provision for increasingly more complex social studies material,
increasing breadth in the operation of the skills involved in reading these materials and
increasing depth of analysis so that the sixth class social studies programme would not
simply reiterate the reading skills involved in the fifth class but would go into them more
broadly and deeply. Correspondingly, sequential development of a concept of energy in
the natural sciences would require that each successive treatment of energy would help
the student to understand with greater breadth and depth the meaning of the term energy
in its broader and deeper connotations. Sequence emphasises not duplication, but rather
higher levels of treatment with each successive learning experience.
Integration refers to the horizontal relationship of curriculum experiences. The
organisation of these experiences should be such that they help the student increasingly to
34

get a unified view and to unify his behaviour in relation to the elements dealt
with. For example, in developing skill in handling quantitative problems in
arithmetic, it is also important to consider the ways in which these skills can be
effectively utilised in social studies, in science, in shop and other fields; so that they are
not developed simply in isolated behaviours to be used in a single course but are
increasingly part of the total capacities of the student to use in the varied situations of his
daily life. Correspondingly, in developing concepts in the social studies it is important to
see how these ideas can be related to work going on in other subject fields so that
increasingly there is unity in the student’s outlooks, skills, attitudes and the like.
These three criteria, continuity, sequence, and integration are the basic guiding
criteria in the building of an effective scheme of organisation of learning experiences.

Elements to be organised

In working out a plan of organisation for a curriculum, it is necessary to identify the


elements of that curriculum, which serve as the organising threads. For example, in the
field of mathematics the organising elements have frequently been concepts and skills.
That is to say, mathematics teachers have identified certain basic concepts in
mathematics of such major importance that they have become elements to be developed
beginning in the early years of the mathematics programme and extending through to the
later years of the curriculum. For example, the concept of “place value” in a number
system represents a very basic idea in understanding our methods of addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division. This concept is understood at a relatively low level in the
elementary classes but can be developed into a much broader and deeper concept by the
end of middle classes. This would be one element that could serve as an organising
element in achieving continuity and sequence. This element might also be useful element
in developing integration since the concept of the place value of a number system might
be carried over to appropriate applications in shop, in social studies, in science and in
other fields. Correspondingly, a skill in mathematics may be the ability to solve problems
involving common fractions. This skill may be developed at a relatively low level in the
middle school and may become increasingly deeper and broader in its implications and
operations through the high school or college. Hence, this element too may serve as a
thread in the organisation of learning experiences.
In planning the curriculum for any school or any field, it is necessary to decide on
the types of elements, which most effectively serve as threads to use in the organisation.
Elements are major long-range items and not specific facts or specific habits or
highly particularised matters, which would not permit of development over the years and
would not provide opportunity for extensive relationships to various other fields in the
school curriculum. In working on the curriculum in any field, it will be necessary to
identify elements that are relevant to and significant matters for that field as well as for
the total curriculum. Then, of course, when the organising elements have been selected
they are to be used so as to provide for continuity, sequence and integration. That is,
these elements should be planned to appear throughout the length and breadth of the
instructional programme.
35

Organising principles

It is not only necessary to recognise that learning experiences need to be organised to


achieve continuity, sequence, and integration, and that major elements must be identified
to serve as organising threads for these learning experiences, it is also essential to identify
the organising principles by which these threads shall be woven together. For example,
the concept of the interdependence of all peoples may begin in the primary grades with
recognition on the part of the learner that he is dependent upon his parents, upon the
milkman, and upon others, and they in turn are dependent upon him in certain limited
respects. How shall this concept then be broadened and deepened to provide for greater
sequence and integration over the years? One organising principle might be to extend the
concept by increasing the range of persons, which the student recognises as being
interdependent with him. For example, ha may extend his concept of interdependence to
include people in other cities, in other states, and in other nations. Another organising
principle might be the extension of this concept so as to broaden the range of respects in
which people are interdependent. That is, to recognise interdependence in economic
matters, interdependence in social matters, interdependence in aesthetic matters and the
like. No doubt both of these organising principles as well as others may be required to
provide an adequate basis for developing this important concept over the years, but these
two principles illustrate the problem involved. Organising principles are needed that can
serve as a basis for planning the respects in which the broadening and the deepening of
major curriculum elements in the programme will take place.
In identifying important organising principles, it is necessary to note the criteria,
continuity, sequence, and integration apply to the experiences of the learner and not to the
way in which these matters may be viewed by someone already command of the elements
to be learned. Thus, continuity involves the recurring emphasis in the learner’s
experience upon these particular elements; sequence refers to the increasing breadth and
depth of the learner’s development; and integration refers to the learner’s increased unity
of behaviour in relating to the elements involved. This means that the organising
principles need to be considered in terms of their psychological significance to the
learner.
One of the most common principles of organisation used in school curricula is the
chronological. On this basis, for example, history courses are commonly organised so
that the student sees the development of events over time. Although this is an easy
scheme of organisation for other fields, like literature, art, social studies, it need to be
examined pretty carefully to see whether it really provides the psychological
organisation, which broadens and deepens the learner’s command of the elements
involved in this organisation. Quite frequently a chronological organisation is not
satisfactory from this point of view.
Since there are so many possible organising principles, it is important that in
working upon any particular curriculum possible principles of organisation are examined
and decisions made tentatively to be checked by actual tryout of the material to see how
far these principles prove satisfactory in developing continuity, sequence and integration.
36

The organising structure

Thus far we have been considering the ways of putting experiences together so as to
provide for effective organisation. It is also necessary to consider the main structural
elements in which the learning experiences are to be organised. Structural elements exist
at several levels. At the largest level of the structural elements may be made up of:
(a) specific subjects, like geography, arithmetic, history, handwriting, spelling and the
like, or
(b) broad fields, like social studies, the language arts, mathematics, the natural science
and the like, or
(c) a core curriculum for general education combined with broad fields or with specific
subjects or
(d) a completely undifferentiated structure in which the total programme is treated as a
unit, as is found, for example, in some of the curricula of the less formal educational
institutions, like the boy scouts or recreation groups.
At the intermediate level, the possible structures are:
(a) courses organised as sequences, such as social science I, social science II, social
science III, when these three courses are definitely planned as a unifying sequence,
or
(b) courses that are single semester or year units without being planned or considered as
a part of longer time sequence.
In the later category would be ancient history in the eighth class, modern European
history in the ninth class and American history in the tenth class, when each of these
courses is treated as a discrete unit not having a part-whole relationship to the total
history programme. Correspondingly, typical ninth class algebra does not build upon
eighth class arithmetic, nor does tenth class geometry build upon ninth class algebra so
that we can think of these courses as discrete unit courses rather than viewing them as a
sequential organisation at the intermediate level.
At the lowest level of organisation, we have structures of several possible sorts:
(a) Historically, the most widely used structure at the lowest level was “the lesson” in
which a single day was treated as a discrete unit and the lesson plans for that day
were more or less separate from other lessons, which were plans for other days,
(b) A second common structure is the “topic”, which may last for several days or several
weeks,
(c) Increasingly, a third type of structural organisation is to be found at this lowest level,
commonly called “the unit”. The unit usually includes experiences covering several
weeks and is organised around problems or major student purposes.
So far as the present evidence is concerned, it appears that each of these different
organising structures may have certain values under different conditions. However, it
is possible to indicate some of the advantages and the disadvantages of each of these
organising structures. From the standpoint of the achievement of continuity and
sequence the discrete subjects, the discrete courses for each semester or year, and the
discrete lessons all impose difficulties that make vertical organisation less likely to
occur. There are too many boundary lines from one structure to another to assure of
easy transition. Vertical organisation is facilitated when the courses are organised
over a period of years in larger units and in a larger general framework.
37

Correspondingly, to achieve integration is difficult if the organising


structure is composed of many specific pieces, since the tendency is to arrange the
elements of each piece into some more unified form, but to work out the relationship
of each of the pieces to each other becomes more difficult as more pieces are
involved. Thus, fifteen or sixteen specific subjects in the elementary school present
more hazards in achieving integration than an organisation, which has four or five
broad fields like the language arts, the social studies, health and physical education
and the like. A core curriculum provides even less difficulty in achieving integration
so far as the interposition of boundaries between subjects is concerned.
From the standpoint of achieving desirable organisation, any structural arrangement
that provides for larger blocks of time under which planning may go on has an
advantage over a structural organisation, which cuts up the total time into many
specific units, each of which is to be planned with some kind of transition and
consideration of the work of other units.
At the other extreme, an undifferentiated organisation of the school day imposes
certain difficulties. The fact that various types of competence are desired in the school
faculty and the fact that children need to shift from one activity to another before they
become fatigued make it necessary to divide the school day into periods of varied
activity and providing contact with more than one adult. This variety is likely to be
more difficult in a structure that involves a completely undifferentiated organisation.

The process of planning a unit of organisation

Although a great many ways of attacking the development of organisation are now in use,
in genera, they involve the following steps:
(1) Agreeing upon the general scheme of organisation; that is, whether specific subjects,
broad fields, or core programmes are to be used.
(2) Agreeing upon the general organising principles to be followed within each of the
fields decided on. This may mean, for example, that in mathematics the general
scheme adopted involves an increasing abstraction of algebraic, arithmetic, and
geometric elements, which are treated together year after year in place of the principle
of treating arithmetic elements first then algebraic, and finally geometric. Or, it may
mean an agreement in the social studies on the developments of problems beginning
with the community and moving out into the wider world rather than the decision on
the use of organising principle bases upon purely chronological considerations.
(3) Agreeing upon the kind of low-level unit to be used, whether it shall be by daily
lessons or by sequential topics or by teaching units.
(4) Developing flexible plans or called “source units” which will be in the hands of each
teacher as he works with a particular group.
(5) Using pupil-teacher planning for the particular activities carried on by a particular
class. This general operative procedure is increasingly used by various curriculum
groups.
The development of preliminary flexible plans or so called “source units” has its
purpose the provision of a great deal of possible material from which the teacher can
select that to be used with any particular group. These plans are flexible enough so that
38

they permit modification in the light of the needs, interests and abilities of any group;
and they are inclusive enough to cover a wide range of possible experiences from
which those that are most appropriate for a given group may be selected. A typical source
unit includes a statement of major objectives expected to be obtained from the kinds of
learning experiences outlined, a description of a variety of experiences that can be used in
attaining these objectives, an outline in some detail of the culminating experiences that
can be used to help the student at the end to integrate and organise what he has got from
the unit, a list of source materials that will help in the development of the unit, including
books and other references, slides, radio programmes, pictures, recordings, and the like,
and an indication of the expected level of development of the major elements that operate
as the organising elements in this particular curriculum. This is necessary to prevent
duplication on the one hand, and to avoid undue omission or big jumps in student
development on the other hand, which are too great for the student to attain.
In outlining the suggested learning experiences it is very necessary not only to
consider experiences that are inherently related to the organising principle of the unit but
also to care for the varying needs and the interests of the individuals likely to be in this
grade and also to provide for each individual learner variety enough to stimulate
continuing interest and attention to prevent boredom. In listing source materials it is
essential to recognise the varied kinds of materials that can be used, not only the verbal
but the non-verbal ones, not only those that can be used at home, on field trips, in
community activities and the like. It is also important to recognise of culminating
experiences, which help to tie together the varied experiences provided throughout the
unit. This facilitates integration and aids the student in organising his own understanding,
attitude and behaviour generally.
It is difficult to suggest the possible schemes that may serve to organise source units.
Some source units are organised around big ideas, but in the main, the more successful
ones have been organised around problems, particularly in the sciences and the social
studies. In the aesthetics field, teaching units have often been organised around
something to be done, or in some cases, a series of appreciation experiences, which are
neither problems nor big ideas. There is still opportunity for a great deal of creative work
in developing highly effective schemes for constructing source units in the various fields
of the school curriculum.
As the source unit represents the preplanning that has gone on, so a great deal of planning
must also be carried on while the units are actually being used. Each group of children
may represent differences in background, in particular interests, in needs, that will
involve considerable variation from one group to another. The value of having pupils
participate with teachers in planning the more particular things to be done by that class is
largely in giving the student greater understanding and meaning to his learning
experiences as well as increasing the likelihood of his being well motivated. During such
pupil-teacher planning, selections of activities will be made from among the many
suggestions appearing in the source unit and there may also be additions made where
children see possibilities in the unit, which were not foreseen by those who planned the
original source unit. As a result, the particular plan followed by each group will represent
some variation from the original source unit and will never include all the possible
materials suggested in the source unit itself.
39

It can be seen that planning the organisation of curriculum experiences


involves both a great deal of preplanning and also planning as the work goes on, but
it is only in this way that it is possible to get the greatest cumulative effect from the
various learning experiences used.
40

Chapter 6

The Curriculum in Operation and in Context

A curriculum, whether developed anew or remaining virtually unchanged over the years,
embodies educational intentions – knowledge to be introduced, skills to be learned and
attitudes and values to be acquired. For these intentions to be realised teaching and
learning have to take place – the intended curriculum resulting from curriculum
development has to be operationalised. The way in which teaching is done, the
psychological conditions under which learning takes place, together with the social and
institutional setting in which they are enacted, influence what curricular intentions are
achieved. Different teaching-learning ‘milieus’ affect the meaning acquired by pupils
from their curricular experience.

Time and its allocation

Of the many factors influencing the modifications, compromises and accommodations,


which accompany the translation of intended into operational curricula, time and its
allocation are of crucial importance. Time is a major influence on the shape of
operational curricula in all schools, whether it is an open primary school with an
integrated day or a tightly timetabled comprehensive school catering for both
examination and non-examination pupils. This is the least elastic factor with which the
41

operational curriculum has to make an accommodation: There is only so much of


it in the school day, week and year. How to use it for curricular purpose is a decision,
which in most schools involves the head, usually in consultation with the staff, and is one
which indicates the value placed on particular curricular activities. The valuation is not
always put into practical application; rather it roughly accords with the educational
purposes to be served. Decisions about time may be merely routine to carry out the
allocation of time that has been made previously. If so, such decisions conform to
previously accepted valuations about what is to be taught.
There are two basic ways in which curricular time may be allocated:
(a) in units of lessons or periods, some of which may be doubled or blocked as whole
mornings or afternoons, and
(b) wholistically, as in the ‘integrated day’ in the primary school, where time is spent
much more flexibly by individuals or small groups (and occasionally the whole class)
on learning within broad subject areas or from purposefully designed educational
activities and materials.
Whichever way curricular time is used, the amount of time spent on a subject or an
educational activity tends to represent a valuation of that subject or activity. The
relationship between time and value is not an exact one. Some subjects and activities
require more time than others do, not because they are necessarily considered more
valuable, but because their activities require more time in which to develop. Art, craft and
games are examples. English and mathematics, however, more time allocated them
because they are considered more valuable to educational development, and the valuation
placed on them is as strong in the infant school with its emphasis on number and
language work as in the secondary school.
But timetabled time has other effects. It may result in the fragmentation of pupils’
educational experience (eight different lessons in different parts of the school in addition
to a variety of breaks). The small unit of time used as the time-table currency of many
secondary schools not only results in the fragmentation of curricular experience but
because of the complexity involved in apportioning the units among subjects and teachers
it requires central control of time-tabling, leaving little or no flexibility in the use of time
by teachers or subject departments. It is necessary for more open time-tabling in the
secondary school based on larger blocks of time with teachers responsible for how it is to
be used, and with an encouragement to leave ‘slack’ or uncommitted time for activities
that cannot be foreseen in advance. In those primary schools where time is used flexibly
under an integrated day or open classroom regime, it sometimes happens that time is not
devoted to those subjects or activities thought to be marginal to the curriculum or over
which the teacher is uncertain. Religious education, science and drama are examples.
The point to stress is that there are costs and benefits to be charged to any way of
allocating time. Such costs and benefits affect the quality and range of curricular
experience that are provided. There may also be other consequences. Teaching children
to stop and start to a bell may be conditioning them to the workplace, the demands of
institutions beyond the school. Some would argue that the school is modelled on the
capitalist factory, and within the school the allocation of time is not the servant of the
curriculum but of the factory and the office. However, studies of the allocation of
curricular time and of its effects in operation have been too few to yield firmly based
generalisations about its overt and covert consequences.
42

Time and curricular intentions

As time in curriculum is afforded to subjects and activities, it not only confers


educational status on them, but also gives practical legitimacy to educational intentions.
When English appears on the secondary school time-table or when a teacher in an open
primary school fosters some language work with an individual or small group, this means
that English (or language work) is worth spending teaching time on because it will …….
and here each subject or activity has both its justification and its claims to have practical
effects. These are the educational objectives for which it is the vehicle: the skills,
knowledge, attitudes and values, which it seeks to realise. English, for example, makes
claim to develop several distinctive modes of communication and understanding. The
Bullock report speaks of expressive, poetic and transactional language as distinguishable
modes of communication that it is the purpose of English in schools to develop. Science
makes other claims: to be taught as a major human activity, which explores the realm of
human experience, maps it methodically but also imaginatively, and by disciplined
speculation, creates a coherent system of knowledge.
The claims of subjects vary with time and circumstance. As an illustration, history
was taught to working-class children in the nineteenth century by means of stories of
great men and women, its purpose being to foster two dispositions: love of country and
morality of service, both essential in a period of imperial power. Today, now that
imperial ambitions are frowned upon, history is taught with other ends in view, especially
understanding the how and why of human behaviour in the past and its relationship to
contemporary problems.
The claim that ‘classics’ provided a complete education could not be supported in a
world of increasing technological sophistication, and partly because their claim to
develop the intellect was critically assessed with the results that maths and science made
equal claims in this respect. Today, it is generally acknowledged that many subjects
because of their particular modes of picturing reality and of truth seeking can make a
contribution to the development of rationality.

Organisation of subject matter

Curricular objectives may be pursued in practice not only through the allocation of time
but also by the decision to treat subjects as discrete entities (Geography, history, physics
and so on) or as larger wholes (the humanities, the arts and sciences). In the latter case
subjects are integral to an area of study and what matters are usually the problems or the
concepts rather than the specific information, which is provided. In an integrated course
such as humanities, the behaviour of the teacher as ‘neutral chairman’ is as important as
the thematic organisation of the subject matter around topics such as war, law and order,
and relation between the sexes etc.
Another, distinguishable approach is one where disciplines are chosen not to be
studied in themselves but for the light, which they cast on a topic. It must be an inter-
disciplinary approach.
43

The terms ‘integration’ and ‘inter- disciplinary’ have been used loosely by a
variety of writers, and much effort has been expended in discriminating what is meant
by the terms. It is clear that dissatisfaction with the conventional curriculum has arisen
and so schools have explored alternative organising principles on which to base their
curricular policies. Calls for ‘balance’, ‘breadth’ and ‘relevance’ in the curriculum are
other such principles. However, only a minority of schools uses the integration of
subjects to any substantial extent. What are needed are studies of how schools come to
adopt and implement policies based on integration or inter-disciplinary work.

Curricular milieu

Educational objectives of schools are facilitated not only by the allocation of time and by
the general organisation of subject matter but also by the curricular milieu created i.e. by
the curricular ways of life to be followed in realising particular emphasis of schools.
These two factors – curricular emphasis and way of life – are two major dimensions of
the operational curriculum. But schools tend to emphasise either pupils as individuals or
as members of society. In the first case stress may be laid on intellectual autonomy,
personal development, the cultivation of self confidence, spontaneity and openness to
experience – what has been termed ‘self-actualisation’. In the second case schools
emphasise instructional and social skills and attitudes such as punctuality, respect for
property and a readiness to accept social conventions. These differing emphases are not
new. They have a long history in education best summed up in the concern for character
development versus the concern for fitness for society.

Each emphasis calls for a particular setting for its achievement, a specific milieu in
which it may be realised. The first setting is monastic, set apart from the world and
subject to a higher discipline – that of academic subjects or of the teacher as an authority.
The second is within the world, focussing on the technical and moral problems of society,
involved in its tensions, with the teacher as instructor in basic skills and friendly guide to
the ways of the world.
Few schools in practice simply exhibit one combination of curricular emphasis and
milieu. Most have to make some accommodation with the capabilities of their staff, with
the aspirations of parents and pupils and with the underlying structure of society, each of
which may lie in very different directions from those being pursued by the schools.
Nevertheless, at the level of curricular policy, schools through their heads and staff strive
to create a certain curricular ‘climate’ in which teaching take place. Of course,
expediency can sometimes be the governing criterion rather than any thought out,
justifiable curricular policy,

Schemes of work and syllabuses

Whether or not schools have carefully considered, explicit curricular policies, they do at
least have a notion of what ought to be going on when teaching is taking place. Such
notions are often, though not always, conveyed through syllabuses and schemes of work.
44

In primary schools the importance of schemes of work has varied over time.
Some years ago, they were considered restrictive of both pupils and teachers
activities. Recently, however, many schools have begun to develop such schemes, but the
latter are not always detailed, nor are they to be found in every primary school.
Sometimes schemes are directly related to curriculum projects adopted by schools or to
sets of textbooks or structural teaching materials used by particular classes. Sometimes
the place of detailed formulations is taken by discussion at staff meetings or by incidental
indicators of what should be taught gleaned from conversations among staff members.
There has been little or no research into how primary school teachers plan their curricula
or into how they use their much-prized professional autonomy, which has expanded to fill
the gap caused by its restrictive influence on the curriculum.
At the secondary level, syllabuses are not regarded highly by teachers. They
concentrate most on subject matter, content and teaching methods to be employed tend to
play an intermediate role. Secondary teachers’ main concern is to know what they have to
teach. The same factor is of high priority when planning a course of study.
Schemes of work and syllabuses along with curriculum aims and objectives form
part of a means-ends model of education. Syllabuses tell the teacher what content to
cover; objectives indicate what his coverage of content is to achieve. There are, however,
other views, which assert that what matters is the ‘quality’ of curricular experience
provided, not where it leads. This experience may lead in many directions for pupils
depending on personal disposition and opportunity. Many art educators hold such a view,
as do some advocates of primary education. For such educationists the purpose of the
curriculum is to provide pupils with an opportunity to engage in educational encounters –
in art to develop aesthetic ideas out of an encounter with materials; in the primary school
to explore materials in an enriched environment and out of this exploration to discover
ideas of language and number. For such a curriculum the availability of appropriate
media and suitable materials is essential and flexibility in its use is critical.

Teaching and the operational curriculum

Sound curricular policies, timetables that reflect them and schemes of work, which
support them, are all part of the operational curriculum. They provide the enabling
framework for the curricular life lived in classrooms, at the heart of which are teaching
and learning. The acts of teaching are many and various. They include keeping order,
organising pupils and materials, interesting pupils in what they have to learn, providing
activities through which to consolidate and exercise what has been learned, and assessing
how well it has been learned. The way in which a teacher puts these acts together,
articulates and paces them creates a curricular ‘culture’. How he conceives his role and
that of his pupils gives this culture a certain ambience or atmosphere. If, for example, the
teacher closely directs the work that pupils are to do, gives them no scope to bring to it
elements from their own background and determines how the work is to be done, then the
classroom culture will be heavily authoritarian. Curricular life for the pupil will be
teacher-directed, lived in the language of the teacher and the pace he sets.
In practice the curricular culture of science teaching is less clear-cut, though there is
a tendency for teachers to develop, and feel at home with, one style of teaching,
45

especially if they have not had opportunity or the motivation to practice alternative
styles.
Teachers as much as pupils need a variety of curricular experience and therefore their
learning are to show flexibility in use. What may be true of science teaching may not be
true of teaching history or of teaching seven-year-olds in the primary school. Other
dimensions may be more important in creating curricular cultures.
There are, however, other ways of describing the curricular culture of classrooms.
Barnes, for example, uses a communications model and distinguishes between
‘transmission’ teachers and ‘interpretation’ teachers. The former believes that knowledge
is contained in academic subjects, the content of which is verified against objective
standards or criteria. These teachers judge what their pupils do in accordance with these
criteria and use their job as one of correcting the pupils’ work so as to bring it more and
more into line with the standards of the subject. Pupils are regarded as novices, yet to be
taught how to think and understand. On the other hand, ‘interpretation’ teachers believe
that what matters are pupils’ abilities to organise thought and action so as to come to
understand what they are experiencing as science or history. Pupils, they believe, do not
start from ignorance but are knower, yet to appreciate what criteria may be applied to
give their understanding order and form. ‘Interpretation’ teachers see themselves, not as
authorities, but as mediators of the interaction necessary to pupils’ understanding of
experience.
It is advisable to use the concept of curriculum negotiation whereby teachers and
pupils (as well as teachers and other teachers) work out a mutually acceptable programme
and mode of teaching. The form, which curriculum negotiation may take, ranges from
confrontation at one extreme to consultation at the other. With confrontation pupils may
be forced to learn. With consultation they will have a clear say in what they learn and
how they will learn it. It is rare for either extreme to apply. Rather, norms and rules for
the negotiation of the curriculum are accepted by teachers and taught. Their nature and
this may vary with what is being taught, will characterise the curricular culture of
classrooms.
Yet another way of viewing the way in which curricular culture of classrooms comes
about is in asking how teachers function to define the everyday realities of life in
classrooms.
Much work remains to be done on how the curricular cultures of classrooms develop
and function; though quite clearly more than just the behaviour of teachers influences
them. There are the forms of pupil grouping employed, the persistent individuality of
pupils, the pressure of outside agencies, especially the examination boards, the multitude
of practical constraints and the clamour of public opinion and great debates. Certainly
curricular cultures are extremely complex, as is the evaluation of their processes and
outcomes. What is taught seems to be both much less than is intended and in some of its
effects much more than is foreseen.
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Chapter 7

Curriculum Evaluation

Evaluation may be defined as a broad and continuous effort to inquire into the effects of
utilising educational content and process to meet clearly defined goals. According to this
definition, evaluation goes beyond simple measurement and also beyond simple
application of the evaluator’s values and beliefs.
Teachers, administrators, and other school personnel commonly think of evaluation
in three terms:
(1) the evaluation of pupil progress by teachers in classrooms;
(2) the evaluation of schools and school systems by outside agencies;
(3) and the evaluation by the state departments of education and by the board of
examination.

Basic notions regarding evaluation

The process of evaluation is essentially the process of determining to what extent the
educational objectives are actually being realised by the programme of curriculum and
instruction. However, since educational objectives are essentially changes in human
beings, that is, the objectives aimed at are to produce certain desirable changes in the
behaviour patterns of the student, and then evaluation is the process for determining the
degree to which these changes in behaviour are actually taking place.
47

This conception of evaluation has two important aspects. In the first place, it
implies that evaluation must apprise the behaviour of students since it is change in
these behaviours, which is sought in education. In the second place, it implies that
evaluation must involve more than a single appraisal at any one time since to see whether
change has taken place, it is necessary to make an appraisal at an early point and other
appraisals at later points to identify changes that may be occurring.
Since evaluation involves getting evidence about behaviour changes in the students,
any valid evidence about behaviours that are desired as educational objectives provides
an appropriate method of evaluation. This is important to recognise because many people
think of evaluation as synonymous with the giving of paper and pencil tests.
‘Judgement’ is the key term in discussion of curriculum evaluation. Judgements have
to be made about what to evaluate, how and with what end in view. But before going into
what, how and why of evaluation one thing should to be made clear. If the process of
curriculum evaluation is to be understood, it is necessary to appreciate the close
relationship between what is being evaluated and the form that the judgement takes.
A simple example will illustrate the point. Evaluating the skill of a marksman in a
tournament requires that he is judged as to how well he can hit a target, at what distance
and with what accuracy. Evaluating the quality of a work of art calls for judgement of a
quite different kind. Failure to recognise that a different kind of judgement is required in
each circumstance would, to say the least, lead to difficulties. Unfortunately, the field of
curriculum evaluation has been free from just such difficulties. This is because of the
differing forms in which curriculum evaluation has been cast – because of the differing
models or metaphors, which have characterised it.

Evaluating a curriculum project

A curriculum project is a part of a whole curriculum programme. The process often used
in evaluating a curriculum project can best be expressed in a series of steps:
(1) The first major step is to define the goals of the project. This step usually has two
components – making a workable statement of the goals of the project and identifying
quantitative measures to be used in evaluating performance relative to the goals.
Great care is needed in stating the project goals. It is found that the goals as first
stated by programme and project planners often bear only a slight resemblance to
what the programme or project in fact does.
(2) The second step in the process is to collect the data necessary for determining the
project’s effectiveness. The data may include findings about pupil characteristics;
about the nature of the project and the processes used in it – its duration and the
varied treatments it provides groups of pupils.
(3) The third and final step is to determine the cost effectiveness of the project. Here,
levels of progress toward achieving the project’s goals are noted against amounts of
resources used in reaching these levels. If pouring in additional resources produces no
better results, the maximum extent of desirable resource input has been reached.
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Sample evaluation models

An evaluation model is a widely applicable format in which the major elements in a


programme or project evaluation are expressed in such a way as to make their functions
and interrelationships clear. The following are samples of evaluation models.

The Scientific model


First define educational objectives and secondly give them an operational (preferably
behavioural) definition. These have been crucial tenets of scientific curriculum
evaluation. On them have been based blueprints for the construction of measuring
instruments, the application of which has enables curriculum evaluation to take place.
The extent to which the objectives have been achieved has been accepted as a measure of
the effectiveness of the curriculum. The process ascertaining this measure of
effectiveness has been termed the process of curriculum evaluation.
The scientific approach to curriculum evaluation could not be applied in its simplest
form and lead instead to a greater deal of further work aimed either at elaborating and
clarifying details of the scientific approach or at specifying more closely and carefully
where and why it could be applied. There have been few direct applications of the
scientific model of curriculum evaluation. These have been mainly in science and
mathematics.

The decision-making model


An influential development of the scientific approach to curriculum evaluation was to
extend it into a decision-making model. In this model, at the centre of the evaluation
process is the decision-maker whose concern is to improve the curriculum. The process
of evaluation is to supply the decision-maker with relevant empirical information about
the curriculum in operation, and about its intended ends, i.e. what is to be achieved.
These worthwhile ends or objectives are derived from the values implicit in the
educational aims that the curriculum is to serve: a clarification of the value position to be
adopted is thus seen as much a part of the evaluation process as that of collecting data. A
further stage in the evaluation process is the development of an array of alternative ways
(options) of achieving desired outcomes form among which the curriculum decision-
maker may choose the one, which seems the best to fit the circumstances, which he faces.
The choice made is assumed to lead to the desired improvement.
Others have produced variants of the decision-making model. Johnson, for example,
using a logical tree approach, has laid out the process of evaluation as one of ‘YES: NO’
decision points starting from ‘Were intended outcomes achieved?’ and working back to
‘Was curriculum selection valid?’

Stake’s model
The basis of Stake’s model lay in the two dimensions of intents and observations and the
three bodies of data – antecedents, transactions and outcomes. Evaluation required that
data should be gathered on:
i) the antecedent intents i.e. what the curriculum developers had in mind in
developing
49

ii) the intended transactions i.e. what events were intended to take place when a
curriculum was transacted
iii) the intended outcomes i.e. what was to result from the intended curriculum – the
skills and attitudes it was intended to develop
iv) the observed antecedents i.e. what classroom events were taking place before the
new curriculum was implemented, especially the conditions of the teacher-pupil
transactions
v) the observed transactions i.e. the actual activities engaged in when transacting the
curriculum
vi) the observed outcomes i.e. the results actually achieved through the transacted
curriculum
Stake’s argued that arising from the application of this model, data would have to be
produced not only by educational measurement specialists but also by social and political
scientists and historians who routinely study opinions, preferences, and values. But for
him data gathering was not the end of evaluation; having clinically conducted his
evaluation, the evaluator could not then wash his hands of it and leave others to judge its
meaning and value. The evaluator’s responsibility involved saying whether or not the
+curriculum was marching expectations (or intents).
Stake’s contribution was to widen the evaluation perspective by drawing
attention to the importance of both intentions and observations in the enterprise and by
re-emphasising judgement as the goal of evaluation. Even so, his approach was still
heavily measurement-oriented, and theoretical. Although these categories are useful in a
general sense, they are not close enough to curricular phenomena to be immediately
helpful; they do not direct an evaluator precisely enough to the phenomena he is
supposed to look at.

The new evaluation


This approach was concerned more with the qualitative aspects of teacher-child-
curriculum encounters than with quantitative estimations of how far curricular goals had
been achieved. The focus of attention was to be the diversity and complexity of the
learning milieu – nothing less than the culture in which curricula were embedded. The
stance of the evaluator was to be that of the anthropologist, concerned with description
and interpretation rather than with measurement and prediction.
This new approach to evaluation has been called ‘hermeneutic’ – concerned with
understanding rather than with explanation. It aims to provide descriptions of learning
processes and outcomes not in relation to pre-specified criteria of success but in relation
to how participants judge the educational worthwhile ness of curricular experiences.
In providing their description the new evaluators take a structuralist rather than
empiricist stance, taking the view that ideas and meaning matter more than events and
facts. They seek to discover what meanings those engaged in the operational curriculum
give to their curricular encounters and to search for an appropriate mode of reporting
these meanings truthfully. What they appear to be seeking is value-free evaluation
The models of the new education thus draw on art as well as on anthropology for
their informing metaphors. They reject the language and methods of the pure sciences
and the technology of measurement, and because they have not fully developed their
approach, nor have they published much by way of example. A more balanced view
50

would be to appreciate just what strengths and weaknesses different models of


evaluation possess, where they may be best applied, and how very limited remains our
capacity to evaluate the curriculum in all its diversity and complexity, especially at the
level of education system.

The eight year study


The purpose of the study was to determine whether the secondary school curriculum
could be freed from domination by the colleges. The study attracted attention because it
was ambitious and extensive and because the curricula of high schools were criticised for
being so monolithic. Within the thirty high schools included in the study, questionnaires,
tests, inventories, scales, logs and checklists were administered. These and other
instruments were designed and used as part of a seven-step format suggested chiefly by
Ralph Tyler, who directed the research:
1. Establishment of goals or objectives
2. Classification of the objectives
3. Definition of the objectives in behavioural terms
4. Identification of the situations in which achievement of the objectives could be shown
5. Selection or creation of measurement procedures
6. Collection of data about pupil performance
7. Comparison of findings with the stated objectives.
The seventh step in this format could lead to revision of the objectives, thus making the
evaluation process a live, cyclical one.

The Provus evaluation model


Provus identified five stages of evaluation.
Stage I has its task obtaining a definition of the programme based on the programme
content taxonomy. The steps within it are represented by certain questions: Is the
programme defined? If not, is a corrective action adequately defined? Is the corrective
action installed? If not, is a corrective action defined for securing installation? Is the
corrective action so defined now installed? The theme of stage I is, then, definition of the
programme.
The theme of stage II is the installation of the programme. Concerning
implementation of this scheme, the same questions that formed the steps in Stage I may
be asked. Stage III has as its theme process. Here the key question is “Are the enabling
objectives being met?” The theme of Stage IV is product or outcomes, with the key
question being “Are the terminal products achieved?” Finally Stage V consists of cost-
benefit analysis.
Practitioners have further clarified Provus’s five steps or stages as relating
respectively to (1) the quality of the curriculum design; (2) the faithfulness or care with
which the designed programme is installed; (3) the processes used in installing and
implementing the programme; (4) the products or results of the programme; and (5) the
cost of the programmes considered against the benefits derived.
The Provus plan has been called a discrepancy model because it compares
performance with standards to determine whether a discrepancy exists between the two.
This model, complicated and system-oriented as it looks at first, has the advantage of
appealing to practising school administrators who wish together hard evidence.
51

The EPIC model


Another good model is EPIC or Evaluative Programmes for Innovative Curriculum. The
model is pictured as a cube, one panel of which is behaviour, which is subdivided into the
cognitive, the affective and the psychomotor. A second panel is instruction, which has
within it organisation, content, method, facilities and cost. A third panel is institution,
which has the following parts: student, teacher, administrator, educational specialist,
family and community. The users of EPIC reckon with five categories of variables:
Category I – prediction sources, calling for examination of types of instruction;
Category II – descriptive variables, including instructional techniques and institutional
constraints;
Category III – objectives;
Category IV – behaviour, instruction and institution, as specified in the cube; and
Category V – criteria of effectiveness, requiring analysis of all data collected.

Evaluation of programmes and projects is a decidedly complicated operation. It


would be convenient if evaluators in school systems could use one or more standard
models and rest assured that these would fir their situations. Unfortunately, each available
model was originally devised to meet the demands of a particular situation. Therefore,
models prove useful mainly in offering suggestions as to how evaluators might solve
their own problems of design and implementation.
All of the above mentioned models follow presumably logical steps that are to be
taken in sequence. Some of them borrow steps from the procedure called systems
analysis, which follows an eight-step pattern. The steps are stating need, defining
objectives, indicating major constraints, developing a number of alternative systems,
selecting the best alternative or alternatives, putting a chosen alternative into operation,
evaluating the resultant system, and receiving feedback to create modifications.
Evaluation models can prove useful in making clear distinctions among the intended
curriculum, the implemented curriculum and the attained curriculum – that is, distinction
among “what we thought we wanted to do,” “what we tried to do,” and “what our pupils
actually learned.”

Making an evaluation design

An evaluation design is a specific plan for attaining a set of objectives by following a


series of implementation steps. Making a suitable design is not easy. There is no ideal
design. The validity of the data collected under the terms of almost ant design is subject
to question. Some of the widely used designs are the following.

The true experimental design


The pupils involved in the experiment and the pupils in a control group are randomised
(randomly divided), and the teachers are selected for their similarities according to
established criteria. Randomisation is meant to decrease error, but it is notably difficult to
achieve. After randomisation, the experimental pupils are given the special curriculum
treatment prescribed in the terms of the project, while the control group receives no
52

special treatment, continuing with the customary subject matter content and
educational practices. Then, evaluation of specific learning outcomes and other
outcomes is conducted for both experimental and control groups by using the same
evaluation strategies and instruments for both groups. Whenever the true experimental
method can be utilised, it should be selected because of its relative freedom from error
and because of the confidence that evaluators usually place in it.

The non-equivalent design


This design uses a control group that is not equivalent to the experimental group – that is,
no randomisation is undertaken. Collect both pre-test and post-test data, by using multiple
curriculum treatments with experimental groups in contrast to the treatment received by
the control group, and by making across-the-board comparisons of outcomes for groups
of pupils rather than for individual pupils. Thus, more than one experimental group is
formed; pre-tests are given to all the experimental groups and to the control group;
differing curriculum treatments are given to the experimental groups and, of course, to
the control group; and all groups (experimental and control) receive the post-test. This
design is often selected when parents might object to dramatic and obvious
experimentation with their children and when evaluators foresee difficulty in assigning
teachers, some of whom might affect outcomes negatively.

The time-series design


In this design no randomisation is attempted and no control group is established. If time-
series project is expected to cover two years of schooling, the pupils involved in the
project are tested, inventoried and observed during the first half of the first year, as the
project gets under way, are given a special curriculum treatment throughout the two year
period. They are tested, inventoried and observed every six monthly. This design has the
advantage of providing some basic data quickly, of permitting comparisons to be made
within the population, and of allowing the evaluators to plot progress over a reasonable
period of time (if needed the period may be extended for more than two years).

Naturalistic designs
Here, data are gathered by means of four major strategies. The first strategy is
observation by skilled observers to answer the question “What is happening here?” The
second is description, which should be an actual portrayal of the situation that has been
observed. The third strategy is interpretation, which is accomplished by discovering
meaning relative to theoretical, historical, socio-economic, or other standards. The fourth
strategy is judgement of the worth and importance of what has been done, in answer to
questions like “Was it worth doing?” and “How well was it done?”
This type of activity is sometimes referred to as naturalistic evaluation. It capitalises
on human abilities. In answering questions about what is true and what is valuable,
naturalistic evaluation encourages the participation of people in making intelligent
judgements. The more the participants practice evaluation strategies with understanding
and care, the greater the quality or validity of the results.
Although naturalistic evaluation has strengths, it also has weaknesses. The strength is
the presence of informed and skilled viewers, who can act as translators and interpreters
and can thus help other viewers make wise judgements. The weaknesses are: there is no
53

assurance that what one critic sees will be even similar to what another critic sees;
standards of criticism in themselves necessarily vary; and what can be seen may
easily be less than what can be tested.

Some guidelines
School personnel should
• know what is, and what is not, being evaluated;
• know what kinds of continuing information are available from the project centre
regarding evaluation procedures and data;
• know what materials, procedures and suggestions are recommended and are available
for evaluating according to the objectives of the project;
• use appropriate techniques and devices and employ properly trained observers in
assessment programmes;
• conduct assessment on continuing bases.
• Assessment must be sufficiently precise and comprehensive to yield the data
necessary for competent judgements.
Keep the following questions in mind:
• Do we have initial data on learners – their achievement, their motivation, and
their personalities?
• Do we have initial data on teachers – their strategies, their motivation, their
knowledge, and their personalities?
• Do we have these data at many stages during the implementation of the project?
• What happens to learners as people and to learners as learners as a result of the
project?
• What happens to teachers as people and to teachers as teachers?
• Are the changes which we expected occurring? Why or why not?
• Do changes justify the time and funds expended?
The guidelines are worded to express the expectation that worthwhile evaluation in an
ongoing procedure throughout the life of a project and not merely an end-of-the-line
operation.

Some principles about decisions on curriculum


• Curriculum decisions should be made for valid educational reasons, not for
specious or non-educational ones.
• Curriculum decisions of a permanent nature should be made on the basis of the
best available evidence.
• Curriculum decisions should be made in a context of broadly conceived aims of
education.
• Curriculum decisions should be made within a context of previously made
decisions and of needs for additional decision making so that balance and other
important curriculum considerations may be safeguarded.
• Curriculum decisions should be made by achieving a resolution of forces
originating in the nature and development of learners, the nature of learning
processes, demands of the society at large, requirements of the local community, and
the nature and structure of subject matter to be learned.
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• Curriculum decisions should be reached co-operatively by persons who are


legitimately involved in the effects of the decisions, with full participation being
accorded those persons who are most concerned with the effects.
• Curriculum decisions should take into account new facts of human life such as
the proliferation of knowledge and a need for a new sense of unity within our
diversity.
• Curriculum decisions should take into account the many differences among
learners, especially with reference to their potential for development, their styles of
thinking, their ability to withstand pressures, and their need for education in values.
• Curriculum decisions should be made with a realistic view of certain
organisational or engineering matters that can affect the quality of the decisions
themselves: correlation versus separation of subjects, the distinction between the
curriculum content and pupils’ experiences, and the uses of time.
• Curriculum decisions should be made with some forethought about ways in
which they may be communicated and shared.
• Curriculum decisions should be made only with reference to subject matter and
pupil experiences that cannot be offered as satisfactory outside the school.

The control of evaluation


So crucial to the process of schooling is the curriculum that all those who have an interest
in it have also a concern for curriculum evaluation. Systems of education are controlled
by bureaucracies whose function is to administer them. Their function is allocative – to
make available to schools resources in accountable ways. Their concern is with the
efficient provision of a service, a basic part of which is to ensure that certain standards of
education are achieved. To the administrator curricular evaluation is a means through
which he can monitor the system for which he is held responsible and so keep his policy-
making informed.
But system of education also serve clients – parents and pupils – who are concerned
that young people develop valued skills, abilities and attitudes, which will serve them in
many roles, which they will be called to perform. For them curriculum evaluation is a
means for assessing whether what schools teach is likely to provide capabilities, which
they value. Their concerns would appear to be primarily with instrumental capabilities
and also with moral and social development. What is taught in schools is estimated by
parents and young people in terms of values, with utility being a major criterion.
Those responsible for making the curriculum a practical reality have their
perspective. Teachers and head-teachers evaluate curriculum not only in terms of needs
of the school and classroom in which the curriculum is to be transacted, but also in terms
of defensible educational criteria, e.g. validity, significance, learn-ability.
Others concerned with schools and what is taught in them have different
perspectives. Inspectors, educationists and educational researchers are concerned with
specialised professional attributes of what is taught to which they bring their own brand
of expert critical appraisal.
Finally, there is the wider society concerned with the distribution and accessibility of
education to its citizenry. Society has a view through its political agencies of how
education should be distributed. This view or political ideology will tend to determine the
structure of the educational system and thus the shape of intended curricula. For
55

governments and politicians curriculum evaluation serves to reflect the progress


that is being made towards a desired distribution of education.
Evaluation to monitor standards, to value, to test practicalities and estimate
professional validity, to inspect and to analyse, and to check progress may all be used as
means of control.

Using the results of evaluation

Since every educational programme involves several objectives and since for almost
every objective there will be several scores or descriptive terms used to summarise the
behaviour of students in relation to this objective, it follows that the results obtained from
evaluation instruments will not be a single score or a single descriptive turn but an
analysed profile or a comprehensive set of descriptive terms indicating the present
student achievement. These scores or descriptive terms should, of course, comparable to
those used at a preceding date so that it is possible to indicate change-taking place and
one can then see whether or not educational progress is actually happening.
It is, therefore, essential to compare the results obtained from the several evaluations
instruments before and after given periods in order to estimate the amount of change
taking place. The fact that these are complex comparisons, that they involve a number of
points and not a single score, may complicate the process, but it is necessary for the kind
of identification of strengths and weaknesses that will help to indicate where the
curriculum may need improvement.
It is not only desirable to analyse the results of an evaluation to indicate the various
strengths and weaknesses, but it is also necessary to examine these data to suggest
possible explanations or hypotheses about the reason for this particular pattern of
strengths and weaknesses.
When hypotheses have been suggested that might possibly explain the evaluation
data, the next step is to check those hypotheses against the present available data, that is,
against additional data that may be available, and to see whether the hypotheses are
consistent with all the data then available. If they appear to be consistent with the
available data, the next step is to modify the curriculum in the direction implied by the
hypotheses and then to teach the material to see whether there is any actual improvement
in student achievement when these modifications are made. If there were, then it would
suggest that the hypotheses are likely explanations and the basis for improving the
curriculum has been identified.
What is implied is that curriculum planning is a continuous process and that as
materials and procedures are developed, they are tried out, their results appraised, their
inadequacies identified, suggested improvements indicated, there is re-planning,
redevelopment and then reappraisal. In this kind of continuing cycle, it is possible for the
curriculum and instructional programme to be continuously improved over the years. In
this way we may hope to have an increasingly more effective educational programme
rather than depending so much upon hit and miss judgement as a basis for curriculum
development.
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Other values and uses of evaluation procedures


• One of the uses of evaluation procedures is identifying the strengths and
weaknesses of the curriculum programme.
• It is a powerful device for clarifying educational objectives.
• It has a powerful influence upon learning.
• Evaluation procedures also have great importance in the individual guidance of
pupils. It is not only valuable to know about students’ background but also to know about
their achievement of various kinds of objectives in order to have a better notion of both
their needs and their capabilities.
• Evaluation can also be used continuously during the year as a basis for identifying
particular points needing further attention with particular groups of students and a basis
for giving individual help or planning individual programmes for students I the light of
their particular progress in the educational programme.
• Evaluation becomes one of the important ways of providing information about the
success of the school to the school’s clientele.
Ultimately, schools need to be appraised in terms of their effectiveness in attaining
important objectives. This means that ultimately evaluation results need to be translated
in terms that will be understandable to parents and public generally. Only as we can
describe more accurately the results we are attaining from the curriculum are we in a
position to get the most intelligent support for the educational programme of the school.
Increasingly, we must expect to use the curriculum procedures to determine what
changes are actually taking place in students and where we are achieving our curriculum
objectives and where we must make still further modifications in order to get an effective
educational programme.
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Chapter 8

Improving the Curriculum

Changes for curriculum improvements are produced at several levels of operation.


Improvements can be accomplished by substitution, alteration, variation, restructuring, or
value orientation change. To improve a reading programme, teachers might simply
substitute a new series of readers for the current series because the newly adopted series
had superior features. They might alter the curriculum by adding thirty additional minutes
each day to improve the results. They might try variation by importing a reading
programme from other successful school system. They might restructure the reading
programme by organising teams of reading specialists, classroom teachers and other aides
for better instructional impact. They might, even, attempt value orientation change,
asking classroom teachers to turn routine reading instruction over to computer-assisted
instruction. Although, the five levels may appear to be separate and distinctive, more than
one of them may be used at any time to promote a curriculum improvement.

Factors affecting curriculum improvement

The following four factors seem to be effective for curriculum improvement:

Establish suitable climate and working conditions


Climate and working conditions result from many little actions and influences such
as (a) the general attitudes of participating personnel, (b) the quantity and the quality
of the personnel, (c) the presence of peer tutors and helpers, (d) the physical
resources and materials with the staff members, and (e) the absence of undue and
detrimental pressure and influence.
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(a) Attitudes of participants


Some of the following attitudes of participating personnel may be helpful in planning
curriculum improvement.
(i) Acceptance of people’s right to feel and express legitimate dissatisfaction with
curriculum
Those who strive to progress in their work feel some dissatisfaction with what
they are presently doing. Legitimate feelings of dissatisfaction lead not to arbitrary
complaining but to affirmative steps that eventually result in satisfaction. Curriculum
workers should seek to learn the exact causes of dissatisfaction felt by their peers
and subordinates and should encourage co-workers who feel dissatisfaction to
channel it constructively into new activity.
(ii) Acceptance of the contributions of many kinds of people to improving the
curriculum
All who are qualified to belong to a faculty group may be expected to have
unique contributions to make as individuals. They should also be able to make
certain contributions in concert with other members of the group. Curriculum
workers should provide ample opportunity for people to express themselves and to
offer their own talents in performing commonly approved tasks.
(iii) Willingness to permit other persons to work on problems they themselves
identify as worthy of attention
The principal who is concerned with his or her own problems is often certain
that the teachers wish to help solve them. The teachers have their own problems and
may soon become impatient or even hostile if they are forced to help solve the
principal’s imposed or imported problems. Curriculum workers should help teachers
clarify and solve the problems that the teachers themselves perceive as being well
worth solving. The same teachers are then likely to greet with favour occasional
opportunities to help solve problems for which they feel no direct personal concern.
(iv) Open-mindedness about new educational decisions and practices
School personnel are acting presumptuously when they cling to ideas merely
because they are supported by tradition. To some persons, open-mindedness means
having no experimental attitude, a willingness to use the ‘method of intelligence’ –
commonly called the problem-solving method – in dealing with educational
problems. To others, it implies merely an attitude of ‘wait and see’ while other staff
members try new practices. Whatever the degree of an individual’s personal
involvement in a project, open-mindedness is necessary to the project’s success and
to prospects for future experimentation.
(v) Willingness to work with others to achieve common ends through commonly
agreed upon means
This attitude affects all members of every working group – leaders and
followers. However significant the contribution of the talented person working alone
may be, well co-ordinated groups usually prove wiser in plotting the means and ends
of projects. Curriculum workers should become well acquainted with procedures that
facilitate the group work and should become competent in leading groups of
differing sizes and kinds.
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Studies of attitude change in teachers reveal that humanely conducted


staff evaluations can serve as a starting point. Also, arranging helpful contacts with
other persons – fellow teachers, counsellors, consultants and community members –
can offer new perspectives.

(b) Quantity and quality of personnel


A stimulating, friendly climate and helpful working conditions are aided by the
presence of able personnel in sufficient numbers to accomplish worthwhile tasks.
Surveys of the staffing of the schools and school systems usually reveal that more
work is being accomplished by limited numbers of persons than even the most
conservative of personnel analysts expect. Often these persons are discharging
responsibilities that should not be theirs or are discharging their responsibilities in
ineffective ways.
In spite of the fact that present-day schools are frequently understaffed in the
fields of supervision and curriculum services, the quality of assistance that class
teachers are receiving could be improved in at least three respects:
• The very best available persons should be utilised to discharge each major
responsibility. Some times the teachers are made part time specialists in the fields in
which they may have received only limited preparation.
• The role of the school in the total community should be examined at intervals.
This determines whether all the functions of the school have adopted truly belong to
an educational institution.
• Special teachers should be assigned in different, more helpful ways. Varied and
sometimes questionable uses are being made of special teachers in subjects such as
physical education. Specialists should ask themselves a key question: “How can we
provide the greatest long-term help to classroom teachers in helping them to become
competent identifiers and eradicators of common subject difficulties?”

Two additional sources of personnel to improve teaching and learning are (1) the
staff of universities, state departments of education, board education offices, and school
systems other than one’s own and (2) well-informed lay persons who give advice strictly
within their own specialities. These two sources provide part-time consultants who may
be called upon for a few hours or days of assistance at almost any time.
Many school systems maintain resource files of community citizens who volunteer
their help in instructional fields ranging from the physical sciences and the arts to
citizenship education. The classroom teachers are usually the best judges of which lay
persons are most effective in reaching pupils with the content they have to teach.
Of course, no substitutes have been found for competent classroom teachers who
work patiently and insightfully with children day after day. The quality of the schools
depends chiefly on the quality of the classroom teachers who teach in them.
The morale of able teachers can be improved by reducing the load of clerical and
custodial duties that now burden many of them. Obviously professional employment
carries with it responsibility for certain routine operations, but studies of the duties of the
classroom teachers often reveal numerous and sometimes unnecessary clerical and
custodial loads. An enlightened school administration seeks to free competent persons for
activity at their highest level of performance. School officials will need to be more
60

certain than they are at present that teachers are using their time to maximum
advantage.

(c) Peers tutors and helpers


It is possible to increase the personnel resources of a school geometrically by
preparing a cadre of pupil tutors and helpers who teach their peers and learn by
teaching. Such a programme tap the strengths of youngsters, many of them may
otherwise have become bored and obstructive. Young people can often surpass
teachers in communicating with other young people. For this reason some schools
involve all the pupils they can in teaching and helping. Certainly the adoption of peer
teaching can lead to restructuring of teacher responsibilities and of the uses of
building space and time.
Peer teaching and helping should not end with pupils. The idea of collaboration
includes interaction among adults for teaching and learning within schools and school
systems. The days of the reclusive teacher should be long gone. We cannot admire
teachers who erase their chalkboards quickly lest other teachers or supervisors borrow
and disseminate their ideas. If knowledge is the wealth of school systems, it should be
shared at least within the systems.

(d) Availability of physical resources and materials


Studies of working conditions in schools have revealed that teachers feel satisfaction
in having varieties of usable instructional materials at hand and in understanding how
to use them. When materials and equipment accord with the requirements of the
instructional programme, and when the persons who use materials and equipment
have a major part in choosing them, the usefulness of these resources is usually
ensured.
The school that seeks to improve the curriculum for its pupils, searches continuously
for materials and equipment that will best take into account the range of individual
differences the school encounters. The principal of a school of this sort tries to make
physical resources quickly available to teachers by arranging for purchase of
materials as they are needed and by moving them to points of use as speedily as
possible. One of the major complaints of classroom teachers is that administrators fail
to move materials to a reasonable schedule. An additional hazard of school
administration is the tendency of principals to become overzealous about amplifying
systems and electronic machinery generally and thus to spend precious funds in
purchasing equipment that teachers would gladly trade for materials of more direct
use to them.
(e) Absence of undue pressure and influence
Studies of teacher morale clearly show that the effectiveness of a school can be
ruined by the conniving and betrayal of irresponsible politicians. Promises that are
made and not kept are one of the major sources of trouble. The government controlled
schools in the hands of municipal and state government officials experience more
political interference with schools and teachers. The unfortunate effects of undue
influence and pressure should be reduced and avoided at almost any cost.
Research and experience show that if curriculum changes are really to go into
effect, varied actions must be taken to support teachers, personnel must be designated
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to do the supporting, and ample time must be allowed for the effectuating
process to be completed.

Achieve and maintain appropriate tempo


A second major action that facilitates curriculum improvement is achieving and
maintaining appropriate tempo. Curriculum workers are soon compelled to learn that the
timing of curriculum improvement activities is vital. Their fundamental problem is one of
maintaining balance between gradualism and rapidity. Many school systems work so
gradually at improvement that they scarcely make any effort to improve at all.
The opposite of extreme gradualism is excessive and ill-founded speed. Many a
noble experiment has come to grief because its supporters have moved ahead of the rank
and file of classroom teachers. Careful watching of the forces that promote or impede
improvement provides the only real guide to appropriate speed. Good timing results from
responding cautiously to questions like these:
• Are we ready for this change?
• How fast can we comfortably move?
• How does the speed at which we are effecting this change relate to the speeds at
which we are making other changes?
• If we are not ready for a significant, timely change, how can we develop readiness for
it?
• Are there any ideas and actions that could be helped in sparking change?
Tempo of change or improvement relates directly to the thoughtfulness with which
improvement is sought. For instance, a group of teachers may write a course-guide during
six weeks of occasional meetings with little effect on the practices of other teachers who
are later introduced to the guide. Instead an in-service project requiring three years may
be directed to the same ends and the improvement resulting from it may be profound and
long lasting. The distinction between the two activities is not only in time expended but
also in careful, early considerations of the kinds of activities that might make a genuinely
lasting difference. One of the major functions of leadership is to emphasise the
importance of certain projects in relationship to other projects. Those that are really
important to teachers’ growth usually deserve the most time for completion and the most
pre-planning of the procedures by which they will be affected. Further more the time of
their initiation must depend chiefly on how soon they have to be accomplished and on the
number and nature of other tasks that must be performed.

Specific problems of tempo


Practitioners of curriculum planning often encounter problems that affect the tempo
of their work. One of these is taking on too much because they fail to recognise the
varying sizes of the different tasks. Curriculum planners need to estimate the amount of
time particular tasks deserve. If the tasks are large, one, two, or three of them may be all
that a school can undertake within a year. Usually some tasks look small and others look
large. Of course, both big and small tasks are being under taken in most school systems at
the same time. It is important to keep the total number and total size of tasks small
enough that curriculum study can be thorough rather than superficial.
A second problem of tempo relates to the manageability of projects. Some projects are so
large or complicated that they simply cannot be dealt with by the personnel of a single
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school system. Significant experimentation with the uses of computers, for example,
usually requires large-scale financing and the co-operation of several school systems.
Unwise selection of projects that are too large or too involved not only leads to
frustration among personnel, but also wastes their valuable time.
A related difficulty is selecting projects that make no real difference in instructional
improvement. Many tasks being performed today are unevaluated, so little is known
about their relative or intrinsic worth. One may make expensive arrangements of
personnel and materials, demonstrate the materials, and advertise them widely, and still
not know whether the changes make a difference to learning. Time spent on unevaluated
demonstrations may easily be tome stolen from other, more demonstrably useful projects.
Finally, tempo is affected by injudicious rescheduling of tasks that have been
performed on one or more occasions previously. Teachers become frustrated when
curriculum leaders seem to “ride” their own hobbies, calling for restudies of given
educational problems at too-frequent intervals. Careful pacing of tasks is a special need in
those school systems in which curriculum study has been under way for many years.
The rule may be summarised as follows:
Not too fast, not too slow, not too carelessly planned, not too big, not too insignificant,
not too recently considered.
This is obviously a rule easier to state than to live by, but it is extremely relevant to the
process of improvement.

Select among a variety of activities

A third major action that assists the process of curriculum improvement is to select
among a variety of activities directed toward improvement. The provision of varied
activities has been referred to as a shotgun approach. When a shotgun is fired, no one
knows exactly what will be hit by the pallets. Similarly, curriculum improvers who use
varied activities are sometimes unsure who will be attracted to and will be most affected
by each of several activities. The best that we can do is to narrow many possibilities to a
few according to ascribed purposes and the exercise of good judgement.
Curriculum improvement can be equated in many respects with supervision, in-
service education, or staff development. Accordingly, the activities used in these three
connecting avenues to school quality are fundamentally the same. They exist in some
profusion under these headings: group activities, contact with individuals, and use of
literary and mechanical media. Some of the activities are under their appropriate
headings:

GROUP ACTIVITIES CONTACT WITH LITERARY AND


INDIVIDUALS MECHANICAL MEDIA
Committees Interviewing and Written bulletins
Study groups counselling individuals, Research reports
Workshops Observation of individual Policy statements
Conferences teachers in classroom and Course guides
Work conferences elsewhere, Computer printouts
Clinics Assistance to the teacher in Bulletin boards
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Institutes classroom, Tape recordings of meetings


Courses Demonstration teaching by and decisions,
Seminars individual teachers or Educational television
supervisors,
In-service advisement of
individual teachers,
Directing reading.

Curriculum workers appear to spend most of their time in activities of a group-work


nature. They spend the second most amount of time interacting with individuals. In the
future they will probably give more attention to the third category – literary and
mechanical media – as the application of technology increases the possible uses of
mechanical media. Many curriculum leaders hold that, of all the separate activities,
workshops and conferences with individuals achieve most satisfactory results.
Build evaluation procedures into each project

A fourth major action to help the process of curriculum improvement is building into
each project, from its very inception, procedures for evaluating the effects of the project.
This action is taken so infrequently that the quality of both old and new educational
practices usually goes un-assessed. After a while, the accumulation of unevaluated
practices becomes so large that no one can defend with assurance the ways in which
schools are operated.
If the chief end of curriculum improvement is improvement of pupils’ engagements
in learning under auspices of the school, the significance of every important step toward
this end is evident. The evaluation may, because of the pressure of time and work, be
done quite informally, but it should be done nevertheless. The presence of evaluation data
lends assurance to practitioners, and it supplies evidence to the people who pay school
costs and want to know whether money is being well spent.
Evaluation is meant to gauge the extent to which objectives of a project or activity
have been achieved. A desirable relationship between evaluation and objectives appears
in Figure 8.1. The diagram suggests that as soon as the objectives of a project are stated,
ways of evaluating the achievement of the objectives should be considered.

FIGURE 8.1
The relationship among major parts of a curriculum project

Objectives Evaluation

Activities
64

Activities then should be chosen for their pertinence to the objectives and also with
reference to possible means of evaluation. The thinking process should follow this
sequence: from objectives to evaluation to activities that are useful in achieving the
objectives and have effects that can be properly be evaluated. Too often, curriculum
workers think of activities first and then either ignore or defer consideration of objectives
and evaluation.
Four well-recognised actions by change agents move the curriculum toward
improvement: seeking a more helpful climate and working conditions striving to achieve
an appropriate change tempo. Sponsoring varied activities will contribute to
improvement, and specifying effective evaluation procedures.
65

Chapter 9

Paths to School Improvement

A good school is in a constant state of renewal, which is to say it is always improving.


How is a principal or supervisor to wend through the maze of often conflicting reform
proposals and provide leadership in the right direction?

The magic bullet approach

Most proponents of school improvement promulgate a single idea or method to give


a new lease on life to the schools. Collegiality among the school faculty, autonomy for
individual schools in curriculum decision making, new organisational restructures,
national education standards, multiculturalism, and gender equity proposals are some
examples. Those who promote a singular approach are likely to be impatient with other
approaches and to convey the notion that there is only one path to school improvement.
There is a wrong tendency to suggest that those who follow any other approach to school
improvement are off track.
Proponents of what might be called a single-factor path to reform see their proposal
as a complete answer. Reformers tend to use their own field of interest as a lens for
viewing schools. Thus, those with an interest in-group dynamics advocate developing
collegiality among the faculty, as the improvement approach. Those whose interest is
teaching propose the school faculties study generic teaching skills and the styles of
outstanding teachers. Those who believe that the application of research findings is the
answer to school improvement propose that school faculty familiarise themselves with
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research on effective schools. Each approach is treated as a magic bullet – a


total prescription for school improvement by advocates.

New organisational structure


Educational structuring was a popular idea for improving schools in the 1990s.
Restructuring had its origins in business, industry, and government. In business and
industry, restructuring was a code word meaning reorganisation for the purpose of
slimming down the size of the organisation and making it more efficient. But downsizing
may often left companies without experienced people who helped contribute to the
success of the organisation.
Some such structural innovations in education have had similar effects. Financially
strapped school systems have justified the downsizing of their central office staff on the
alleged ground that teachers should be granted independence to develop their own
curricula based on the needs of their own students. This has left teachers without the
supervisory support necessary for improving curriculum and instruction.
In education, restructuring has had a broader meaning than in the business world. In
education, the issue in restructuring is school improvement. Strategies for restructuring
include smaller schools, school choice, local autonomy, national curriculum standards in
subject areas, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In a critique of restructuring, Newmann
points out that the proposed structural changes are not part of a coherent plan, and he
points to the need for linking changes together. The reason they are not connected is that
they were never intended to be. Each proposal is viewed by its advocates as the way to
renew schools. Hence, instructional improvement is seen and treated as entirely separate
from curriculum improvement. Not only is there the pervading problem of segmental and
disjointed programmes, but many of the ideas and strategies are in conflict.
How are such conflicts to be avoided in school improvement efforts? As Newmann
points out, the answer lies in focussing on curriculum development – improving learning
opportunities for all students. Educators must wage a constant battle to keep the
curriculum—what is taught and how—as the focus.

School size and curricular gain


The story of school size and its relation to curricular improvement is a most
interesting one. Education leaders were well aware of the advantages of school
consolidation and reorganisation for improving educational opportunities. When two or
more districts—each hardly able to support its own one-room rural school—combined,
the result was speedily obvious in a larger school with improved educational services,
facilities and resources.
In the larger cities the story was vastly different. Population increased concurrently
with the development of education, which had its greatest momentum in urban sections.
From the start, urban centres demanded larger educational facilities than did rural areas.
The huge size and factory-like atmosphere of urban schools and the need for smaller
schools that will give students more personal attention, was a major factor.

Schools within schools


The problem confronting educators is how to recognise schools so that they are
smaller and yet preserve the curricular advantages of large schools. There has been a
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solution: schools within schools. The school of several thousand students was
divided into smaller schools, housed within the existing buildings. The houses are
organised vertically so that students are connected with one house during their high
school years. Each house has its own faculty and counsellors, and provides a curriculum
of general education or unified studies—those learning that all educated members of a
society hold in common. Specialised studies are taken in other units.
In general, one is able to identify three advantages to the school-within-a-school
plan. The first is more opportunity for faculty to get to know students and give them
individual attention. This is important for all students but particularly in urban schools,
which may have as many as 5000 students, many of whom are considered at risk. A
second advantage is that the houses can share the library, laboratories and other central
resources that school must have if they have to offer educational services of high quality.
A third advantage is that teachers have a greater opportunity to work together with a
given population of heterogeneous students throughout the high school years. Although
educators continue to point to the industrial climate of full-size high schools as an
unfavourable environment for at-risk youth, relatively few urban high schools have
adopted the house plan.

Distinctive versus cosmopolitan schools


Schools like individuals have their own personalities. Some reformers considered
that by developing distinctive characters, schools could renew themselves. According to
RAND, designing schools with distinctive character is the key to educational
improvement and the basic premise is variety and not uniformity. The focus on difference
blurs the fact that good schools are alike in many ways. All good schools expose all
youngsters to the richest possible experiences, and also connect the schools with the
children’s own experiences. The field of education has generated a core of approved
practices from research that all good schools should follow. There is a universal quality
rather than a limited scope that characterises good schools. The cosmopolitan school, not
the special interest school, is required for renewal.

The comprehensive-connected approach

Curriculum frameworks require a coherent strategy for their implementation. The


strategy includes providing improved programmes of teacher education, staff
development to help teachers understand and implement the new procedures, peer
teaching and the creation of networks to link teachers and scholars. If solutions are to be
sustained, problem solving involves multifaceted strategies deriving from an ecological
or environmental perspective. The education environment should be supportive, not
contradictory. Teachers should be encouraged by their supervisors to base their teaching
on the body of approved practices in the curriculum field, whether or not those practices
happen to support present policies.

The ecology of curriculum renewal


Clearly the way to reform is not with a linear top-down approach. A number of
education theorists have given school renewal a biological turn by viewing those
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involved as part of an ecosystem. John Goodlad uses an ecological model in which


policy makers at state and local levels, teachers, administrators and others are
concerned with an array of broad educational goals and the application of approved
practices for reaching them. Relationships among the individuals and groups in the
ecology of schooling are multiple rather than linear, and the main concern of policy
makers is to provide teachers with what they need for reaching the goals rather than with
a punitive, intimidating atmosphere. Policy makers at the state level and local level must
provide a supportive environment at the school level. From experience we know that this
is the only way that continuous, effective curriculum-development activities at the school
level will take place. As everyone knows the support often fails to materialise.
According to Goodlad, the way the people are now linked is ineffective for two
closely related reasons: (1) top-down, one way directives are the approach to
‘improvement’ and (2) there has been a ‘pathological emphasis on accountability’, each
individual is concerned with the adequateness of the behaviour of those at some other
level or unit. The model that has been followed for so long in the world of schooling is
the factory-production model; top-down directives are concerned with the production of
high test scores. As Goodlad points out, a healthy school is concerned with more than test
scores because the society wants schools to meet personal-social growth and vocational
goals as well as academics goals. High test scores can never be an indicator of school
health. A healthy school is a renewing school, continuously checking what it does against
knowledge about how students learn and teachers teach and changes in the larger society
—the wider environment, which is part of the ecosystem of schools and we had better not
forget it.

A new kind of policy


Recent education policies reflect the recognition that top-down strategies for
curricular improvement are ineffective. There has been a discernible movement in many
school systems toward an organic system of organisation, which is a concept similar to
Goodlad’s ecological model. There has been much interest in involving teachers in a
collaborative effort to improve the curriculum. For the first time in many years, this
critically important approved practice in the literature has become formulated into a
policy.

Segmental approaches impede renewal

A problem with segmental approaches is that they tend to deal with specific
techniques, procedures, practices, or programmes targeted for one population group or
level of schooling, making curriculum articulation more difficult. Preoccupation with one
group may cause the problems of other groups to remain unaddressed. This is short-
sightedness in its most virulent form. The problems of one group do not remain their
own, but affect other youngsters as well as us all. Kindergarten through twelfth grade
students is part of an ecological community, in interaction with the environment of the
school and with each other and the wider ecosystem outside schools.
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The problem of professional isolation


The problem of extreme professional isolation has implications for curriculum;
without the support of professional cohorts, programmes for curriculum innovation and
renewal are unlikely to be sustained or even initiated. Many principals and teachers lack
the formal and informal professional support networks that physicians, lawyers and
architects have. Urban principals feel particularly isolated. District administrators and
supervisors must initiate informal networks for principals where they do not exist.
Isolation in the social organisation means more than being separated in space. It
means being deprived of one’s opportunity to develop and use one’s creative intelligence;
teachers should build on one another’s constructive ideas.
There were other kinds of isolation in schools that need to be dealt with by
administrators. Among them are the isolation of the school from the real social real world
in the curriculum, and the isolation of knowledge from its necessity to the learner—that
which makes it valuable personally and socially. Knowledge acquired because someone
decides that certain facts are important “is mere information, which is rarely in command
when called for.” Today schools engaged in renewal continue in various ways to deal
with the problem of isolation in all its various forms.

Impact of effective schools research

Christopher Jencks concluded that the character of school’s output depends largely
on a single input, namely the characteristics of the entering children, and that every thing
else is either secondary or completely irrelevant. The other research study of England
suggests that student behaviour, attitudes, and achievement are appreciably influenced by
their school experiences and by the quality of the school as a social institution.
Furthermore, the differences in the outcomes of schools in the study were related to
specific school characteristics—such as the availability and use of curriculum resources,
instructional strategies and faculty collaboration on school wide problems.
Researchers investigating schools with high achievement levels found that these
schools had a strong principal who supported a climate of achievement. This was fine, on
the face of it. Achievement for these children meant something different than for other
people’s children. It meant lower-level skills rather than critical-thinking skills. A good
principal was by implication someone who could raise pupils’ basic skills levels. Because
the tests were narrowly focused, curriculum improvement was not an issue. Principals
and teachers could help children to pass the tests by means of drill and this could be done
most economically and efficiently with worksheets and without the help of other staff.

Improving teaching and learning

Some proponents of decentralisation became so concerned with each school


developing its own unique character that they neglected and even argued against a role
for the central office in curriculum improvement. Leadership from the central office is of
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critical importance for a coherent curriculum district wide. It has been noted
that while the unique needs of each school may require differences in curricula from
one school to another, those in central office who are responsible for all student learning
can work in tandem with the school to ensure that the total system is in harmony. The
point cannot be overemphasised that if schools are to renew themselves, renewal must
begin with the curriculum.

Curriculum frameworks
The tendency among the most progressive states and school systems has been to
establish curriculum frameworks to provide focus for the improvement of teaching and
learning in classrooms. Such frameworks are infinitely preferable to lists of competencies
or topics to be covered by schools at a given grade level. The idea of the frameworks is to
provide schools with a comprehensive and integrative view of what teaching should look
like in a particular subject. Instead of long lists of topics for each grade, the framework
simply states broadly the concepts and generalisations that students should come to
understand over a given period of time. It has been noted that the frameworks are
strikingly different from the fragmented subject matter objectives of a generation ago.
Although some states view the curriculum in terms of content areas, some views
learning as interdisciplinary by nature to foster interdisciplinary learning. The
curriculum-improvement document can be organised into broad areas such as developing
creativity, reasoning and problem solving, communication and the development of social
responsibilities.

Frameworks as opportunities
According to Resnick, research on higher-level learning and constructivist views of
knowledge conclude that students learn best when given an opportunity to incorporate
what they are studying into their own experience. The point of importance is that the idea
continues to be supported by research on cognitive learning and that integrative
curriculum frameworks can have great influence in its implementation. Curriculum
frameworks present a genuine opportunity for curriculum improvement.
Schools should not be given step-by-step guides to follow; they need broad
functional outlines of what students should understand and be able to do. Schools need
integrative curriculum frameworks. Teachers who are knowledgeable about a curriculum
area should have a major responsibility in developing the frameworks and in fitting the
parts into the whole curriculum. However, the education agency is responsible for
establishing criteria, co-ordinating the work of committee members, bringing them into
contact with the best sources of knowledge and material in each curriculum area, and
assisting them in obtaining the needed expertise and resources. The responsibility for
putting the framework in the hands of the teachers and principals and helping them with
implementation resides with the central office. Frameworks should be revised at
scheduled intervals; but looking for better methods of implementing the frameworks
should be a continuous process.

Realising the opportunities


A curriculum framework is an opportunity for curriculum renewal but is only an
opportunity. The implementation of frameworks in classrooms requires that school
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systems provide support for teachers to help them implement the integrative ideas
and new methods. The assistance must be sustained, providing time for teachers to
attend in-service education sessions is not enough. Most administrators support formal
staff development activities by providing teachers with released time to attend a training
course. School systems generally balk at offering teachers follow-up time for observing
other teachers who practice and use the new approaches. Principals prefer the less
expensive means of having teachers use their own preparation or lunch time to observe
other teachers.
Research on staff development indicates that teachers need to feel successful in using
a new or approved practice or they will not use it. Teachers, like anyone else, tend to do
things in which they are successful and avoid the other things. They become easily
discouraged when a new approach does not work. School systems can ensure that their
investment will have optimal influence when they (1) provide staff-development courses
that include follow-up sessions and/or continuing school visits by the course instructors,
(2) prepare teachers as facilitators to provide more immediate help for colleagues as
problems develop, and (3) provide teachers with released time to observe and to confer
with other teachers who have demonstrated success with the new approaches.

Creating support for curriculum change

Schools where teachers are their own initiators of curriculum improvement are no
accident. Teachers talk to one another about problems and work together to develop new
teaching methods. These schools have an organic form of organisation where members
view themselves as working toward a common goal and continually adjust their work
through interaction with others in solving problems facing the organisation. In a
mechanistic system of organisation, by contrast, the goals of the organisation are broken
down into abstract individual tasks and members pursue their own tasks in isolation.
An organic system fits with teachers’ efforts to devise problems and units of work
that interconnect the various studies and that engage students in the development of skills
and concepts that cross through the entire curriculum. An organic system is a realistic
reflection of the reality that students are not uniform and has special as well as common
needs and interests. These reasons would be enough to make the organic model
appropriate for the schools. Improving teachers’ knowledge and skills requires continual
participation by individual teachers with others in trying to find better ideas and methods.
Central offices have a responsibility for encouraging communication and collaboration
among professional staffs and others who can help teachers learn new practices.

Continuous curriculum development

A fundamental principle of curriculum improvement is that it is both continuous and


cumulative. The idea is to build on, not demolish, the gains of preceding eras. According
to Goodlad, one characteristic of a renewing school is that it has an agenda of cumulative
curriculum improvement. The professional staff should generate, strengthen, and update
the agenda as needed. A record should be kept about the progress of curriculum-
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improvement efforts—successes and failures. Efforts can be vastly enlightened


and constructively directed if school staff knows what happened in previous efforts
to deal with a curriculum or instructional problem. The record should be kept in a place
where it is readily accessible to teachers and administrators. The school library is one
suggestion where a professional collection might be maintained.
The body of research and experience in curriculum point decisively to five co-relates
of an effective and continuous curriculum-improvement programme:
1. Design and function. The curriculum is more than the sum of the parts. The structure
of a curriculum determines its function. Consequently, structural connections need to
be made among all of the various studies so as to build a truly inter-related
curriculum that reveals the interdependence of knowledge. This requires a macro-type
approach to curriculum development.
2. School climate. There is a healthy and supportive school climate for teachers and
children. Adequate funds are provided for released time and resources for planning
and teachers have an infrastructure of support. In renewing schools, teachers and
principals are continually and critically seeking ways to transform their schools into
more attractive and stimulating learning environments.
3. Opportunity. All students, whether gifted or at risk of school failure, are provided
with optimal opportunities to learn and access to a rich and stimulating curriculum.
The faculty of renewing schools are, at heart, environmentalists. That is, they believe
that talent emerges through opportunity and cultivation by teachers and parents. This
is not a new idea. It is believed that many high-calibre minds remained undeveloped
through lack of stimulation. Successful people are nurtured by parents and teachers.
There is no shortage of ability, only of opportunity.
By using a gifted and talented strategy with disadvantaged children, teachers
following accelerated schools model have found that the youngsters at risk can be
brought into the educational main stream. Many of the at-risk students have turned
out to be gifted and talented.
4. World view. School staff is outward looking; they are continually looking for better
teaching strategies and ways of organising the curriculum. For professionals, the
search is endless. There is a sense that no matter how satisfactory things may seem,
improvements are always possible. School staff is effective consumers of the
professional literature and they get around. They visit other schools and attend
conferences, sharing newly acquired ideas and strategies with colleagues. Faculty
meetings are concerned with what is going on in the educational field and
implications for improving the school programmes.
5. Problem solving. Curriculum development is seen by the entire school staff as an on
going process of problem solving. Problems are seen as opportunities and not as
obstacles to progress.
These co-relates are criteria of evaluation that a school faculty can and should apply
to their school.
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Chapter 10

Classroom management

Managing inappropriate behaviour in the classroom

Are there ways to prevent misbehaviour?


The atmosphere of the classroom has much to do with student behaviour. The setting
should be appealing, with attention given to varying the physical features and the
schedule to prevent boredom in both the teacher and the student. Teachers should let
students know specific dos and don'ts: which behaviours are expected or desired and
which will not be tolerated. Then teachers must consistently reinforce the desired
behaviours while ignoring or in some other way extinguishing the undesirable ones.

What about establishing rules?


Some teachers make too many rules, and the children, confused or frustrated, ignore
them. Teachers should establish only a few rules and should specify the consequences for
not following them.

How can teachers increase student motivation for academic?


One approach could be to make one activity contingent on another: Students can earn
time in one favoured activity by performing well in another. Students having difficulty in
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one subject area could serve as tutors to younger students in that same skill,
dependent upon the older child's satisfactory performance. Classroom
privileges such as helping to distribute papers can also be made contingent on
performance.

What about token economics?


This approach, in which pupils are given a mark for rewards redeemable at a later time,
can help students learn. However, token economies are usually costly. In addition, results
of research investigating whether or not performance is maintained after the system is
removed have been discouraging.

How can teachers decrease unwanted behaviour?


Teachers can reward a student when a specified behaviour does not occur, or when it
occurs below a designated frequency or duration level. Differential reinforcement of
other behaviours is a way to decelerate behaviour when behaviours other than the target
behaviour are systematically reinforced.
Overcorrecting is another possibility. Teachers instruct students to correct the
inappropriate behaviour and execute the act within a natural sequence of events. For
example, in one case a child who mouthed objects was told "no" and required to brush his
teeth and wipe his lips with a washcloth each time he put a potentially harmful or
unhygienic object in his mouth.
Situation involves actually giving students more of the event that the teacher ultimately
wishes to eliminate. The classic example of this technique involves a hospital resident
who hoarded towels. Staff began giving her towels-up to 60 per day-until she voluntarily
returned more of them and ceased the hoarding.

What role does punishment play in classroom management?


Punishment can be defined as a technique that decelerates the frequency of behaviour
when it is given contingent on that behaviour. Reprimands, frowns, reminders and other
subtle expressions can serve as punishment, and can be very effective when used
appropriately.
A possible disadvantage of punishment is that its effects may over generalise, eliminating
more behaviour that originally intended. Another difficulty is that the student might
associate the technique with the person who administered it, causing ill feeling toward the
teacher.

What about taking something away to decrease unwanted behaviour?


Teachers can take away the opportunity to obtain reinforcement, attention or a portion of
some event contingent on target behaviour. These three procedures are also known as
timeout, extinction, and response cost. Timeout can involve physically removing a
student for short periods from the reinforcing event or area. Ignoring tantrums is a
withdrawal of attention that may lead to extinction of the problem behaviour. Taking
away tokens or points for disobeying rules is an example of response cost.
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If a teacher can’t concentrate on individual problems are there group


methods that will work?
• Independent group contingencies. Each student receives the same
consequence for stated behaviour, as in staying after class for out-of-seat
behaviour. Although easy to administer, this approach does not take into
account individual student differences.
• Dependent group contingency: The same consequence is given to all members
of a group. In order to receive the consequence, a selected member must
perform at or better than a specified level. One student's behaviour can
influence the group's consequence. This approach can improve peer group
behaviour at the same time. A program in which a student accumulates free
time for the entire class by on-task behaviour may encourage fellow students
to support his appropriate activity and not engage him in off-task interaction.
• Group consequence, contingent on group: The entire class is considered as
one group. An example is making free time dependent on appropriate
behaviour: an individual's inappropriate activity reduces the entire class's
reward. This approach might be effective when several individuals are
behaving inappropriately. However, repercussions might occur if group
members feel unduly punished due to the behaviour of an individual student.

What are some general guidelines for managing inappropriate behaviour?


1. Examine the events that maintain students' behaviour.
2. Keep data to determine whether or not an approach is working. Compare behaviour
during baseline and treatment phases.
3. Consider a variety of techniques.
4. Combine approaches to be more effective. For example, a teacher might praise
appropriate behaviour while ignoring inappropriate behaviour.
5. Concentrate on teaching new behaviours and deal with inappropriate ones only to the
extent that they interfere with the individual's or group's learning.

Honour levels and positive recognition


Honour Level One students are youngsters who rarely get into trouble. To qualify for Honour
Level One, a student must not be assigned to detention or sent to Time-out at all in the last 14
calendar days. Problems on school buses and other situations involving discipline also
disqualify a student from Honour Level One.
The school plans special privileges and activities for students on Honour Level One. These
may include well-publicised events, such as recreational periods, extended lunchtime breaks,
etc. It is also recommended that a school include some "spontaneous" or "surprise" activities.
These might include field-trips, group games, etc.
Usually 70% to 80% of the students will qualify for Honour Level One.

Honour Level Two students are youngsters who may have only had one or two problems in
the last 14 calendar days. Some of the extra privileges awarded Honour Level One students
may also be awarded to Honour Level Two Students.
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Typically 20% to 30% of your students qualify for Honour Level Two.

Honour Level Three students are youngsters who seem to have more difficulty staying out of
trouble. They will have had three or more problems within the last 14 calendar days. Honour
Level Three students will not receive the extra privileges that the Honour Level One's and
Two's enjoy. Often they are excluded from activities as are the Honour Level Fours, but these
students might negotiate the right to participate.
Generally only about 5% or fewer of your students will be on Honour Level Three.

Honour Level Four students are youngsters who consistently get into trouble at school.
Fortunately, this is a very small group. Schools using The Honour Level System have
reported that this group rarely exceeds 5% of the students. Youngsters on Honour Level Four
usually do not participate in any of the extra activities that the other students enjoy. For
example, one school asks them to sit in a study hall during school assemblies and makes them
ineligible to attend dances or athletic events. They do not negotiate, as do the threes.

The 14 day window


When determining any Honour Level, we only take into account a student's
discipline record for the last 14 days. No matter how much trouble a youngster may
get into, there is always a way to work back up to Honour Level One. Each day is a
new day, and the Honour Level is recalculated. Problems that occurred more than 14
days ago do not affect the calculation.
Students who have fallen from Honour Level One are notified the day they make it
back. And as they progress upward through the Honour Levels, they are encouraged
and reminded that they are improving.

Progressive stages of consequence


It would be nice if positive recognition was all that was required to encourage
appropriate behaviour in children. In actuality, negative consequences are an
important part of behaviour modification. Most schools have some system of
consequences already in place and operating. Students are sent to the office, asked to
stay after school, required to write notes to their parents, and in extreme situations
suspended from school for one or more days.
The success of such negative consequences varies from school to school.
Psychologists tell us that the best behaviour modification systems include both
positive recognition and appropriate consequences. Furthermore, such a discipline
system must be perceived as fair and equitable as possible.
The Honour Level System provides you with the tools you need to do just that. Both
recognition and appropriate consequence are easily administered with the aid of your
office computer. A system of fairness exists whereby each student will feel that he or
she is treated the same as any other.
A system of progressive discipline uses several stages of consequence. Each one is
more significant than the one that comes before it. As a student moves from stage to
stage, the disciplinary action taken by the school becomes more severe.
Your own staffs choose the actual consequences for your school. The following are
sample stages:
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1st infringement:15 minute Noon Detention;


nd
2 infringement:30 minute Noon Detention;
3rd infringement: After School Detention;
4th infringement: In school Suspension;
5th infringement: Saturday School;
6th infringement: Suspension from School.
You may use up to seven stages of consequence.
The Honour Level System provides for both forward and backward movement through
these stages of consequence. Forward movement occurs as any individual student is
cited again and again for infractions of school rules. We prefer to say: "fails to meet
behavioural expectations."

Time heals the wounds


The mechanism for moving back to lower stages is time. If a student can stay out of
trouble and show that there is a general change in behaviour, he or she should move to
lower stages of consequence.
When determining the appropriate stage of discipline, the computer will examine the
record of behaviour for the last fourteen days. The computer does not exclude
weekends, holidays, or student absences. It examines fourteen days of the calendar.
The term “3rd infraction" refers to the third infraction within a window of time that is
only fourteen days long.
Your system may assign a student to after school detention two or three times in a row
if the frequency of his or her infractions is about once every three or four days. It does
not assign the fourth stage of consequence after the fourth infraction if the first
infraction was more than 14 days in the past. The only way in which this child can
reach lower stages of consequence is to decrease the frequency of citations. He or she
will need to go more days in a row without problems.
Because no special provision is made for non-school days, weekends and school
holidays help a student get to lower stages. The long winter and summer breaks
effectively move each student to Honour Level One and the lowest stage of
consequence so that every one has a fresh start at least twice during the school year.

Classroom management profile


Answer these 12 questions and learn more about your classroom management profile.
The steps are simple:
• Read each statement carefully.
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• Write your response, from the scale below, on a sheet of paper.


• Respond to each statement based upon either actual or imagined classroom
experience.
• Then, follow the scoring instructions below.
1= Strongly Disagree
2= Disagree
3= Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree

(1) If a student is disruptive during class, I assign him/her to detention, without further
discussion.
(2) I don't want to impose any rules on my students.
(3) The classroom must be quiet in order for students to learn.
(4) I am concerned about both what my students learn and how they learn.
(5) If a student turns in a late homework assignment, it is not my problem.
(6) I don't want to reprimand a student because it might hurt his/her feelings.
(7) Class preparation isn't worth the effort.
(8) I always try to explain the reasons behind my rules and decisions.
(9) I will not accept excuses from a student who is tardy.
(10) The emotional well being of my students is more important than classroom control.
(11) My students understand that they can interrupt my lecture if they have a relevant
question.
(12) If a student requests a hall pass, I always honour the request.

To score your quiz,


Add your responses to statements 1, 3, and 9. This is your score for the authoritarian
style.
Statements 4, 8 and 11 refer to the authoritative style.
Statements 6, 10, and 12 refer to the laissez-faire style.
Statements 2, 5, and 7 refer to the indifferent style.
The result is your classroom management profile. Your score for each management style
can range from 3 to 15. A high score indicates a strong preference for that particular
style. After you have scored your quiz, and determined your profile, read the descriptions
of each management style. You may see a little bit of yourself in each one.
As you gain teaching experience, you may find that your preferred style(s) will change.
Over time, your profile may become more diverse or more focused. Also, it may be
suitable to rely upon a specific style when addressing a particular situation or subject.
Perhaps the successful teacher is one who can evaluate a situation and then apply the
appropriate style. Finally, remember that the intent of this exercise is to inform you and
arouse your curiosity regarding classroom management styles.

Some classroom techniques


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Here are some techniques that you can use in your classroom that will help you
achieve effective group management and control.
• Focusing. Be sure you have the attention of everyone in your classroom before you start
your lesson. Don't attempt to teach over the chatter of students who are not paying attention.
Inexperienced teachers some-times think that by beginning their lesson, the class will settle
down. The children will see that things are underway now and it is time to go to work.
Sometimes this works, but the children are also going to think that you are willing to
compete with them. You don't mind talking while they talk. You are willing to speak louder
so that they can finish their conversation even after you have started the lesson. They get the
idea that you accept their inattention and that it is permissible to talk while you are
presenting a lesson.
The focusing technique means that you will demand their attention before you begin. That
you will wait and not start until everyone has settled down. Experienced teachers know that
silence on their part is very effective. They will punctuate their waiting by extending it 5 to
10 seconds after the classroom is completely quiet. Then they begin their lesson using a
quieter voice than normal.
A soft-spoken teacher often has a calmer, quieter classroom than one with a stronger voice.
Her students sit still in order to hear what she says.
• Direct Instruction. Uncertainty increases the level of excitement in the classroom. The
technique of direct instruction is to begin each class by telling the students exactly what will
be happening. The teacher outlines what he and the students will be doing this period. He
may set time limits for some tasks.
An effective way to manage this technique with the first one is to include time at the end of
the period for students to do activities of their choosing. The teacher may finish the
description of the hour’s activities with - "And I think we will have some time at the end of
the period for you to chat with your friends, go to the library, or catch up on work for other
classes."
The teacher is more willing to wait for class attention when he knows there is extra time to
meet his goals and objectives. The students soon realise that the more time the teacher waits
for their attention, the less free time they have at the end of the hour.
• Monitoring. The key to this principle is to circulate. Get up and get around the room.
While your students are working, make the rounds. Check on their progress.
An effective teacher will make a pass through the whole room about two minutes after the
students have started a written assignment. She checks that each student has started, that the
children are on the correct page, and that everyone has put their name on their papers. The
delay is important. She wants her students to have a problem or two finished so she can
check that answers are correctly labelled or in complete sentences. She provides
individualised instruction as needed.
Students who are not yet quite on task will be quick to get going as they see her approach.
Those that were distracted or slow to get started can be nudged along.
The teacher does not interrupt the class or try to make general announcements unless she
notices that several students have difficulty with the same thing. The teacher uses a quiet
voice and her students appreciate her personal and positive attention.
• Modelling. "Values are caught, not taught." Teachers who are courteous, prompt,
enthusiastic, in control, patient, and organised provide examples for their students through
their own behaviour. The teachers send mixed messages that confuse students and invite
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misbehaviour.
If you want students to use quiet voices in your classroom while they work, you too will
use a quiet voice as you move through the room helping youngsters.
• Non-verbal cueing.
Non-verbal cues can also be facial expressions, body posture, and hand signals. Care should
be given in choosing the types of cues you use in your classroom. Take time to explain what
you want the student to do when you use your cues.
• Environmental Control. A classroom can be a warm cheery place. Students enjoy an
environment that changes periodically. Study centres with pictures and colour invite
enthusiasm for your subject.
Young people like to know about you and your interests. Include personal items in your
classroom. A family picture or a few items from a hobby or collection on your desk will
trigger personal conversations with your students. As they get to know you better, you will
see fewer problems with discipline.
Just as you may want to enrich your classroom, there are times when you may want to
impoverish it as well. You may need a quiet corner with few distractions.
• Low-Profile Intervention. Most students are sent to the principal's office as a result of
confrontational escalation. The teacher has called them on a lesser offence, but in the
moments that follow, the student and the teacher are swept up in a verbal maelstrom. Much
of this can be avoided when the teacher's intervention is quiet and calm.
An effective teacher will take care that the student is not rewarded for misbehaviour by
becoming the focus of attention. She monitors the activity in her classroom, moving around
the room. She anticipates problems before they occur. Her approach to a misbehaving
student is inconspicuous. Others in the class are not distracted.
While lecturing to her class this teacher makes effective use of name-dropping. If she sees a
student talking or off task, she simply drops the youngster's name into her dialogue in a
natural way: "And you see, David, we carry the one to the tens column." David hears his
name and is drawn back on task. The rest of the class doesn't seem to notice.
• Assertive Discipline. This is traditional limit setting authoritarianism. When executed it
will include a good mix of praise. This is high profile discipline. The teacher is the boss and
no child has the right to interfere with the learning of any student. Clear rules are laid out and
consistently enforced.
• Assertive Messages (A component of Assertive Discipline): These messages are
statements that the teacher uses when confronting a student who is misbehaving. They are
intended to be clear descriptions of what the student is supposed to do. The teacher who
makes good use of this technique will focus the child's attention first and foremost on the
behaviour he wants, not on the misbehaviour. "I want you to ..." or "I need you to ..." or "I
expect you to ..."
The inexperienced teacher may incorrectly try: "I want you to stop ..." only to discover that
this usually triggers confrontation and denial. The focus is on the misbehaviour and the
student is quick to retort: "I wasn't doing anything!" or "It wasn't my fault ..." or "Since when
is there a rule against ..." and escalation has begun.
• Humanistic Messages (These messages are expressions of our feelings): Structure these
messages in three parts. First, a description of the child's behaviour. "When you talk while I
talk ..." Second the effect this behaviour has on the teacher. "I have to stop my teaching ..."
And third, the feeling that it generates in the teacher. " ... which frustrates me."
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A teacher, distracted by a student who was constantly talking while he tried to teach, once
made this powerful expression of feelings: "I can not imagine what I have done to you
that I do not deserve the respect from you that I get from the others in this class. If I have
been rude to you or inconsiderate in any way, please let me know. I feel as though I have
somehow offended you and now you are unwilling to show me respect." The student did not
talk during his lectures again for many weeks.
• Positive Discipline. Use classroom rules that describe the behaviours you want instead of
listing things the students can not do. Instead of "no-running in the room," use "move
through the building in an orderly manner." Instead of "no-fighting,” use "settle conflicts
appropriately." Instead of "no-gum chewing," use "leave gum at home." Refer to your rules
as expectations. Let your students know this is how you expect them to behave in your
classroom.
• Make ample use of praise. When you see good behaviour, acknowledge it. This can be
done verbally, of course, but it doesn't have to be. A nod, a smile or a "thumbs up" will
reinforce the behaviour.

• Circulate throughout the room--staying in one place means a "blind spot" on some
behaviour like playing with an item in the desk (yes, they can maintain eye-contact with
you and do this). If kids know you might catch them doing something else, they are less
likely to get off task.
• Be consistent with your expectations and follow through. Post class rules and refer to
them when broken.
• Have a daily routine posted somewhere in the room on word cards or a sheet of paper.
Go over this each morning so they will be aware of special events or other changes.
• Remind students of their manners if needed. You can reward those that do something
nice for someone without being asked etc. If everyone respects each other, shares, and
listens, you will have a pleasant working environment.
• Make "I have" and "Who has" statements and questions on index cards. For instance,
I have "Your school". Who has the third planet from the sun? There should be a card for
each member of the class and each "I have" statement answers a "Who has" question.
Make the questions from the topics being studied or in the early grades just basic
knowledge. This helps novice readers pick up some new words. You can time the
students to see how quickly they can complete the cards correctly. Make new cards as
needed.
• Describe an object/event and allow students to guess what it is. Perfect for review.
Challenge the class to see if they can beat their last record of working quietly. Reward the
group if they beat their old time. Perfect for when you have to run next door.
Clapping patterns (students imitate until you have everyone's attention)
"Give me five" (all students raise their hand in the air and face you)
"Countdown" ring a bell and count down from five or ten (depends on activity)
Flip the lights on and off
• Write "recess", "snack", or whatever an important event is and erase letters as needed
for poor class behaviour. When all letters are erased that event is not allowed.
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• Individual stickers that are marked out for poor behaviour resulting in certain
consequences
4 or 5 cards in different colours that represent different consequences
Examples: Warning, loss of 5 minutes of recess, loss of whole recess, loss of privilege
(fieldtrip etc.), and timeout room/principal
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Appendix 1

How a school staff may work on curriculum building

If a school-wide programme of curriculum reconstruction is undertaken, it is necessary


that there be widespread faculty participation. The instructional programme actually
operates in terms of the learning experiences, which the students have. Unless the
objectives are clearly understood by each teacher, unless he is familiar with the kinds of
learning experiences that can be used to attain these objectives, and unless he is able to
guide the activities of students so that they will get these experiences, the educational
programme will not be an effective instrument for promoting the aims of the school.
Hence every teacher needs to participate in curriculum planning at least to the extent of
gaining an adequate understanding of these ends and means.
In a small faculty, the staff may work as a committee of the whole in conducting
studies of the learners, studies of life outside the school and in examining the reports of
subject specialists. The entire staff, when small, may also operate as a committee of the
whole to formulate the philosophy of education and to work out a statement of
psychology of learning. Then the staff, as a whole, can use these results in selecting the
objectives for the school. They can also conduct their deliberations in the group as a
whole regarding the general organising framework to be used. Finally, the planning of the
learning experiences for particular courses will normally be done by those who are to
teach them, but even in this step, teachers of the same subject at other grade levels and
teachers in related fields will be found helpful in planning. Furthermore, the staff as a
whole, when small, may serve as a reviewing committee for these detailed plans. A
similar procedure is applicable to the planning of the evaluation programme.
Larger schools will find it necessary to operate as special committees, some making
studies of the learner, others studying contemporary life, others examining reports of
subject specialists. Drafting committees may be used to formulate initial drafts of
philosophy and psychology, but these drafts will need to be studied, discussed and
revised as a result of consideration by the entire staff. For such deliberations the staff will
usually divide into groups small enough for active discussion. The selection of objectives
and the deliberations regarding the general organising framework to be used can also be
done by one or more committees, than reviewed by the entire staff. As with smaller
staffs, the planning of the learning experiences for particular courses can be participated
in by all those who are to teach them, and each planning group may also include teachers
of the same subject at other grade levels, and teachers in related fields. However, special
reviewing committees will need to be formed to review and co-ordinate the detailed
instructional plans.
Although a school-wide attack is preferable in getting a rational revision of the
curriculum, improvements can be made if only a part of the instructional programme can
be dealt with. Thus, curriculum building can be undertaken for a single subject like
mathematics, or a single grade, like the ninth, or even for the courses offered by an
individual teacher. Within the limits in which the curriculum is to be rebuilt, the same
general rationale can be used. However, a partial attack must be planned with relation to
the other parts of the instructional programme, which are not to be modified.
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Another question arising in the attempt at curriculum revision by a school or part


of a school is whether the sequence of steps to be followed should be the same as the
order of presentation in this syllabus. The answer is clearly “No.” The concern of the
staff, the problems already identified, the available data are all factors to consider in
deciding on the initial point of attack. In one school, participation by the staff in a
programme of child study may provide an entering wedge in studying the learner, in
another school the results of a follow-up of final class may focus attention upon
identifiable inadequacies in the present programme, which will lead easily to systematic
study. In another situation, the deliberations over a school philosophy may provide an
initial step to an improvement of objectives, and then to study of the learning
experiences. The purpose of the rationale is to give a view of the elements that are
involved in a programme of instruction and their necessary interrelations. The
programme may be improved by attacks beginning at any point, providing the resulting
modifications are followed through the related elements until eventually all aspects of the
curriculum have been studied and revised.
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Appendix 2

What preparation do curriculum practitioners need?

To be an effective curriculum practitioner, what do you need to know and what


should you be able to do? From the following inventory of needs and requirements one
would know what is needed in the preparation of curriculum practitioners. The fifty-item
inventory is divided into two parts. The first part, labelled Knowledge/Understanding,
lists cognitive learning that constitute the underpinnings of further preparation. This
further preparation involves education and practice in an arena – Skill/Competence – in
which one masters those learning that can not be derived from education directed toward
knowledge and understanding.
Cognitive learning can be acquired in the courses and seminars available in the
university. Skill learning to make you competent on the job can be gained through
internships sponsored by colleges and universities, as well as under the auspices of
regional, association, and university institutes.

AN INVENTORY OF PREPARATION NEEDS


In the arena of knowledge/understanding, curriculum practitioners need:
1. To understand children and youth as learners in school
2. To know the community environments from which youngsters come to
school
3. To know the demands that the society at large places on schools
4. To understand the cultures represented by the pupils in our schools
5. To understand psychological principles (e.g., concerning motivation to
achieve) that affects pupils’ ability and desire to learn
6. To know subject content that is pertinent to teaching and learning in schools
7. To know how subject matter can be taught effectively
8. To be aware of new developments and trends in individual subjects
9. To know how the process of curriculum change and improvement can work
10. To be aware of actions that can be taken to improve, rather than merely
change, the curriculum
11. To know how to fit curriculum to learners, as opposed to fitting learners to
curriculum
12. To be aware of current and possible systems of school organisation and
administration
13. To know how to direct enterprises in curriculum planning
14. To know functional methods of instructional supervision
15. To know how to conduct simple educational research
16. To understand the historical foundations of and events in movements
toward curriculum improvement
17. To understand possible uses of computers and other machines for
curriculum planning
18. To know alternative ways of making curriculum plans
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19. To understand ways of restructuring schools to achieve


educational improvement
20. To be familiar with the ideas of differing schools of educational philosophy
21. To know what curriculum plans to propose for youngsters of different levels
of ability and for youngsters with special handicaps
22. To be able to recognise the presence or absence of sequence, balance, and
other features of a suitable curriculum
23. To know one’s philosophical beliefs about human potential and schooling
24. To be able to recognise valid research data and conclusions
25. To know where to find help with difficult curriculum problems

In the arena of skill/competence, curriculum practitioners need:


1. To be competent in reading and understanding the literature on teaching,
learning and the curriculum
2. To be competent in writing cogently and at length about curriculum matters
3. To be able to state clearly worthy aims, goals and objectives of schooling
4. To be able to answer the questions of teachers and other people about the
details of the curriculum
5. To be skilled in working with parents and other community members of
differing backgrounds, abilities and cultures
6. To be skilled in conferring with teachers and curriculum specialists about
difficult aspects of the curriculum
7. To demonstrate competence in proposing and developing original
curriculum designs
8. To exhibit skill in directing and bringing to completion varied planning
enterprises
9. To be competent in teaching other professionals and lay people to plan
10. To be skilled in leading differing groups
11. To demonstrate skill in practising methods of instructional supervision
12. To be able to speak convincingly to the public about curriculum proposals
13. To demonstrate skill in counselling co-workers and assistants
14. To show competence in planning and implementing in-service and staff
development programmes
15. To show familiarity with available instructional materials
16. To be capable of helping teachers and others devise new and different
instructional materials
17. To be competent in creating criterion-referenced tests
18. To be skilled in scheduling and co-ordinating curriculum improvement
activities
19. To demonstrate skill in reconciling viewpoints of fellow planners and in
identifying and over coming barriers to planning
20. To be able to work with officials of state or national educational agencies in
the interest of curriculum improvement
21. To demonstrate skill in facilitating regional and state evaluations of the
curriculum and of the improvement programme
22. To be able to guide curriculum planners tom significant sources of evidence
87

23. To be skilled in representing one’s school system at professional


conventions and meetings of lay persons
24. To demonstrate skill in working with learners in classrooms to show the
worth of new curriculum plans
25. To demonstrate grace and ease at social and professional functions where
the reputation of the school counts

You may use this inventory as you wish, adding to it or subtracting from it at will. It may
prove useful for self-analysis, or it may form a basis for group discussion. Sufficient
preparation will help you advocate valid curriculum plans and proposals and thereby
make lasting contributions to a significant field of endeavour.
88

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