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Module 6:

IMPLEMENTING THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

LEARNING OUTCOMES When you complete this module will be able to: Explain what is curriculum implementation Describe Lewins change model Differentiate between the types of curriculum change Explain why people resist change Suggest ways of overcoming resistance to change List the role and responsibilities of individuals involved in the implementation of a curriculum

OVERVIEW
6.0 Introduction 6.1 What is Implementation? 6.2 Curriculum Implementation as a Change Process 6.3 Types of Curriculum Change 6.4 Resistance to Change 6.5 Case Study: Indonesia 6.6 Individual Involved in Curriculum Implementation 6.6.1. Teachers 6.6.2 Students 6.6.3 Principals 6.6.4 Parents 6.7 Case Study: England 6.8 Implementing Curriculum in the Classroom Readings Discussion Questions

Homework Must Be More Fun and Meaningful


The Education Ministry is to Homework that is interesting to regulate homework assignment ofpupils would not only make their school pupils to make it morelearning more meaningful and interesting. Homework is clearly oneproductive, but also facilitate teaching. key area in which things can andWhen school children are better should improve in the interest of allmotivated in their studies, teachers concerned. Homework should havealso find their task easier. Students more quality than quantity. It needs alearn better and faster when their finer focus with less bulk, and in theinnate inquisitiveness is fired with process become more interesting tomore participatory observation and give students an added incentive toenquiry of the world about them. Good studying harder. Young people haveteachers can make this vital energy, imagination and a naturaldifference. curiosity that can help them to learn if Pupils must constantly be properly chanelled. Otherwiseencouraged to do more than answer homework can become a hindrance toset questions, as it is essential to think the learning process. their way to unrehearsed answers. Teachers should be guided toTrue learning is more than spotting learning rather than be fountains ofexam questions. It is more important infinite knowledge. They shouldfor pupils to experience a sense of present material in intellectuallyachievement in all aspects of study, stimulating ways, without spoon-which would give them a feel of their feeding. Pupils need to know thatown development and growth. A more learning is part of their own lifeenlightened approach to learning such experience, not something separateas this may also apply to regular class and removed from it. Teachers shouldwork besides homework. therefore avoid dishing out homework mechanically as routine chores, which would make studies boring and braindeadening.

6.0 Introduction

[source: adapted from The Sunday Star, 13 February, 2005]

In Module 4 we discussed what was involved in curriculum planning and in Module 5 we looked at different techniques of designing the curriculum focusing on some curriculum design models. The next stage in the curriculum development process according to Tyler and Taba is the implementation of the curriculum plan. The final destination of any curriculum (whether it be a school, college, university or training organisation) is the classroom involving students, teachers, administrators and the community. Implementing the curriculum is the most crucial and sometimes the most difficult phase of the curriculum development process. Those responsible for implementing a curriculum often hear comments and concerns such as: o Teachers are already overloaded how are they going to implement the new ideas. o Parents and education officers are only interested in a high pass rate in examinations how are schools to incorporate suggested changes. These are real concerns and made worse when persons implementing the curriculum are not clear what is expected of them. How often have we heard people say, the plan was good but implementation was poor. On the other hand, if a curriculum plan is not

implemented and remains on the shelf then all efforts in planning will be a sheer waste. A curriculum must be delivered and that means it must be implemented in the classroom if it is to make an impact on student learning. Good plans reaching the classroom are not properly implemented because of a lack of planning and preparation. In some curriculum development projects, implementation is not been given due consideration; not realising that innovations need careful planning and monitoring. We hear of teachers not being properly trained and are required to implement changes in the classroom within a short period of time.

ACTIVITY 6.1 Read the newspaper report at the beginning of the chapter and answer the following questions What are some suggestions proposed for making homework fun and meaningful? Do you agree with the statement that teachers should not spoon-feed but rather be guides to learning? Why? Give other suggestions for making homework meaningful and fun.

6.1 What is Curriculum Implementation? Implementation is an interaction between those who have created the programme and those who are charged to deliver it. According to Ornstein and Hunkins, 1998; o implementation requires educators to shift from the current programme which they are familiar with to the new or modified programme. o implementation involves changes in the knowledge, actions and attitudes of people o implementation can be seen as a process of professional development and growth involving ongoing interactions, feedback and assistance. o implementation is a process of clarification whereby individuals and groups come to understand and practice a change in attitudes and behaviours; often involving using new resources. o implementation involves change which requires effort and will produce a certain amount of anxiety and to minimize these, it is useful to organise implementation into manageable events and to set achievable goals. o implementation requires a supportive atmosphere in which there is trust and open communication between administrators, teachers educators, and where risk-taking is encouraged. Even though large sums of money are spent on implementing new curriculum, several of these efforts have failed. According to Sarason (1990), the main reason for the failure is the lack of understanding of the culture of the school by both experts outside the school system and educators in the system. Successful implementation of curriculum requires understanding the power relationships, the traditions, the roles and responsibilities of individuals in the school system. Implementors (whether they be teachers, principals, district education officers) should be well-versed with the contents of the curriculum. They must be clear of the purpose, the nature, and the real and potential benefits of the innovation.

As stated by Fullan and Pomfret (1977); effective implementation of innovations requires time, personal interaction and contacts, in-service training and other forms of people-based support (p.391). Curriculum implementation requires winning people over and it takes time. Teachers need to feel appreciated and their efforts recognised. Some may argue that they should be given financial rewards but there is evidence to suggest that external motivation contributes minimally to the venture. Individuals contribute their best talents when they are internally motivated and derive a good feeling from being involved. 6.2 Curriculum Implementation as a Change Process Implementation is the carrying out of something or the practical application of a method, procedure or desired purpose. Loucks and Lieberman (1983) define curriculum implementation as the trying out of a new practice and what it looks like when actually used in a school system. For example, a curriculum plan in enhancing technology integration across the curriculum is introduced and you would want to know whether what was intended in the plan is actually being done in the classroom. Your aim for developing a curriculum is to make a difference to learners. Simply, put, curriculum implementation is bringing about change and hopefully improvement. How do you bring about change? In other words, how do you ensure that the curriculum brings about the desired changes. Before you can bring about change, you need to know what is change. You may say whats the big deal? We all know what is change! You know how your job has changed. You know how government policy changes. But what is change in relation to curriculum? Basically, change is doing something differently. Change results from new knowledge. However, the presence of new knowledge is not sufficient for change. People generally are reluctant to change because they are comfortable with what they are currently doing. So, to change, they must recognise the need for change. People are more likely to recognise the need for change if they understand change and how it works. Dont you agree? Kurt Lewin (1951), considered to be the father of social psychology suggested a model explaining change (see Figure 7.1). According to him, all persons are faced with two competing forces: Driving Forces: These are forces that that are driving or pushing you to do something and change in a particular direction. They tend to initiate a change and keep it going. In the workplace, pressure from your boss, financial incentives and competition for promotion may be examples of driving forces. Restraining Forces: These are forces restraining or preventing you from doing something and changing. In the workplace, apathy, hostility, obsolete equipment may be examples of restraining forces. Equilibrium: When these two forces (driving and restraining) are equal, the status quo is maintained. In other words, there is no effort towards change and so you do the same thing you did before. For example, in the school setting, the principal who is autocratic and constantly pressures his or her staff which may bring about change in the short run. In other words, the driving forces have overpowered the restraining forces and when this happens, change is initiated. As long as the driving forces are more powerful than the restraining forces, change will continue. The methods used by the principal may lead to increased hostility and antagonism and manifest themselves in teachers refusing to cooperate and

reluctant to do more than is required. In other words, the restraining forces have got stronger and change slows down. Lewin emphasised that to bring about change, it is better to reduce the power of the restraining forces rather than increase the driving forces. This has been termed as unfreezing whereby the power of the restraining forces are decreased to stimulate the driving forces. For example, the principal could instead encourage more discussion and group problem solving in an attempt to eliminate hostility and apathy. If there is fear among teachers that they would not have the know-how to implement change it is best that they be trained before implementing the new ideas.

EQUILIBRIUM Driving Forces Restraining Forces

a) Government intervention b) Societys values c) Technological changes knowledge/skills d) Knowledge explosion e) Administrative processes

a) Fear of the unknown b) Threats to power c) Obsolete d) Traditional values e) Limited resources e) Limited resources

Figure 6.1 Force Field Model (Kurt Lewin, 1951)

SELF-TEST 6.1 What does curriculum implementation involve? How does Kurt Lewins model explain curriculum change?

6.3 Types of Curriculum Change If you are responsible for implementing curriculum, it is important that you understand the nature of change. Understanding the change process can be a challenging and exciting process. If you do not comprehend the complexities of change you are likely to introduce ideas and actions that may result in confusion and tension within the school or district. Curriculum change is a complex and difficult process and requires careful planning, adequate time, funding, support and opportunities for teacher involvement. McNeil (1990) categorised curriculum change as follows: 5

Substitution: One element may be substituted for another already present. For example, the substituting of a new textbook for an old one. Alteration: This occurs when a change is introduced into existing material in the hope that it will appear minor and thus be readily adopted. For example, introducing new content such as road safety in the primary school curriculum; use of new materials such as the graphing calculator in mathematics teaching. Perturbations: These are changes that are disruptive but teachers adjust to them within a fairly short time. For example, the assistant principal changes the timetable or schedule to allow for longer teaching time. Restructuring: These are changes that lead to a modification of the whole school system. For example, the introduction of an integrated curriculum requiring team teaching, or involving the local community in deciding what is to be taught. Value Orientation: These are shifts in the fundamental value orientations of school personnel. For example, if the new teachers who join the school place more emphasis on personal growth of students than academic performance, then the value orientations or fundamental philosophies of the school changes. It should be realised that a particular curriculum change may not exactly fit according to the five categories given. But, the categories are general enough to help you plan change and arrange resources to bring about the change. However, you should be aware that change is not synonymous with improvement and you might decide that change should not be undertaken.

SELF-TEST 6.2 What are the five types of curriculum change listed by McNeil. Give examples of each category other than those given in the text. Identify other types of curriculum change which you have come across but do not fit into those given.

6.4 Resistance to Change As mentioned earlier, bringing about change is not an easy task. There are many barriers to the successful implementation of a curriculum. If you are given the job of implementing a curriculum, whether it be in the school system, college, university or training centre, you will encounter people resisting change. Keep things as they are! Many people think that it is easier to keep things as they are. We often hear people say, If it is not broken, why fix it. People are happy with the current situation in their institution and feel that the change suggested will not meet the objectives of the school, college or training centre. The status quo tends to be maintained when the persons introducing change are themselves not clear as to the intent and what is required of the

new programme. To make matters worse, the implementation of the programme is poorly planned. Teachers who are to implement the curriculum frequently view change as meaning more work. In addition to their already overloaded schedule, there is no extra financial reward for the extra work they have to put in. Also, they view new curriculum programmes will require them to learn new teaching skills and competencies which will mean attending courses and seminars. It has also been found that teachers or practitioners tend to reject pedagogical strategies or teaching methods that are different from what they are currently using. They are reluctant to change or modify their current instructional strategies and understandings of classroom practice. Let us examine in more detail why people resist change. By knowing why people resist change, it may be possible to plan more effective strategies to overcome resistance and improve receptivity to change. Persons charged with the task of curriculum implementation must understand how people react to change and how to encourage them to be receptive to change. The following are the main reasons why people resist change (Harvey, 1990; Woldring, 1999; Lippitt, 1966). I. People resist because they do not understand they simply do not follow what is being introduced. They do not understand where they are going. They are not clear as to what is required of them. Overcome: The key is communication. You have to explain to them Why. You have to answer the Why, What, When, How and Where questions. Remember, the effectiveness of communication is not the message sent but of the message received People resist because of lack of ownership Individuals will not accept change if they consider it coming from outside or imposed on them. Unfortunately, most curriculum reform efforts are initiated from the outside which may be at the national, state or district level. Overcome: You have to convince teachers that even though it comes from the outside, their view and opinions have been considered at the planning and design stages of curriculum development. Involve teachers in exploring the relevance of the new curriculum and give them the freedom to explore the new skills needed for utilising or implementing the curriculum. This will get them to feel that they are an important part of the curriculum implementation process. People resist if they do not have the competencies to cope with the changes It is natural for persons to resist if they do not have the knowledge and skills to cope with the changes. Nobody wants to be told that they are incompetent. There is the likelihood that the implementation of the new curriculum has been rushed or due to budgetary constraints, the training period has been greatly reduced and teachers are not adequately equipped. Overcome: Adequate time and resources have to be set aside for the training of teachers involved in implementing the new curriculum. People resist if there is a lack of incentives or benefits If teachers are unconvinced that the new programme will make things better for students (in terms of

II.

III.

IV.

learning) or themselves (such as greater recognition, respect or reward), they are likely to resist the suggested change. Overcome: Make sure that teachers who are actively involved in curriculum change are rewarded. The reward need not necessarily be financial, but their efforts need to be given due recognition. V. People resist if they do not have the time to engage with the change Teachers find it difficult having to juggle between bringing about change handling their current responsibilities. Focusing their energy on change activities, may run the risk of neglecting their current responsibilities. Overcome: Lighten their workload so they can participate in the change. Reprioritise their work. Do not expect people to have the energy to change when this means failing on the tasks for which they are held responsible.

SELF-TEST 6.2 1. Why do people resist change? Suggest other reasons why people resist change.

6.5 Case Study: Curriculum Reform and Implementation in Indonesia In 1994, the Indonesian government introduced curriculum reform which consisted of a national curriculum (80%) and flexibility given to the provinces in adjusting the curriculum to local needs. The Local Content Curriculum (LCC) was aimed at the local situation and context while the national curriculum focused on national development. The Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) transferred 20% of its authority to each provincial level (LCC). Teachers, principals and supervisors were given autonomy to redesign the curriculum to more closely match students needs and interests. However, in reality not all teachers took advantage of the opportunity. Teachers have not responded in modifying the curriculum or experimenting with new instructional techniques. Moreover, parents and interested groups in the locality have not been invited to participate in the planning or management of the LCC program. According to LCC policy, schools are supposed to reorganise the curriculum into a new set of subjects. In some cases teachers have made connections between the subject matter they disseminate to the world outside, but the basic curricular foundations in junior secondary school has remained essentially the same as the previous curriculum.
National Curriculum (80%) Local Content Curriculum (20%) Pancasila and civic education Agriculture Religion (Islam, Christianity, Environmental education Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism) Computer and information Indonesian language Local culture (dance, local language, Reading and writing traditional games, etc Mathematics English Science & technology

Geography National and World history

The following are some limitations and obstacles found in the LCC implementation: lack of communication between the provincial and local levels, the lack of training, teachers attitudes toward the LCC, lack of resources, and lack of funding allocation. o First, in the process of curriculum decentralization some decisions made at the provincial level tend to not meet each districts needs and conditions. o Second, was a lack of teachers to teach the LCC. In the LCC implemented in the provinces of Jambi, Lampung, Maluku Island, South Sulawesi, and East Java. Most of the local content subjects were taught by teachers who do not have any specific skills and experience, such as teaching specific traditional culture and local languages. o Third teachers attitudes toward the LCC implementation. Teachers did not respond to the innovation because they do not have enough background knowledge or skills for its implementation. In fact, they did not have necessary support from the government and provincial levels to develop their knowledge and skills. While it is easy for the government to establish policies, conditions at the school level are completely different. Most teachers tended to concentrate on the national curriculum. Finally, there was lack of funds to develop the LCC which required regular meetings at the school/district level for LCC subject development. This caused a lack of participation in LCC implementation. [source: MinHo, Y, Clementina, A. and Erry, U. The Reform of Secondary Education in
Indonesia during the 1990s: Improving Relevance and Quality through Curriculum Decentralization Implementing the curriculum in Indonesia http://www.ginie.org/cstudies/indonesia/cs-asia-pacific.htm ]

ACTIVITY 6.2
Refer to Case Study 7.5 and answer the following questions

What are some of the reasons given for poor implementation of the local curriculum content (LCC) in Indonesia? To what extent is such flexibility given to teachers in your country?

6.6 Individuals Involved in Curriculum Implementation Implementing a curriculum requires the involvement of many different people. Each is a key player in the change process. Without the coordinated involvement of these individuals the implementation of the curriculum programme will encounter many problems. Among the key players identified are: teachers, students, principals/headmasters, assistant principals, district education officers, state education officers, curriculum developers, academics, parents, interested political officials and lay citizens. In a centralized system, the national curriculum is developed at the national level and passed on to the individual districts and schools to be implemented. 6.6.1 Teachers

Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation process is the teacher. With their knowledge, experience and competencies, teachers are central to any curriculum improvement effort. Regardless of which philosophical belief the education system is based on, there is no denying that teachers influence students learning. Better teachers foster better learning. Teachers are most knowledgeable about the practice of teaching and are responsible for introducing the curriculum in the classroom. The key to getting teachers committed to an innovation is to enhance their knowledge of the programme. This means teachers need be trained and workshops have to be organised for professional development. Unfortunately, in any curriculum implementation process not all teachers will have the benefit of such exposure. There are just too many teachers and insufficient funds to go around. The most common approach is to have one-day workshops given by experts with the lecture method being the dominant pedagogical strategy. Among the many extrinsic factors identified that may impede curriculum change are adequacy of resources, time, school ethos and professional support. The intrinsic factors are; professional knowledge, professional adequacy and professional interest and motivation. (see Table 6.1). Hence, professional development of teachers is as an important factor contributing to the success of curriculum implementation. To what extent have teacher education programmes required prospective teachers to study curriculum development? Some view teachers as technicians and as such do not include curriculum development in their teacher education programmes. [Did you study curriculum development in your training as a teacher?]. Certainly an adequate teacher education programme should include curriculum development (both the theory and the work of curriculum development) if teaching is to be a profession and if educational opportunities for learners are really to be improved. Below are some topics to be addressed in designing professional development opportunities for teachers who are implementing a new programme. Programme philosophy: It is important for teachers to understand both the philosophy behind the programme as well as how the new programme may impact students, parents, administrators and other stakeholders. Content: Teachers may find the curriculum introduces content with which they are unfamiliar, which they have not taught in a while, or is familiar but presented in an unfamiliar way. For example, using a problem-solving approach rather than a topical approach.

Factors
Adequacy of resources

Description
Adequacy of equipment, facilities and general resources required for implementing a new curriculum Time available for preparing and delivering the requirements of the new curriculum. e.g. teachers need enough time to develop their own understanding of the subject they are required to teach. Overall school beliefs towards the new curriculum. Status of the curriculum as viewed by staff,

Time

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School ethos

administrators and community. e.g. school administration recognises the importance of the subject in the overall school curriculum. Support for teachers from both within the school and outside. e.g. opportunities to receive ongoing curriculum professional support Teachers own ability and competence to teach the curriculum. i.e. confidence in teaching Knowledge and understandings teachers possess regarding the new curriculum. e.g. different ways of teaching to foster student learning. Attitudes and interest of teachers toward the new curriculum e.g. keen to teach the subject

Professional support

Professional adequacy Professional knowledge Professional attitude and interest

Table 6.1 Factors influencing the implementation of a curriculum in schools [source: adapted from the Science Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire (SCIQ). http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~lewthwai/introSCIQ.html] Pedagogy: Teachers need opportunities to become familiar with the new programmes pedagogical approach. They may need to work on particular teaching skills emphasised in the new programme, such as teaching of values, or perhaps to become familiar with a tool such as the internet. Components of the programme: Teachers will need opportunities to learn about the components of the new programme early in the implementation phase. For example, the new programme might place greater emphasis on school-based assessment while teachers are more accustomed to national or centralised assessment.

ACTIVITY 6.3
According to Friendenberg, people who go into teaching tend to be conformist in nature and reluctant to innovate. These people have succeeded in the school system as it has existed. They have learned to play it safe and to keep a low profile in a bureaucratic system run by administrators who do not like to create waves. They have found success and fulfilment as students and now as teachers in this system, and for this reason many see no reason to change it. [source: Edgar Friendenberg, 1965. Coming of Age in America. New York: Random House]

To what extent do you agree with Friedenbergs views about teachers and curriculum change? 11 Is this characteristic of other professions?

6.6.2 Students There is a tendency among curriculum implementers to ignore the role of students as agents of change. Increasingly, there is the realisation that even primary school children can contribute to meaningful change. Students must be willing to participate in the programme. If students do not see the relevance of the programme there is the likelihood that they will not be motivated to participate or learn. However, it is still not clear how students should be involved in the curriculum implementation phase even though they are the main recipients of the programme. Students may be so entrenched in their thinking and behaviour that changes proposed in the curriculum may not be enthusiastically received. For example, students may be used to being given notes by their teachers and the new programme requires them to make their own notes. Some students may not know how to make notes and have to be taught how to go about it. Even getting students to participate in discussions may not be well received if they have been accustomed to being passive recipients to information. 6.6.3 Principals or Headmasters Principals or headmasters are important players the curriculum implementation process in a school. They should understand the need for change as well as the steps that have to be taken along the way. They should have in-depth knowledge about the planned change and of the implementation process. They should be familiar with the goals and components of the curriculum and be able to see a shift in teachers role in the classroom and the way in which teachers interact with students. They should be accessible and willing to communicate with others involved in the process. Establishing a two-way information flow will give principals or headmasters a chance to stay on top of issues that need to be addressed. It will also allow attending to critical problems or concerns before they lead to frustration or even anger among teachers. Lines of communication are best set early to get out information to people as well to provide a platform in which they can voice their concern. Information gathered from listening and talking to people will also help principals or headmasters decide where to focus and needs attention. They should be able to convince parents on the merits of the new curriculum and how the new pedagogical strategies can become more meaningful for their children. For example, they may need to speak to parents and the community on the new curriculum. It is important that they give the message that they have thought carefully about the need for change, that the have anticipated the issues that will arise and have a plan for addressing the issues. They should keep in mind, that even the best-laid plans can meet unexpected challenges. For example, insufficient teachers in a particular subject area due to resignation, unexpected introduction of programmes by the government, sudden change

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of government policy. For this reason, a flexible implementation plan may be necessary which is adapted and revisited along the way. They must be committed to the change and be able to employ a variety of leadership strategies to meet the needs of teachers such as; building on the strengths of their staff, being willing to take risks; being positive about the planned change and to use this optimism to motivate others. 6.6.4 Parents Besides teachers, students and school administrators, parents also play an important role in the implementation process. For example, when parents see a subject being taught in way that is unfamiliar to them, they naturally have questions about what is going on. When children bring homework from school that parents feel unable to help with, they feel confused and lost. To be successful, any new programme needs to be embraced by parents. One way of reaching out to parents is to organise workshops for them focusing on the new curriculum. The workshops should be designed to help parents better understand the content and philosophy of the new programme. Parents need an opportunity to share their concerns and voice their support in an open forum. These workshops should be conducted by teachers so that they may explain what is really going on in the classroom. Another approach in reaching out to parents is to make available information on curriculum change on the internet. For example, the government of the province of Alberta in, Canada has on its website a curriculum handbook for parents containing information on subjects offered, programmes and courses available in all schools. The information is updated each year as changes are made to the curriculum (refer to http://www.education.gov.ab.ca/parents/handbooks). Similarly, print-based newsletters can be made available to parents informing them of the changes that are taking place with the introduction of the new curriculum. SELF-TEST 6.3 1. What should principals or headmasters do to ensure the successful implementation of any curriculum? 2. How should parents be involved in the curriculum implementation process?

6.7 Case Study: England National Curriculum for Secondary Schools The law requires that all schools in England provide for all pupils a balanced and broadly based curriculum which provides for all pupils to learn and achieve; promotes students spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development; prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. The following subjects must be taught: English Mathematics Science Design and Technology Information and Communication

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Technology History

Other statutory requirements are: Religious Education, Sex and Relationship Education, and, Careers Education (from Year 9). The core subjects: English, mathematics and science will be given priority to ensure that they are secure. Beyond this, each school can decide which subject to give more time to and, within a subject, which aspects or skills to emphasise. The priority or emphasis might apply across subjects, to particular year groups, to groups of pupils or to individuals. For example, a school with particular strengths in its ICT and language departments offers Spanish as a second foreign language using ICT facilities for weekly videoconference sessions with students in a partner school in Spain. a school with substantial low-achieving students emphasises literacy across the curriculum. Teachers plan into their schemes of work where and how they will teach literacy objectives in their subject. In an area of high-technology industries such as computing and pharmaceuticals, school gives priority to mathematics and science to help its students to make the most of local job opportunities. Scientists from local companies visit the school as part of the science and engineering ambassadors scheme, and year 9 students undertake project work to achieve creativity in science and technology (CREST) awards.
[Source: Key Stage 3 National Strategy: Designing the Key Stage 3 Curriculum, Department for Education and Skills. England.]

ACTIVITY 6.4 What flexibility is given to teachers in Englands secondary school curriculum? Do you agree with the flexibility given to schools in meeting local needs? Give reasons. Do you think such flexibility should be given to schools in your country? Why? 6.8 Implementing Curriculum in the Classroom The final destination of any curriculum is the classroom. As we enter the classroom, decision making becomes the responsibility of the teacher. Up to this point curriculum implementation was discussed at the programme level and decision making was of a programmatic nature (though we did discuss briefly the role of the teacher). Now classroom teachers will take over and make decisions of a methodological nature. They will be answering question like: What objectives do I hope to accomplish as a result of instruction? What topics or content will I have to cover?

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What teaching methods or strategies should I use to direct learning and achieve the objectives? How do I evaluate instruction to determine whether I have successfully achieved the objective?

LEARNING GOALS

CONTENT CONTENT

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

ASSESSMENT ASSESSMENT TASKS TASKS

Teaching Methods

Learning Activities

Figure 6.2 An example of an instructional model Implementing instruction in the classroom includes specifying instructional or learning goals (discussed in Chapter 5), selecting content, selecting learning experiences and choosing techniques or tasks to evaluate instruction (see Figure 6.2). Where and how does the teacher begin to plan for instruction? Lets look at three examples of planning for instruction. Teacher X takes the textbook and divides the number of chapters by the number of weeks in the school year. For example, one chapter may be taught over two or three lessons. The sequence and subheadings of the respective chapter guides the presentation of content. He or she may prepare some notes for students, ask some questions during class (which may come from the textbook) and give group assignments to clarify points in the chapter or chapters. Teacher Y selects a topic for study for the week or over a number of lessons using all kinds of resources related to the topic. The resources may include the textbook, reference books, websites, magazines, etc. A problem-solving approach is adopted where students look through various sources of information to solve a problem. Teacher Z comes to class without knowing what he or she will cover. A theme or issue is written on the blackboard and students are expected to contribute their understanding and interpretation about the theme or issue. While some may argue that this is spontaneity, others, less kind, might term it non-planning.

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These three approaches may be extreme, but there are many teachers who fall into one of these categories. These teachers may follow the curriculum or follow the plan in general terms. All three approaches may not specify the instructional objectives or learning outcomes students are expected to accomplish. In most cases, teachers adopted an eclectic approach, i.e. they combine one or more methods. Instructional objectives or learning outcomes are statements indicating what you want students to know, to do and to value after having completed a lesson. Why instructional objectives? [The issue of instructional objectives has been discussed in Module 1 and Module 45]. Instructional objectives: make it clear to teachers what changes they want students to achieve help in choosing the appropriate learning experiences to achieve the changes or learning desired inform students of what is expected of them indicate what will be important in assessing the lesson In planning for instruction lesson plans are used. A lesson plan is simply an outline prepared in advance of teaching, so that time and materials will be used efficiently (Peter, 1975. p.194). Ideally, different lessons require different lesson plans and different students require different lesson plans. The following is generic outline for a lesson plan which consists of: (see Figure 6.3): a) objectives b) pre-requisite knowledge c) learning experiences (teaching methods and learning activities) d) instructional aids and resources e) assignment f) evaluation tasks or techniques The teacher with less experience will have more details included in the lesson plan. However, it is desirable for both experienced and inexperienced teachers to prepare complete lesson plans to fully communicate their ideas. It is common practice for experienced teachers to simplify or shorten lesson plans. As teachers gain experience, less detail in planning is possible. Once the lesson plan has been made, the teacher can begin to demonstrate his or her style and skills of teaching.

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Date: when is the lesson to be conducted Time: time when the lesson is to be conducted Duration: how long will the lesson take? Grade Level: state what level Topic: From one topic two or lessons plans may be developed. Objectives: a) Cognitive 1. mastery and understanding of the content (eg. able to give three characteristics, able to give reasons) b) Affective 1. the affective outcomes desired (eg. express an opinion, take a position, empathise with the issue discussed) Pre-Requisite Knowledge: 1. List all skills and content knowledge needed prior to teaching this lesson Instructional Aids and Resources: 1. the instructional aids that will be used (eg. maps, pictures, videoclip) 2. show how they will be used Learning Experiences: 1. Set induction: how the lesson will begin (eg. review previous lesson) 2. the teaching strategy used (eg. inductive approach) 3. questions posed (to increase understanding and thinking) 4. what students will be required to do (eg. listen, manipulate data) 5. how students interact with the instructional aids 6. Closure: ask students questions and summarise lesson Assignment: 1. learning activity students are required to do after the lesson (eg. refer to newspaper article) Evaluation Techniques: 1. how will student learning be assessed? (eg. oral questioning) 2. What criteria or rubric will be used to evaluate the lesson? Figure 6.3 Generic components of a lesson plan

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:


Identify some problems in the implementation of the Primary School Integrated Identify some problems in the implementation of the Primary School Integrated Curriculum (KBSR) and the Secondary School Integrated Curriculum (KBSM)? Curriculum (KBSR) and the Secondary School Integrated Curriculum (KBSM)? Describe how the teaching of science and mathematics in English was Describe how the teaching of science and mathematics in English was implemented in your school? implemented in your school? New curriculum often fail to become established in schools because the New curriculum often fail to become established in schools because the importance and complexity of the implementation phase is not understood importance and complexity of the implementation phase is not understood Discuss. Discuss.

READINGS Ben-Peretz, M. (1990). The Teacher-Curriculum Encounter. Buffalo: State University of New York Press. o Chapter 1: Patterns of teachers involvement in the curriculum endeavour. o Chapter 3: Teachers concerns about curriculum issues o Chapter 7; Implications for teacher education and staff development [available at eBrary]. Ornstein, A. and Hunkins, F. Curriculum: Foundations, principle and issues. (1998). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Chapter 10: Curriculum implementation. Sowell, E. (2000). Curriculum: An integrative introduction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Chapter 1: Overview of curriculum processes and products.

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