Curriculum & Syllabous Design in TESL

Curriculum Decision Making

Dr.Azadeh Asgari

Curriculum Decision Making
Curriculum decisions making is a sociopolitical process that involves almost every one . Actions at the national level, including funding decisions and legislation , influence curriculum even though curriculum matters are supposed to be handled at state and local levels . Curriculum decisions are numerous and often difficult , partly because of their interrelationships. Decisions are further complicated by the numbers of people who participate in making them . The discussions that follow briefly describe the : 1) Nature of curriculum decisions making 2) Arenas for curriculum decision making

Curriculum Decision Making
1. Content : comes from the disciplines or other organized bodies of 2. 3. 4.
knowledge and can take several forms , such as facts concepts and generalization . Purposes ,goals and objectives : are labels applied to the results of students participation in purposeful learning activities. Materials and resources: include the objects , places and people used to facilitate the learning process . Activities and teaching strategies : are the ways in which students become involved in learning the curriculum. Evaluation: includes the procedures for determining degrees of student learning as well as methods of analyzing and interpreting results. Grouping, time and space : refers to the clustering of students for particular experiences either by grade , experiential background or ability levels .


Curriculum Decision Making
People who decide what to teach must contend with concerns about time , money , working conditions and a host of other constraints that can complicate decision making . Finally decisions are made on the basis of people’s values and beliefs.  Values must satisfy the criteria of ideas chosen from alternative a based on considerations of their consequences , cherished enough to be made public , and acted upon in some way .  Beliefs refer to ideas accepted as true , but more susceptible to change than values.

The existence of several curriculum levels shows that practically every body has ideas about school curricula and seeks to express them . Curriculum decisions involve values that people express through actions at different levels of a political decision making hierarchy encompassing national , state , and local level . National Level : The U.S Constitution assigns the primary power for educational matters to state governments who delegate authority for certain decisions to local educational authorities , usually school districts.
1950 – 1970 1975
N.S.F used federal dollars for research on maths, science and technology curriculum project . The E.A.H.C.A changed school curricula by requiring Federal funding pushed evaluation and brought significant changes in program evaluation . Reevaluating and changing public school curricula to mainstream handicapped student into regular classrooms .

 State Level : have major responsibilities or curriculum decisions . States

have boards of education that set policies for public schools in matters such as achievement testing , high school graduation requirements, state subjectspecific curriculum guidelines , school evaluation and certification , materials selection processes, teacher certification requirements and educational information management systems. Gubernatorial offices and state legislatures through budgeting authority strongly influence the content and purpose of curricula .  Local Level : decision in all the catedgories are made or remade locally at either the district , school or classroom level . Institutional curricula are sometimes developed in schools , many are developed at the district level . Local curricula must comply with federal and state guidelines .

Community personnel include people not associated with particular schools or districts as employees or students. Citizens living in particular school districts as well as people beyond district boundaries are considered community personnel and take part in forming societal curricula . Community-at-Large : The community –at –large is composed of individuals and groups who influence curricula , particularly at societal and institutional levels and their agendas often dictate the purposes and how school personnel are involved in curriculum decision making . Governing Boards/Site-Based Groups : At one time virtually all school aperations were overseen by governing boards composed of citizens elected to serve their local school districts. In recent years decentralization has made local schools,rather than districts, the primary unit of management and educational improvement in some locations .

Three approaches can be conceived for curriculum decision making at local levels:
District : District-based curriculum decision making is the norm in many locations where boards of education govern schools. School districts usually use technical approaches to curriculum through an ongoing cycle .  School: School-based curriculum decision making can exist under a district board of education , but it flourishes when sitebased management of schools in the norm. It may use the technical approach and cycle or stages. It may also follow the nontechnical approach, provided teachers within a school , grade or course level work together in preparing curriculum .

Classroom : Classroom-based curriculum decision making may be carried out in schools with site-based management because it is usually developed by individual teachers who was a curriculum especially designed for their students.

Local decisions without school-based

Curriculum level Local decisions with school-based

Overall review and needs asessment

Development of philosophy , goals and objectives Implementation District-based Curriculum decision making
Curriculum Design and writing

District-based cycle

School personnel are the people associated with a school or district as employees or students. School staff are nonteaching personnel who along with teachers and community members , can and often do , make important contribution the curriculum processes at the institutional level . Teachers and students are involved with curriculum at instructional and experiential levels.
 School Staff : School staff includes the nonteaching certificated personnel in district and school .  Administrators  Resources specialists  Counselors, Social workers, Health care providers

 Teachers and Students : are involved differently in curriculum

depending on the approach used. In school or classroom-based approaches these individuals are active producers. Teachers have several expertise that can be valuable in curriculum processes. 1.Contetnt knowledge 2.General pedagogical knowledge 3.Curriculum knowledge 4.Pedagogical content knowledge 5.Knowledge of learners and their characteristics 6.Knowledge of educational contexts 7.Knowledge of educational philosophies

Summary Information Concerning Local Curriculum Decision Making
Locus of decision

Type of governance
Board of education

Administrations(curriculum/subject matter specialists/building), teachers, community members, consultants Teachers and administrators in a school as needed-consultants

Type of curriculum approach


Site-based group or board of education

Technical or Nontechnical


Site-based group or board of education

Individual teachers, as needed consultants