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Principles of Curriculum Development

Question:

Write about the Curriculum of the Future for Learning Activities.

The development of curriculum is based on certain  beliefs, conceptions and everyday learning in the society. Curriculum development as a process is premised on the principles of a cyclical model. In other words, it commences with a needs analysis, that gives away to planning followed by development which is further followed by piloting and dissemination, and concludes with the implementation and evaluation process (Coombs et al., 2017). In Malaysia, educators along with their trainers collaborate to brainstorm on the formulation of the curriculum and outline the best possible ways of its execution. The discussion is succeeded by the choosing the contents and segmentation of the contents for each year of education.  The discussion finally comprises of possible learning activities and teaching methods. At the State level, the curriculum is pioneered by the Sate Curriculum Committee, at the District Level, the District Curriculum Committee whereas at the school level, it is the prerogative of the principal or the headmaster to supervise and implement a curriculum.

According to them, educators should spend more time in explaining and teaching the concepts so that it becomes comprehensible and meaningful to the students. Regarding the transmission of scientific knowledge, perennialist opine that it obsolete scientific information should not be transmitted to the students. The objective of the universities should not only prepare students for specific careers. But also to instil the love for knowledge for attaining knowledge.

Adherence to the Essentialist philosophy for education would benefit both slow learners as well as fast learners. It is because in this type of model, common subjects are taught to all the students irrespective of their retain abilities and academic rigour. Another reason for the incorporation of an essentialist model of curriculum would be to train students to become culturally literate. This entails the acquisition of working knowledge regarding the events, people, groups, institutions and groups that have informed and structured the society.

The motto of education should be to create citizens who are respectful, thoughtful, and ethical, morally bound and are enterprising citizens. Hence, the curriculum should be designed in a way that is effective in making a responsible citizen. An astute knowledge about philosophy is crucial in understanding in formulating a curriculum as it drives the logic behind selection, organization and implementation. The philosophy or the epistemological tenet would address broader questions like what are the subjects and their values. These values will act as a directory in making decisions regarding the kind of books to be included for the curriculum (Nair & Sinasamy, 2017).

Collaborative Curriculum Development in Malaysia

It is important to design a curriculum in a fashion that maximizes the learning ability of the students. Therefore, the content needs to be presented in a manner that would engage the students and motivate them to learn the contents. Teacher need to exhibit high-quality and cutting-edge instructional methods that engage the students with the content. There should be continuous evaluation procedure subsumed within the curriculum planner to assess the learning outcomes of the students. The curriculum should feature the following model

  • Goals and objectives
  • Curriculum designing
  • Implementation of curriculum
  • Evaluation of curriculum

Students should be encouraged to develop expertise in different subjects, as it will broaden their understanding and enable to examine, perceive and decipher an issue or atopic from diverse perspectives. Genuine life problems should be selected and students should be motivated to concern with socially relevant issues. The learner should be positioned in social setting that would equip the student to address the problem in a refined manner. Students need to introspect and examine issues that pose pressing problems to the society. They need to be acquainted with knowledge that prepare them for the world of technology and learn survival skills for the bureaucratic world (Zeldin et al., 2016). They need to understand that knowledge acquisition is a lifelong process and they need to link their knowledge with their values. There should also be the incorporation of liberal arts in the curriculum will discipline the mind and will enrich the intellect. For the perennialist point of view overflowing factual information that educators expect students to imbibe.

The foundation of a curriculum should be premised on the historical and social context. It is because schools are situated within the society and hence, the disposition in the society is instrumental in influential in designing the curriculum. Students should be exposed to a problem-focussed design curriculum that will enable students to imbibe social issues that will be directly applicable to what they learnt, internalized and experienced in their everyday lives (Baharun et al., 2017). Learning Anthropology will enable the students to learn the method of enquiry that are followed by experts in the discipline of anthropology. Students should be part of a teaching environment that encourages and boosts them to think.  Students should be taught to inculcate critical thinking, thinking innovatively and creatively, and students will also learn to identify the faulty areas of their thinking pattern. The curriculum should be an outcome of both the teachers and the students. The leaning activities should be incorporated in a teaching-learning situations. Children should be oriented towards a spirit of social reform. Students should be in inculcated to learn in an environment where the teacher-student are not positioned dichotomically but reciprocal as it promote a more cohesive, flexible and democratic learning environment. Students should be socialized not just to learn the content but also challenge it. Students should be free from indoctrination as knowledge is not to be a perceived as finished product by the learner (Selvadurai et al., 2017).

Essentialist Philosophy for Education

Adoption of the correlation design into the curriculum framework looks promising as it would facilitate the fusion of different subjects into one subject as an alternative to relying on a single subject for understanding concepts, terms and phenomenon. An illustration of this is in the history class  students are taught about the Japanese occupation of Malayasia, thus promoting a holistic and correlated understanding of an issue (Shahali et al., 2017).

Students should be trained and prepared with care for the future. If students are imparted inadequate and narrow information, it does not amplify their learning abilities. It is important to adopt an evaluation strategy that encourages students to acquire in-depth knowledge. In this context, the Eisner and Connoisseurship model can act as a template for effective evaluation (Al Ramiah, Hewstone & Wölfer, 2017). Hence, classroom pedagogy should strive to impart rich and complex content. Schools should motivate students to learn meaning from experience and therefore, education should be oriented towards inculcating the meaning-making abilities of the students (Haw et al., 2017). The content that is designed should be in proportion/ correspondence with the age group or else students will take more time to learn. The educators should be competent and resourceful and take into consideration the skills and expert of the staff, time restraints, pertinent educational resources and funding that shape the formulation of the curriculum.     

The selection of content should address the existing social reality especially the economical plight and the influence of government. There needs to be an emphasis on integrated curriculum that would assimilate the different subjects under one umbrella. For example, the topic of oil can be studied from science, geography (oil resource), literature, history and economics (Kusumawathie, Mohamad & Azam, 2017). However, it can be cumbersome for the educators as there requires greater effort to integrate different subjects, for which the teacher needs to go out of the way to disseminate profound learning experiences to the students. This method equips the students to translate their theoretical knowledge into practical applications, fosters speedy retrieval of accumulated information and boosts the breadth and depth of learning. Another advantage is that it forges team spirit, mutual learning and a positive attitude. In Malaysia, Man and the Environment was a subject that was incorporated in primary schools integrated different subjects together (Nor, Leong & Salleh, 2017). Apart from asking students to be oriented towards contributing to the economy of the country, they should also be encouraged to address and be vocal about the pressing social issues.

Philosophical Tenets for Curriculum Development

Therefore from the above discussions it can be inferred that designing an effective curriculum that integrates both the teachers and the students in the learning process. The aim of education should be to create students who are capable of autonomous thinking, translate theoretical knowledge into action and finally orient themselves into integrated learning approach. This would promote the holistic development of the student and inspire them to become socially aware citizens.

References

Al Ramiah, A., Hewstone, M., & Wölfer, R. (2017). Attitudes and Ethnoreligious Integration: Meeting the Challenge and Maximizing the Promise of Multicultural Malaysia Final report: Survey and recommendations Presented to the Board of Trustees, CIMB Foundation.

Baharun, H., Sidek, A. P. D. H. M., Darmi, R., Harun, H., Abdullah, N., & Zakaria, Z. A. (2017). Analysing the theoretical foundation alignment of the Malaysian secondary school efl speaking curriculum. International Journal, 2(5), 70-82.

Coombs, C. M., Shields, R. Y., Hunt, E. A., Lum, Y. W., Sosnay, P. R., Perretta, J. S., ... & Shilkofski, N. A. (2017). Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Simulation-Based Clinical Correlation Curriculum as an Adjunctive Pedagogy in an Anatomy Course. Academic medicine, 92(4), 494-500.

Haw, S. K., Ong, S. T., Wong, C. O., & Wong, M. S. (2017, August). Conceptualize the e-Learning Framework for the Secondary School Curriculum. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Technology in Education(pp. 18-22). ACM.

Kusumawathie, P. H., Mohamad, N., & Azam, F. (2017). Application of outcome based curriculum design strategy as an effective mechanism for secondary schools. European Journal of Special Education Research.

Nair, S. M., & Sinasamy, R. P. (2017). Patriotism among Secondary School Students and Its Relationship with their Interests towards Learning History. Asian Journal of Education and Training, 3(2), 110-117.

Nor, N. M., Leong, K. E., & Salleh, U. K. M. (2017). Changes in the Malaysian School Curriculum from the Pre-independence Years Until the New Millennium. In Education in Malaysia (pp. 101-118). Springer, Singapore.

Selvadurai, S., Liu, O. P., Radzi, M. M., Hoon, O. P., Tee, O. P., & Saibeh, B. (2017). Debating education for nation building in Malaysia: National school persistence or vernacular school resistance?. Geografia-Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 11(13).

Shahali, E. H., Halim, L., Treagust, D. F., Won, M., & Chandrasegaran, A. L. (2017). Primary school teachers’ understanding of science process skills in relation to their teaching qualifications and teaching experience. Research in Science Education, 47(2), 257-281.

Zeldin, S., Krauss, S. E., Kim, T., Collura, J., & Abdullah, H. (2016). Pathways to youth empowerment and community connectedness: A study of youth-adult partnership in Malaysian after-school, co-curricular programs. Journal of youth and adolescence, 45(8), 1638-1651.

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