CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Are you able to highlight some of the important factors to consider when embarking on the perambulation that is the curriculum development process?



2 a ii).  Highlight some of the important factors to consider when embarking on the perambulation that is the curriculum development process.

Objectives of Curriculum Development Process

At the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of curriculum
  • Describe the curriculum development process
  • Identify the stages of curriculum development process
  • Describe reasons that govern curriculum in a given society or nation
  • Describe factors that prompt changes in curriculum

    Curriculum Development Process

This is the process of choosing and refining the contents of an education system which may, later on, be implemented in schools. It is in nature an improvement or modification or change on the existing, educational programme. Curriculum improvement or curriculum development cannot be made in a neat series of steps; it involves a lot of work.

There are several component processes that should be considered in the curriculum development process.

Let us consider them one by one.

          1. Situational Analysis

This is a type of information gathering which reveals both the need and feasibility of the curriculum development intended. The main issues of concern here are: What information? From whom? Who should gather it? From whom should it be gathered? Who should collect it? What information should be used for?

Much information related to the curriculum development is gathered from curriculum experts, educators, government, non-organizations employers, industrialists, agricultural sector etc. The reasons are that much information is revealed concerning needs, problems and interests of learners and society.

From information gathered, curriculum workers (e.g. in KIE) will come to know whether or not there is need to improve the existing curriculum.

Activity 1

Write down what you consider to be important when planning curriculum.

Does your school curriculum bit your findings? From these considerations you now have a bettter picture of needs and feasibility of the curriculum intended.

The information gathered will reveal the feasibility of improvement, the information may reveal current social economic and political philosophies of the society. Also vital to know is the employment chances and the aspirations of parents, children and society.

        2. Formulation of Objectives

They are justifications for the need of providing education or various aspects of the school curriculum and indeed a slogan support for education.

They help to guide the educational process. For example, we cannot decide appropriately what to teach or how to teach it until we know why we are doing it.

Objectives attempt to improve the practice of education by first obtaining clarity about educational ends.

Objectives are a test to be applied to the educative process. They provide a precise basis for evaluation, determining the extent to which the educational or instructional programme is useful

To help you in formulation of objectives, consider Tyler’s (1949) four significant questions.

  1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
  2. What educational experiences or content should be effectively organized or ordered or sequenced?
  3. How can it be determined whether the purposes formulated in (i) above are being attained?
  4. How can these Educational Experiences or Content be selectively organized?

Where do objectives come from?

To answer these questions think of Tyler’s (1949) suggestion of objective sources.

Source (i) The study of nature, needs and problems of contemporary society

Source (ii) The study of the needs, interests and problems of learners themselves.

Source (iii) Suggestions from subject specialists and the nature of subject matter

Source (iv) The nature of social values (philosophy)

Source (v) The nature of learning theories (psychology)

In Kenya, curriculum development is done at the K.I.E with selected panels whose members are drawn from school teachers and other similar educational spheres.

The membership of the project teams include classroom teachers, university lecturers, members of religious organizations, publishers, educational administrators, school inspectors, curriculum developers, personnel of the Kenya National Examinations Council, teacher trainers and representatives of several other organizations.

The team of the project will have been briefed, trained and presented with aims, goals  and objectives of education and other necessary facilities to help them in their duties. They should be well trained as team members and given terms of references.

Activity 2

Try to think and write down other relevant factors that this team should deal with a country of diverse cultural and geographical aspects like Kenya.

∙This is also referred to as the stage of curriculum designing and is actually the main task of the project team selected:


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