Curriculum Development: What are some of the curriculum goals in the 1985 KCE syllabus and regulations?


4 a i). (First on list of proper numbering)  Identify curriculum goals in the 1985, K.C.E syllabus and regulations.

In some educational literature, the terms educational goals, objectives and aims are used to mean different things together. Some people view educational goals and objectives as curriculum objectives for instructional goals. There are also people who use aims of education to mean instructional goals and objectives.

An agreement has not been reached by most curriculum experts on the correct definitions of and differences between aims, goals and objectives. Most writers on education use the three concepts synonymously. Some adequate aims of education with goals. There is nothing wrong with this. In general terms, we use aims, objectives and goals to refer to purposes, outcomes, and ends.


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

  • define aims, goals and objectives as defined in this lecture
  • Explain the difference between curriculum goals and objectives.
  • Identify several curriculum goals and objectives found in educational literature.
  • Write precise curriculum goals and objectives.
  • Analyse characteristics and reasons for goals and objectives in curriculum planning.

    Definition of Aims

We indicated in the previous paragraphs that educational literature uses terms loosely to signify terminal expectations of education, terms such as ends, purposes, out-comes, goals, functions, aims and objectives are used by educators alternatively.

Aims should be equated with ends, functions or purposes. Aims are therefore defined as broad general statements of purposes of education for a given country. The purposes of aims of education are to give a general direction on education system throughout the country. Curriculum developers divide aims, and even individual aims. The following statements found in Gachathi Report (1976), Ominde Report (1965), and Ndegwa Commission (1971), should be seen as aims of education rather than objectives.

Aims of Education in Kenya

  • Education must serve the needs of national development
  • Education must assist in fostering and promoting national unity
  • Education must prepare and equip the youth so that they can play a leading role in life of the nation
  • Education must assist in the promotion of social equality, train in social obligation and responsibility
  • Educational system must foster and develop our rich and varied cultures.

Global Aims of Education

Sometimes attempts are made to define aims of education on a global scale e.g. UNESCO attempts to state the aims of education to promote in the world are such areas:

      1. Fostering international understanding among all the people of the world
      2. Improving the standard of living of people in various countries
      3. Solving continuing problems that plague people or humanity, such as wars, diseases, hunger and unemployment.


Definition of Goals

Goals and objectives are categorized at two levels. The first is defining goals and objectives at the curriculum level. The second one is defining them at the instructional level. Teachers and people involved in the process of curriculum planning and improvement need to know the difference between the two levels. They also need to know the level at which each one of them is applicable in the whole process of curriculum development. You as a teacher should know something about them.

Activity 14

Identify curriculum goals in the 1985, K.C.E syllabus and regulations.

Curriculum Goals

Curriculum goals are purposes or ends stated in general terms without criteria of achievement. People who plan a curriculum wish students to achieve them after being exposed to or taking a section or all of a programme of study. Statements which appear  in the preamble of subjects included in syllabus and regulations for Kenya Certificates of Education should rightly be seen as curriculum goals. They do not specify criteria of accomplishment at any level of learning.

Curriculum goals and objectives are usually written by curriculum planners at the Kenya Institute of Education. (KIE). All schools in the country are expected to implement the stated goals and objectives. How every school implements them is left entirely to the teachers to determine. The following are some of the goals of secondary school curriculum contained in the Secondary Education Project Document 1984. The  secondary school curriculum should enable the students to:

    • Understand his physical environment, its potentials, the factors which control it, and methods of managing and conserving the environment;
    • Understand the basic concepts and principles underlying different methods of utilizing resources for production of goods and services;
    • Become aware of the social environment, its controls, (customs, traditions, beliefs, moral codes) and the rights, obligations and duties of an individual in the conservation and commitment of that social environment;
    • Discover himself and develop his special abilities by making maximum use of opportunities for intellectual, social and moral growth;
    • Develop the ability to understand, analyze and interpret available data on issues affecting life and draw valid conclusions;
    • Use ideas, concepts and skills acquired in the learning process in diverse ways in preparation for adaptation to changing social-economic and political situation in the past, now and in the future.

Characteristics of Curriculum Goals

The following are some of the characteristics of curriculum goals.

    • They relate to educational aims of philosophy
    • They are programmes. Although they speak to one or more areas of the curriculum, they do not delimit specific courses or specific items of content.
    • They refer to the accomplishments of a group i.e. all students in general, most students rather than the achievement of individual students.
    • They are always stated in general terms that provide directions for curriculum development
    • They are broad enough that lead to specific curriculum objectives.

Curriculum Objectives

Curriculum objectives come from curriculum goals. Curriculum objectives are defined as purpose or end, stated in specific, measurable terms. People who plan curriculum wish students to achieve certain behavior, knowledge and skills after going through a section or whole programme. Curriculum objectives provide opportunities for evaluating the students’ achievements.

Characteristics of Curriculum Objectives

The following are some of the major characteristics of curriculum objectives.

    • They relate to the educational aims and philosophy
    • They are practical in nature
    • They refer to the achievement of groups and not individual students
    • They are stated in specific measurable and behavioural terms
    • They are refined statements from curriculum goals

Activity 15

Are Curriculum Objectives Really Necessary?

Why Do We Need Objectives?

Hilda Taba, identified several reasons or factors which warrant the writing of objectives in curriculum.

The first important function of objectives is that of guiding decisions about the selection of content and learning experiences and also providing criteria on what to teach and how to teach it.

Secondly, a clear statement of objectives helps to select from vast areas of knowledge in the various disciplines that which is realistically necessary for some valid out-comes.

Thirdly, objectives serve to clarify the types of powers mental or otherwise which need to be developed. The definition of these powers and how it is handled in the classrooms.

Fourth, objectives are needed to provide a common consistent focus for the many activities that go into curriculum. The programme of the schools is managed by many people; there are many subjects, classes and teachers. Some unity is emphasized; some common focus is needed to make their efforts coverage on certain common consistent goals.

Fifth, the objectives serve as a guide for the evaluation of achievement. Discrepancy between what is taught and what is evaluated is a common fault of school programmes. This discrepancy is caused by limitations in the available means of measuring a sufficiently broad range of achievements of information and skills. Sometimes discrepancy may be due to badly formulated objectives.

Instructional Goals and Objectives

When curriculum decisions have been made at the national level, teachers in schools, educational supervisors and administrators are left with the major role of implementation. Teachers have to decide how they will organize the instruction in their respective schools. They will be occupied with decisions of methodology. Some of the questions teachers will ask themselves are:

  1. What are the objectives to be achieved as a result of instruction?
  2. Which procedures are appropriate for directing the learning
  3. How will evaluation be carried out?

Teachers in this country face a lot of challenge. They are first and foremost expected to prepare children at all levels of schooling to pass national examinations. National examinations in this country include, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Secondly, schools are expected to prepare children to acquire basic skills and knowledge necessary for functioning in our society.


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

  • Define instructional goals and objectives;
  • Identify characteristics of instructional goals and objectives;
  • Explain the importance of writing instructional objectives;
  • Write clear and correct instructional goals and objectives;
  • State instructional goals and objectives for the three domains. (Cognitive,

    Definition of Instructional Goals

An instructional goal is defined as a statement of performance expected of each student in a class phrased in general terms without criteria of achievement. Sometimes the term instructional goals is used to refer to general objectives. The writers use tentative general objectives when they mean instructional goals.

Examples of Instructional Goals

  1. The student will show an understanding of the causes of inflation.
  2. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the works of great philosophers.
  3. The student will demonstrate his ability to read novels without difficulty.

Activity 16

Are instructional objectives to be written at the beginning or end of your lesson plan: Give your reasons.

Instructional Objectives

An instructional objective is a statement of performance to be demonstrated by each student in the class, derived from the instructional goal, phrased, imeasurable and observable terms.

Instructional objectives are also called

  1. Behavioural objectives
  2. Performance objectives
  3. Competencies

Teachers are always encouraged to state instructional objectives whenever they are planning instruction.

Examples of Instructional Objectives

  1. The student will be able to identify and name five main parts of a flower, using a specimen given from the school garden.

  2. The student will be able to identify and write correctly the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in a given English passage.

  3. At the end of the lesson students will be able to name the main sources of revenue for local government.

Many teachers in our schools find it difficult to plan and state instructional objectives. On many occasions, they have regarded instructional objectives as very useful. Some of the uses of instructional objectives as a waste of time and unnecessary. However, instructional objectives are very useful. Some of the uses of instructional objectives are specified below:

  • Instructional objectives force the teacher to be precise about what to accomplish.
  • They enable the teacher to communicate to pupils what they must achieve.
  • They make evaluation procedures easy
  • They make accountability possible
  • They make sequencing quite easy
  • They make the students to be aware of what they are expected to learn in a given lesson.

Activity 17

Write two instructional objectives of your own and then find out if you followed the guidelines as stated.


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