Curriculum Development: What are some of the various processes and sub processes of curriculum implementation?

CHAPTER SIX
CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

6a i).Highlight some of the various processes and sub processes of curriculum implementation.

CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

Curriculum implementation is the systematic process of ensuring that the new curriculum reach the intended consumers; learners and teachers, parents AND society without delay or deviation. It also involves making the new curriculum and the accompanying materials and resources generally available to all schools and colleges within the jurisdiction of the curriculum development project.

Implementation is the making real which has been planned. It is the time of truth. It means the open use of a programme throughout an entire school system. In most schools or educational institutions, implementation is managed by the curriculum staff in the central office with staff at other levels throughout the system. This is the centrally coordinated model of curriculum. Kenya’s Education System is centrally controlled. In centralized education system, a programme may either become compulsory for all schools of a certain type, or be among a list of authorized alternative programme from which each school chooses the most suitable for its needs.

In both cases, implementation entails certain changes within the system.

  • First, teacher-training programmes must be adjusted to the requirements of the new programme. This implies modification in both pre-service and in-service training activities. Occasionally, teachers themselves are in need of further instruction in the content area of the new programme. New teaching methods, strategies, or class management practices may also contribute the focus of a retraining course. Almost always teachers should be trained to monitor the programme to identify flaw defects and to diagnose learning difficulties.
  • A second implementation problem is that of obtaining the support and cooperation of the supervisory staff. Without their cooperation one can hardly expect successful implementation of the programme (Lewry 1977).
  • A third problem is in making the appropriate changes in the national examination system, if it exists. If programmes are changed but national examinations remain unaltered, teachers may not have the motivation for the focus on their educational work. At this stage of development, the formative evaluators’ role is to examine the efficiency of changes and adjustments made. This may be made through observation of the teacher-training programme, through analytical examination of both teacher programmes and the judgments and opinions of educational experts. It must be emphasized that implementation is a process that the project staff and educational authorities always look forward to with a lot of eagerness. Sometimes the participants are so eager that they are attempted to get to it before the pre-requisite processes such as try out have been completed. This temptation should be resisted at all costs.
  • It cannot be over-emphasized that implementation of new curriculum should only be attempted by the institution in which the right conditions prevail. There will be the school and colleges for which satisfactory arrangements can be made for in servicing of teachers and learning materials, and equipment for which the necessary physical facilities can be provided.

This means that implementation can hardly take place uniformly across the country or geographical areas concerned. Some schools will be ready while others will not. The fact that implementation cannot be uniform throughout an educational system is another problem which the project staff and educational authorities find bitter to accept. The former wants to score success quickly overhear; and the latter, in addition to being anxious about uniform success, they are uncomfortable about the thought that different administrative and other arrangements such as those connected with students assessment procedure will have to be made for different groups of institutions.

Not all schools and colleges will have the necessary pre-requisite in the same extent and at the same time. Therefore, the best that can be done is to group the schools according to their degree of readiness and implement the curriculum accordingly hoping that the schools involved will be many so that the whole school system can be covered quickly.

Oluoch (1982) cited some nine sub-processes in the implementation of a new curriculum that may be identified in preparation. These are:

  • Persuading a variety of people to accept the new curriculum.
  • Keeping the general public informed.
  • Educating the teachers
  • Educating the teacher-educators
  • Provision of necessary facilities supply of materials and equipment
  • Actual presentation of the new curriculum
  • Institution of appropriate student assessment procedures
  • Providing continuous support for the teachers
  • Perhaps we should include budgeting for this process

Bishop (1976) noted some reasons for discrepancy between the intent of curriculum projects and what actually happens in the classroom between the theory and practice, between  desire  and  actual  achievement,  between  plan and execution. One of these reasons is resistance to change springing from tradition.

Bishop (1967) has also noted that there is practically complete agreement in theory on the view that great changes are inevitable, but in practice, every position innovation encounters the most vigorous opposition. Education is a realm kingdom of tradition, and resistance to change springs up in the most varied quarters, ranging from the teachers themselves, the administrators, the parents, the pupils to political professional confessional religious and cultural circles. Several countries note that socio-psychological resistance to reform is the major problem, perhaps more stubborn, than financial problem itself.

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