Curriculum Development: What do we mean by Curriculum Goals? Can you Identify some of the curriculum goals in the 1985, K.C.E syllabus and regulations?

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4a ii). Identify curriculum goals in the 1985, K.C.E syllabus and regulations.

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.

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,



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