PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION: What interrelationship exists between Philosophy and the Curriculum?




3a iii). Describe the interrelationship that exists between Philosophy and the Curriculum

Philosophy and Curriculum.

Curriculum is the design of education. Through it, the designed behavioral changes are sought to be achieved to attain the goals in life and aims of education. It is the philosophy which decides why a particular subject and activities should be included in a curriculum. Curriculum is the means through which we realize the aims of education.

Curriculum takes its direction from the overall philosophy of the school or programme. For instance, beliefs about how children learn will have an impact on curriculum.

a)  Idealism and Curriculum.

          Characteristics of curriculum according to idealism:

Some of the characteristics are:

  • Life centred. Idealist curriculum is life centred instead of child centred. The curriculum is meant to prepare children for the future life.
  • Meets needs of life. Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of life and not of the child.
  • Importance of ideas. Idealist while developing curriculum give more importance to ideas than the activities of the child.
  • Curriculum concerned with the whole humanity. Idealist curriculum is for the whole humanity and not the child only.

        b)   Naturalism and Curriculum.

      Characteristics of Naturalist Curriculum:

Some of the characteristics are:

  1. Child- centred. Subjects are selected according to the needs, interests and activities of the child.
  2. Subjects which impart knowledge about nature. In the naturalist curriculum one can find subjects which encourage children to learn more about nature like agriculture, gardening, art craft, botany, science, chemistry, physics, geology, geography, and astronomy. The subjects are interrelated with the activities of the child and with the life around the child.
  3. The curriculum allows the child to learn in a free atmosphere. The child learns in natural settings. A child learns directly from nature through personal experiences.
  4. Curriculum contains subjects, which are useful for the present life situations, experiences and interests of the child.
  5. A child determines his or her curriculum. According to naturalism every child should be given the right to determine his/ her curriculum.
  6. The curriculum is flexible. Naturalism does not advocate a rigid or fixed curriculum. The curriculum can be changed according to the changing needs of the child.

(c) Pragmatism and curriculum

   Characteristics of Pragmatist curriculum:

Some of the characteristics are:

  • Utilitarian curriculum. Contains subjects which are useful to the child.
  • Child centered. Learning activities are selected according to the needs and interests of the child.
  • Curriculum should give knowledge and skills, which the child requires for his present and future life.
  • Flexible. Pragmatists curriculum is flexible. It changes according to the needs and interests of children.
  • Activity centered. Learning activities and experiences are organized in such away that each preceding activities and experiences lay the foundation for the mastery of the succeeding activities and experiences.
  • Integration. Integrates subjects and learning activities.

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