PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION: What is the role of society in curriculum development?



9a i). Describe the role of society in curriculum development

9.1 Introduction

The kind of education our children receive determines the quality of our society. The values, beliefs and norms of a society are maintained by and passed to the new generation by making them part of our system of education. Education is the means of perpetuating and improving society.

  9.2 Lecture Objectives

        By the end of the lecture you should be able to:

  • List the social aims of education.
  • Describe the role of society in curriculum development.
  • Explain how the society views teachers.
  • State the functions of schools.
  • List the roles of family in ECDE
  • Describe the roles of community in ECDE.


 9.3 Society and education aims of education.

The social environment determines what will be the aims and goals of education. Education should enable the child a useful member in the society.

           The social aims of education include:

  • To transmit culture and preserve culture.
  • To produce socially efficient persons.
  • Personal adjustment.
  • To socialize an individual.
  • National integration.
  • To produce useful citizens.
  • To make an individual self reliant.
  • Unity in diversity. Education should preach unity in diversity.


  9.4 Society and Curriculum

        Curriculum is the design of education.

         Society indicates:

    • The kind of knowledge, skills and competence that children in the society will need in order to be useful in that society.
    • The problems prevalent in society for which education should provide an answer.

One of the important goals of education is to transmit and preserve culture is the primary task of a  society’s educational system. In the sociological foundations, the curriculum designer deals with:

  • Values.
  • Social needs.
  • Learners

The ideas of education system of any society are influenced by the culture of the society. Schools are the agents of development. Schools should help children to realize their potential.

From the community and the people who work in it children can learn about local forms of transportation, food growing, processing and distribution, health services including the role of doctors, nurses, hospitals, safety provisions such as fire and police departments, communication facilities, radio and television, newspapers, telephone services and local recreation facilities and museums children can visit an endless variety of appropriate places through field trips. Community professionals can be invited to visit your class and share information and tools of their professions with children. The larger physical environment provides a setting a worth exploring with children in your class.

Education should help children to develop feelings of self worth and competence. Children will be well equipped for success if they are secure about themselves Sellf understanding comes from learning more about oneself, ones identity, uniqueness, body, feelings, physical and emotional needs, likes and dislikes, skills and abilities, and self care.


 9.5 Society and teacher

 Society views a teacher as follows:

    1. Conservator of culture.
    2. Architect of the future culture.


 9.6 Society and Schools

        Schools exist and operate in society. Life in society influences schools and provides frame work within the schools operates. Schools prepare children to fit in their society. Children learn within a social frame work set up by the society, its institutions and its established value system. The ideas of education system of any society are being influenced by the culture of the society. Schools are the agents of social growth and development. Schools should help children to realize their potential and help them to attain their life goals. Society exerts pressure on school which in turn influences the development to children.

    Functions of schools.

  1. Preservation and transmission of culture.  Society expects school to promote and improve culture. The curriculum should therefore concern itself with what society wants children to know or learn.
  2. To transform culture. Society expects schools to transform culture. School curriculum is an instrument for reconstructing, changing and improving culture. Education helps the youths to adjust to changes in their society and develop ways of dealing with problems.
  3. To develop the child. Development of an individual is the function of education. Education socializes an individual. Education helps an individual to adjust to different situations. A school has three main responsibilities to children.
  • To realize their potentials.
  • To determine their individual goals.
  • To attain their individual goals.

    4.  Recreates Culture

       Schools changes and should mirror current changes and should respond to                           dynamics  of the change. Schools should offer knowledge and skills to help children           to fit in the  society. Schools are instruments of change. If we unable to deal with                 change in a  constructive and appropriate manner, then we become                                       victimized by it.

9.7 Family

A society consists of families. Before children learn about their community, they will learn about family. Family provides rich learning opportunities.

Family theme in a curriculum is very important because it contributes to the development of children’s self –esteem. Family helps children to acquire information about their families and develops understanding of families of other children. It socializes children and contributes to their holistic development. The role of teachers is to help children to make comparisons, note similarities and differences, and organize information.

Some of the important topics in family are:

Role family in ECDE  

Home is the foundation of a society. A home is a very important agency of education. A home makes members of a family what they are. A good home produces good members. The well being and prosperity of a society depends upon home influences. Every home has rules. Parents should administer the home rules in wisdom and love and not with a rod of iron. Children will respond with willing obedience to the rule of love. Parents should make children’s lives happy. Children need not only reproof and correction but also encouragement.

.Functions of a family

A family plays the following functions:

  • Provides affection. It is one of the basic needs of children. According to pestalozzi, “A home is a centre of love and affection, is the best place for education and the first school for he child.” Parents should teach children to respect themselves and to love God. They should also tech children to respect and obey God’s laws.
  • Socializing the child. Children learn from elders. Home is an agent of socialization. Home makes a child social being. Home modifies a child’s behaviour
  • Teaches morals. Morality is a guide to living. It guides people in a society on how to live. Morality helps people to know what to do. A person may use trial and error or follow morality. Morality helps a person to choose rationally among values. Values are standards of behaviour. Elders teach children morals.
  • Imparts education. Education of a child starts at home. Schools continue from where the home has reached.  
  • Recreates. It is important for proper growth and development of children. The home provides recreation facilities.
  • Facilitates children’ development. Parents should ensure that home environment is conducive for growth and development of children. Home environment should facilitate the growth and development of children.

9.8 Community

     Definitions of community

  • A community is a group of families which have a sense of belongingness.
  • According to Cook and Cook (1950) a community is an organized way of life within a geographical area.
  • Thus community is a group of families occupying a particular place with common practice, values and culture.

     Functions of Community

  • Establishes schools and ECD centres.
  • Provides conducive environment for learning.
  • Sponsors feeding programmes.
  • Employs teachers and caregivers.
  • Provides land for establishing ECD centres.
  • Provides physical resources.


9.9 Summary

9.10  Suggestions for further reading.



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