Course: Curriculum and Instruction(6503) Semester: Autumn, 2022 Level: MA/M.Ed.
Q.1 What is meant by curriculum design? Elaborate the desirable criteria for curriculum design.
Career paths in curriculum design are wide-ranging, beginning with the variety of terms and job titles you will hear and levels of preparation required (a Bachelor’s degree is required, often a master’s is preferred–or depth of knowledge in the subject). There is often confusion within the occupation surrounding titles. Typically, the role involves development and evaluation of curricular and training materials.
Curriculum design focuses on the creation of the overall course blueprint, mapping content to learning objectives, including how to develop a course outline and build the course. Each learning objective is met with assessment strategies, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, and interactive activities.
Often, teachers may transition into curriculum development if they are seeking to continue working in education without directly teaching students. If you are seeking alternatives to classroom teaching, there are many choices, including curriculum design.
School-based Career Path
Within public schools, the role of curriculum (or instruction) specialist or coordinator is well-defined and most states require teaching or education administrator certification or licensure. A master’s degree in education is also required in most circumstances. According to O*Net Online, 73% of instructional coordinators have a master’s degree and 20% have a post-master’s certificate.
Skills & Responsibilities Required
All curriculum specialists must have a desire to enhance and improve the education system, and be familiar with current guidelines, policies, and regulations as they pertain to education. A successful curriculum coordinator will work well in large groups and be able to teach, guide, and mentor other teachers and administrators. Curriculum development jobs also require strong interpersonal and communication skills. Developing curricula for new courses, supervising class content, implementing curriculum changes, interpreting regulations, and planning or advising on the technological materials and textbooks are among the typical tasks fulfilled by a curriculum and instruction specialist. Additionally, these professionals often provide teacher training, based in part on observing teachers in the classroom.
Online curricula and computer-based learning tools are becoming increasingly common at all levels of education. Curriculum designers will likely need to have a decent level of comfort with and understanding of basic web design concepts. As today’s students rely heavily on online resources to keep current with their coursework, curriculum designers should be familiar with methods of both creating and maintaining web-based curriculum materials. Aspiring curriculum designers may want to incorporate technology into their teaching as early as possible in order to develop expertise. You may want to strengthen your background by taking some business classes as well as courses in instructional design.
Alternatives to School-Based Careers
With a Bachelor’s degree, entry-level opportunities may be open to you if you have expertise in a particular subject (languages, social-emotional learning, science, technical knowledge, etc…). A Training and Development Specialist or Manager may not require advanced degrees. Training and development specialists design and implement instructional programs for companies’ employees. Training and development managers, who oversee them, plan, coordinate, and direct these programs. Their goal is to improve workers’ skills and knowledge and, in turn, performance. While the needs of an educational program in a corporate environment might be distinctly different than one in an elementary school, both need a mindfully designed curriculum in order to function properly. A curriculum designer’s job is to ensure that any educational program they work with has the most effective curriculum materials possible, according to WiseGeek.
Q.2 Critically analyze the need and procedure of situational analysis. Explain Bloom’s taxonomy of objectives
“Situational analysis” helps develop a basis of understanding of the environment in which a plan is delivered. It provides a common reference point for the planning process and prioritises actions.
The analysis can provide an appreciation of the risks and benefits to the project and the organisations involved from the way in which the communication process is implemented. It takes a snapshot view of an organisation or situation and where things stand at a certain point in time. It is sometimes accomplished by means of a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), which examines all aspects in relation to the success or results of the project in question.
Clearly, if the communication activities are poorly designed and implemented due to a poor understanding of the situation on the ground, the project could be fatally impacted due to a lack of public trust and confidence. This can help identify where the potential weaknesses in the plan are, enabling responses to be developed if necessary before irreparable damage is done. The analysis will also identify where opportunities may exist to develop strategic alliances with groups of supportive stakeholders and indicate where extra efforts can be made to develop these.
The analysis can also help identify capabilities within an organisation in terms to fulfil the requirements of the communication plan before it is developed to implement the strategy. It also serves to highlight areas in the strategy where improvements may need to be made, to take account of the current or developing situation. By keeping the analysis updated, it may also identify where something may not be working as expected within the implementation plan.
In strategy development, it is necessary to determine and understand the primary objective and goals of the strategy. This may be as simple as informing as many stakeholders as possible, or it may include specific goals such as reaching certain stakeholder groups, undertaking a specific number of meetings, or even gaining support to move the project forward. Whilst it is possible to have multiple aims for a communication activity, it is important to set goals that can be practically achieved.
To ensure the proper level of public participation, planning the strategy should begin early (during the project’s initiation phase) so that communication and participation can be integrated with the project’s decision-making process. A well-defined goal, one that is not too vague or broad, is key. If the goal is too vague, then the message will not be salient to stakeholders within the decision-making process. If the goal is too broad, then the message will lose all impact and in either case your success will not be measurable.
For example, at the beginning of a process to develop the use of nuclear energy in a member state, the main aim is likely simple communication of the science behind the technology, with information provided on both the potential benefits and disadvantages and an explanation of why the policy has been adopted. Where facilities already exist, the aim may be to communicate information regarding operational experience, or details of new developments or events. If the project involves development of waste management or disposal facilities, the aim likely includes details of comparable facilities in operation elsewhere, or of the scientific consensus underlying the proposal.
The key to developing sensible objectives is that they are SMART:
- Specific: The objective is clear about what you are going to do and exactly how are you going to do it. Questions to ask include: “What am I going to do? Why is it important? Who is going to do it?”
- Measurable: You should be able to measure the objective (Example: X percent people contacted, number of presentations completed).
- Achievable: The objective is achievable given local conditions, time period, resources allocated, etc.
- Realistic: The objectives can be achieved using the time and the resources available.
- Time-bound: The objective is clear concerning how much time it will take to achieve.
Objectives are usually written in an active tense and use strong verbs like “plan,” “write,” “conduct,” and “produce,” rather than “learn,” “understand,” and “feel.” This will encourage development of positive approaches and feasible objectives.
Finally, developing a communication strategy that is acceptable to all parties can have several benefits, including:
- Help find solutions with a better long-term outcome for the project and stakeholders
- Reduce objections to projects
- Foster local pride and a sense of ownership among stakeholders
- Enhance the understanding of nuclear issues by the public and help to deliver more sustainable outcomes.
Q.3 How would you select and organize content? What teaching strategies can be used for teaching the content?
The term curriculum is viewed in two different ways: the micro and the macro. The micro curriculum refers to subjects, while the macro curriculum refers to curricular programs. For example, the subject biology is a micro curriculum while BS in Civil Engineering is a macro curriculum.
What do the micro and the macro curriculum contain? The following criteria discusses the content of these two levels of the curriculum.
Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum
The 7 criteria below can be utilized in the selection of subject matter for micro curriculum, and for the content, subjects needed for the curricular program or course, of the macro curriculum.
To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency at the most economical manner is the main guiding principle for subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al., (2008). Economy of learning refers to less teaching effort and less use of educational resources; but students gain more results. They are able to cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.
This means that students should be given chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This allows them to learn independently.
With this principle in mind, I suggest that for a high school curriculum or preparatory year, there should be a one day independent learning activity each week. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.
The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of learning activities, skills, processes, and attitude. It also develops the three domains of learning namely the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills, and considers the cultural aspects of the learners. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.
In short, select a content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.
Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete.
For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT).
Thus, there is a need to check regularly the subject matter or contents of the curriculum, and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another 5 years in order to change it.
Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, your school or country will be left behind.
This criterion is true to learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is meaningful to them. It becomes meaningful if they are interested in it. But if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and teach only what is in the book. This may somehow explain why many fail in the subject.
Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not important to them. They view it useless. As a result, they don’t study.
Here are the questions that students often ask: Will I need the subject in my job? Will it give meaning to my life? Will it develop my potentials? Will it solve my problem? Will it be part of the test? Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?
Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.
The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories on psychology of learning in order to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize the learning capacity of the students.
It means that the subject matter can be fully implemented. It should consider the real situation of the school, the government, and the society, in general. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish.
For example, you have only one week to finish the unit but then, the activities may take a month for the students to complete it. This is not feasible.
Do not offer a computer subject if there is no even electricity in the area or there are no computers at all.
Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.
Q.4 Design strategies for the evaluation of specific educational programs and suggest means for their improvement.
In every walk of life the process of evaluation takes place in one or the other form. If the evaluation process is eliminated from human life then perhaps the aim of life may be lost. It is only through evaluation that one can discriminate between good and bad. The whole cycle of social development revolves around the evaluation process.
In education how much a child has succeeded in his aims, can only be determined through evaluation. Thus there is a close relationship between evaluation and aims.
Education is considered as an investment in human beings in terms of development of human resources, skills, motivation, knowledge and the like. Evaluation helps to build an educational programme, assess its achievements and improve upon its effectiveness.
It serves as an in-built monitor within the programme to review the progress in learning from time to time. It also provides valuable feedback on the design and the implementation of the programme. Thus, evaluation plays a significant role in any educational programme.
Evaluation plays an enormous role in the teaching-learning process. It helps teachers and learners to improve teaching and learning. Evaluation is a continuous process and a periodic exercise.
It helps in forming the values of judgement, educational status, or achievement of student. Evaluation in one form or the other is inevitable in teaching-learning, as in all fields of activity of education judgements need to be made.
In learning, it contributes to formulation of objectives, designing of learning experiences and assessment of learner performance. Besides this, it is very useful to bring improvement in teaching and curriculum. It provides accountability to the society, parents, and to the education system.
Let us discuss its uses briefly:
Evaluation is concerned with assessing the effectiveness of teaching, teaching strategies, methods and techniques. It provides feedback to the teachers about their teaching and the learners about their learning.
The improvement in courses/curricula, texts and teaching materials is brought about with the help of evaluation.
Evaluation provides accountability to society in terms of the demands and requirements of the employment market.
Evaluation mainly manifests itself in a perceived need for regular reporting to parents.
In brief, evaluation is a very important requirement for the education system. It fulfills various purposes in systems of education like quality control in education, selection/entrance to a higher grade or tertiary level.
It also helps one to take decisions about success in specific future activities and provides guidance to further studies and occupation. Some of the educationists view evaluation virtually synonymous with that of learner appraisal, but evaluation has an expanded role.
Q.5 What are the dynamics of curriculum change? Elaborate the process of curriculum change.
The technological advancements and the emergence of Artificial Intelligence have completely changed the dynamics of education and employment across the world. Developing digital skills among the youth remains the need of the hour as most jobs are likely to be automated in the future. The subject specialists and the relevant authorities need to effectively integrate ICT and digitalization into the curriculum to better train students for the world of rapid technological developments.
In addition to this, to help the current generation thrive in the highly challenging world of tomorrow, the curriculum, teaching methodology, and classroom discourse need to focus on developing the crucial skills of emotional intelligence, flexibility, adaptability, and leadership.
One of the major challenges is that majority of the students feel disconnected from the educational content they are exposed to. The primary reason for this lack of connection with the course content is that students fail to see how they can apply whatever they have learned in the classroom to their lives and the world around them. We need to realize that students can no more be treated as mere recipients of knowledge but as individuals who must be equally and actively involved in the process of learning. Instead of teaching fixed and age-old subjects and theories to every student, there is a need to offer diverse learning experiences to students and help them choose subjects, skills, and competencies that align with their future goals.
As the purpose of education is to prepare students for real-life situations, students must be collectively involved in solving real social issues rather than being restricted to cramming theories and models that barely have any relevance with the current social dynamics.
Another way to prepare students for the future is to bridge the gap between the curriculum content and the competencies needed for the future. To meet this end, subject teachers and the relevant authorities must establish links between the educational institution and employers so that learners can be exposed to a wide variety of experiences that can help prepare them for the practical world.
Since the primary aim of education and awareness is to help individuals play a crucial role in making this world a better place, a curriculum cannot be effective without incorporating a component of ethics and basic human values. Competencies like empathy, tolerance, respecting and accepting the differences, and resolving conflicts must constitute a highly important component of curriculum development and classroom discourse. By doing so, we can help prepare our next generation to become responsible citizens and better individuals.
Besides that, the current pandemic situation has made us realized the uncertainty and precariousness of the world. Although controlling such external changes remains out of our hands, we must train our students to adapt to such uncertainties in the future. While integrating these changes at the policy and institution level seems challenging and impossible, if motivated, even a single teacher can help bring the much-needed change by focusing on their students’ personal and professional development and preparing them for tomorrow.