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Curriculum Construction and Development Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

There is no doubt that the process of developing a curriculum that addresses the needs of students is a complex phenomenon that rarely adheres to a pre-established pattern. The process systematically plans what content will be taught, the target audience to be taught and how the curriculum will be administered. For instance, what content will be taught is determined by the target audience such as their education, maturity and stage of development. Usually, teachers and other stakeholders such as parents and educators work as a team in curriculum development. A critical part of this process entails the practice of advancing teaching, learning and assessment for all students (Lummis, 2001, p. 3). Student learning improves when teachers, parents and facilitators focus on understanding the distinctive capabilities and the needs of students. There are four phases in the construction of curriculum which are discussed below.

The first phase which is the planning phase in curriculum construction is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on the major issue facing the target group. This section addresses the attributes of the issue at hand. The issue statement is also used to determine the scope of the curriculum content. The second section involves the formation of the curriculum development team. This team includes teachers, parents and education experts. Some of the topics addressed in this section include; procedures for selecting members of the curriculum development team (usually done by the school administration), roles of team members, and the principles of teamwork and collaboration (Natural Resources Management, 1996, p.4).

The main objective is to constitute an effective team that boasts of members with relevant skills in curriculum development (Hussain & Dogar 2011, p.263). The team (made up of teachers, parents and school administration) makes logical decisions concerning the target group (student attributes), content, planned outcomes, procedures and assessment strategies. The third section entails needs assessment and analysis. The first step involves identifying methods for carrying out a needs assessment. Several procedures are focused on addressing what is required and by whom with respect to the identified issue. A number of of the procedures such as focus groups, knowledge, attitude, practice survey and environmental scanning are addressed in this section. The second step entails analysis of the information collected by academic experts. It involves the identification of the attributes of the target group, a procedure to prioritize needs, emerging trends from the data collected, and procedures to identify discrepancies between knowledge and practice (Natural Resources Management, 1996, p.4).

The second phase focuses on the planned outcomes, the content and the methods. There are three sections in this phase. The first section addresses the planned outcomes. A planned outcome describes what students will be able to accomplish after taking part in curriculum activities. This section entails a description of the educational objectives (done by the teachers), the constituents of the educational objectives (performance, condition and principles), illustrations of the educational objectives, and a summary of learning behaviors. The section involves selection of content (what will be taught) that will improve the learning process of the student. Some of the questions addressed at this point include; if the educational objective is to be accomplished, what will the student need to learn? What kind of skills, behaviors, attitudes and knowledge will be taught and practiced? The extent (scope of skills, behaviors, attitudes and knowledge) and the order sequence are also addressed at this point. The third section, which comes after the content of the curriculum is selected, is to plan learning experiences to enable the student attain appropriate educational objectives. This role is carried out by teachers, parents and academicians (Natural Resources Management, 1996, p.6).

The third phase entails implementation of the curriculum plan. This is usually done by teachers and the school administration. The actual construction of curriculum materials commences after the content and experimental techniques have been established. A number of activities take place at this stage. They include recommendations for searching and assessing current materials, assessment criteria, and recommendation for producing curriculum materials. In addition, the curriculum is tested and revised appropriately during this phase. This phase entails recommendations to choose appropriate sites and carry out a formative assessment of curriculum materials. It is worthy to note that the entire process of curriculum construction will be rendered irrelevant if facilitators (teachers) are not adequately trained to implement it. Consequently, suggestions should be made to hire and train qualified facilitators to implement the curriculum. Finally, a plan should be designed to promote and implement the newly developed curriculum (Hussain & Dogar 2011, p.264).

Evaluation and reporting is the final phase undertaken in curriculum development. Formative and summative are the two techniques employed in curriculum development. Formative assessment is employed during the needs evaluation as well as content development and testing steps. On the other hand, summative assessment is carried out by academic experts and parents to evaluate and report on the results of the curriculum. Summative evaluation appraises assessment plans and recommends simple processes to produce legitimate and trustworthy information. A series of queries are presented to steer the summative assessment procedure and a model assessment format is recommended by both parents and academic experts. The last aspect in an assessment plan is delivering the outcomes of the curriculum development process into the hands of individuals who can utilize them. During this step, recommendations for what and how to report to main stakeholders (particularly financial and policy decision makers) are offered by academic experts and a concise discussion on how to acquire resources for extra programming is done (Hussain & Dogar 2011, p.268).

References

  1. Hussain, A., & Dogar, A.H. (2011). Evaluation of Curriculum Development Process. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1, 263-271.
  2. Lummis, B. (2001). Turning Points: Transforming Middle Schools: Guide to Curriculum Development. Boston, Massachusetts: Center for Collaborative Education.
  3. Natural Resources Management. (1996). . Web.
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