Four Different Curriculum Approaches
As a rule, four curriculum approaches are typically identified. These include the Behavioral, Managerial, Systems, and Humanistic (self-actualization) Approaches (Ornstein & Hunkins 2008). The Reconceptualist Approach is also often mentioned as the complementary strategy that allows focusing on the promotion of a societal change (Sowell 2005).
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The Humanistic Approach implies that the students’ needs and unique abilities should be taken into account when designing the curriculum. Alternative assessment strategies (e.g., peer assessment), self-directed learning and the promotion of the learners’ independence are incorporated into the curriculum (Kelly 2009).
The idea of curriculum innovation is rather simple. It implies that the learning process should be improved so that students could acquire the necessary skills and knowledge faster. Curriculum innovations may be implemented at several levels, including administrative and academic ones.
The focus on independent learning can be deemed as an example of curriculum innovation. Teachers may switch to encouraging learners to be proactive in their studies. As a result, the premises for self-directed learning can be created (Mota & Scott 2014).
The promotion of the GIM Program in the school setting can also be viewed as an opportunity for an innovation. By definition, the program encourages learners to “transform research outputs into innovative products and services” (Maritz et al. 2014, p. 172). Thus, the program could help understand how research results inform and define the course of the progress.
Reasons to Innovate Curriculum
As a rule, the necessity to introduce curriculum innovations into the school setting occurs once schools start failing to meet students’ needs.
Sustaining high performance levels among students should also be listed among the primary reasons behind introducing innovations into the school design.
Curriculum Development and Curriculum Design: Difference
While the curriculum development is typically referred to as the conceptualization process, curriculum design traditionally includes the stages of planning, implementation, and monitoring. Based on their scope, both stages may occur at five key levels (supra, macro, meso, micro, nano) (Ornstein & Hunkins 2008).
Traditionally, five essential stages are identified in the development of the curriculum. These include: 1) the identification of the school philosophy and purposes; 2) the establishment of the said purposes; 3) the choice of learning experiences; 4) the organization thereof; and 5) the assessment of the program (Wolven 2013).
Stage One: Discussion
The statement of the school philosophy is a crucial step toward meeting the students’ needs. Unless the focus is kept on the unique characteristics of the learners, promoting active knowledge acquisition will be impossible. Therefore, it is imperative to define the philosophy that will support the educational process and provide the foundation for decision-making processes.
Challenges of Curriculum Development
There is a plethora of challenges to the development of the curriculum. These include the teachers’ unfamiliarity with the process, limited pre-service preparation, the expenses associated with technology, the lack of computer skills, health risks, the possibility of students cheating, etc. (Ornstein & Hunkins 2008).
Problem One: Resolution
The issue of cheating has been in existence since the dawn of times, but it has not been resolved fully yet. It is suggested that the promotion of education-related values and philosophies should serve as the means of discouraging learners to cheat. As soon as students develop responsibility toward studying, they are bound to stop cheating.
Five Factors Affecting the Curriculum Development
Among the primary factors that define the development of a school curriculum, one must mention the educational environment, technology, the current curriculum standards, religion, and culture.
Description: Factor One
Technology is, perhaps, the essential driving factor behind the process of the curriculum development. The way in which the teacher interacts with the students, as well as the range of class activities, hinges on the use of technological advances. Finally, technology allows addressing specific needs of learners with specific needs (e.g., disabled students) (Ornstein & Hunkins 2008).
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Ornstein, A & Hunkins, F 2008, Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues, 5th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
Kelly, AV 2009, The curriculum: theory and practice, 6th edn, SAGE, London.
Maritz, A, Waal, AD, Buse, S, Herstatt, C, Lassen, A, & Maclachlan, R 2014, ‘Innovation education programs: toward a conceptual framework’, European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 166-182.
Mota, R & Scott, D 2014, Education for innovation and independent learning, Elsevier, Waltham, MA.
Sowell, E 2005, Curriculum: an integrative introduction, Merrill/Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Wolven, R 2013, ‘Curriculum development resources for teachers and school librarians: a selection of resources’, Reference Reviews, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 4-9.