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Chhaapptteerr 77:: C

When you complete this module will be able to:
Explain what is curriculum implementation
Describe Lewins change model
Differentiate between the types of curriculum change
Explain why people resist change
Suggest ways of overcoming resistance to change
List the role and responsibilities of individuals involved in the
implementation of a curriculum

7.0 Introduction
7.1 What is Implementation?
7.2 Curriculum Implementation
as a Change Process
7.3 Types of Curriculum
7.4 Resistance to Change
7.5 Case Study: Indonesia
7.6 Individual Involved in
Curriculum Implementation
7.6.1. Teachers
7.6.2 Students

7.6.3 Principals
7.6.4 Parents
7.7 Case Study: England
7.8 Implementing Curriculum in
the Classroom
Discussion Questions

Homework Must Be More Fun and Meaningful

The Education Ministry is to

regulate homework assignment of school
pupils to make it more interesting.
Homework is clearly one key area in
which things can and should improve in
the interest of all concerned. Homework
should have more quality than quantity.
It needs a finer focus with less bulk, and
in the process become more interesting
to give students an added incentive to
studying harder. Young people have
energy, imagination and a natural
curiosity that can help them to learn if
homework can become a hindrance to
the learning process.
Teachers should be guided to
learning rather than be fountains of
infinite knowledge. They should present
material in intellectually stimulating
ways, without spoon-feeding. Pupils
need to know that learning is part of
their own life experience, not something
separate and removed from it. Teachers
should therefore avoid dishing out
homework mechanically as routine
chores, which would make studies
boring and brain-deadening.

Homework that is interesting to

pupils would not only make their
productive, but also facilitate teaching.
When school children are better
motivated in their studies, teachers also
find their task easier. Students learn
better and faster when their innate
inquisitiveness is fired with more
participatory observation and enquiry of
the world about them. Good teachers can
make this vital difference.
Pupils must constantly be
encouraged to do more than answer set
questions, as it is essential to think their
way to unrehearsed answers. True
learning is more than spotting exam
questions. It is more important for
pupils to experience a sense of
achievement in all aspects of study,
which would give them a feel of their
own development and growth. A more
enlightened approach to learning such as
this may also apply to regular class work
besides homework.

[source: adapted from The Sunday Star, 13 February, 2005]

7.0 Introduction
In Module 5 we discussed what was
involved in curriculum planning and in Module
6 we looked at different techniques of designing
the curriculum focusing on some curriculum
design models. The next stage in the curriculum
development process according to Tyler, Taba
and Alexander & Saylor is the implementation
of the curriculum plan. The final destination of
any curriculum (whether it be a school, college,
university or training organisation) is the
administrators and the community. Implementing the curriculum is the most crucial and

sometimes the most difficult phase of the curriculum development process. Those
responsible for implementing a curriculum often hear comments and concerns such as:
o Teachers are already overloaded how are they going to implement the new
o Parents and education officers are only interested in a high pass rate in
examinations how are schools to incorporate suggested changes.
These are real concerns and made worse when persons implementing the curriculum are
not clear what is expected of them. How often have we heard people say, the plan was
good but implementation was poor. On the other hand, if a curriculum plan is not
implemented and remains on the shelf then all efforts in planning will be a sheer waste. A
curriculum must be delivered and that means it must be implemented in the classroom if
it is to make an impact on student learning. Good plans reaching the classroom are not
properly implemented because of a lack of planning and preparation. In some curriculum
development projects, implementation is not been given due consideration; not realising
that innovations need careful planning and monitoring. We hear of teachers not being
properly trained and are required to implement changes in the classroom within a short
period of time.

Read the newspaper report at the beginning of the chapter and answer the
following questions
1. What are some suggestions proposed for making homework fun and
2. Do you agree with the statement that teachers should not spoon-feed
but rather be guides to learning? Why?
3. Give other suggestions for making homework meaningful and fun.

7.1 What is Curriculum Implementation?

Implementation is an interaction between those who have created the programme and
those who are charged to deliver it. According to Ornstein and Hunkins, 1998;
o implementation requires educators to shift from the current programme which
they are familiar with to the new or modified programme.
o implementation involves changes in the knowledge, actions and attitudes of
o implementation can be seen as a process of professional development and growth
involving ongoing interactions, feedback and assistance.
o implementation is a process of clarification whereby individuals and groups come
to understand and practice a change in attitudes and behaviours; often involving
using new resources.
o implementation involves change which requires effort and will produce a certain
amount of anxiety and to minimize these, it is useful to organise implementation
into manageable events and to set achievable goals.

o implementation requires a supportive atmosphere in which there is trust and open

communication between administrators, teachers educators, and where risk-taking
is encouraged.
Even though large sums of money are spent on implementing new curriculum, several of
these efforts have failed. According to Sarason (1990), the main reason for the failure is
the lack of understanding of the culture of the school by both experts outside the school
system and educators in the system. Successful implementation of curriculum requires
understanding the power relationships, the traditions, the roles and responsibilities of
individuals in the school system. Implementors (whether they be teachers, principals,
district education officers) should be well-versed with the contents of the curriculum.
They must be clear of the purpose, the nature, and the real and potential benefits of the
As stated by Fullan and Pomfret (1977); effective implementation of innovations
requires time, personal interaction and contacts, in-service training and other forms of
people-based support (p.391). Curriculum implementation requires winning people over
and it takes time. Teachers need to feel appreciated and their efforts recognised. Some
may argue that they should be given financial rewards but there is evidence to suggest
that external motivation contributes minimally to the venture. Individuals contribute their
best talents when they are internally motivated and derive a good feeling from being
7.2 Curriculum Implementation as a Change Process
Implementation is the carrying out of something or the practical application of a
method, procedure or desired purpose. Loucks and Lieberman (1983) define curriculum
implementation as the trying out of a new practice and what it looks like when actually
used in a school system. For example, a curriculum plan in enhancing technology
integration across the curriculum is introduced and you would want to know whether
what was intended in the plan is actually being done in the classroom. Your aim for
developing a curriculum is to make a difference to learners. Simply, put, curriculum
implementation is bringing about change and hopefully improvement.
How do you bring about change? In other words, how do you ensure that the
curriculum brings about the desired changes. Before you can bring about change, you
need to know what is change. You may say whats the big deal? We all know what is
change! You know how your job has changed. You know how government policy
changes. But what is change in relation to curriculum? Basically, change is doing
something differently. Change results from new knowledge. However, the presence of
new knowledge is not sufficient for change. People generally are reluctant to change
because they are comfortable with what they are currently doing. So, to change, they
must recognise the need for change. People are more likely to recognise the need for
change if they understand change and how it works. Dont you agree?
Kurt Lewin (1951), considered to be the father of social psychology suggested a
model explaining change (see Figure 7.1). According to him, all persons are faced with
two competing forces:
Driving Forces: These are forces that that are driving or pushing you to do something
and change in a particular direction. They tend to initiate a change and keep it going. In
the workplace, pressure from your boss, financial incentives and competition for
promotion may be examples of driving forces.

Restraining Forces: These are forces restraining or preventing you from doing
something and changing. In the workplace, apathy, hostility, obsolete equipment may be
examples of restraining forces.
Equilibrium: When these two forces (driving and restraining) are equal, the status quo is
maintained. In other words, there is no effort towards change and so you do the same
thing you did before.
For example, in the school setting, the principal who is autocratic and constantly
pressures his or her staff which may bring about change in the short run. In other words,
the driving forces have overpowered the restraining forces and when this happens,
change is initiated. As long as the driving forces are more powerful than the restraining
forces, change will continue. The methods used by the principal may lead to increased
hostility and antagonism and manifest themselves in teachers refusing to cooperate and
reluctant to do more than is required. In other words, the restraining forces have got
stronger and change slows down.
Lewin emphasised that to bring about change, it is better to reduce the power of
the restraining forces rather than increase the driving forces. This has been termed as
unfreezing whereby the power of the restraining forces are decreased to stimulate the
driving forces. For example, the principal could instead encourage more discussion and
group problem solving in an attempt to eliminate hostility and apathy. If there is fear
among teachers that they would not have the know-how to implement change it is best
that they be trained before implementing the new ideas.

Driving Forces

a) Government intervention
b) Societys values
c) Technological changes
d) Knowledge explosion
e) Administrative processes

Restraining Forces

a) Fear of the unknown

b) Threats to power
c) Obsolete
d) Traditional values
e) Limited resources
e) Limited resources

Figure 7.1 Force Field Model (Kurt Lewin, 1951)

1. What does curriculum implementation involve?
2. How does Kurt Lewins model explain curriculum change?

7.3 Types of Curriculum Change

If you are responsible for implementing curriculum, it is important that you
understand the nature of change. Understanding the change process can be a challenging
and exciting process. If you do not comprehend the complexities of change you are likely
to introduce ideas and actions that may result in confusion and tension within the school
or district. Curriculum change is a complex and difficult process and requires careful
planning, adequate time, funding, support and opportunities for teacher involvement.
McNeil (1990) categorised curriculum change as follows:
Substitution: One element may be substituted for another already present. For
example, the substituting of a new textbook for an old one.
Alteration: This occurs when a change is introduced into existing material in the
hope that it will appear minor and thus be readily adopted. For example,
introducing new content such as road safety in the primary school curriculum; use
of new materials such as the graphing calculator in mathematics teaching.
Perturbations: These are changes that are disruptive but teachers adjust to them
within a fairly short time. For example, the assistant principal changes the
timetable or schedule to allow for longer teaching time.
Restructuring: These are changes that lead to a modification of the whole school
system. For example, the introduction of an integrated curriculum requiring team
teaching, or involving the local community in deciding what is to be taught.
Value Orientation: These are shifts in the fundamental value orientations of
school personnel. For example, if the new teachers who join the school place
more emphasis on personal growth of students than academic performance, then
the value orientations or fundamental philosophies of the school changes.
It should be realised that a particular curriculum change may not exactly fit
according to the five categories given. But, the categories are general enough to help you
plan change and arrange resources to bring about the change. However, you should be
aware that change is not synonymous with improvement and you might decide that
change should not be undertaken.

1. What are the five types of curriculum change listed by
McNeil. Give examples of each category other than those
given in the text.
2. Identify other types of curriculum change which you have
come across but do not fit into those given.

7.4 Resistance to Change

As mentioned earlier, bringing about change is not an easy task. There are many
barriers to the successful implementation of a curriculum. If you are given the job of
implementing a curriculum, whether it be in the school system, college, university or
training centre, you will encounter people resisting change. Keep things as they are!
Many people think that it is easier to keep things as they are. We often hear people say,
If it is not broken, why fix it. People are happy with the current situation in their
institution and feel that the change suggested will not meet the objectives of the school,
college or training centre. The status quo tends to be maintained when the persons
introducing change are themselves not clear as to the intent and what is required of the
new programme. To make matters worse, the implementation of the programme is poorly
Teachers who are to implement the curriculum frequently view change as
meaning more work. In addition to their already overloaded schedule, there is no extra
financial reward for the extra work they have to put in. Also, they view new curriculum
programmes will require them to learn new teaching skills and competencies which will
mean attending courses and seminars. It has also been found that teachers or practitioners
tend to reject pedagogical strategies or teaching methods that are different from what they
are currently using. They are reluctant to change or modify their current instructional
strategies and understandings of classroom practice.
Let us examine in more detail why people resist change. By knowing why people
resist change, it may be possible to plan more effective strategies to overcome resistance
and improve receptivity to change. Persons charged with the task of curriculum
implementation must understand how people react to change and how to encourage them
to be receptive to change. The following are the main reasons why people resist change
(Harvey, 1990; Woldring, 1999; Lippitt, 1966).
I. People resist because they do not understand they simply do not follow what is
being introduced. They do not understand where they are going. They are not clear
as to what is required of them.
The key is communication. You have to explain to them Why. You have to
answer the Why, What, When, How and Where questions. Remember, the
effectiveness of communication is not the message sent but of the message
II. People resist because of lack of ownership Individuals will not accept change if
they consider it coming from outside or imposed on them. Unfortunately, most
curriculum reform efforts are initiated from the outside which may be at the
national, state or district level.
You have to convince teachers that even though it comes from the outside, their
view and opinions have been considered at the planning and design stages of
curriculum development. Involve teachers in exploring the relevance of the new
curriculum and give them the freedom to explore the new skills needed for
utilising or implementing the curriculum. This will get them to feel that they are
an important part of the curriculum implementation process.

III. People resist if they do not have the competencies to cope with the changes It
is natural for persons to resist if they do not have the knowledge and skills to cope
with the changes. Nobody wants to be told that they are incompetent. There is the
likelihood that the implementation of the new curriculum has been rushed or due to
budgetary constraints, the training period has been greatly reduced and teachers are
not adequately equipped.
Overcome: Adequate time and resources have to be set aside for the training
of teachers involved in implementing the new curriculum.
IV. People resist if there is a lack of incentives or benefits If teachers are
unconvinced that the new programme will make things better for students (in terms
of learning) or themselves (such as greater recognition, respect or reward), they are
likely to resist the suggested change.
Overcome: Make sure that teachers who are actively involved in curriculum
change are rewarded. The reward need not necessarily be financial, but their
efforts need to be given due recognition.
V. People resist if they do not have the time to engage with the change Teachers
find it difficult having to juggle between bringing about change handling their
current responsibilities. Focusing their energy on change activities, may run the risk
of neglecting their current responsibilities.
Overcome: Lighten their workload so they can participate in the change. Reprioritise their work. Do not expect people to have the energy to change when this
means failing on the tasks for which they are held responsible.
1. Why do people resist change?
2. Suggest other reasons why people resist change.

7.5 Case Study: Curriculum Reform and Implementation in Indonesia

In 1994, the Indonesian government introduced curriculum reform which
consisted of a national curriculum (80%) and flexibility given to the provinces in
adjusting the curriculum to local needs. The Local Content Curriculum (LCC) was aimed
at the local situation and context while the national curriculum focused on national
development. The Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) transferred 20% of its
authority to each provincial level (LCC).
Teachers, principals and supervisors were given autonomy to redesign the
curriculum to more closely match students needs and interests. However, in reality not
all teachers took advantage of the opportunity. Teachers have not responded in modifying
the curriculum or experimenting with new instructional techniques. Moreover, parents
and interested groups in the locality have not been invited to participate in the planning or

management of the LCC program. According to LCC policy, schools are supposed to
reorganise the curriculum into a new set of subjects. In some cases teachers have made
connections between the subject matter they disseminate to the world outside, but the
basic curricular foundations in junior secondary school has remained essentially the same
as the previous curriculum.
National Curriculum (80%)
Local Content Curriculum (20%)
Pancasila and civic education
Religion (Islam, Christianity,
Environmental education
Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism)
Computer and information
Indonesian language
Local culture (dance, local language,
Reading and writing
traditional games, etc
Science & technology
National and World history

The following are some limitations and obstacles found in the LCC
implementation: lack of communication between the provincial and local levels, the lack
of training, teachers attitudes toward the LCC, lack of resources, and lack of funding
o First, in the process of curriculum decentralization some decisions made at the
provincial level tend to not meet each districts needs and conditions.
o Second, was a lack of teachers to teach the LCC. In the LCC implemented in the
provinces of Jambi, Lampung, Maluku Island, South Sulawesi, and East Java.
Most of the local content subjects were taught by teachers who do not have any
specific skills and experience, such as teaching specific traditional culture and
local languages.
o Third teachers attitudes toward the LCC implementation. Teachers did not
respond to the innovation because they do not have enough background
knowledge or skills for its implementation. In fact, they did not have necessary
support from the government and provincial levels to develop their knowledge
and skills.
While it is easy for the government to establish policies, conditions at the school level are
completely different. Most teachers tended to concentrate on the national
curriculum. Finally, there was lack of funds to develop the LCC which required regular
meetings at the school/district level for LCC subject development. This caused a lack of
participation in LCC implementation.
[source: MinHo, Y, Clementina, A. and Erry, U. The Reform of Secondary Education in
Indonesia during the 1990s: Improving Relevance and Quality through Curriculum
Decentralization Implementing the curriculum in Indonesia
http://www.ginie.org/cstudies/indonesia/cs-asia-pacific.htm ]

Refer to Case Study 7.5 and answer the following questions

1. What are some of the reasons given for poor implementation of the local
curriculum content (LCC) in Indonesia?
2. To what extent is such flexibility given to teachers in your country?

7.6 Individuals Involved in Curriculum Implementation

Implementing a curriculum requires the involvement of many different people.
Each is a key player in the change process. Without the coordinated involvement of
these individuals the implementation of the curriculum programme will encounter many
problems. Among the key players identified are: teachers, students,
principals/headmasters, assistant principals, district education officers, state education
officers, curriculum developers, academics, parents, interested political officials and lay
citizens. In a centralized system, the national curriculum is developed at the national level
and passed on to the individual districts and schools to be implemented.
7.6.1 Teachers
Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation
process is the teacher. With their knowledge, experience and competencies, teachers are
central to any curriculum improvement effort. Regardless of which philosophical belief
the education system is based on, there is no denying that teachers influence students
learning. Better teachers foster better learning. Teachers are most knowledgeable about
the practice of teaching and are responsible for introducing the curriculum in the
The key to getting teachers committed to an innovation is to enhance their
knowledge of the programme. This means teachers need be trained and workshops have
to be organised for professional development. Unfortunately, in any curriculum
implementation process not all teachers will have the benefit of such exposure. There are
just too many teachers and insufficient funds to go around. The most common approach
is to have one-day workshops given by experts with the lecture method being the
dominant pedagogical strategy. Among the many extrinsic factors identified that may
impede curriculum change are adequacy of resources, time, school ethos and professional
support. The intrinsic factors are; professional knowledge, professional adequacy and
professional interest and motivation. (see Table 7.1).
Hence, professional development of teachers is as an important factor
contributing to the success of curriculum implementation. To what extent have teacher
education programmes required prospective teachers to study curriculum development?
Some view teachers as technicians and as such do not include curriculum development in
their teacher education programmes. [Did you study curriculum development in your
training as a teacher?] Certainly an adequate teacher education programme should
include curriculum development (both the theory and the work of curriculum
development) if teaching is to be a profession and if educational opportunities for
learners are really to be improved.
Below are some topics to be addressed in designing professional development
opportunities for teachers who are implementing a new programme.
Programme philosophy: It is important for teachers to understand both the
philosophy behind the programme as well as how the new programme may
impact students, parents, administrators and other stakeholders.
Content: Teachers may find the curriculum introduces content with which they
are unfamiliar, which they have not taught in a while, or is familiar but presented
in an unfamiliar way. For example, using a problem-solving approach rather than
a topical approach.

Adequacy of resources


School ethos

Professional support

Professional adequacy

Professional knowledge

Professional attitude and


Adequacy of equipment, facilities and general
resources required for implementing a new
Time available for preparing and delivering the
requirements of the new curriculum. e.g. teachers
need enough time to develop their own
understanding of the subject they are required to
Overall school beliefs towards the new curriculum.
Status of the curriculum as viewed by staff,
administrators and community. e.g. school
administration recognises the importance of the
subject in the overall school curriculum.
Support for teachers from both within the school
and outside. e.g. opportunities to receive ongoing
curriculum professional support
Teachers own ability and competence to teach the
curriculum. i.e. confidence in teaching
Knowledge and understandings teachers possess
regarding the new curriculum. e.g. different ways
of teaching to foster student learning.
Attitudes and interest of teachers toward the new
curriculum e.g. keen to teach the subject

Table 7.1 Factors influencing the implementation of a curriculum in schools

[source: adapted from the Science Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire (SCIQ).

Pedagogy: Teachers need opportunities to become familiar with the new

programmes pedagogical approach. They may need to work on particular

teaching skills emphasised in the new programme, such as teaching of values, or
perhaps to become familiar with a tool such as the internet.
Components of the programme: Teachers will need opportunities to learn about
the components of the new programme early in the implementation phase. For
example, the new programme might place greater emphasis on school-based
assessment while teachers are more accustomed to national or centralised


According to Friendenberg, people who go into teaching tend to be
conformist in nature and reluctant to innovate. These people have succeeded
in the school system as it has existed. They have learned to play it safe and to
keep a low profile in a bureaucratic system run by administrators who do
not like to create waves. They have found success and fulfilment as students
and now as teachers in this system, and for this reason many see no reason to
change it.
[source: Edgar Friendenberg, 1965. Coming of Age in America. New York: Random House]

1. To what extent do you agree with Friedenbergs views about teachers

and curriculum change?
2. Is this characteristic of other professions?

7.6.2 Students
There is a tendency among curriculum implementers to ignore the role of
students as agents of change. Increasingly, there is the realisation that even primary
school children can contribute to meaningful change. Students must be willing to
participate in the programme. If students do not see the relevance of the programme
there is the likelihood that they will not be motivated to participate or learn. However, it
is still not clear how students should be involved in the curriculum implementation
phase even though they are the main recipients of the programme. Students may be so
entrenched in their thinking and behaviour that changes proposed in the curriculum may
not be enthusiastically received. For example, students may be used to being given notes
by their teachers and the new programme requires them to make their own notes. Some
students may not know how to make notes and have to be taught how to go about it.
Even getting students to participate in discussions may not be well received if they have
been accustomed to being passive recipients to information.
7.6.3 Principals or Headmasters
Principals or headmasters are important players the curriculum implementation
process in a school.
They should understand the need for change as well as the steps that have to be
taken along the way.
They should have in-depth knowledge about the planned change and of the
implementation process. They should be familiar with the goals and components
of the curriculum and be able to see a shift in teachers role in the classroom and
the way in which teachers interact with students.
They should be accessible and willing to communicate with others involved in the
process. Establishing a two-way information flow will give principals or
headmasters a chance to stay on top of issues that need to be addressed. It will

also allow attending to critical problems or concerns before they lead to

frustration or even anger among teachers. Lines of communication are best set
early to get out information to people as well to provide a platform in which they
can voice their concern. Information gathered from listening and talking to people
will also help principals or headmasters decide where to focus and needs
They should be able to convince parents on the merits of the new curriculum and
how the new pedagogical strategies can become more meaningful for their
children. For example, they may need to speak to parents and the community on
the new curriculum. It is important that they give the message that they have
thought carefully about the need for change, that the have anticipated the issues
that will arise and have a plan for addressing the issues.
They should keep in mind, that even the best-laid plans can meet unexpected
challenges. For example, insufficient teachers in a particular subject area due to
resignation, unexpected introduction of programmes by the government, sudden
change of government policy. For this reason, a flexible implementation plan may
be necessary which is adapted and revisited along the way.
They must be committed to the change and be able to employ a variety of
leadership strategies to meet the needs of teachers such as; building on the
strengths of their staff, being willing to take risks; being positive about the
planned change and to use this optimism to motivate others.

7.6.4 Parents
Besides teachers, students and school administrators, parents also play an
important role in the implementation process. For example, when parents see a subject
being taught in way that is unfamiliar to them, they naturally have questions about what
is going on. When children bring homework from school that parents feel unable to help
with, they feel confused and lost. To be successful, any new programme needs to be
embraced by parents. One way of reaching out to parents is to organise workshops for
them focusing on the new curriculum. The workshops should be designed to help parents
better understand the content and philosophy of the new programme. Parents need an
opportunity to share their concerns and voice their support in an open forum. These
workshops should be conducted by teachers so that they may explain what is really going
on in the classroom.
Another approach in reaching out to parents is to make available information on
curriculum change on the internet. For example, the government of the province of
Alberta in, Canada has on its website a curriculum handbook for parents containing
information on subjects offered, programmes and courses available in all schools. The
information is updated each year as changes are made to the curriculum (refer to
http://www.education.gov.ab.ca/parents/handbooks). Similarly, print-based newsletters
can be made available to parents informing them of the changes that are taking place with
the introduction of the new curriculum.
1. What should principals or headmasters do to ensure the successful
implementation of any curriculum?
2. How should parents be involved in the curriculum implementation


7.7 Case Study: England National Curriculum for Secondary Schools

The law requires that all schools in England provide for all pupils a balanced and
broadly based curriculum which provides for all pupils to learn and achieve; promotes
students spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development; prepares students
for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. The following subjects
must be taught:
Design and Technology
Information and Communication
Other statutory requirements are: Religious Education, Sex and Relationship
Education, and, Careers Education (from Year 9). The core subjects: English,
mathematics and science will be given priority to ensure that they are secure. Beyond
this, each school can decide which subject to give more time to and, within a subject,
which aspects or skills to emphasise. The priority or emphasis might apply across
subjects, to particular year groups, to groups of pupils or to individuals.
For example,
a school with particular strengths in its ICT and language departments offers
Spanish as a second foreign language using ICT facilities for weekly videoconference sessions with students in a partner school in Spain.
a school with substantial low-achieving students emphasises literacy across the
curriculum. Teachers plan into their schemes of work where and how they will
teach literacy objectives in their subject.
In an area of high-technology industries such as computing and pharmaceuticals,
school gives priority to mathematics and science to help its students to make the
most of local job opportunities. Scientists from local companies visit the school as
part of the science and engineering ambassadors scheme, and year 9 students
undertake project work to achieve creativity in science and technology (CREST)
[Source: Key Stage 3 National Strategy: Designing the Key Stage 3 Curriculum,
Department for Education and Skills. England.]

1. What flexibility is given to teachers in Englands secondary
school curriculum?
2. Do you agree with the flexibility given to schools in meeting local
needs? Give reasons.
3. Do you think such flexibility should be given to schools in your
country? Why?

7.8 Implementing Curriculum in the Classroom

The final destination of any curriculum is the classroom. As we enter the
classroom, decision making becomes the responsibility of the teacher. Up to this point
curriculum implementation was discussed at the programme level and decision making
was of a programmatic nature (though we did discuss briefly the role of the teacher).
Now classroom teachers will take over and make decisions of a methodological nature.
They will be answering question like:

What objectives do I hope to accomplish as a result of instruction?

What topics or content will I have to cover?
What teaching methods or strategies should I use to direct learning and
achieve the objectives?
How do I evaluate instruction to determine whether I have successfully
achieved the objective?







Figure 7.2 An example of an instructional model

Implementing instruction in the classroom includes specifying instructional or
learning goals (discussed in Chapter 5), selecting content, selecting learning experiences
and choosing techniques or tasks to evaluate instruction (see Figure 7.2). Where and how
does the teacher begin to plan for instruction? Lets look at three examples of planning
for instruction.
Teacher X takes the textbook and divides the number of chapters by the number
of weeks in the school year. For example, one chapter may be taught over two or


three lessons. The sequence and subheadings of the respective chapter guides the
presentation of content. He or she may prepare some notes for students, ask some
questions during class (which may come from the textbook) and give group
assignments to clarify points in the chapter or chapters.
Teacher Y selects a topic for study for the week or over a number of lessons
using all kinds of resources related to the topic. The resources may include the
textbook, reference books, websites, magazines, etc. A problem-solving
approach is adopted where students look through various sources of
information to solve a problem.
Teacher Z comes to class without knowing what he or she will cover. A theme or
issue is written on the blackboard and students are expected to contribute their
understanding and interpretation about the theme or issue. While some may
argue that this is spontaneity, others, less kind, might term it non-planning.

These three approaches may be extreme, but there are many teachers who fall
into one of these categories. These teachers may follow the curriculum or follow the
plan in general terms. All three approaches may not specify the instructional objectives
or learning outcomes students are expected to accomplish. In most cases, teachers
adopted an eclectic approach, i.e. they combine one or more methods.
Instructional objectives or learning outcomes are statements indicating what you
want students to know, to do and to value after having completed a lesson. Why
instructional objectives? [The issue of instructional objectives has been discussed in
Chapter 1 and Chapter 5]. Instructional objectives:
make it clear to teachers what changes they want students to achieve
help in choosing the appropriate learning experiences to achieve the changes
or learning desired
inform students of what is expected of them
indicate what will be important in assessing the lesson
In planning for instruction lesson plans are used. A lesson plan is simply an
outline prepared in advance of teaching, so that time and materials will be used
efficiently (Peter, 1975. p.194). Ideally, different lessons require different lesson plans
and different students require different lesson plans. The following is generic outline for
a lesson plan which consists of: (see Figure 7.3):
a) objectives
b) pre-requisite knowledge
c) learning experiences (teaching methods and learning activities)
d) instructional aids and resources
e) assignment
f) evaluation tasks or techniques
The teacher with less experience will have more details included in the lesson
plan. However, it is desirable for both experienced and inexperienced teachers to
prepare complete lesson plans to fully communicate their ideas. It is common practice
for experienced teachers to simplify or shorten lesson plans. As teachers gain
experience, less detail in planning is possible. Once the lesson plan has been made, the
teacher can begin to demonstrate his or her style and skills of teaching.


Date: when is the lesson to be conducted

Time: time when the lesson is to be conducted
Duration: how long will the lesson take?
Grade Level: state what level
Topic: From one topic two or lessons plans may be developed.
a) Cognitive
1. mastery and understanding of the content (eg. able to give three
characteristics, able to give reasons)
b) Affective
1. the affective outcomes desired (eg. express an opinion, take a
position, empathise with the issue discussed)
Pre-Requisite Knowledge:
1. List all skills and content knowledge needed prior to teaching this
Instructional Aids and Resources:
1. the instructional aids that will be used (eg. maps, pictures, videoclip)
2. show how they will be used
Learning Experiences:
1. Set induction: how the lesson will begin (eg. review previous lesson)
2. the teaching strategy used (eg. inductive approach)
3. questions posed (to increase understanding and thinking)
4. what students will be required to do (eg. listen, manipulate data)
5. how students interact with the instructional aids
6. Closure: ask students questions and summarise lesson
1. learning activity students are required to do after the lesson (eg. refer
to newspaper article)
Evaluation Techniques:
1. how will student learning be assessed? (eg. oral questioning)
2. What criteria or rubric will be used to evaluate the lesson?

Figure 7.3 Generic components of a lesson plan


1. Identify some problems in the implementation of the Primary School
Integrated Curriculum (KBSR) and the Secondary School Integrated
Curriculum (KBSM)?
2. Describe how the teaching of science and mathematics in English was
implemented in your school?
3. New curriculum often fail to become established in schools because the
importance and complexity of the implementation phase is not understood


Ben-Peretz, M. (1990). The Teacher-Curriculum Encounter. Buffalo:

State University of New York Press.
o Chapter 1: Patterns of teachers involvement in the curriculum
o Chapter 3: Teachers concerns about curriculum issues
o Chapter 7; Implications for teacher education and staff
development [available at eBrary].

Ornstein, A. and Hunkins, F. Curriculum: Foundations, principle and

issues. (1998). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Chapter 10: Curriculum

Sowell, E. (2000). Curriculum: An integrative introduction. Upper

Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Chapter 1: Overview of curriculum
processes and products.