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Topic 1 introduces you to the key concepts and issues related to curriculum. It
provides insights to the types of curriculum, relationship between curriculum,
syllabus, course and programme. It also looks at the the forces that influence
curriculum construction..


By the end of Topic 1, you will be able to:
define curriculum
describe different types of curricula
describe the relationship between curriculum, syllabus, course and
list the forces that influence curriculum construction



1.2.1 Concepts and Issues in Curriculum Key Concepts and Issues
Making decisions about curriculum includes considering what the curriculum
should be, how it can be enacted in the classroom and how students might
experience it. This section will examine various definitions of the term
curriculum and the relationships between curriculum, syllabus, course and
Thus, to understand how the content of schooling is shaped in any society,
we must understand the relationship between education and other institutions
in society. In other words, to understand what is taught, how it is taught and
why it is taught, we need to look at the social forces that shape the

1.2.1 Definitions of Curriculum

Exercise 1
What is your definition of curriculum?

Write down in twenty-five-words-or-less a definition of curriculum.

Share your definition with another friend or in a small group.

Compare differences and similarities.

Scientific experts are qualified and justified in designing curricula based on

expert knowledge of what qualities are desirable in adult members of society
and it can be know what experiences would produce those qualities (John
Franklin Bobbitt). Thus, curriculum is defined as the experiences that
someone ought to have in order to become the kind of adult they ought
to become. Curriculum is an ideal rather than reality of what will actually

Originated from the Latin word currere referring to the oval track upon which
Roman chariots raced (means literally to run a course).A plan for achieving
goals (Tyler and Taba). Tanner (1980) defined curriculum as the planned and
guided learning experiences and intended outcomes, formulated through the
systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experiences under the auspices


of the school, for the learners continuous and wilful growth in personal social
Schubert (1987) defines curriculum as the contents of a subject, concepts
and tasks to be acquired, planned activities, the desired learning outcomes
and experiences, product of culture and an agenda to reform society.
Pratt (1980) defines curriculum as a written document that systematically
describes goals planned, objectives, content, learning activities, evaluation
procedures and so forth. Goodlad and Su (1992) define curriculum as a plan
that consists of learning opportunities for a specific timeframe and place, a
tool that aims to bring about behavioural changes in students as a result of
planned activities and includes all learning experiences received by students
with the guidance of the school.
Grundy (1987) defines curriculum as a programme of activities (by teachers
and pupils) designed so that pupils will attain so far as possible certain
educational and other schooling ends or objectives.Hass (1987) provides a
broader definition, stating that a curriculum includes all of the experiences
that individual learners have in a program of education whose purpose is to
achieve broad goals and related specific objectives, which is planned in terms
of a framework of theory and research or past and present professional
Curriculum is:
That which is taught in school;
A set of subjects;
A programme of studies;
A set of materials;
Sequence of courses;
A set of performance objectives;
A course of study;
Everything that goes on within a school;
Everything that is planned by school personnel;
That which is taught both inside and outside of school directed by the
A series of experiences undergone by learners in school; and
That which an individual learner experiences as a result of schooling.
Source:Peter F. Oliva, Developing the Curriculum. Boston: Little, Brown &


Despite varying definitions of curriculum, there seems to be a consensus that

it is a statement:
Of what students should know (knowledge or content);


Be able to do (skills);
How it is taught (instruction);
How it is measured (assessment); and
How the educational system is organised (context).
It is a structured plan of intended learning outcomes, involving knowledge,
skills, behaviour and associated learning experiences organised as a
sequence of events that a student acquires through education and training.
How we conceive of the curriculum is important because our conceptions and
ways of reasoning about curriculum reflect how we think, study and act on
the education made available to students. In short, how we define the
curriculum reflects our assumptions about the world (Cornbleth, 1990).
Tutorial Task
In one/two sentences, define the term curriculum.

1.2.2 Planned, Enacted and Hidden Curriculum

Planned Curriculum (Overt/Explicit/Intended)
The overt curriculum is the open, or public, dimension and includes
current and historical interpretations, learning experiences, and
learning outcomes.
the intended curriculum is captured most explicitly in state content
statements of what every student must know and be able to do by
some specified point in time. What students are supposed to learn.
Openly discussed, consciously planned, usually written down,
presented through the instructional process
Textbooks, learning kits, lesson plans, school plays etc.
Hidden Curriculum (Invisible/Covert)
A hidden curriculum is a side effect of an education, "[lessons] which
are learned but not openly intended such as the transmission of
norms, values, and beliefs conveyed in the classroom and the social
environment. Any learning experience may teach unintended lessons.
The processesthe noise by which the overt curriculum is
they are also learning and modifying attitudes, motives, and values in
relationship to the experiencesin the classroom.


The nonacademic outcomes of formal education are sometimes of

greater consequence than is learning the subject matter.

Enacted Curriculum

The enacted curriculum refers to instruction (e.g. what happens in

the content actually delivered during instruction (i.e., instructional
content), as well as how it is taught (i.e., instructional practices).
Typically, the content targets are based on the intended/planned
In other words, the enacted curriculum is what students get the chance
to learn, as well as how teachers "deliver" the content.
The Enacted Curriculum reflects the daily curricular experience of a
student within instructional settings exemplified by assignments,
instructional practices, and managed content.

Null Curriculum

When a topic is never taught:

too unimportant
too controversial
too inappropriate
not worth the time
not essential

That which we do not teach, thus giving students the message that these
elements are not important in their educational experiences or in our society.
Tutorial Task

Differentiate the types of curricula.

Explain to colleagues the characteristics of each types of

Now, take a break before you move on to the next topic.


1.2.3 Forces that influence curriculum construction

Knowing the social foundations of curriculum is crucial in making decisions
about what should be included in the curriculum and eventually what
happens in the classroom. Schools exist within the context of society and
influence culture which in turn shapes curriculum. The story Curriculum of
Forest School illustrates this point. A curriculum should be able to prepare
students for the present and the future. In other words, a curriculum should
address the wants and needs of learners by responding to social conditions
locally, nationally and globally (McNeil, 1995).
In the politics of the school curriculum, Dennis Lawton observes that
curriculum development is about selecting the most important aspects of
culture for transmission to the next generation. One of the of the crucial
questions to ask is the political question: who makes the
selection.Education is normally a covert tool in the stratagem(scheme/ploy)
of the political class.
Education was primarily didactic and learning was less book-based that it is
today. Controlled largely by the teacher, education focused predominantly on
basic skills. Teachers taught reading, writing and arithmetic to complement
the skill students learn outside school.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the industrial revolution brought about
drastic changes in the economy of many countries. More people moved to
live in cities and working in factories. As a consequence new skills were
needed in an industrial society. It was then that a great change took pace in
education: the model of schools as a factory emerged. Students were taught
the facts and skills they needed for industrial jobs, which they were likely to
hold their entire lives. One-room schools were eventually replaced by large
buildings. Students were sorted by grades and sat in straight rows, with a
teacher at the front of the classroom in control of learning. The curriculum
was compartmentalised.


Without doubt, in the post-industrial or information society, a new curriculum

will be needed. It is envisioned that in the new model, education will be more
personalised. In other words, education will be more differentiated to meet
each students learning requirements. Students will be challenged with higher
expectations of learning, and encouraged to think critically and creatively as
they solve problems. They will spend more time using information technology
and learn independently. The knowledge gained and skills acquired and
attitudes nurtured will support them throughout life.

Society is increasingly becoming diverse, especially in urban areas. Societies
are becoming more multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious and it is
important that curriculum understands and reflect these changes. As stated
by Ornstein and Hunkins (1998), the complexion of our students is changing
from one colour to various shades of colour and this adding of colour and
cultural diversity will continue into the foreseeable future (p.146). As the
world moves towards becoming a global village, society will become even
more diverse with people bringing in new values, new languages and a new
way of life.
Addressing diversity in the curriculum will continue to be a challenge for
educators. It is a task that will at times be politically sensitive. One concept
that has interested educators is assimilation or integration of the diverse
groups. In the 60s and 70s the melting pot approach was adopted in some
countries in an attempt to assimilate people of different cultural, ethnic and
religious backgrounds. It is metaphor for the way in which diverse societies
develop, in which the ingredients in the pot (people of different cultures,
languages and religions) are combined so as to lose their distinct identities
resulting in a final product that is quite different from the original inputs.
Usually, it involved the blending of minority groups with the majority. It was
hoped that a national identity would evolve from these varied attributes.
However, in practice the culture of the majority became dominant. This
approach has proven to be less successful in assimilating people and has
been replaced by the salad bowl approach. Here people of diverse
backgrounds are all in the same salad but maintain their own unique
features. Cultural diversity of pluralism recognises that most societies are
composed of many voices and many ethnic groups. It is a framework in which
groups show respect and tolerance of each other; coexist and interact without
conflict. Power and decision making is shared leading to more widespread
participation and greater feeling of commitment from society members.


How should curriculum address cultural diversity or pluralism? The challenge
confronting educators is developing curriculum that is responsive to students
diverse social and cultural values and at the same time capable of creating a
national identity based on core values and practices. It may be necessary to
have different programmes, different pedagogical approaches, flexible
curriculum and even varied educational environments to address the needs
of all students. No society can afford to socially or economically marginalise
any student and the curriculum must nurture students to become active
participants in a dynamic and emerging society (Schon, 1993).

1.2.4 Concerns of different shareholders in the Malaysian context

Special Interest Groups and Curriculum
Curriculum decision making is political. Various special interest groups
continually propose what should be included in school curriculum. The topics
range form substance abuse to the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Environmental groups insist that students should be taught about
conservation and preservation and the inculcation of values to love the
environment. Among the concerns of these groups are caring for our
rivers, industrial pollution, saving the whales and leatherback turtles.
Substance abuse is another concern of society. Substance abuse
includes drugs (such as heroin, marijuana, ecstasy pills, etc),
alcohol,cigarettes,glue sniffing and so forth. Society has repeatedly
emphasised the need for substance abuse prevention programmes to
be included in school curriculum. Groups involved in prevention of
drug addiction are keen to see that students are taught about drug
addiction in the hope that they will be more aware of the problem and
say no to the habit.
Consumer advocates are keen to see that students are taught about
their rights and responsibilities as consumers in the hope that they will
be more prudent consumers as students and later as adults.
Health groups have also suggested that schools introduce
programmes about HIV Aids awareness, nutritional information, and
other health related issues. As society becomes more developed, the
rise in obesity is of concern in terms of its consequences on the health
system, especially in worker productivity and increased expenditure on
health care.
Sex education has been a topic that has been proposed at various
points; especially when statistics and instances of teen pregnancy and
promiscuity are highlighted by the media and government reports.
Crime prevention by educating the community on crime prevention
techniques and by getting citizens involved in crime prevention


activities such as neighborhood watch to reduce the number of crimes

and increase the quality of life of citizens.
Governments are also determined to ensure that students are taught
about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Citizenship education
has been proposed in an effort to politically socialise students with
democratic ideals, principles and practices. Being prepared to play a
part in political institutions is essential such as the ability to make
informed decision at the personal and societal level. Similarly, to be
educated to take an active part in the cultural life of society such as
holding on to religious and moral beliefs, the ability to use and interpret
a wide range of media, socialisation of children and so forth

Do you think that the syllabuses & textbooks used in our country adequately
reflect your national ideology & the demands of our society?

Surf the internet to get more information on this topic.

Then take a break and move on to the next topic when you are ready.





Topic 2 introduces you to the models, principles and develooopment of
curriculum design
By the end of Topic 2, you will be able to:
discuss the models of curriculum design
compare and contrast the curriculum design models
identify the steps in curriculum design and relate it to the composition
and structure of curriculum design in Malaysia
discuss the underlying principles in curriculum design
discuss the objectives of the current curriculum i.e. KSSR and KBSM,
the principles and main focus of the current curriculum in relation to
compare and contrast the current curriculum with previous Malaysia
English Language school curriculum
Models , Principles and
Development of curriculum

Models of

Principles in

of the




2.3.1 Models, principles and development of curriculum design Key

Concepts and Issues
Curriculum is the foundation of the teaching-learning process whether it is a
school, college, university or training organisation. The textbooks used, how
teachers are trained, development of instructional plans, evaluation of
students, preparation of guides for both students and teachers, and setting of
standards, are all based on the curriculum. Thus, without a curriculum no
educational institution can function efficiently. Given such importance to
curriculum, a number of questions are raised. How is it developed? How is it
organised? Who develops it? What are the principles in developing a
curriculum? How do we know whether the curriculum is successful?
2.3.2 Definitions of Models
Exercise 1
What is your definition of a model?
Write down in twenty-five-words-or-less a definition of a model.
Share your definition with another friend or in a small group.
Compare differences and similarities.
A model consists of interacting parts that serves as a guide or procedure for
action. Some models are simple while others are very complex. In many
instances, models are more similar than different and are often refinements
or revisions of earlier models. A simplified representation of reality which is
often depicted in diagrammatic (graphic) form.
What is the purpose of a model?
To provide a structure for examining the elements that go to make up
curriculum planning, and how these elements interrelate.


The development of a curriculum involves the developer in decisions about

the nature and appropriateness of the substantive(essential/fundamental)
elements, eg the:



assessment strategies(evaluation)
These decisions are made in relation to the context in which the curriculum
will operate
Tutorial Task
In one/two sentences, define the term model.

2.3.3 Tylers Objective Model

TYLERS MODEL (1949) - introduced in 1949 by Ralph Walter Tyler in his
classic book Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction
Key Emphasis:
Instructional Objective (Instructional objectives: a detailed description
that states how an instructor will use an instructional activity ,
innovation or program to reach the desired learning objective(s).
To measure students progress towards objectives
1. Specify Instructional Objectives
2. Collect performance Data
3. Compare performance data with the
objectives/standards specified
*Tyler: Fondly called Father of Behavioral Objectives developed an
objective-based evaluation model
Also sometimes called the sequential, rational, behavioural or means
end model (product).
This longstanding yet still seminal (important/influential) model has
regained significance since the advent of outcomes-based education
in the 1990s and the consequent emphasis on planning from
outcomes; that is, using outcomes as the basis for the selection of
content, teaching/learning methods and assessment strategies.
Tyler describes learning as taking place through the action of the
learner, not what the teacher does.


This model consists of four primary steps:

Development of performance objectives
Development of activities
Organization of activities


What is the purpose of the education?

(What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? - meaning,

defining appropriate learning objectives.
By "purposes", Tyler was referring to "objectives" and when developing
curriculum objectives data should be gathered from three sources; namely,
the subject area (e.g. Science, Mathematics, Geography, History), the
learners (e.g. economically disadvantaged, gifted, varying academic abilities)
and society (e.g. ethics, patriotism, national unity, environmental awareness,
employment, market needs).
After identifying the objectives (which are the desired learning outcomes), the
curriculum developer has to pass them through two screens: the *philosophy
screen and the **psychology screen. Resulting from this are specific
instructional objectives which state the kind of outcomes that are observable
are measurable.
*Philosophy of education is the study of questions such as "What is
education?", What is the purpose of education?, "What does it mean to
know something?" and What is the relationship between education and
society? For example, when you propose the teaching of a particular body of
knowledge, course or subject, you will be asked, "What is your philosophy for
introducing that content?"
**The term as used by teachers emphasizes its relationship to curriculum, to
teaching, and to the issues of sequencing, readiness, and transfer. The two
major psychological perspectives of learning, behaviorist and constructivist,
have important ideas to offer educators.

What educational experiences will attain the purposes?

(How can learning experiences be selected which are likely to be useful in

these objectives?) - meaning, introducing useful learning experiences.
The next step is the selection of educational experiences which enable the
attainment of the stipulated objectives. The learning experiences have to take
into account the previous experiences learners bring to a situation. The


learning experiences will have to be selected based on what is known about
human learning and human development.

How can these experiences be effectively organized?

(How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction?) meaning, organizing experiences to maximize their effect.
He emphasised that the experiences should be properly organised so as to
enhance learning and suggested that ideas, concepts, values and skills be
used as organising elements woven into the curriculum. These elements
would serve as organisers linking content within a particular subject (e.g.
History, Economics, Science) and also determine the method of instruction or
delivery of content.

How can we determine when the purposes are met?

(How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated?) meaning, evaluating the process and revising that were not effective.
Finally, Tyler proposed that evaluation should be an important part of the
curriculum development process. It was necessary for educators to know
whether the selected learning experiences produced the intended results. For
example, if the objective was to develop critical thinking among students, did
the learning experiences selected achieve this objective? Through evaluation
it will be possible to determine whether the curriculum was effective or

2.3.4 Wheelers Process Model



Wheelers model for curriculum design is an improvement upon

Tylers model. Instead of a linear model, Wheeler developed a
cyclical model. Evaluation in Wheelers model is not terminal.
Findings from the evaluation are fed back into the objectives
and the goals, which influence other stages.

Wheelers Model
Aims, goals and


Selection of
learning experiences

Selection of

Organisation and
integration of

Adapted from Urevbu, A. O. (1985). Curriculum Studies.

Wheeler contends that:

Aims should be discussed as behaviours referring to the end product of
learning which yields the ultimate goals. One can think of these ultimate goals
as outcomes.
Aims are formulated from the general to the specific in curriculum planning.
This results in the formulation of objectives at both an enabling and a terminal
Content is distinguished from the learning experiences which in turn,
determine the content.
Tutorial Task

Differentiate the two types of models.

Explain to colleagues the characteristics of each type of




2.3.5 Steps in curriculum design in relation to models of curriculum
In the 1960s, curriculum designers such as Hilda Taba reduced Tyler's
curriculum rationale into a simple procedure:
1. Diagnosis of needs.
2. Formulation of objectives.
3. Selection of content.
4. Organization of content.
5. Selection of learning experiences.
6. Organization of learning experiences.
7. Determination of what to evaluate and the ways and means of doing it.
This procedure has defined curriculum design since that time. Curriculum
design became little more than a determination of goals, activities, content,
delivery systems and assessment techniques. Curriculum design became
basically little more than an exercise in solving a series of problems.
2.3.6 Principles in curriculum design
What is curriculum design?
Curriculum design is deciding about the shape or configuration of a
curriculum plan.
It involves the selection of content in line with the goals and objectives
of the curriculum.
The selected content will have to be arranged in a form that will help
the teacher in choosing and organising appropriate learning
experiences for the classroom.
Curriculum design is also referred to as curriculum organisation.
In short, designing the curriculum involves the task of organising or arranging
the four components/elements; namely, objectives, subject matter
(content), teaching-learning experiences and evaluationprocedures into a
cohesive and comprehensive plan that can be implemented with minimal
A good curriculum is:
Balanced (Well-adjusted)
Rigorous (Demanding/Difficult)
Coherent (Clear/Rational/Intelligible)
Vertically integrated
Appropriate (Suitable/Fitting)
Focused/parsimonious (tightfisted)
Relevant (Pertinent/Significant)


The following principles have been proposed when deciding on content
organisation (Sowell, 2000; Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998):
1) Scope - Scope refers to both the breadth and depth of content and
includes all topics, learning experiences and organising threads found in the
curriculum plan. Scope not only refers to cognitive learning but also affective
learning, and some would argue spiritual learning (Goodland & Zhixin Su,
1992). Sometimes the scope of a curriculum is narrow, consisting of just a
simple listing of key topics and activities.
2) Sequence - Sequence refers to the organisation of content and the extent
to which it fosters cumulative and continuous learning (referred to as vertical
relationship among sections of the curriculum). Do students have the
opportunity to make connections and enrich their understanding of the
content? It is important that the sequencing of content leads to the cumulative
development of intellectual and affective processes. The sequence of content
and experiences should be based on the logic of the subject matter and the
way in which individuals learn. It should be based on psychological principles
and understanding of human development and learning:
a) Simple to complex Content is organised from simple subordinate
components to complex components depicting interrelationships
among components.
b) Spiral - In a spiral curriculum, concepts may be introduced on a
simple level in the early grades, and then revisited with more and more
complexity and application later on.
c) Prerequisites It works on the assumption that bits of information or
learning must be grasped before other bits of information can be
d) Whole to part Content is better understood if an overview (whole)
is first presented to show the connections between the parts.
e) Chronology This is a useful organiser for sequencing content
especially in subjects such as history, political science and world
f) Vertical organisation - This simply means that content and skills are
arranged so that they build on one another; that they align with the
general sequence of cognitive development. They indicate what
students have learned and what they will learn later.
g) Horizontal organisation - It involves how skills and content that are
taught during one level or one period of time relate to another.
3) Integration - Integration is the bringing together of the concepts,
skills and values of different subject areas to reinforce each other. Bits
of information from different subject areas are brought together in such
a way as to present the learner with a unified picture of knowledge.
Some have argued that however much curriculum planners try to


integrate information; it is the learners who integrate what they are
learning in their minds. It is something that happens within the
individual learner. The idea of integration was popularised in the 60s
by Hilda Taba because of concern that school curriculum was too
disjointed, fragmented and detached. Lately, there has been a surge of
interest in curriculum integration due to the rapid accumulation of
information that is doubling in a shorter period of time. Increasingly,
there is a realisation that knowledge has to be viewed in a much
broader sense, particularly in dealing with ideas that cut across
disciplines. When faced with real-world situations, seldom is one area
of content sufficient to explain complex phenomena.

2.3.7 Development of the Malaysian curriculum

National Philosophy of Education (NPE)
Education in Malaysia is a continuous effort towards enhancing potentials of
individuals in a holistic and integrated manner in order to create individuals
who are well-equipped intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. This effort
aims to produce knowledgeable, ethical and responsible Malaysian citizens
who are can contribute towards the harmony and prosperity of the community
and nation.
The National Philosophy of Education (NPE) acts as a guide for all
educational activities in Malaysia. It sets the values and principles of the
Malaysian education system from the primary to the tertiary level. The NPE
explains the aims and objectives of the national education for the individual
and the nation. Its aims and objectives are in tandem, namely, to produce
individuals who are knowledgeable and full of integrity who will contribute as
responsible citizens. Education is considered to be a basic and major process
in developing individuals to be the key players in achieving the countrys aims
and aspirations. With the NPE, the national education system has propelled
to the forefront of education in the region.
The basis of NPEs philosophy is that humans are steadfast in their belief in
god and their religion. The ultimate aim of education based on this
philosophy therefore is to develop every aspect of individuals in a
harmonious and balanced manner so as to preserve their wellbeing.
Knowledge and education should path the way to goods ethics and moral
values as responsible and learned members of the community and nation.
A core concept of the NPE is the value and role of knowledge in the
development of individuals and their role in the community. More importantly,


the value of knowledge lies in the truth of the matter which serves not only to
inform but also to transform and shape individuals to serve the community.
This power of knowledge that is able to transform individuals and their
networks makes it a very valuable commodity. Education is a lifelong process
and man is constantly in need to expand, explore and verify existing
knowledge. Experience does not only enrich and strengthen knowledge but
also re-examine and increase the capacity of existing knowledge possessed
by individuals.
Study of the current Malaysian English Language school curriculum
The Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) was introduced to
overcome certain shortcomings within the older system, the Kurikulum
Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR). It is hoped with this new restructured
and improved curriculum, our children would have the necessary knowledge,
skills and also the values to face and overcome the challengers of the current
times. In this fast paced progressive world, what worked very well in 1983 is
just not good enough today. The use of technology and people skills for one,
are vital tools that needed to be in cooperated into the curriculum to ensure
that our children can perform successfully on a global platform. They need to
be equipped not only with the necessary knowledge and skills but also with
the strength of character and leadership qualities to be successful.
KSSR has one new word in it Standard. In this new curriculum, there are set
standards of learning that our children have to achieve at the different levels
of their schooling. This means that when our children complete a particular
level of schooling, they are expected to have achieved a preset standard of
knowledge, skills and values. At specific times at each level these learning
standards will be measured to ensure that no child gets left behind. If a child
fails to meet the required standard, the teacher is required to do more
revision activities with the child until he or she eventually achieves the
required standard.
The new curriculum has also been designed to go beyond acquiring
communication skills, self-development and the childs immediate
environment as in the KBSR. It is designed to enhance and embrace the use
of science and technology, develop values, understand humanitarian issues
and also focus on the childs physical and aesthetical development. Although
the KBSR focused on holistic learning, the current curriculum seeks to go
beyond this. The KSSR curriculum uses what is known as a modular-based
system. For easy understanding let us look at the teaching and learning of
the English Language.
In KSSR, for the primary school, the English Language syllabus is divided
into two separate levels. KSSR Level 1 is made up of Year One, Year Two


and Year Three while KSSR Level 2 comprises of Year Four, Year Five and
Year Six.

For Level 1 the modules taught are:

Module 1 (Listening and Speaking)
Module 2 (Reading)
Module 3 (Speaking)
Module 4 (Language Arts)
At Level 2, grammar will be added to the four modules taught in Level 1.
Although textbooks are being used in the teaching and learning process,
learning is now more accessible with students playing a more important role
in their learning. Rote learning is no longer encouraged and with the
introduction of Language Arts component in the curriculum, there is now
space for interactive actives. These include the use of drama, role-play,
debates, language games and songs to make the lessons more meaningful
and facilitate the learning of the language. Lessons are more fun and there is
also more movement and activities in the process of learning. This element of
fun learning removes the element of stress and pressure and makes lessons
fun while ensuring that language acquisition takes place.
Although the KBSR was student centered, the KSSR seem to be even more
focused to make learning fun and meaningful to the young learners. The
classroom atmosphere is more relaxed where students are given more room
for decision-making and encouraged to voice their opinions. Apart from the
3Ms (reading, writing and counting), the new curriculum has 4Ms, with
Reasoning added to the original 3Ms. The need for our children to think and
reason, of making connections between their actions and consequences is
now stressed. There is a shift from rote learning where students simply
followed instructions and are overly dependent on teachers. Students are
now being taught to be active decision makers and be accountable for their
actions. There also seems to be time allocated for Chinese and Tamil
languages within the school timetable to ensure that students need not
remain in school for long hours. The new curriculum also appears to be
moving away from an exam-oriented system and the streaming of students
according to their academic ability is discouraged. In the KSSR, students are
encouraged to work together and help each other rather than being focused
on competing to being the best. Although academic achievement is
important, it is no longer everything. Character development and values are
also given prominence.



The long-term objective of the KSSR is to produce individuals who have
positive self-image and high self-esteem. With character building
emphasized, it is hoped that our children would not only have the adequate
knowledge and skills but would also have strong leadership qualities and
character to face the challengers of the current scenario.

Comparrison of other Malaysian English Language school curriculum

The Integrated Primary School Curriculum (ICPS) KBSR
The Integrated Primary School Curriculum is divided into two phases that is
Phase 1 (Year1-3) and Phase II (Year 4-6). The curriculum emphasises the
mastery, reinforcement and application of the 3Rs and the acquisition of
complex skills and knowledge. Also, emphasised is the development of
positive attitudes and values. The content is divided into six components:
basic skills, humanities, art and recreation, values and attitudes, living skills
and communication skills.
The compulsory subjects are Bahasa Malaysia, English, mathematics,
Islamic Education, moral education, music, art, physical education, science,
local studies and living skills.
The Integrated Secondary School Curriculum (ICSS) KBSM
The Integrated Secondary School Curriculum put emphasis on providing a
general education and consolidation of skills acquired in the primary grades.
The secondary school curriculum continued to focus on the development of
positive attitudes and values among students. The lower secondary
curriculum comprised of the following subjects: Bahasa Malaysia, English,
mathematics, Islamic Education, moral education, science, geography,
history, physical education, art and living skills. In the upper secondary
curriculum, besides compulsory subjects such as history, mathematics,
Bahasa Malaysia, English, and moral education/Islamic education; students
select elective subjects from the humanities, pure sciences, Islamic studies,
applied arts, information technology, technology and languages.

Do you think that the curriculum used in our country is based on a particular
curriculum design model?
The curriculum design models discussed show that curriculum designing is
conducted stage by stage. Some of the models discussed consider the


process to be more important than the objectives. Other models take
objectives to be the most
important feature of curriculum design. Generally, all models stress the
importance of considering a variety of factors that influence curriculum.
Relax your mind before you move on to the next topic



Topic 3 introduces you to the considerations in designing a curriculum.
By the end of Topic 3, you will be able to:
discuss the factors involved in curriculum design
discuss the importance of knowledge of the curriculum in organising
teaching and learning


Considerations in
designing curriculum





Aims and


and support


and methods






3.3.1 Considerations in Designing a Curriculum

Tutorial Task
Discuss some of the considerations in designing a curriculum.
The curriculum design phase is the systematic process of research, planning,
identifying and specifying the complete design of the course objectives,
lesson planning ,topic content, training methodology, learner exercises,
courseware content, and assessment criteria.
Consideration in
Curriculum Design

Assessment &


Monitoring &



Aims &


Learning theories, approaches
& methods



Need analysis

Needs analysis (also known as needs assessment) has a vital role in

the process of designing and carrying a curriculum.
According to Iwai et al. (1999), the term needs analysis generally
refers to the activities that are involved in collecting information that
will serve as the basis for developing a curriculum that will meet the
needs of a particular group of students.
The curriculum designers must be aware of the learners strengths and
Needs analysis is a process of collecting and analyzing information
about learners in order to set goals and contents of a language
curriculum based on their needs (Kayi, 2008).
It examines what learners already know and what they need to know
(Nation & Macalister, 2010). Many scholars indicate that knowing
about learners needs such as their learning objectives, language
attitudes, expectations from the course are necessary in order to
design an efficient curriculum (Brindley, 1984; Nunan, 1988,
Xenodohids, 2002, et Kayi, 2008).
By gathering such information, therefore, the needs analysis can
guarantee that the course will contain the relevant and useful things for
students to learn.

Target Group
Who is the target audience? For whom we design our curriculum?
Consider the pupils
Individual needs
Multiple intelligence (visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner)
Various learning styles or learning modes (hands on, discovery
learning, experiential; learning, distance learning )
Who is the target audience; What is the minimum/maximum current
knowledge of the participant audience? What are their characteristics? What
are their special needs? What knowledge and skill deficiencies currently


exist? What are the tasks currently performed by the target audience and
what new skill level is required following the training?
What are the available delivery options and methods for transferring the new
skills to the workplace? What is the instructional setting; e.g. lectures,
tutorials, on-the-job, self study, etc?How do these skills connect to the
intended audience?
What is the timeline for programme completion?
Curriculum should be appropriate for:
- personal development (attitudes, behaviours)
- social development (communication)
- aesthetic development
- interpersonal/intrapersonal development
- physical development
- Intellectual development
- Multiple intelligence (linguistic, spatial, musical, logical-mathematical)
Aims and Objectives

Lesson, programme, lifeeverything starts with an aim, objective or

The aims of curriculum are the reasons for undertaking the learning
E.g. Aim:
- to prepare students for employment in a
particular profession
- to develop problem-solving skills and adapt
to changes in society

The stated aims of a curriculum tell students what are the results of studying
it is likely to be. (what would they gain by learning from it).Aims are not the
same as desired learning outcomes.
a) aims should relate to the combined impact of the curriculum, the pedagogy
and the assessment of the various elements.
b) desired learning outcomes need to be student oriented, and should point
to theknowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes of those students who
successfully complete the course.
Aims and Learning Objectives - Aim statements are broad and all
encompassing, while, desired objective/learning outcomes are
specific, behavioural, student- focussed statements.
Content selection
All curricula have content.Choices have to be made on what to be included in
curriculum.The content includes :


-the topics
-issues or subjects that will be covered as it proceeds

When selecting content for curriculum, you should bear in mind the following
1) it should be relevant to the outcome of the curriculum (what do we
seek to achieve, in line with aims/ objectives)
an effective curriculum is PURPOSIVE
Clearly focused on the planned outcomes
The inclusion of irrelevant topics, however interesting in themselves, acts as
a distraction and may confuse students.
2) the content should be appropriate to the level of the target group
an effective curriculum is progressive (simple complex, basics
advanced), leading students onward and building their knowledge
Materials which is too basic or too advanced for their current stage
makes students either bored or baffled, and erodes their motivation to
3) it should be up-to-date.
The students should be aware of whats happening around them and
the world.
The content should be constantly updated.
4) the content should be valid (Ornstein and Hunkins,1998)
Validity refers to whether the information passed on to the students is
authentic and obtained from credible sources (reliable).
Internet?? Doubt the reliability..
Contents need to be checked to determine its accuracy.
5) feasibility (capable of being done/workable / executable) Ornstein
and Hunkins (1998)
educators who select content have to take into consideration the
constraints of time, expertise of staff,funding, and other educational
resources that schools might face when implementing the curriculum.
E.g. the time allocated for teaching may be insufficient to cover all the
topics, because school have to allocate time for extra-curricular
activities and other school events.


Learning theories, methods and approaches
The teaching and learning methods or learning experiences should be
derived from the content and learning objectives in a meaningful way and the
methods or the organisation of experiences should facilitate the attainment of
respective objectives in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain.
Most curriculum designs can be grouped into the following three basic
designs; namely, subject-centred designs, learner-centred designs and
problem-centred designs.
Subject-Centred Designs include 5 types of designs: academic subject
designs, discipline designs, broad field designs, correlation designs
and process designs.
Learner-Centred Designs include 3 types of designs identified as childcentred, romantic/radical designs and humanistic designs.
Problem-Centred Designs include 3 types of designs identified as lifesituations design, core design and social problems design.
1) Subject-centred design
Subject-Centred Designs are by far the most popular and widely used
curriculum design. This is because knowledge and content are well accepted
as integral parts of the curriculum. Since acquiring a body of content is
integral in any school system, much thought has focused on how best to
present the knowledge, skills and values of the subjects to learners and the
following five approaches have been proposed:

Academic Subject Design

The academic subject design is both the oldest and best known design to
most people because it was the way many of them were educated. This
design is based on the belief that humans are unique because of their
intellect and the quest for and acquisition of knowledge is to feed this
intellect. In the 1930s, Robert Hutchins indicated that the academic subject
design model for American schools should comprise language and its uses
(reading, writing, grammar, literature), Mathematics, Science, History and
foreign languages. Has it changed today?
Why is this model of curriculum design widely adopted? One reason given is
that it is much easily interpreted in textbooks and commercially available
support materials. Since teaching is essentially a verbal activity (whether it be
lecture, recitation, group discussion) teachers find it easier to communicate
the ideas and knowledge of a subject presented in verbal form in textbooks.
Also, people are familiar with this format, having gone through it themselves
when in school.


However, critics argue that this design deemphasises the learner by taking
away their rights to choose the content that is most meaningful to them. The
focus on the subject matter fails to foster social, psychological and physical
development and to some extent, fosters an elite ruling class based on
knowledge (Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998).
(b) Discipline Design
A discipline is a specific body of knowledge that has its own methods of
inquiry, has its specialised words and terminology, has a tradition and a
collection of literature, and the persons involved in the field are theoreticians
and practitioners. Proponents of the discipline design model emphasise the
teaching of the disciplines in its pure form. In other words, a student who
studies biology would approach the subject as a biologist while those who
study history will study it as historians. What is the rationale for teaching the
disciplines? According to its proponents, the school is a mini version of the
world of intellect and that the disciplines reflect that world.
(c) Broad Fields Design
The broad fields design is also known as the interdisciplinary design. The
main reason for this design arose from the concern that subjects taught were
too compartmentalised and fragmented; for example, geography, geometry,
literature, algebra and so forth. The suggestion was to bring together content
from different subjects to form one logical subject. For example, Economics,
Sociology, Political Science, Geography and History were combined to form
Social Studies. Another example is Language Arts (composed of literature,
grammar, linguistics and spelling) and General Science (composed of
Biology, Chemistry and Physics). At one time there was a subject called Man
and the Environment (Alam dan Manusia) implemented in Malaysian primary
What are some of the issues in this model? One would be breadth versus
depth. For example, in studying social studies over one year, students are
exposed to a variety of social science concepts compared to only studying
economics concepts for one year. Certainly, treatment of the various social
science concepts would be superficial. For sure, a year of economics will
expose students to more economics concepts and principles than would a
year of social studies. However, some may argue whether students need
such in- depth knowledge of a particular subject. If the educational philosophy
is to give students an overview of the social sciences, then Social Studies
might be the logical choice.
(d) Correlation Design
The correlation design model lies in between the academic design model and
the broad fields design. If you do not want your curriculum to consist of five


separate subjects nor five different subject areas to be fused into one, then
the correlation design model might be an alternative. For example, you may
want to just fuse or correlate history with literature at the secondary school
level. For example, in a history lesson the class learns about the Japanese
occupation of Malaysia. During the literature class, students read novels
about life during that time period. However, each subject retains its own
distinct identity.
(e) Process Design
In the discipline based design discussed earlier, students learn the methods
of inquiry used by experts in the respective disciplines. For example, in
studying anthropology, students will learn various ethnographic procedures.
Advocates of the process design model stress the learning of general
procedures and processes that are not applicable to any particular discipline.
The most popular example of the process design model is the teaching of
thinking skills. Various educators have suggested that students should be
taught to think. Curriculum has focused on the teaching of decision making,
problem solving, critical thinking and creative thinking. Ennis (1963) identified
a list of critical thinking skills that should be taught, such as identification of
fallacies, checking the credibility of sources and so forth.
In the process design curriculum students are also taught to be aware of their
thinking and to take action when necessary. A good thinker is able to monitor
his or her thinking and take steps to remedy faulty thinking. The general
assumption is that there are general thinking skills, and processes are
common regardless of the subject area. The aim of the curriculum is to
enhance these process skills applicable to all disciplines. Thinking critically is
not unique to geography or physics. Neither is thinking creatively the sole
domain of art or literature.
2) Learner-centred design
While subject-centred designs are popular, there is also an emphasis on
learner- centred designs. The early supporters of the child-centred curriculum
were largely the progressives Emphasis was on the development of the
whole child and this was most evident in primary schools.
(a) Child-Centred Design
Proponents of the child-centred design believe that learners should actively
participate in the teaching-learning process. Learning should be related
closely to the daily lives of students, unlike the subject-centred design which
tends to separate content from the daily lives of learners. In the child-centred
design, focus is on the needs and interests of the learners.


An early advocate of the child-centred curriculum was French philosopher,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), who in his book Emile made the child
the focus of the educational process. He emphasised that Living is the
business that I wish to teach him. When he leaves my care he, I grant, be
neither magistrate, nor soldier, nor priest: he will be, primarily, a man (cited in
Soetard, M., 1994, p.423). This did not mean children were allowed to run
free. Children need to be guided by the teacher according to their level of
Perhaps, the most well-known advocate of the child-centred design is John
Dewey. He argued that children are not blank slates and they bring with them
four basic impulses the impulse to communicate, to compare and contrast,
to inquire and to express themselves through language. In the child-centred
design, teaching and learning draw on the experiences of learners and the
vast amount of information they bring to the classroom. Using this design,
teachers and students negotiate what is of interest to learners and what
content is to be included in the curriculum. Teachers and students participate
in planning lesson units, its purposes, the focus of the content and the
learning activities to be introduced in the teaching and learning situations.
In the child-centred model, the interests and experiences of the learner
become the subject-matter of the curriculum. Children are given the freedom
to discover and do things for themselves rather than told how to do
something. The project method became a popular pedagogical strategy in
the child- centred design in which children solved problematic situations
calling on their knowledge and skills of science, history, art and so forth. In
other words, the traditional subjects are not rejected but rather used to solve
problems that are of interest to learners.

Radical Design
In this design, the focus is the learner which is quite similar to the childcentred design; the difference being that greater emphasis is placed on the
need for the curriculum to reform society. Proponents of the radical design
operate on the assumption that society is corrupt and repressive. Children
should be educated towards the goal of social reform. A well-known
proponent of the radical design was Paulo Freire who opposed treating
students as empty vessels to be filled with knowledge by the teacher. He
objected to the teacher-student dichotomy (contrast) and proposed the
relationship between teacher and student be reciprocal (mutual), which is,
the teacher who learns and the learner who teaches.
According to proponents of this curriculum design, learning is reflective and
not externally imposed by those in power. Knowledge is not the finished
product to be acquired by learners because this is indoctrination. Learning is
something that results from the interaction between and among people.
Learners should challenge content and be allowed to give their opinions


about the information given to them. Learners will value what they learn if
they are allowed to construct their own knowledge. When learners create
meaning, they have ownership over what they have learned resulting in
genuine thought.
(c) Humanistic Design
The humanistic design became popular in the 60s and 70s in response to
excessive overemphasis on the disciplines during the 50s and early 60s in
the United States. Proponents of the humanistic design based their
arguments on the principles of humanistic psychology. A basic question
asked is whether the curriculum has allowed a person to truly achieve his or
her full potential. The curriculum should be designed to empower learners to
be involved in the process of realising their potential. Greater emphasis was
placed on the affective domain to permit students to feel and to value. One of
the proponents of the humanistic curriculum design was Carl Rogers (19021987) who argued that the aim of education is the facilitation of learning. To
facilitate learning, the teacher accepts learners as persons, placing
importance on their feelings and their opinions; while caring for them. In other
words, the teacher is able to view the world through the students eyes. With
such a curriculum, learners become fully functional persons capable of
intelligent choice; are critical learners able to approach problem situations
with flexibility; and are able to work cooperatively with others (Ornstein &
Hunkins, 1998). The humanistic curriculum design focuses on the
interconnectedness of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The
design stresses the development of positive self-concept and interpersonal
skills of learners. The humanistic curriculum requires teacher with great skills
and competence in dealing with individuals. This may be difficult to obtain in
all teachers. There is also a tendency to overemphasise the individual and
ignore the needs of the society.
3) Problem-centred design
Problem-Centred Designs models focus on the problems faced by society.
The Problem-centred designs are pre-determined before the arrival of
students. In other words, genuine life problems are selected and teachinglearning activities are organised around these issues. The learner is placed in
the social setting to address problems. Unlike the learner-centred designs,
the problems or issues discussed originate from issues that are of concern to
society. It aims to prepare students with relevant knowledge and skills to fit
into society when they leave school.

Life-centred situations



In any society, there are persistent life situations that are crucial to a societys
successful functioning. Examples of such life situations are healthy living, use
of leisure time, ethics, racial tolerance, citizenship skills and so forth. It was
argued by its advocates that it makes educational sense to organise a
curriculum around such life situations. Students will direct relevance in
studying such social issues when they are related to their world. Also, having
students study social or life situations will encourage them to seek ways to
improve society. The life situations that need to be emphasised in schools will
depend on what students need before they enter the working world and
assume adult responsibilities. However, some needs and interests have
already been met by the family, religious institutions and other community
organisations. So, the schools should address those needs not met by these
The life-centred situations curriculum has been criticised because students
do not learn much subject matter. However, proponents of the model state
that this is not true because the design draws heavily from the traditional
subject areas. The content is organised in a manner that allows students to
see problems faced by society. In addressing society's pressing problems,
content is drawn from different subject areas to explain and find solutions to
current issues
(b) Core-design
A variation of the life-centred situations design is the core-design model.
Focus is still on the pressing problems of society; the difference being that
certain problem are selected to form the core. It is carefully planned before
students enter school and adjusted when necessary. The core problems are
taught to all students in a block-time format whereby two or more periods of
class time is used. A problem solving approach is adopted in analysing social
problems. Students select a problem through consensus and work either
individually or in groups. Data is collected, analysed, interpreted and
presented in class. Findings are evaluated and discussed.
Points to keep in mind are:

How relevant are the teaching and learning methods to the content
and learning outcomes?
How are practical skills going to be taught and supervised?
How are students supported in independent learning and study (eg self
directed learning)?
What resources are required and available to ensure effective teaching
and learning?
Does the teaching promote critical and logical thinking at the level of
the learner?


What are the constraints affecting the teaching and learning process?
Are the teaching and learning methods appropriate for the selected
assessment methods?

Personnel and Material selection

Curriculum planners who are developing whole programmes need to

think at a strategic level about the resources required and how these
can be used effectively and efficiently.
Teachers, technical and administrative staff there should be sufficient
staff to deliver and support the delivery and assessment of the course.
Staff should be appropriately skilled (in pedagogical as well as
technical areas) and qualified and should be aware not only of their
own areas of the course but also of the course as a whole in order that
they can contextualise the learners learning experiences.
Equipment including IT and AV equipment, models and simulators,
laboratory and clinical equipment, whiteboards, flip charts.
Finances - the course will require adequate funding to sustain its
Books, journals and multimedia resources lists of core textbooks for
each part of the course and other resources including reference texts
should be identified by teachers and purchased for use by learners.
These should be supported by other resources such as journals
(printed and online) and multimedia packages. The library will be the
main support structure for these resources but additional resources
may also be delivered through an Intranet or via departmental
Teaching rooms, office space, social and study space there should
be adequate provision to accommodate learners at all stages of the
course as well as social and study space for students to spend time
outside the classroom. There should also be sufficient space for
teachers to prepare teaching and meet with students.
Requirements for supervision and delivery of practical teaching
(practicum) availability of schools, mentors, supervisors - it is
important to ensure that such staff are supported and trained to deliver
the course. Other requirements which need to be considered include
travel and accommodation arrangements for learners and teachers.

Assessment and Evaluation



In designing the assessment methods that measure students performance,
the starting point should always be the stated learning outcomes.
Assessments must check that students have achieved the learning
outcomes in various contexts and thus that the content has been
covered. Teaching and learning methods must support the assessment
strategy, if students or trainees are expected to perform well in MCQs for
example, then a Problem-Based Learning type course with a facilitative
teaching approach will not be appropriate.
Teachers should check a number of aspects relating to assessment:
Are the assessment methods which relate to the assessment of
knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate? Do the teaching and
learning methods support the assessment strategy?
Are the assessment methods reliable and valid?
Are the assessment methods designed so that learners can achieve
the minimum performance standards set in the curriculum and is there
capacity for learners to demonstrate higher standards of performance
(i.e. do the assessments enable discrimination between candidates)?
Are the students/trainees being assessed sufficiently or are they being
Are the regulations governing assessment procedures and awards
clear and easy to follow and are they being applied appropriately and
Evaluation is a system of feedback, providing information to planners,
teachers/trainers, students, parents and decision-makers. Evaluation is a
process involving ongoing activities aimed at gathering timely information
about the quality of a programme.
Why do we need to evaluate our courses?
To identify successes and failures of the curriculum with a view to
correcting deficiencies.
To measure if stated objectives have been achieved.
To assess if the curriculum is meeting the needs of learners,
community etc.
To measure the cost effectiveness of the curriculum.
Some questions to ask when evaluating a course or programme:
Whether the learning objectives are realistic and relevant.
Whether the different parts of the course relate to each other
meaningfully in terms of sequence and organisation.
Whether the subject matter and content is relevant, accurate and up to


Whether the learners entry requirements are well defined and at the
right level.
Whether the materials and delivery are pitched at the right level for the
learners at different points in the course.
Whether the balance of teaching and learning methods is appropriate
and whether there is enough time to ensure learning.
Whether teachers have the knowledge and skills required to deliver
the curriculum.
Whether the learning resources that have been identified are
adequate, appropriate and available.
Monitoring and Support
What should be monitored?
Student recruitment and selection processes: Do the candidates meet
the selection criteria? Do the criteria provide students who are
appropriate for the course?
Teaching staff are the teachers available, motivated and capable of
teaching the new course?
Have any training needs for teachers been identified and addressed?
The teaching and learning process:
How is the written curriculum translated into practice?
Are the teaching and learning methods appropriate?
Is the balance between different types of learning mode
appropriate in achieving the stated outcomes?
Are the assessments appropriate in terms
reliability and validity and do they discriminate
assessing skills, knowledge and attitudes?
Are the regulations and procedures
appropriate and are
they being followed?
Learning resources
- Are the recommended books and journals
teaching materials available?
- Is access to the library and other resources adequate?
Performance standards Are the minimum performance standards
being reflected and achieved?
What are the program constraints? Technological: ICT, lab, LCDs etc.
-Timing: Implementation, Readiness
- Duration: Length lectures,
- Co-curriculum, practicum, internship, etc


Who is going to provide the cost of the training? Allowances, other

payments etc

Curriculum design is a complex activity both conceptually and its
implementation. Designing a curriculum requires a vision of educations
meaning and purpose. Curriculum design must be carefully considered so
that the curriculum imparts essential knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Relax and move on to the next topic when you are ready.



Topic 4 introduces you to the roles of a teacher in educational development
and the relationship between teacher beliefs and curriculum implementation.

By the end of Topic 4, you will be able to:

discuss therole of teachers as decision-maker, analyst, practitioner
and researcher
discuss therelationship between teacher beliefs and curiculum

and the

Role of a

between teacher
beliefs and




A teacher's role may vary among cultures. Teachers may provide instruction
in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts,
religion, civics, community roles, or life skills.

Exercise 1
a. Define a teacher?
b. What are the roles of teachers in curriculum development?
Share them with your friends.
Compare differences and similarities.
Curriculum and the Teacher
Without doubt, the most important persons in the curriculum implementation









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 classroom.
The key to getting teachers committed to a curriculum is to enhance
theirknowledge of the curriculum. This means teachers need to 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 oneday 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.
Hence, professional development of teachers is an important factor
contributing to the success of curriculum implementation. To what extent have
teacher education programmes required prospective teachers to study
curriculum development? [ Did we study curriculum development in our
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.
Some topics to be addressed in designing professional development
opportunities for teachers who are implementing a new curriculum:

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
Content: Teachers may find the curriculum introduces content with
which they are unfamiliar, which they have not taught for a while, or
which is familiar but presented in an unfamiliar way. For example,
using a problem- solving approach rather than a topical approach.
Pedagogy: Teachers need opportunities to become familiar with the
new programme's 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 assessment.

Factors influencing the implementation of a curriculum in schools:



School ethos

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.

Adequacy of

Adequacy of equipment, facilities and general

resources required for implementing a new


Support for teachers from both within the school and

outside; e.g. opportunities to receive ongoing
curriculum professional support


Knowledge and understanding which teachers

possess of 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.


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


Teachers own ability and competence to teach the

curriculum; i.e. confidence in teaching.

*Teacher resist change because they lack

competencies, ownership, incentives and time.


4.3.1 Important Roles of Teacher in Curriculum Development

Leader who can inspire and influence students through expert and
referent power but never coercive power. This teacher knows his
students well and is kind and respectful towards his students. He has
high standards and expectations coexisting with encouragement,
support and flexibility. The teacher empower students and get them to
do things of which they did not think they were capable.
Coach/guide who helps students to improve on their skills and insights.
Disseminator of knowledge and skills


Role model to the student; practises what he preaches. He upholds

moral values and humanitarian principles in all his actions. Teachers
conduct their day by-day doing in such a way that their behaviour can
be cherished by the learners. Teachers should be a human model for
learners therefore, they must uphold all codes of ethical conduct that
are necessary and essential in human modeling and moral education.
Innovator, creative, resourceful and encourages diversity and
individuality in his students.
4.3.2 Code of Ethics

Ethical responsibilites to students - Teachers will educate students to

high standards of achievement. The
teacher shall use best
professional practices and materials and the teacher is knowledgeable
of and delivers the standards-based curriculum. Teacher shall engage
in practices and select materials that include all students, celebrate
diversity and never exclude them from opportunities on the basis of
their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, national origin, language, ability
or the status, behaviour or beliefs of their parents - The teacher is
committed to developing the skill sets needed to best accelerate the
learning of the students currently in their classrooms - The teacher
creates a classroom environment that is respectful, emotionally secure
and physically safe for students.

Ethical Responsibilities to Family/Community - The teacher shall

inform families of program philosophy, policies and personnel
qualifications and explain why we teach as we do, which should be in
accordance with our ethical responsibilities to students. The teacher
shall involve families in significant decisions affecting their student and
regularly communicate student progress with families. The teacher
shall inform the family of accidents involving their student, of risks
such as exposures to contagious disease that may result in infection
and of occurrences that might result in emotional stress. The teacher
shall maintain confidentialilty and shall respect the familys
right to
privacy, refraining from disclosure of confidential information and
intrusion into family life, except when a students welfare is at risk. The
teacher shall be objective and accurate in reporting the knowledge
upon which we base our programs, assessments and professional
practices. The teacher shall cooperate and team with other
professionals who work with students and families. The teacher shall
exercise care in expressing views regarding students. Statements
shall be respectful and based on firsthand knowledge.

Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues - The teacher shall show respect

for personal dignity and for the diversity found among staff members,


and to resolve matters collegially. The teacher shall exercise care in
expressing views regarding the professional behaviour or conduct of
co-workers and/or students.The teacher agrees to carry out the
program at the site to which we are assigned. When we do not agree
with the program policies, we shall first attempt to effect change
through constructive action within the organization. Teachers who do
not meet program standards shall be informed of areas of concern
and, when possible, assisted in improving their performance. In
making assessments and recommendations, the teacher shall make
judgements based on fact and relevant to the interests of students and
4.3.3 Knowledge and skill practitioner
1. The teacher is a professional is an educator and a practitioner in
knowledge and skills. He is an effective practitioner and analyst who,
through teacher education, is competent in applying his theoretical
knowledge in various pedagogic contexts. He provides education for
discipline, for knowledge, for character, for life, for growth, for personal
fulfillment and aesthetic refinement.
2. The practitioner understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry,
and structures of the discipline he teaches and creates learning
experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for
3. He understands how children learn and develop and can provide
learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and
personal development. He also understands and uses a variety of
instructional strategies to encourage students development of critical
thinking, problem solving and performance skills.
4. He is eclectic in the sense of being able to synthesise rather than
merely select what is available. The teacher should possess the ability
to harmonically arrange what has been selected to be offered to the
5. The practitioner has to adopt technology as a means for becoming
more effective in producing his own materials, accessing the Internet
to gain information, ideas and core materials which will provide the
basis for presentation to the students.
4.3.4 Educare and educere (Practitioner)
1. Education arises from two Latin terms that is educare and educere.
Educare is to lead, draw or bring out; to unsheathe/uncover. The
etymology emphasizes the militaristic aspect of the word; the word
involved leading or bringing out the troops or unsheathing ones
sword- the notion of preparing for battle.


2. Questions pertaining to the effects that emerge when one thinks of
education in this way: - What or where are we trying to lead students
to? - What are we trying to bring out of them? - Can we truly draw out
some pre-determined intellectual and personal qualities? - Do we
really think that children are all really alike, the same inside, and that if
we locate the best method, then we can teach them all and they will
learn the same thing?
3. Educere is to rear or bring up; allow to emerge as needed. If
educere is the act of emerging ,then as teachers, we must begin to ask
ourselves: What will emerge? ; Can we control what emerges? and
should we try and control what learning emerges or what the students
response to your teaching will be?
4. Educere is very parental, almost feminine approach to education
because it focuses on the nurturing and caring or what emerges when
a student is engaged in the learning process. Educere emphasizes
what has become understood in Western civilization as the feminine
principle. Educere is indeed the act of nurturing the young, being
creative, compassionate, giving. These are perceived as positive
qualities. However, at the same time there is the potential for nurturing
to turn into the act of controlling and oppressing, as in the mother who
hovers over too much and does not allow enough freedom for growth.
5. Educere emphasizes the main principle of leading the young forth
for some grand, great purpose; the act of instilling discipline,
decisiveness, willingness to die for a cause. As a teacher, this type
wants to marshal the students towards something beyond him or her
self, which can be a wonderful moments of growth intellectual and
emotional. As a teacher one has to discover which principle he or she
embodies and reflect on the positive and negatives of each.
4.3.5 Social agent (Analyst)
1. The teaching/learning process is basically and essentially an
interaction between humans. This interaction is carried within a social
context. There are, generally, clearly defined teacher and student roles
in these learning environments. The student tends to expect that the
teacher will influence the learning environments. The student tends to
expect that the teacher will influence the learning process to some
significant extent.
2. The role of the teacher as a social agent is an important part of the
learning process. This is very clear as different individuals interact with
a teacher and other students to widely varying degrees.
3. The teachers role may be include the management of the social
interaction that is conducted as part of the learning process. In the
primary school, the teacher has a large role in guiding the behaviour of
the young pupils. Often the teacher is required to set boundaries as to
where pupils may be at a particular time, whether they may talk or


need to be quiet and listening and what activities they should be
4. The teacher plays a number of other social roles in the
teaching/learning process. The teacher is often a motivator for pupils,
encouraging or reproving them as appropriate. The approval of the
teacher can be a strong motivating factor, particularly for younger
pupils. The teacher is also an arbiter of success; measuring and
quantifying pupils efforts. The teacher may also pass on cultural and
social values.
5. The role of the teacher as social agent is an important part of the
learning process, it is also clear that different individuals interact with a
teacher and other students to widely varying degrees. These
individuals are self-motivated, do not require any third party
encouragement to learn, and can seek out and assimilate the required
body of knowledge.
4.3.6 Agent of change (Decision maker/Analyst)
1. A change agent is an individual who influences clients innovation
decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency. As a
change agent, one has to directly work with the teachers to adopt an
innovation and encourage them to become opinion leaders in their
own interpersonal network.
2. One has to teach the teachers to use the various pieces of
technology and it goes further by assisting the teachers to learn to be
constructivist teachers that can incorporate technology into their
curriculum. It is this balance of bringing the technology into the
curriculum through constructivist methods that is the innovation.
3. Agent of change develops his/her own professional learning which
has encompassed strategies and interpersonal skills essential for
managing change within the school. Through significant steps, one
has to update and improve the culture of the school, to influence the
staff to become more collaborative and reflective in their practice, to be
flexible and more responsive to the positive outcomes of change and
the development of their own professional learning, creating a learning
4.3.7 Researcher
1. Teacher as a researcher involves the commitment to systematic
questioning of ones own teaching as a basis for development. The
commitment and skills to study ones own teaching and concern to
questioning and testing theory in practice by using skills and readiness
to allow other teachers to observe your work directly or through
recordings and to discuss it with them on an honest basis.



2. Teacher plays a role in investigating pedagogical problems through
inquiry. According to Dewey (1929) teachers investigations not only
lead to knowledge about the school but also led to good teaching.
3. The benefits for teachers who attempt to become researchers in
their own classrooms are: - the development of clearer theory of
language and learning
- increased knowledge and understanding of classroom practice, and
increased teaching skills - easier collaboration with pupils and the
potential to develop a shared commitment to the desired
4.3.8 Mentor (Practitioner/Decision maker)
1. A mentor is one who guides and supports students to ease them
through difficult transitions; it is about smoothing the way, enabling,
reassuring as well as directing, managing and instructing. He should
be able to unblock the ways to change by building self confidence, self
esteem and a readiness to act as well as to engage in ongoing
constructive interpersonal relationships.
2. Individual engaged in a one-to-one teaching/learning relationship in
which the mentor serves as a fundamentally important model with
respect to values, beliefs, philosophies and attitudes as well as a
source of more specific information.
3. Mentoring implies a close relationship within which the model may
be a role model, consultant, advisor, source of wisdom even a sort of
4. Mentoring is defined as a nurturing process in which a more skilled
or more experienced person, serving as a role model, teachers,
sponsors, encourages, counsels and befriends a less skilled or less
experienced person for the purpose of promoting the latters
professional and/or personal development. Mentoring functions are
carried out within the context of an ongoing, caring relationship
between the mentor and the protg
5. Mentoring is used to describe a combination of coaching,
counseling and assessment where a classroom teacher in a school is
delegated responsibility for assisting newly qualified teachers in their
professional development
6. A mentor tries to develop individuals strengths to maximize their
professional and personal potential and also that of students who
come under their care within a classroom situation.
4.3.9 Manager(Decision maker)



1. The teacher structures the learning environment. In this role, all
decisions and actions required to maintain order in the classroom,
such as laying down rules and procedures for learning activities.
2. Teacher must manage a classroom environment. Teachers are
environmental engineers who organize the classroom space to fit their
goals and to maximize learning. The way the physical space of the
classroom is organized can either help or hinder learning.
3. It involves modeling a positive attitude towards the curriculum and
towards school and learning in general. Teachers who reveal a caring
attitude towards learning and the learning environment help to instill
and reinforce similar attitudes in their students.
4. Teachers are required to manage and process great amounts of
clerical work. There are papers to be read and graded, tests to be
scored, marks to be entered, attendance records and files to be
maintained, notes and letters to be written etc.
The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or
other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to
become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or
credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may
include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers, like other
professionals, may have to continue their education after they qualify, a
process known as continuing professional development.
A teacher who facilitates education for an individual may also be described as
a personal tutor or historically, a governess.
In some countries, formal education can take place through home schooling.
Informal learning may be assisted by a teacher occupying a transient or
ongoing role, such as a family member, or by anyone with knowledge or skills
in the wider community setting.
Religious and spiritual teachers, such as gurus, mullahs, rabbis,
pastors/youth pastors and lamas, may teach religious texts such as the
Quran, Torah or Bible
The teacher's role in the curriculum process is critical because he is
responsible for implementing the school curriculum in the classroom
Teachers and students involved in curriculum development each have
different roles and responsibilities. Teachers want to enjoy teaching and
watching their students develop interests and skills in their interest area.
Teachers also want to discover the effective practices of their teaching
profession. They create lesson plans and syllabi within the framework of the


given curriculum. The teachers responsibilities are to implement the
curriculum to meet student needs.

Relationship between teacher beliefs and curiculum
Without doubt, the most important person in the curriculum implementation
process is the teacher. With their knowledge, experiences 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 classroom.
The key to getting teachers committed to a curriculum is to enhance their
knowledge of the curriculum. This means teachers need to 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 oneday 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.
Hence, professional development of teachers is an important factor
contributing to the success of curriculum implementation. To what extent have
teacher education programmes required prospective teachers to study
curriculum development? 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.



Exercise 2
A new curriculum is going to be implemented; a teacher must ask.

How do I do it?

Will I ever get the hang of it?

Who can I trust to help me ?

Am I getting it right?

Is it really helping my students?

Know it is going to take time...

Tutorial Task

In groups discuss the different roles of the teacher.

In groups discuss why is it important for teachers to be involved in
curriculum planning.
In groups discuss how you can informally evaluate your own teaching
(including how you enact curricula)
Present the outcome of your discussions in Graphic organiser.

Useful terms to remember for curriculum implementation:

Fidelity of Use: Staying very close to the prescribed written

The fidelity approach suggests curriculum as a course of study, a
textbook series, a guide, a set of teacher plans (Snyder et al. 1992:
427), where experts define curriculum knowledge for teachers. This
means that curriculum change occurs through a central model in
systematic stages, which confines the teachers role to delivering
curriculum materials. Shawer (2003) indicated that the fidelity
approach leads teachers to become curriculumtransmitters
who use the students book as the only source of instructional content.
They transmit textbook content as its structure dictates by means of
linear unit-by-unit, lesson-by-lesson and page-by-page strategies.
Neither do they use `adaptation` strategies to adjust curriculum to their
context; nor do they employ `skipping` strategies to eliminate irrelevant
studying units, lessons or tasks. Moreover, these teachers rarely
supplement the missing elements and focus solely on covering content
without responding to classroom dynamics.

Mutual-Adaptation: Individual, creative versions of the written



The adaptation approach is a process whereby adjustments in a
curriculum are madeby curriculum developers and those who use it in
the school (Snyder et al. 1992:410). Thisinvolves conversations
between teachers and external developers to adapt curriculum forlocal
needs. This approach does not suggest curriculum knowledge different
from the fidelityapproach, since experts still define it, but curriculum
change has become more flexiblethrough mutual adaptations. The
teachers role has also become more active throughteachers
curriculum adjustments. Shawer (2003) noted that though the
adaptations into the official curriculum; thedevelopment approach does
not involve communications between external developers andteachers
regarding teachers adaptations. Through curriculum adjustments,
teachers becomecurriculum-developers who use various sources in
addition to curriculum materials. Theyadapt existing materials and
topics, add new topics, leave out irrelevant elements, use
flexiblelesson plans, respond to student differences and use various
teaching techniques.

Teachers occupy the central position in curriculum decision making.
They decide which aspects of the curriculum, newly developed or ongoing, to implement or stress in a particular class. teachers decide
hoow much time to spend on developing basic or critical thinking skills.
With collaboration, teachers can create quality programme and also
modify external programmes to personalize them to the specific needs
of their learners.

Thats all you have to do.

Take a break and move on to topic 5 when you are ready!






Topic 5 introduces you to the curent issues in curriculum implementation.As a
classroom practitioner, it is important that you know what is involved in
implementing the prescribed curriculum. The aim of this unit is therefore to
take you through the processes and stages of curriculum implementation.
By the end of Topic 5, you will be able to:

outline factors that influence curriculum implementation

discuss the current issues in curriculum implementation
explore current issues in curriculum implementation


Current issues and
curriculum implementation









What do you understand by the term curriculum implementation?

Definition of Curriculum Implementation

Curriculum implementation entails putting into practice the officially

prescribed courses of study, syllabuses and subjects. The process involves
helping the learner acquire knowledge or experience. It is important to note
that curriculum implementation cannot take place without the learner. The
learner is therefore the central figure in the curriculum implementation
process. Implementation takes place as the learner acquires the planned or
intended experiences, knowledge, skills, ideas and attitudes that are aimed
at enabling the same learner to function effectively in a society.
Viewed from this perspective, curriculum implementation also refers to the
stage when the curriculum itself, as an educational programme, is put into
Putting the curriculum into operation requires an implementing agent.
Stenhouse (1979) identifies the teacher as the agent in the curriculum
implementation process. She argues that implementation is the manner in
which the teacher selects and mixes the various aspects of knowledge
contained in a curriculum document or syllabus. Implementation takes place
when the teacher-constructed syllabus, the teachers personality, the
teaching materials and the teaching environment interact with the learner.
Curriculum implementation therefore refers to how the planned or officially
designed course of study is translated by the teacher into syllabuses,
schemes of work and lessons to be delivered to students.


Tutorial Task
In groups, discuss some of the factors that influence curriculum

Factors That Influence Curriculum Implementation

The Teacher
As Whitaker (1979) asserts in the University of Zimbabwe (1995) module, the
teachers view their role in curriculum implementation as an autonomous one.
They select and decide what to teach from the prescribed syllabus or
curriculum. Since implementation takes place through the interaction of the
learner and the planned learning opportunities, the role and influence of the
teacher in the process is indisputable.
You could be thinking, I understand that teachers are pivotal in the
curriculum implementation process, but what is their role in the curriculum
planning process? If the teacher is to be able to translate curriculum
intentions into reality, it is imperative that the teacher understand the
curriculum document or syllabus well in order to implement it effectively
(University of Zimbabwe, 1995). If the curriculum is what teachers and
students create together, as Wolfson (1997) states, the teacher must play a
more significant role in designing the curriculum. Teachers must be involved
in curriculum planning and development so that they can implement and
modify the curriculum for the benefit of their learners.
The Learners
Learners are also a critical element in curriculum implementation. While
teachers are the arbiters of the classroom practice, the learners hold the
key to what is actually transmitted and adopted from the official curriculum.
The official curriculum can be quite different from thecurriculum that is
actually implemented. The learner factor influences teachers in their
selection of learning experiences,hence the need to consider the diverse
characteristics of learners in curriculum implementation. For example, home
background and learner ability can determine what is actually achieved in
the classroom.
Resource Materials and Facilities
From your experience, you are aware that no meaningful teaching and
learning take place without adequate resource materials. This applies to
curriculum implementation as well.
For the officially designed curriculum to be fully implemented as per plan, the
government or Ministry of Education should supply schools with adequate


resource materials such as textbooks, teaching aids and stationery in order to
enable teachers and learners to play their role satisfactorily in the curriculum
implementation process. In CurriculumImplementation (University of
Zimbabwe, 1995), it issuggested that the central government must also
provide physical facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, workshops,
libraries and sports fields in order to create an environment in which
implementation can take place. The availability and quality of resource
material and the availability of appropriate facilities have a great influence on
curriculum implementation.

Interest Groups
Can you identify interest groups in your country that could influence the
implementation of curricula?
A number of these groups exist in almost all Southern African Development
Community (SADC) countries. These include parents, parents and teachers
associations, School Development Associations (SDAs) and School
Development Committees (SDCs) in Zimbabwe, religious organisations,
local authorities, companies and private school proprietors. These groups
can influence implementation in the following ways:
Provide schools with financial resources to purchase required materials.
Demand the inclusion of certain subjects in the curriculum.
Influence learners to reject courses they consider detrimental to the
interests of the group.
It is therefore important to involve these groups at the curriculum
planning stage.
The School Environment
One other factor that influences curriculum implementation concerns the
particular circumstances of each school (University of Zimbabwe,
1995).Schools located in rich socio-economic environments and those that
have adequate human and material resources can implement the curriculum
to an extent that would be difficult or impossible for schools in poor economic
Culture and Ideology
Cultural and ideological differences within a society or country can also
influence curriculum implementation. Some communities may resist a
domineering culture or government ideology and hence affect the
implementation of the centrally planned curriculum.


Instructional Supervision
Curriculum implementation cannot be achieved unless it has been made
possible through the supervisory function of the school head. The head
does this through:

deploying staff,
allocating time to subjects taught at the school,
providing teaching and learning materials, and
creating an atmosphere conducive to effective teaching and learning.



As stated in Curriculum Implementation (University of Zimbabwe, 1995), the head

monitors and guides curriculum implementation through ensuring that schemes of
work, lesson plans and records of marks are prepared regularly. The headteacher
maintains a school tone and culture that create the climate of social responsibility.
Effective curriculum implementation does not take place in a school where the head
is incapable of executing supervisory functions.
Assessment in the form of examinations influences curriculum implementation
tremendously. Due to the great value given to public examination certificates by
communities and schools, teachers have tended to concentrate on subjects that
promote academic excellence and little else. This action by the teacher obviously
can affect the achievement of the broad goals and objectives of the curriculum.

From what you have read so far, list what you can identify as determinants of
curriculum implementation.

Current Issues in Curriculum Implementation

5.5.1 Literacy
Literacy is the ability to read and write. The inability to do so is called illiteracy or
analphabetism. Visual literacy also includes the ability to understand visual forms of
communication such as body language, pictures, maps, and video. Evolving
definitions of literacy often include all the symbol systems relevant to a particular
community. Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use
the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development.
In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media
and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and number systems. These abilities
vary in different social and cultural contexts according to need, demand and
The primary sense of literacy still represents the lifelong, intellectual process of
gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of the written or printed text. The key to
all literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability
to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep
understanding of text. Reading development involves a range of complex language
underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns
(orthography), word meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax) and patterns of word
formation (morphology), all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency
and comprehension. Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full


language literacy, which includes the abilities to approach printed material with
critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write with accuracy and coherence; and
to use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and
creative thought.
5.5.2 Access to Education
Access toeducation is the ability of people to have equal opportunity in education,
regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity background or physical and mental
Access to education encourages a variety of pedagogical approaches to accomplish
the dissemination of knowledge across the diversity of social, political, cultural,
economic, national and biological backgrounds. Initially developed with the theme of
equal opportunity access and inclusion of students with learning or physical and
mental disabilities, the themes governing universal access to education have now
expanded across all forms of ability and diversity. However, as the definition of
diversity is within itself is a broad amalgamation, teachers exercising universal
access will continually face challenges and incorporate adjustments in their lesson
plan to foster themes of equal opportunity of education.
Equitable access
Across the globe, UNICEF is committed to nothing less than full and complete
access to free, quality education for every child. Universal access to quality
education is not a privilege it is a basic human right.
With progress towards universal enrolment slowing, it is now without doubt that the
world will not meet its most prominent global education. The current financial crisis
has put extra pressure on stretched public funding. The aid to education has fallen
by 10 per cent since 2010. If funds become scarcer, access to education will
continue to stagnate and the quality of schools will decline, denying the most
vulnerable children in the worlds poorest countries their basic human right to quality
education: without it, their future opportunities are dramatically limited.
UNICEF is deeply committed to creating a world in which all children, regardless of
their gender, socio-economic background or circumstances, have access to free,
compulsory and quality education. In education, UNICEF supports the Education for
All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3 to ensure that all children
have access to and complete a full course of primary schooling, and to eliminate
gender disparity in education by 2015. Other global goals echoing these
commitments include the World Education Forums Dakar Framework for Action,
which stresses the rights of girls, ethnic minorities and children in difficult
circumstances; and the emphasis in A World Fit for Childrenon ensuring equal
access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.


5.5.3 Equity in Education

In education, the term equity refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used
interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide
variety of educational models, programs and strategies that may be considered fair,
but not necessarily equal. It is has been said that equity is the process; equality is
the outcome, given that equitywhat is fair and justmay not, in the process of
educating students, reflect strict equalitywhat is applied, allocated, or distributed
The growing importance of education equity is based on the premise that now, more
than ever before, an individuals level of education is directly correlated to the quality
of life he or she will live in the future. Therefore, an academic system that practices
educational equity is a strong foundation of a society that is fair and thriving.
However, inequity in education is challenging to avoid, and can be broken down into
inequity due to socioeconomic standing, race, gender or disability.
Socio-economic equity in education
Income and class
Income has always played an important role in shaping academic success. Those
who come from a family of a higher socioeconomic status (SES) are privileged with
more opportunities than those of lower SES. Those who come from a higher SES
can afford things like better tutors, rigorous SAT/ACT prep classes, impressive
programs, and so on. Parents generally feel more comfortable intervening on behalf
of their children to acquire better grades or more qualified teachers. Parents of a
higher SES are more willing to donate large sums of money to a certain institution to
better improve their child's chances of acceptance, along with other extravagant
measures. This creates an unfair advantage and distinct class barrier.
Costs of education
The extraordinarily high cost of the many prestigious high schools and universities in
the United States makes an attempt at a "level playing field" for all students not so
level. High-achieving low-income students do not have the means to attend selective
schools that better prepare a student for later success. Because of this, low-income
students do not even attempt to apply to the top-tier schools for which they are more
than qualified. In addition, neighborhoods generally segregated by class leave lowerincome students in lower-quality schools. For higher-quality schooling, students in
low-income areas would be required to take public transport which they do not have
the means to pay for. Fewer than 30 percent of students in the bottom quarter of
incomes even enroll in a four-year school and among that group, fewer than half
Higher education has become too expensive and doesnt do enough to help lower
income students succeed.


Another contributor to the inequality in the education system is tracking. Tracking
sorts students into different classes or groups based on ability or future plans. The
point of tracking is to create an environment in which the student's abilities match
both the curriculum as well as the other student's in the class.
This separation, however, creates an inequality within itself. Starting at an extremely
young age, the sorting of students mimics hierarchy similar to one which will form
later on in life. Students are both viewed and treated differently depending on which
track they take. The quality of teaching and curricula vary between tracks and as a
result, those of the lower track are disadvantaged with inferior resources, teachers,
etc. In many cases, tracking stunts students who may develop the ability to excel
past their original placement.
Racial equity in education
From a scientific point of view, the human species is a single race. It is therefore
misleading to use terms such as races and racial groups. Nevertheless, the term
racial group is enshrined in legislation, and phrases such as race equality and race
relations are in widespread official use. Racial equity in education means the
assignment of students to public schools and within schools without regard to their
race. This includes providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all
educational programs regardless of their race.
The educational system and its response to racial concerns in education vary from
country to country. Below are some examples of countries that have to deal with
racial discrimination in education.

US Department of Education: The Commission on Equity and Excellence in

Education issues a seminal report in 2013. It is not a restatement of public
education's struggles, nor is it a mere list of recommendations. Rather, this is
a declaration of an urgent national mission: to provide equity and excellence
in education in American public schools once and for all. This collective
wisdom is a historic blueprint for making the dream of equity, and a worldclass education, for each and every American child a reality.
The struggle for equality of access to formal education and equality of
excellent educational outcomes is part of the history of education in this
country and is tied up with the economic, political, social history of the peoples
who are part of it. From the beginning of this nation, there were many barriers
to the schooling and education of girls and racial, national origin, and
language groups not from the dominant culture. Approaches and resources
for achieving equality and equity in the public schooling of girls and ethnic,
racial, and language minority groups are still evolving.

Asia-Pacific Region: Globalization of the economy, increasingly diverse and

interconnected populations, and rapid technological change are posing new


and demanding challenges to individuals and societies alike. School systems

are rethinking the knowledge and skills students will need for success and the
educational strategies and systems required for all children to achieve them.
Within the Asia-Pacific region, for example, Korea, Shanghai-China, and
Japan are examples of Asian education systems that have climbed the ladder
to the top in both quality and equity indicators.

South Africa : A major task of South Africa's new government in 1994 was to
promote racial equity in the state education system. During the apartheid era,
which began when the National Party won control of Parliament in 1948 and
ended with a negotiated settlement more than four decades later, the
provision of education was racially unequal by design. Resources were
lavished on schools serving white students while schools serving the black
majority were systematically deprived of qualified teachers, physical
resources and teaching aids such as textbook and stationary. The rationale for
such inequity was a matter of public record.

Higher education
Higher education plays a vital role in preparing students for the employment market
and active citizenship both nationally and internationally. By embedding race equality
in teaching and learning, institutions can ensure that they acknowledge the
experiences and values of all students, including minority ethnic and international
Gender equity in education
Gender equity in practicality refers to both male and female concerns, yet most of
the gender bias is against women in the developing world. Gender discrimination in
education has been very evident and underlying problem in many countries,
especially in developing countries where cultural and societal stigma continue to
hinder growth and prosperity for women. Global Campaign for Education (GCE)
followed a survey called "Gender Discrimination in Violation of Rights of Women and
Girls" states that one tenth of girls in primary school are 'unhappy' and this number
increases to one fifth by the time they reach secondary schools. Some of the
reasonings that girls provided include harassment, restorations to freedom, and an
inherent lack of opportunities, compared to boys. United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) understands Education as a "
fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It
promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development
UN Special Rapporteur Katarina Tomasevki developed the '4A' framework on the
Right to Education. The ''4A' framework encompasses availability, accessibility,
acceptability and adaptability as fundamental to the institution of education. And yet
girls in many underdeveloped countries are denied secondary education. Countries


like Sudan, Somalia, Thailand and Afghanistan face the highest of inequity when it
comes to gender bias.
Gender based Inequity in education is not just a phenomenon in developing
countries. A New York Times article 'Teaching boys and girls separately' highlights
how education systems, especially public school systems, tend to segregate. Boys
and girls are often taught with different approach which programs children to think
that they are different and deserve different treatment. However, studies show that
boys and girls learn differently and therefore should be taught differently. Boys learn
better when they are kept moving while girls learn better sitting in one place with
silence. Therefore, segregation of gender for this reasoning promotes gender equity
in education as both boys and girls have optimized learning.
Causes of gender discrimination in education
VSO is a leading independent international development organization that works
towards eliminating poverty and one of the problems they tackle is gender inequity in
education. VSO published a paper that categorizes the obstacles (or causes) into:

Community Level Obstacles: This category primarily relates to the bias

displayed for education external to the school environment. This includes
restraints due to poverty and child labour, soil-economic constraints, lack of
parental involvement and community participation. Harmful practices like child
marriage and predetermined gender roles are cultural hindrances.

School and Education System Level Obstacles: Lack of investment in quality

education, inappropriate attitudes and behaviors, lack of female teachers as
role models and lack of gender-friendly school environment are all factors that
promote gender inequity in education.

Question 1
Why do you think inequities occur in the education system? List down your
recommendations and solutions.

To what extentdoes racial, gender, and socioeconomic discrimination still exist? Is
discrimination no longer a major problem in Malaysian society or in public education?

5.5.4 Multilingualism


The definition of multilingualism is a subject of debate in the very same way as the
definition of language fluency. On one end of a sort of linguistic continuum, one may
define multilingualism as complete competence and mastery in another language.
The speaker would presumably have complete knowledge and control over the
language so as to sound native. On the opposite end of the spectrum would be
people who know enough phrases to get around as a tourist using the alternate
language. Since 1992, Vivian Cook has argued that most multilingual speakers fall
somewhere between minimal and maximal definitions. Cook calls these people
In addition, there is no consistent definition of what constitutes a distinct language.
For instance, scholars often disagree whether Scots is a language in its own right or
a dialect of English. Furthermore, what is considered a language can change, often
for purely political purposes, such as when Serbo-Croatian was created as a
standard language on the basis of the Eastern Herzegovinian dialect to function as
umbrella for numerous South Slavic dialects, and after the breakup of Yugoslavia
was split into Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, or when Ukrainian was
dismissed as a Russian dialect by the Russian tsars to discourage national feelings.
Many small independent nations' schoolchildren are today compelled to learn
multiple languages because of international interactions. For example in Finland, all
children are required to learn at least two foreign languages: the other national
language (Swedish or Finnish) and one alien language (usually English). Many
Finnish schoolchildren also select further languages, such as German or Russian. In
some large nations with multiple languages, such as India, school children may
routinely learn multiple languages based on where they reside in the country. In
major metros of Central, South and East India, many children may be fluent in four
languages (the mother tongue, the state language, and the official languages of
India, Hindi and English.) Thus a child of Gujarati parents living in Bangalore will end
up speaking his or her mother tongue (Gujarati) at home and the state language
(Kannada), Hindi and English in school and his or her surroundings.

Multilingual individuals
A multilingual person is someone who can communicate in more than one
language, either actively (through speaking, writing, or signing) or passively (through
listening, reading, or perceiving). More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual
are used to describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are
involved. A multilingual person is generally referred to as a polyglot.
Multilingual speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during
childhood, the so-called first language (L1). The first language (sometimes also
referred to as the mother tongue) is acquired without formal education. Children


acquiring two languages in this way are called simultaneous bilinguals. Even in the
case of simultaneous bilinguals, one language usually dominates over the other.
In multilingual societies, not all speakers need to be multilingual. Some states can
have multilingual policies and recognise several official languages, such as Canada
(English and French). In some states, particular languages may be associated with
particular regions in the state (e.g., Canada) or with particular ethnicities (e.g.,
Malaysia and Singapore). When all speakers are multilingual, linguists classify the
community according to the functional distribution of the languages involved:

diglossia: if there is a structural functional distribution of the languages

involved, the society is termed 'diglossic'. Typical diglossic areas are those
areas in Europe where a regional language is used in informal, usually oral,
contexts, while the state language is used in more formal situations. Frisia
(with Frisian and German or Dutch) and Lusatia (with Sorbian and German)
are well-known examples. Some writers limit diglossia to situations where the
languages are closely related, and could be considered dialects of each other.
This can also be observed in Scotland where, in formal situations, English is
used. However, in informal situations in many areas, Scots is the preferred
language of choice. A similar phenomenon is also observed in Arabicspeaking regions. The effects of diglossia could be seen if you look at the
difference between Written Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic) and Colloquial
Arabic. However, as time goes, the Arabic language somewhere between the
two have been created which we would like to call Middle Arabic or Common
Arabic. Because of this diversification of the language, the concept of
spectroglossia has been suggested.
ambilingualism: a region is called ambilingual if this functional distribution
is not observed. In a typical ambilingual area it is nearly impossible to predict
which language will be used in a given setting. True ambilingualism is rare.
Ambilingual tendencies can be found in small states with multiple heritages
like Luxembourg, which has a combined Franco-Germanic heritage, or
Malaysia and Singapore, which fuses the cultures of Malays, China, and
India. Ambilingualism also can manifest in specific regions of larger states that
have both a clearly dominant state language (be it de jure or de facto) and a
protected minority language that is limited in terms of distribution of speakers
within the country. This tendency is especially pronounced when, even though
the local language is widely spoken, there is a reasonable assumption that all
citizens speak the predominant state tongue (e.g., English in Quebec vs.
Canada; Spanish in Catalonia vs. Spain). This phenomenon can also occur in
border regions with many cross-border contacts.



bipart-lingualism: if more than one language can be heard in a small

area, but the large majority of speakers are monolinguals, who have little
contact with speakers from neighbouring ethnic groups, an area is called
'bipart-lingual'. An example of this is the Balkans.
Thinking question
How far is multilingualism practiced in Malaysian schools?
5.5.5 Technological innovations
The technological innovation system is a concept developed within the scientific
field of innovation studies which serves to explain the nature and rate of
technological change. A Technological Innovation System can be defined as a
dynamic network of agents interacting in a specific economic/industrial area under a
particular institutional infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion, and
utilization of technology.
The approach may be applied to at least three levels of analysis: to a technology in
the sense of a knowledge field, to a product or an artifact, or to a set of related
products and artifacts aimed at satisfying a particular (societal) function. With
respect to the latter, the approach has especially proven itself in explaining why and
how sustainable (energy) technologies have developed and diffused into a society, or
have failed to do so.
Types of Technology Used In The Classroom
1. Use of computers in the classroom: Computers have evolved and they have
changed they way the look and the way they function. Now days we have both
desktop computers and portable computers commonly known as notebooks or
laptops. New technologies have also emerged and birthed some new computer
related gadgets like the iPad or Galaxy tablet. These computers can be used by
teachers to assign work to students and study groups in a classroom. Also teachers
can use computers to illustrate visual related subjects which help students to learn
easily. Modern computers come with installed applications which can help students
study well. For example, students can use internet explorer to search the internet,
they can use word processing application to write notes. Teachers can also help their
students to learn complicated applications on these computers as a way of making it
easier for students to learn and also make the teachers job easier.
2. Creating class websites and blogs: It is very easy to create a website or blog
using WordPress or any other content management software. Teachers can create
class blogs were they post assignments. If the school has no website sever to host


these class blogs, the teacher can use free website hosting services like
wordpress.com or blogger.com. Via these platforms, the teacher will create a blog
under a sub domain of that host. For example, matchclass.wordpress.com, so
students will find all academic assignments via that blog. It is very easy to manage
and post data to a blog, because they have simple HTML editors.
3. Use of digital microphones in the classroom: Big classrooms are characterized
by endless noise, so teachers can resort to these wireless digital microphones. The
microphone will transmit the voice to the loud speakers and every student will hear
their teacher clearly. This helps the teacher not to strain their voice while trying to
explain points to their students. These digital microphones are not too expensive so
even a small income generating school can manage to buy a wireless microphone
for every classroom. Also students can use the same microphone when asking
questions to their teachers in class, or when they are explaining a subject to their
fellow students during a classroom debate.
4. Use of mobile devices: Teachers and students can use smart-phones for
academic purposes in the classroom. Mobile learning is becoming so popular. It is
similar to e-learning or long distance education. Though its based on mobile phones.
M-Learning is convenient because it is accessible from anywhere. Mobile phones
are very light yet they can also have the same application a simple PC can have, a
student can access academic information like assignments via an educational mobile
application (APP). Teachers can tell their students to use mobile apps like
PIAZZA to access course materials and also to post questions about specific
subjects, all this can be done in the classroom or outside the classroom.
5. Use of smart interactive Whiteboards: Modern smart white boards have a touch
screen functionality, so the teacher can illustrate points using a pen or their finger.
Using a projector, teachers can display visual images on these white boards which
improves the learning process. Students will learn more easily with visual images.
Also students can use a white board to draw, write or manipulate images. Smart
whiteboards come in various sizes, the wide ones are better, because they can show
a lager image and can also be used by two students at a time. Most of them are
electronically powered , so they can be switched on with a button, and they can also
save teachers work for latter use.
6. Use of online media: Teachers and students can both use online streaming
Medias to learn in the classroom. With the aid of a projector, computer, internet and
a white board, a teacher displays a real-time example using sites like Youtube.com.
This website has videos which can be used for academic reference. Lets take a
simple example on how a Geography class can use technology. Teachers can
explain volcanic activities and its impacts on the environment using live stream
YouTube videos about the subject. This type of illustration will attract the students
attention and they will learn easily.


7. Use of online study tools : Online study tools like Dynamic Periodic Table
(ptable.com) which can be used by Chemistry students in keeping elements apart ,
Foldit (fold.it) this tool can help biology students easily understand basics about
proteins. Mathway (Mathway.com) this helps math students solve math challenges,
students can simply select a subject and hit solve, the equation will be solved by the
tool. All these academic tools can improve the way students learn.
Question 2
List down other types of technologies found in your institute

5.5.6 Unity in Education

Unity is the state of being undivided or unbroken.
Building unity through education
Malaysias unique diversity - ethnic, religious, and cultural - has always been its
greatest strength, and its greatest challenge. As Malaysia increasingly finds itself in a
world where differences can divide, it has never been more important for Malaysians
to forge a Malaysian identity and to embrace our diverse heritage. As a shared space
for all Malaysians, schools have a unique potential to be a place to foster unity. The
challenge is that to date, the system has struggled to measure unity in a systematic
manner. The best available data suggests that student and teacher diversity in
National schools has decreased, although there is still a fair degree of interactivity
across ethnicities inside and outside the classroom.
Unity, a vital component in Malaysias truly unique social context, is a key factor in
realising a society of balanced and harmonious individuals as envisioned in the
National Education Philosophy. To that end, the Ministry has taken a range of
actions, from ensuring that all ethnicities are fairly represented in the teaching
materials used in schools, to organising school-based programmes explicitly focused
on building unity. The critical question, however, is how unity can be measured. This
section considers several possible measures to paint a picture of where the system
stands. Student enrolment in the overall public education system remains broadly
reflective of national demographics. However, there are specific schooling options
that have homogenous environments. For example, primary school students across
all optionsare in highly homogeneous environments. The challenge is that these
homogeneous environments make it less likely for students to receive exposure to
students of different cultures and ethnic groups, and thus less likely to develop the
respect for diversity critical for unity. However, there is some convergence in
secondary school. Most students from the various primary schools enrol in a single
secondary school format; the SMK. Nevertheless, some students still receive limited


exposure to diversity; for example, a child who transfers from a SJK(C) to an

independent Chinese school or that moves from an SK to a National religious
secondary school or Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA). In addition,
there is a small but growing minority of students that leave the public education
system and enrol in private schools, and therefore move beyond the Ministrys
sphere of influence.
Diversity of schools in Malaysian education
The Malaysian education system comprises over 20 schooling options at both the
primary and secondary levels.
a) Public primary schools. The primary level comprises three main types of
schools: SK, SJK(C), and SJK(T). Each type of school is defined by different
mediums of instruction and jointly accounts for almost 99% of total primary
enrolments. In addition, there are numerous school types serving niche groups, such
as religious(Islamic) and special education schools.
b) Public secondary schools. The secondary school system is marked by the
convergence of most students from the different types of primary schools into a
single school format. These National secondary schools (SMK) are taught in Bahasa
Malaysia. SMKs comprise 88% of total secondary enrolments. A small but growing
percentage of students also opt for alternative schools such as religious schools.
Upon completion of lower secondary school (Form 3), students also have a choice to
pursue alternate pathways at technical, vocational, sports, arts, and other schooling
c) Private schools. A small but growing number of students enrol in private schools.
These schools operate at both the primary and secondary level and include private
schools that teach the national curriculum, international schools, religious schools,
and Independent Chinese schools. Currently, private schools comprise 1% of total
primary enrolments and 4% of total secondary enrolments.
Surf the internet to get more information on this topic.
5.5.7 Special needs
Special needs education is the practice of educating students with special needs in a
way that addresses their individual differences and needs. Ideally, this process
involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of
teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings. These
interventions are designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level
of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and their community, than may be
available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.


In the United Kingdom, special needs often refers to special needs within an
educational context. This is also referred to as special educational needs (SEN). In
the United States, 18.5 percent of all children under the age of 18 (over 13.5 million
children) had special health care needs as of 2005.
More narrowly, it is a legal term applying in foster care in the United States, derived
from the language in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. It is a diagnosis
used to classify children as needing "more" services than those children without
special needs who are in the foster care system. It is a diagnosis based on behavior,
childhood and family history and is usually made by a health care professional.

Signs of Learning Disabilities:

Trouble learning the alphabet, rhyming words, and connecting letters to sounds.
Making many mistakes when reading aloud
Not understanding what they are reading
Awkward pencil grip and poor handwriting skills
Trouble understanding jokes and sarcasm
Trouble following multiple directions
Trouble organizing thoughts and what they want to say
Not following social rules of conversation
Confusing mathematical symbols and numbers
Not being able to tell a story in order
Not knowing where to begin a task
Emotional and/or social issues
Trouble sleeping or getting along with family

Causes and Risk Factors

No one knows for sure what causes learning disorders. Sometimes there is no
apparent reason.
Studies have shown that possible risk factors include:
Heredity: Sometimes, learning problems run in families



Problems during Pregnancy or Birth: Disabilities can result from fetal exposure
to alcohol or drugs, low birth weight, oxygen deprivation or by premature birth.
Accidents After Birth: Head injury, malnutrition or toxic exposure can increase a
child's risk.
Social-Environment Factors: Living in a high risk neighborhood and poor living
conditions have been linked to children being more vulnerable to disabilities.
Individual needs
A special education program should be customized to address each individual
student's unique needs. Special educators provide a continuum of services, in which
students with special needs receives varying degrees of support based on their
individual needs. Special education programs need to be individualized so that they
address the unique combination of needs in a given student.
Students with special needs are assessed to determine their specific strengths and
weaknesses. Placement, resources, and goals are determined on the basis of the
student's needs. Accommodations and Modifications to the regular program may
include changes in the curriculum, supplementary aides or equipment, and the
provision of specialized physical adaptations that allow students to participate in the
educational environment as much as possible. Students may need this help to
access subject matter, physically gain access to the school, or meet their emotional
needs. For example, if the assessment determines that the student cannot write by
hand because of a physical disability, then the school might provide a computer for
typing assignments, or allow the student to answer questions verbally instead. If the
school determines that the student is severely distracted by the normal activities in a
large, busy classroom, then the student might be placed in a smaller classroom such
as a resource room.
Special schools
A special school is a school catering for students who have special educational
needs due to severe learning difficulties, physical disabilities or behavioural
problems. Special schools may be specifically designed, staffed and resourced to
provide appropriate special education for children with additional needs. Students
attending special schools generally do not attend any classes in mainstream
Special schools provide individualised education, addressing specific needs. Student
to teacher ratios are kept low, often 6:1 or lower depending upon the needs of the
children. Special schools will also have other facilities for children with special needs,
such as soft play areas, sensory rooms, or swimming pools, which are necessary for
treating students with certain conditions.



In recent times, places available in special schools are declining as more children
with special needs are educated in mainstream schools. However, there will always
be some children, whose learning needs cannot be appropriately met in a regular
classroom setting and will require specialised education and resources to provide the
level of support they require. An example of a disability that may require a student to
attend a special school is intellectual disability. However this practice is often
frowned upon by school districts in the USA in the light of Least Restrictive
Environment as mandated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
An alternative is a special unit or special classroom, also called a self-contained
classroom, which is a separate room or rooms dedicated solely to the education of
students with special needs within a larger school that also provides general
education. These classrooms are typically staffed by specially trained teachers, who
provide specific, individualized instruction to individuals and small groups of students
with special needs. Self-contained classrooms, because they are located in a
general education school, may have students who remain in the self-contained
classroom full-time, or students who are included in certain general education
classes. In the United States a part-time alternative that is appropriate for some
students is sometimes called a resource room.
Instructional strategies
Different instructional techniques are used for some students with special
educational needs. Instructional strategies are classified as being either
accommodations or modifications.
An accommodation is a reasonable adjustment to teaching practices so that the
student learns the same material, but in a format that is more accessible to the
student. Accommodations may be classified by whether they change the
presentation, response, setting, or scheduling of lessons. For example, the school
may accommodate a student with visual impairments by providing a large-print
textbook. This is a presentation accommodation.
A modification changes or adapts the material to make it simpler. Modifications may
change what is learned, how difficult the material is, what level of mastery the
student is expected to achieve, whether and how the student is assessed, or any
another aspect of the curriculum. For example, the school may modify a reading
assignment for a student with reading difficulties by substituting a shorter, easier
book. A student may receive both accommodations and modifications.
Examples of modifications:

Skipping subjects: Students may be taught less information than typical

students, skipping over material that the school deems inappropriate for the
student's abilities or less important than other subjects. For example, students


with poor fine motor skills may be taught to print block letters, but not cursive

Simplified assignments: Students may read the same literature as their peers
but have a simpler version, such as Shakespeare with both the original text
and a modern paraphrase available.

Shorter assignments: Students may do shorter homework assignments or

take shorter, more concentrated tests.

Extra aids: If students have deficiencies in working memory, a list of

vocabulary words, called a word bank, can be provided during tests, to reduce
lack of recall and increase chances of comprehension. Students might use a
calculator when other students do not.

Extended time: Students with a slower processing speed may benefit from
extended time for assignments and/or tests in order to have more time to
comprehend questions, recall information, and synthesize knowledge.

Examples of accommodations:

Response accommodations: Typing homework assignments rather than handwriting them (considered a modification if the subject is learning to write by
hand). Having someone else write down answers given verbally.

Presentation accommodations: Examples include listening to audio books

rather than reading printed books. These may be used as substitutes for the
text, or as supplements intended to improve the students' reading fluency and
phonetic skills. Similar options include designating a person to read to the
student, or providing text to speech software. This is considered a
modification if the purpose of the assignment is reading skills acquisition.
Other presentation accommodations may include designating a person to take
notes during lectures or using a talking calculator rather than one with only a
visual display.

Setting accommodations: Taking a test in a quieter room. Moving the class to

a room that is physically accessible, e.g., on the first floor of a building or near
an elevator. Arranging seating assignments to benefit the student, e.g., by
sitting at the front of the classroom.

Scheduling accommodations: Students may be given rest breaks or extended

time on tests (may be considered a modification, if speed is a factor in the


The quality of an education system encompasses multiple dimensions.
The assessment of quality in this chapter focuses largely on the intellectual
dimension of academic student outcomes, with the benefit of available and
measurable data. It is acknowledged that the numbers alone tell only one side of the
story. There are other critical aspects vital to the quality of education such as a
students spiritual, emotional, and physical development. Nonetheless, children who
are unable to master core intellectual skills such as literacy and numeracy, as well as
higher-order thinking, will be less likely to succeed in todays rapidly
changing economy and globalised society.

Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025

Relax for a while. When you are ready, move on to the next Topic.





Topic 6 introduces you to the key concepts and issues related to curriculum
evaluation. It provides insights to the various forms of evaluation in curriculum. It also
discusses a variety of methods and tools can be used to conduct evaluation.
By the end of Topic 6, you will be able to:
explain the term curriculum evaluation
explain forms of evaluation
summarise the purposes of curriculum evaluation
discuss a variety of methods used in conducting the evaluation




1.2.1 Definition of Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation is a disciplined inquiry to determine the worth of things. Things may
include programmes, procedures or objects. Generally, research and evaluation are
different even though similar data collection tools may be used. The three dimensions
on which they may differ are:
First, evaluation need not have as its objective the generation of knowledge.
Evaluation is applied while research tends to be basic.
Second, evaluation presumably, produces information that is used to make
decisions or forms the basis of policy. Evaluation yields information that has
immediate use while research need not.
Third, evaluation is a judgment of worth. Evaluation result in value judgments
while research need not and some would say should not.
Evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of an activity, project,
programme,strategy, policy, topic, theme, sector, operational area or institution. As
an essential part of thepolicy development process, evaluation provides timely
assessments of the relevance, efficiency,effectiveness, impact and sustainability of
interventions. Evaluation is essentially about are wedoing the right thing, are we
doing it right and are there better ways of achieving the results?
Evaluations should:
provide assessments of what works and why, highlight intended and
unintended results, and provide strategic lessons to guide decision-makers
and inform stakeholders;
provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful,
enabling thetimely incorporation of findings, recommendations and lessons;
feed into management and decision-making processes as a key component to
managingfor results;
inform the planning, programming, budgeting, implementation and reporting
improve the institutional relevance and the achievement of results, optimize
the use ofresources, provide client satisfaction and maximize the impact of
activities; and
involve a rigorous, systematic and objective process in the design, analysis


interpretation of information to answer specific questions, based on agreed

criteria andbenchmarks among key partners and stakeholders.

Evaluation is the process of collecting data on a programme to determine its value or

worth with the aim of deciding whether to adopt, reject, or revise the programme.
Programmes are evaluated to answer questions and concerns of various parties. The
various parties include the public who want to know whether the curriculum
implemented has achieved its aims and objectives; teachers who want to know
whether what they are doing in the classroom is effective; and the developer or planner
who wants to know how to improve the planned curriculum.
As such curriculum assessment is concerned about the assessment of the merit and
worth of a program of studies, a field of study, or a course of study. Curriculum
evaluation should be concerned with assessing the value of a program of study (all
the planned learning experiences over a multiyear period for a given group of
learners), a field of study (all the planned learning experiences over a multiyear
period in a given discipline or area of study), and a course of study (all the planned
learning experiences for a period of 1 year or less in a given field of
study).Curriculum evaluation can be defined as the collection and provision of
evidence, on the basis of which decisions can be taken about the feasibility,
effectiveness and educational value of curricula.
The following are some thoughts about curriculum evaluation:
McNeil (1977) stated that curriculum evaluation is an attempt to throw light on two
questions: Do planned learning opportunities, programmes, courses and activities
as developed and organised actually produce desired results? How can the
curriculum offerings best be improved?

Gay (1985) argued that the aim of curriculum evaluation is to identify its
weaknesses and strengths as well as problems encountered in implementation; to
improve the curriculum development process; to determine the effectiveness of the
curriculum and the returns on finance allocated.

Worthen and Sanders (1987) defined curriculum evaluation as the formal

determination of the quality, effectiveness, or value of a programme, product,
project, process, objective, or curriculum

Oliva (1988) defined curriculum evaluation as the process of delineating,

obtaining, and providing useful information for judging decision alternatives. The
primary decision alternatives to consider based upon the evaluation results are:
to maintain the curriculum as is; to modify the curriculum; or to eliminate the



Ornstein and Hunkins (1998) defined curriculum evaluation as a process or cluster

of processes that people perform in order to gather data that will enable them to
decide whether to accept, change, or eliminate something- the curriculum in
general or an educational textbook in particular

Phases of Curriculum Evaluation

The evaluator determines what is to be evaluated
which may be the total school system, a particular
curriculum to be
district, a particular grade level or a particular
subject. The objectives of the evaluation activity are
clearly stated. Identify the information to be collected and the tools
for collecting the data which may involve interviews,
2. Data Collection
giving of questionnaires, tests, collection of
documents and so forth. The evaluator also
identifies the people from whom data is to be

1. Aspects of the

3. Analysis of

4. Reporting of

The data collected is analysed and presented in the

form of tables and graphs. Statistical tools are often
used to compare significant differences and
to establish correlation or relationship between

Reports are written describing the findings and

interpretation of the data. Based on the findings,
conclusion is made on the effectiveness of
curriculum implementation efforts.
Recommendations are made to reconsider certain
aspects of the curriculum.

1.2.2 Forms of Evaluation

Evaluation is the process of determining the significance or worth of programmes or
procedures. Scriven (1967) looked at evaluation as formative evaluation and
summative evaluation. Formative evaluation
As the term formative indicates, data is gathered during the formation or
development of the curriculum so that revisions to it can be made. Formative
evaluation may include determining whoneeds the programme (e.g. students), how
great is the need (e.g. students need to be taught ICT skills to keep pace with
expansion of technology) and how to meet the need (e.g. introduce a subject on ICT
compulsory for all students). In education, the aim of formative evaluation is usually
to obtain information to improve a programme. In curriculum evaluation, formative
evaluation can beconsidered to be the process that looks for evidence of successor



failure of a curriculum programme, a syllabus or a subjecttaught during

In formative evaluation, one would evaluate the fit between the instructional strategies
and materials used, and the learning outcomes or what it aims to achieve. Sometimes,
the learning outcomes in a curriculum plan and the learning activities may not fit or
match. For example, teachers may want their students to develop speaking skills but
there are no learning activities which provide opportunities for students to practise
speaking skills. Review of the curriculum plan through formative evaluation may
provide useful information for modifying or adapting selected strategies.
In formative evaluation students may be included to review the materials to determine
if they can use the new materials. From these formative reviews, problems may be
discovered. For example, curriculum documents may contain spelling errors, confusing
sequence of content, inappropriate examples or illustrations. The feedback provided by
the students could be used to revise and improve instruction as well as make decisions
on whether to adopt or adapt a programme. Summative evaluation
As the term summative indicates, data is collected at the end of the implementation
of the curriculum programme. The effectiveness of a programme can be
throughsummative evaluation which can be done after new course materials have
been implemented in full or several months to years after the materials have been
implemented in full. This type of evaluation assesses whether or not the project
orprogramme can perform as the designersintended. It considers cost effectiveness
in terms of money,time and personnel. It also assesses the training that
teachersmight need in order to implement a programme successfully. Itdetermines
whether a new curriculum programme, syllabus orsubject is better than the one it is
intended to replace or otheralternatives. These evaluation outcomes can be
determined through formal assessment tasks such as marks obtained in tests and
examinations. Other than quantitative data to determine how well students met
specified objectives, data could also be collected through qualitative methods such
as interviews, direct observations, and document analyses
1.2.3 Purposes of Evaluation
Evaluation is the process of obtaining information and using it to make judgments
which in turn are used in decision-making. It is systematic, natural and on-going
activity which is planned and purposeful. There are many purposes of evaluation.
These include:
Implement changes to improve teaching learning outcomes of future courses
Remedy weaknesses of course in progress
Explain or confirm existing procedures
Establish accountability ( value for money)


Extend teachers knowledge about practice. (CPD)

1.2.4 Evaluation Methods and Tools
The methods of data collection and the instruments used are more or less similar for
both formative and summative evaluation. The common evaluation methods used in
curriculum evaluation are interviews, observations, tests, survey, documents and
portfolios which are record of work or products. and questionnaires
Survey is a useful data collection method if one needs to quickly and easily get lots of
information from people in a non threatening way. Questionnairesare the common
instrument used in this data collection method. Questionnaires can be completed
anonymously, can be administered to many people and is relatively inexpensive to
administer. Data collected from this method is quantitative in nature, thus, it is easy to
compare and analyse. Massive amount of data can be obtained through
questionnaires.As there are many sample questionnaires already in existence,
questionnaires are relatively easy to design.One of its weaknesses is the information
obtained may not be accurate as it relies on how truthfully subjects respond to the
items in the questionnaire. In addition, there is also the fear that the wordings used can
bias respondents responses. Questionnaires are also impersonal. Moreover, since
only a sample of subjects is given the instrument, we not get the whole picture. Interviews and questions
Interviews are usually one-on-one situations in which an individual asks questions to
which a second individual (a teacher, principal, student or parent) responds. The
person asking the questions is called the interviewer while the person giving answers
to the questions is called the interviewee. Interviews are used when you want to fully
understand someone's impressions, opinions or experiences, or learn more about their
answers to questionnaires.
There are two general types of interviews depending on the extent to which the
responses required which are unstructured or structured. In an unstructured interview,
the interviewer does not follow a rigid script and there is a great deal of flexibility in the
responses. Since the response from the interviewee may be varied,it makes the task of
keeping track of responses more difficult. The open-endedness of the question will
require that the interviewer record all responses and analyse and interpret the data
later. However, one of the advantages of the unstructured interview is that it allows
one to gather a variety of information, especially in relation to the interviewees
knowledge, beliefs or feelings toward a particular situation.
In a structured interview, the questions asked usually require very specific responses.
Regardless of which type of interview is used, evaluators should ensure that each
question is relevant for its intended purpose. The data collected isto be translated into


a form that can be analysed and this is to be done well to ensure accuracy and to
maintain the sense of the data. The advantage of interviews is that it can get a full
range and depth of information and it develops a relationship with teachers and
students and it is more flexible. However, interview is time consuming, can be hard to
analyze and compare, can be costly and the interviewer can be biased
towardsrespondents responses. Observations and check lists
Observationis useful data collection method o gather accurate information about how
a program actually operates, particularly about processes especially to view
operations of a program as they are actually occurring. The instrument generally
used is a check list.
To get impressions of how a programme operates without interrupting the
programme; one can review the memos, minutes, etc to get a comprehensive and
historical information about the implementation of the programme. However, one has
to be quite clear about what looking for as there may be massive amount of



Overall Purpose


-can complete
-inexpensive to administer
-easy to compare and
when need to quickly
and/or easily get lots of
-administer to many
information from people in
a non threatening way
-can get lots of data
-many sample
questionnaires already
-get full range and depth
when want to fully
of information
understand someone's
-develops relationship
impressions or
experiences, or learn more with client
-can be flexible with client
about their answers to

when want impression of

how program operates
documentation without interrupting the
program; is from review of
applications, finances,
memos, minutes, etc.

to gather accurate
information about how a

-get comprehensive and

historical information
-doesn't interrupt
programme or client's
routine in program
-information already exists
-few biases about
-view operations of a
programme as they are


-might not get careful
-wording can bias client's
-are impersonal
-in surveys, may need
sampling expert
- doesn't get full story

-can take much time

-can be hard to analyze
and compare
-can be costly
-interviewer can bias
client's responses
-often takes much time
-info may be incomplete
-need to be quite clear
about what looking for
-not flexible means to get
data; data restricted to
what already exists
-can be difficult to
interpret seen behaviors


actually occurring
program actually operates, -can adapt to events as
particularly about
they occur
-quickly and reliably get
common impressions
-can be efficient way to
get much range and
depth of information in
short time
- can convey key
information about
-fully depicts client's
to fully understand or
depict client's experiences experience in programme
in a program, and conduct input, process and results
-powerful means to
examination through cross portray programme to
comparison of cases

explore a topic in depth

through group discussion,
e.g., about reactions to an
focus groups
experience or suggestion,
understanding common
complaints, etc.; useful in
evaluation and marketing

case studies

-can be complex to
categorize observations
-can influence behaviors
of program participants
-can be expensive
-can be hard to analyze
-need good facilitator for
safety and closure
-difficult to schedule 6-8
people together

-usually quite time

consuming to collect,
organize and describe
-represents depth of
information, rather than

Table: A Summary of Data Collection Methods

1. Why do you need to evaluate curriculum?
2. Whats the difference between formative and summative evaluation?
3. What data collection methods and instruments can be used to evaluate the
effectiveness of the KSSR English language curriculum?

Now, take a break before you move on to the next topic.



Topic 6 introduces you to the key concepts and issues related to curriculum change.
It provides definitions of curriculum change and innovation. It also discusses context


of curriculum change, strategies of evaluation and planning an implementation of

curriculum change.


By the end of Topic 7, you will be able to:

Define curriculum change and curriculum innovation.


Discuss the political and ideological influences on curriculum innovation.


Evaluate the models that explain how changes take place.

Explain factors that influence the diffusion and dissemination of change
And innovation in the curriculum.

1.2.1 Definition of Curriculum Change and Innovation
Hoyle (1995) defines change asembracing the concepts of innovation, development,
renewaland improvement of a curriculum. Change has magnitude anddirection and


takes place within a definite time frame. In the context of curriculum, curriculum
change isdictated by the changes in the economic, social andtechnological aspects
of a society. Change is a process not an event; it requires time, energy and
resources. It is achieved incrementally and entails development in feelings and skills
in using new programmes. Change should lead to improvement
Harris et al. (1995) describesinnovation as an intentional and deliberate process to
bringout desired effects and change. As such, curriculum innovation refersto ideas
or practices that are new and different from those thatexist in the formal prescribed
curriculum.Westerly (1969) and Richard (1965), state that curriculum innovationis
anyimprovement that is deliberate, measurable, durable andunlikely to occur
frequently. Curriculum innovations occurs when human and material resources are
created, selected, organised and used in ways where the outcomes are higher
achievement of curriculum goalsand objectives.
The difference between innovation and change is innovation is alwaysplanned while
change may occur in response to externalevents. Curriculum innovationsbecome
meaningful andeffective, if they are planned and organised. It is possible thatother
types of changes may occur when they are not planned.
1.2.2 Contexts of Curriculum Change
Curriculum change and curriculum innovation are made necessarydue to a countrys
political, social, economic, cultural andtechnological environments. The education
system changes in order to address the needs and demands brought about by these
At the national level, curriculum change and innovation arisefrom deliberate policy
decisions. Changes in the education system in Malaysia occur when the central
authority decides to adopt a new idea. This change is usually made known througha
circular. One such example is the introduction of the Kurikulum Standard Sekolah
Rendah (KSSR) or the Primary School Standard Curriculum.
Another reason for curriculum change and innovation is the desire ofauthorities at
various levels to deliberately change establishedpractices in order to tackle existing
problems or identify newproblems and seek ways of dealing with these problems.
Curriculumchange and innovation can also be a due to development in technology.
For example, computers are being usedin almost every aspects of our society. Thus,
the education systemand its curriculum must adapt to this new development.
Computers must not be seen as merely a tool for administrative purposes, but also
to makethe computer and related technological advancements part and parcel of the



Change can be classified as hardware and software types. Hardware types of

changes involve the additionsto existing facilities such as new classrooms,
equipment, books andplay grounds. On the other hand, software types affect the
content and range of thecurriculum. These may be related to the methods ofdelivery
suggested by curriculum designers anddevelopers.
Change can occur in the different forms. In substitution, one element replaces
anotherpreviously in use. For example new textbooks, new equipmentor the
replacement of teachers and administrators. Alteration on the other hand involves
change in existing structures ratherthan a complete replacement of the whole
curriculum, syllabusor course of study. Addition is the introduction of a new
component withoutchanging old elements or patterns. New elements are added
tothe existing programme without seriously disturbing the mainstructure and content
of the prescribed curriculum. Thesecould be support inputs such as audio-visual
aids, workshopsand equipment.Restructuring involves the rearrangement of
thecurriculum in order to implement desired changes. It may alsoinvolve the sharing
of resources among a group of schools orinstitutions.
1.2.3 Strategies of Evaluation
The strategiesfor implementing the curriculum must be considered carefullyfor
change and innovation to succeed.A strategy of innovation refers to the planned
procedures andtechniques used in the desire for change. Harris et al.(1978),
developed some models to explain how the strategies work.The strategies include
are as mentioned below. Participative Problem-Solving.
This strategy focuses on theusers, their needs and how they satisfy these needs.
Thesystem identifies and diagnoses its own needs, finds its ownsolution, tries out
and evaluates the solution and implementsthe solution if it is satisfactory. Here the
emphasis is on localinitiative. Planned Linkage.

The intermediate agencies,such as schools, bring together the users of the
innovation in this model. Coercive Strategies.
These strategies work on the basis ofpower and coercion by those in authority, using
laws,directories, circulars and others. Ministries of Education generally used these
Tanner and Tanner (1980), suggest three principal models which demonstrate how
change takes place. Research, Development and Diffusion Model


In thismodel, an innovation is thought out at the head or centre andthen fed into the
system. This views the processes of change asa logical sequence of phases in
which an innovation is:
1. invented or discovered,
2. developed,
3. produced, and
4. disseminated to the user. Problem-Solving Model
This model is built with the user ofthe innovation in mind. The user of the innovation
would follow the steps below.
1. Determine the problem.
2. Search for an innovation.
3. Evaluate the trials.
4. Implement the innovation. Interaction Model
In this model, change proceeds ordiffuses through formal or informal contacts
betweeninteracting social groups. The model stresses the importance of
interpersonal networks ofinformation, opinion, leadership and personal contact. This
model is based on the following:
awareness of innovation
interest in the innovation
adoption for permanent use.

1.2.4 Planning and Implementation

For change to be implemented in thecurriculum, a process has to take place. This
process involvesfour major factors. According to Bishop (1986), these factors
The change agent
Change agentsinclude teachers, school heads, local authorities or theMinistry of
Education. The agent initiates the innovationor curriculum change in general.
The innovation
This involves executing the changeitself; in other words putting it into use or
The user system


This relates to the person or group ofpeople at which the innovation is directed.
Innovation is a social process, which takes placeover a period of time.
These factors interact with change andare changed by each other during the process
of innovation. The curriculum change agent isinvolved with the process, the planning
and the strategies, andis also frequently the user of the innovation.
The Innovation Process
Innovation and change generally follow several logical steps:
Identify a problem, dissatisfaction or need that requiresattention.
Generate possible solutions to the identified problem orneed.
Select a particular solution or innovation that has beenidentified as the most
Conduct a trial.
Evaluate the proposed solution.
Review the evaluation.
If the innovation has solved the identified problem, implement it on a wide
Adopt and institutionalise the innovation or search foranother solution.

Innovation Planning
Effective planning for innovation cannot take place unless thefollowing elements are
considered in the process:

the personnel to be employed

the specification of the actual task

the strategy or procedure to be used to undertake thetask

the equipment needed

the buildings and conducive environment

the costs involved

social contexts

time involved

sequencing of activities

rationale for undertaking the innovation

evaluation of the consequences or effects of the innovation.

Conditions for Successful Implementation of Innovations
Potential usersof an innovation are more likely to accept it if the conditionsbelow are

The innovation must be relevant to them.

It must be feasible in their particular organizationalcontext.



It must be compatible with the practices, values andcharacteristics of their

It must pose little or no threat to the usergroups identity, integrity and territory.
The innovationmust be seen to be tolerable and non-threatening.
The innovation must yield material or non-materialbenefits. Gains in social
status or recognition may be some of the non-material benefits
It must be flexible and adaptable.

1. Effectively planned innovations can be successful. What elements or
resources are needed for the successful implementation of a curriculum
2. What are the basic steps involved in implementing anysignificant curriculum

You have come to the end of the module.