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Curriculum development


Curriculum is the foundation of the teaching-learning process whether it is a

school, college, university or training organization. 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
Curriculum is a plan for ordering and directing the
teaching-learning experiences that students encounter in an
educational institution. The process of providing the plan
and keeping it running smoothly is known as curriculum
development. Which includes planning, (determination of
aims and goals), design, implementation and evaluation.
Since curriculum development implies change and
betterment, is a process that continuously strives to find
newer, better and more efficient means to accomplish the
task of educating the next generation.


A model consist of interacting parts that serves as a guide
or procedures for action. Some models are simple while
others are very complex. In many instances, models are
more similar that different and are often refinements or
revisions of earlier models. There are many models of
curriculum development: the tyler model, the taba model,
the doll model and the saylor& alexander model. Each of
these models is named after their originator.


The tyler model was introduced by Ralph Tyler in which
he asked 4 questions.

1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?

2. What educational experiences can be provided thatare likely to attain these
3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

Tyler’s questions represent the four-step sequence of

identifying purposes or objectives, selecting the means of
achieving these objectives, organizing these teaching-
learning experiences and evaluating the outcomes or what
have students attained or achieved. When developing
curriculum objectives data should be gathered from three
sources, the subject area (science, mathematics, history),
the learners (gifted, varying academic abilities) and society
(ethics, environmental awareness, national unity).
After identifying the objectives, the curriculum
developer has to pass them through two screens: the
philosophy and psychology screen. Resulting from this are
specific instructional objectives. The next step is the
selection of educational experiences which enable the
attainment of objectives. The learning experiences have to
take into account the previous experiences learners bring to
a situation.
Tyler talked about the organization and sequencing of
these learning experiences. They should pre properly
organized as to enhance learning. He also suggested that
ideas, values and skills would serve as organizers linking
content within a particular subject, and also determine the
method of delivery of content.
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.

Through evaluation it will be possible to determine

whether the curriculum was effective or ineffective.


Many general principles and ideas of curriculum design
developed by Hilda Tababelong to the foundations of
modern curriculum theories, and are frequently referred to
by other authors. Many of Taba’s ideas on curriculum
design can be considered as a further elaboration of Ralph
Tyler’s rather psychological principles of curriculum
development: attributing to them amore pedagogical and
practical nature.
It was called a grassroots effort as she advocated
that the teachers themselves needed to be heavily involved
in the development of the curriculum. She developed seven
steps that should take place when developing curriculum.
1. Identify the needs of the students and the expectations of society.
2. Formulate the learning objectives.
3. The learning content will be selected based on the objectives.
4. How the content is organized needs to be decided upon by the teachers based
on the students.
5. The learning experiences need to be selected.
6. The organization of the actual learning activities needs to be determined.
7. Determine what is going to be evaluated and how to determine the
effectiveness of the curriculum.


In curriculum terms, Doll portrays the following
To begin with, the curriculum should not be a rigid
linear sequence of pre-set learning activities.Instead, it
should be a matrix. The curriculum should emphasize a

practical rather than a theoretical perspective. Teaching

and learning need to be concrete and particular.

The curriculum should be jointly decided on by the

teachers and students involved. This devolution of power
put the trust on teachers and students to be best experts of
teaching and learning. Down to lesson planning, the same
principle should be followed by teachers to ensure due
flexibility for conjoint planning. In talking about
pedagogical relations, Doll even suggests that a curriculum
at the beginning can evolve to become something different
at the end, following students' choice and the discourses
generated in class.
The curriculum should be based on self-
organization of the learners. Self-organization comes from
timely and appropriate perturbation, instead of the fake
sense of stability and predictability modernist education
conveys.To facilitate the achieving of self-organization;
two conditions need to be met. First, the learning ethos
should be one of joy and relaxation instead of one which is
based on pressure and rush to learn. Second, the learners
should be well versed with the learning materials.
Revisiting the same materials from different perspectives
would help to provide the richness in content that brings
forth the desired cognitive transformation.
Teachers are suggested to give up their traditional
authoritative role to become partners of the learners, as the
first among the equals. The classroom is to transform from
being a tightly controlled ward to one marked by self-
discipline and communal spirit where critical attitudes are
construed in a friendly and constructive manner.Tachers
should give up the moribund modernist view of
epistemology where truth is absolute, static, external and
can be ascertained by rational analysis. They should join

hands with their students in exploring their version of truth

in an interpretative, constructive manner, at critical
dialogue with the text if necessary. In terms of cultural
relations, perspectives across different cultures can help
illicit the force necessary for us to go beyond the confines
of our customary beliefs to other facets of the truth which
can be interpreted in many respectable ways.
Evaluation should not be conducted for the sole
purpose of selection and screening. It should be geared
towards promoting interaction between teachers and
students. Students should not be measured against straight
canon according to some sort of deficiency theory. Instead
feedback from students should be respected as one of the
many possible interpretations of a complex truth and
discussed in a warm, communal way.
Last, but most important, is that curriculum should
promote a new post-modern mentality. The essence of the
mentality would be the dedication to pursue different
interpretations and to explore new patterns and relations
rather than to seek security in any dogma or orthodox as
exemplified in the modernist mode of thought which
degenerates to become a form of scientific superstition.


Galen Saylor and William Alexander viewed curriculum
development as consisting of four steps. According to
them, curriculum is “a plan for providing sets of learning
opportunities to achieve broad educational goals and
related specific objectives for an identifiable population
served by a single school center”
1. Goals, objectives and domains: curriculum planners begin by specifying the
major educational goals and specific objectives they wish to accomplish. Each
coal represents a curriculum domain and they advocate 4 major domains:
personal development, human relations, continued learning skills and

specialization. The goals, objectives and domains are selected after

considering external variables such as findings from educational research,
accreditation standards, views of community groups, and others.

2. Curriculum designing, once the previous have been established, planners

move into the process of designing the curriculum. Decision is made on the
appropriate learning opportunities for each domain and how and when these
opportunities will be provided.

3. Curriculum implementation: the next step is implementation of the designs by

teachers. Based on the design of the curriculum plan teachers would specify
instructional objectives and then select relevant teaching methods and

4. Evaluation: finally, curriculum planner and teachers engage in evaluation.

Evaluation should involve the total educational program of the school and the
curriculum plan, the effectiveness of instruction and the achievement of
students. Through the evaluation process, curriculum planner and developers
can determine whether or not the goals of the school and the objectives of
instruction have been met.

Curriculum development is as planned, a purposeful, progressive, and systematic

process to create positive improvements in the educational system. Every time there
are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are
affected. There is a need to update them to address the society’s needs.
To illustrate this contention, let’s trace back history.

During the ancient times, people taught their children knowledge and skills to survive
by catching fish or hunting animals for food. They had no formal education during
that time, but their children learned and acquired the knowledge and skills for
survival. So, during that time, they already had a curriculum that other educators call

as, the saber-tooth curriculum. This type of curriculum refers to a kind of curriculum
that existed during the ancient times in which the purpose of teaching was for
However, when the effects of discoveries and inventions became inevitable, ancient
people’s way of life had changed for the better. As a result, education became formal,
and curriculum development evolved as systematic, planned, purposeful and
progressive, even today.


1. Curriculum is the delivery component of an institutions' educational mission,

values, and theory of learning. It should follow in-depth discussions regarding
"what a student should learn" and "how a student can best learn."
2. Curriculum is the expectations for what will be taught and what students will
do in a program of study. It includes teacher-made materials, textbooks, and
national and state standards.

“Curriculumis a tool in the hands of an artist to mould his material,according to his

ideals in his studio”-cunningham

Importance of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development has a broad scope because it is not only about the school, the
learners, and the teachers. It is also about the development of society in general.

In today’s knowledge economy, curriculum development plays a vital role in

improving the economy of a country. It also provides answers or solutions to the
world’s pressing conditions and problems, such as environment, politics, socio-
economics, and other issues of poverty, climate change, and sustainable development.

There must be a chain of developmental process to develop a society. First, the school
curriculum, particularly in higher education, must be developed to preserve the
country’s national identity and to ensure its economy’s growth and stability.

For instance, in the Philippines, if President Aquino would like the country to become
the Asia-Pacific’s tourism hub, then the school curriculum must be developed along
that line. Curricular programs for higher education can be crafted in such a way that it
will boost the tourism industry. For example, different models may arise such as edu-
tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, medo-tourism, biz-tourism, techno-tourism,
agri-tourism, archi-tourism, among others.

If universities have curricular programs that are innovative and in demand in the local
or global markets, many students even from foreign countries will enroll. A higher
number of enrollees would mean income on the part of the universities. As a result, if
the income is big, it can be used for teachers’ promotion, scholarship, and
remuneration. It can also be used in funding research and development endeavors, and
in putting up school facilities, libraries, and laboratories.

I believe that the country’s economy can improve the people’s way of life through
curriculum development. And to develop it, curriculum experts or specialists should
work hand in hand with lawmakers such as senators and congressmen, the local
government officials, governors, mayors, among others. Likewise, business
communities and industries, and other economically oriented players in society may
be engaged in setting and implementing rules and policies for educational reforms.

Hence, curriculum development matters a lot in setting the direction of change in an

organization, not only at the micro but also at macro levels. As long as the goals and
objectives of curriculum development are clear in the planner’s mind, cutting-edge
achievements in various concerns can be realized.

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum
development. Philippines: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

TYPES OF CURRICULA: Regardless of the interpretation of

curriculum, several curricula may occur concurrently.
1. The official curriculum includes the stated curriculum framework
with philosophy and mission; recognized lists of outcomes, competencies, and

objectives for the program and individual courses; course outlines; and syllabi. Bevis
(2000) stated that the "legitimate curriculum" . . . (is) the one agreed on by the
faculty either implicitly or explicitly". These written documents are distributed to
other faculty members, students, curriculum committee members, and accrediting
agencies to document what is taught.
2. The operational curriculum consists of "what is actually taught by the
teacher and how its importance is communicated to the student”. This curriculum
includes knowledge, skills, and attitudes emphasized faculty in the classroom and
clinical settings.
3. The illegitimate curriculum, is one known and actively taught by
faculty yet not evaluated because descriptions of the behaviours are lacking. Such
behaviours include "caring, compassion, power, and its use".
4. The hidden curriculum consists of values and beliefs taught through
verbal and nonverbal communication by the faculty. Faculty may be unaware of
what is taught through their expressions, priorities, and interactions with students,
but students are very aware of the “hidden agendas” (curriculum), which may have a
more lasting impact than the written curriculum. The hidden curriculum. The hidden
curriculum includes the way faculty interact with students, the teaching methods
used and the priorities set.
5. The null curriculum, represents content and behaviors that are not
taught. Faculty need to recognize what is not being areas. Examples include content
or skills faculty think they are teaching but are not, such as critical thinking. As
faculty review curricula, all components and relationships need to be evaluated.
New approach to education and curriculum must be developed: one in
which faculty are active participants and guides in learning, not lecturers. It urges an
increased involvement in the community, with the university becoming responsible
and accountable to the needs of the community. A curriculum that recognizes and
accepts individual differences to enhance multiculturalism and believes that
curriculum and learning should be focused on acquiring skills, not just factual
knowledge. After all, knowledge should be measured by the ability of the students
and graduates to perform tasks not recite facts. Therefore, it follows that the most
effective learning occurs by experience not just by passive learning facts.
General education and nursing curricula are becoming more interactive,
with classroom and workplace joining to meet learning goals set by diverse groups

of students. Students must develop the ability to communicate across cultures;

understand and respect others views and lives; and learn teamwork skills, including
management, delegation and negotiation. The curriculum should offer activities to
enable students to gain actual experiences and learn to work collaboratively with
other disciplines in seeking solutions to problems.


Curriculum is a composite of the entire range of experiences the learner undergoes
under the guidance of the school or college. It is a systematic arrangement of the
sum total of selected experiences planned by a school or college or a defined group
of students to attain the aims of a particular educational program. A curriculum
directed to the education of the nurses is designed within three frameworks.
1. The legally established limits for the nursing activities of the nurses within the
individual state or union and union territories.
2. The natural roles of nurse in the profession of nursing.
3. The types of nursing situations or areas where specifically qualified persons are
able to learn for nursing.
The provisions of the state or union relative to the objectives and education of nurses
vary, but they are based upon the limited roles of nurses in nursing profession. There
will be common curricula for one state or country that will the requirements which is
prescribed by the statutory body in the form of syllabus. In India, “Indian Nursing
Council" is the statutory body which prescribes syllabus for all levels of nursing
programs. It may be ANM, GNM, B.Sc N, M.Sc N, M Phil, PhD courses.
A curriculum is a plan, a guide to the types of actions to be taken in pursuit of
education for a particular sphere of intellectual or practical endeavour. Since a
curriculum usually extends to the many things designing a curriculum usually
requires the cooperative efforts of a number of people. The syllabus which is
prescribed by body like Indian Nursing Council is the minimum requirement by law
and constructing their own curricula, school or college or university can add much as
required to meet their own particular objectives according to the needs or
requirements of local national and Global levels.
The basic design or pattern of curriculum is established by the sphere of nursing
education in which the curriculum is directed. The curriculum therefore, includes all
the subject matter and experience which a particular school or college or university

plans for its own students and which is developed by the members of its own
curriculum committee. The curriculum committee should consist of experts in the
field of nursing and nursing education and also one or two experts from general and
technical education or experts in medical field. But the curriculum committee on
nursing should be lead or headed by nursing experts.
The curriculum development is an ongoing activity; it should be designed according
to needs of the changing society, i.e. there is always time to time improvement in
general education, changes in traditional customs, advances in medical sciences,
research in nursing and increasing availability of resources. All these changes have
an effect on nursing education, so the periodic evaluation and modification of the
curriculum are essential if the program is offered by the school or college or
university to keep pace with all these developments.
Criteria for Evaluation of Curriculum:
The basic principles of curriculum constructed serve as basis for curriculum
evaluation. These principles are drawn from the philosophical, psychological and
sociological bases and helps the teachers in the realization of the aims and objectives
of education as below:
1. The curriculum should be child-centered-In this the life of the student at all points
and help in the evaluation of balanced personality.

2. The curriculum should concentrate on the experience of human race as a whole.

The purpose of the school is to reflect civilization itself and the curriculum should
epitomize the accumulated experience of the race.

3. The curriculum should be based on the twin principles of utility and reality. The
curriculum should include only knowledge and skills which the student requires for
his present and future life in real sense.

4. The curriculum should be broad-based, flexible and changing/dynamic and should

not be rigid and static. The curriculum should be changed needs and development of
society advanced in field of science and knowledge.

5. The curriculum should possess continuity, articulation and integration. The central
responsibility in curriculum planning is to see that overall total experience pattern of
the learner possesses coherence, unity and integrity. Just as in a healthy body blood

circulates or articulates freely through every vein giving life and vigor to the whole

6. The curriculum should provide for individual differences among children/students.


7. The curriculum should have social significance-curriculum should reflect all that is
significant and characteristic in the life the community in its natural settings.

8. The curriculum should consist of purposeful activities and meaningful experiences.

9. The curriculum should provide direct instruction.

10. The curriculum should promote democratic value.

11. The curriculum should achieve the rounded growth of the child or students.

Thus we saw the process of curriculum development. Though different steps have
been mentioned, they are inseparable and work together for the development of a
curriculumStages of curriculum development
In developing either a teaching/learning unit or an integrated
curriculum, varied decisions are made to work out a realistic
curriculum by incorporating all the principles of good
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The methodology to plan either a unit or total curriculum is
to break down the systematic steps to ensure orderly
thinking, to make possible a systematic study of the elements
that compare such a plan, and to provide for a precise and
careful study and application of the relevant principles and
According to Hilda Taba, the steps followed in developing
unitor curriculum is as follows:
Diagnosing needs
Formulating specific objectives
Selecting content
Organising content
Selecting learning experience

Organising learning experience

Checking for balance and sequence
Step 1: Diagnosing Needs
Before planning curriculum, diagnosis helps in general
analysis of problems, conditions and difficulties. The purpose
is to generate a new emphasis and new ideas about the
curriculum, by knowing thoroughly from various sources such
as students’ cumulative records, teacher’s recordings, parents’
interviews, children’s cases and their IQ achievement.
This kind of analysis of various aspects would lead to come out
with a new conception of curriculum. Diagnosis leads to
understand the prime needs at different stages of curriculum.
Step 2: Formulating Specific Objectives
The objectives will be very comprehensive on the following:
 Concepts or ideas to be learnt
 Attitudes, sensitivities and feelings to be developed
 Ways of thinking to be reinforced, strengthened or initiated
 Habits and skills to be mastered
 Based on the diagnosis, the specific objectives are related
to the concepts, ideas necessary to learn at a stage,
particular aspect of thinking, attitudes, skills and so on.
Step 3: Selecting the Content
Based on the diagnosis of needs and tentative projection of
objectives, it is much easy to go for the content selection. The
objectives and needs provide a basic idea and guidance to
select the relevant content.
While selecting the content, the following to be planned
1. Selecting the topic
2. Selecting the basic ideas
3. Selecting the specific content
The first task is to select the relevant topics through which the
objectives formulated can be achieved unit by unit; the topics
have to be finalized.
What are different topics which can be covered under each
subject, class and level. Then the idea needs to pay attention to
incorporate into the broad content. To suit the idea and topics,

the specific content is planned to finalize the broad areas

under the curriculum.
Step 4: Organising the Content
Once the content is finalized, the content has to be organised
systematically by keeping in view the following:
 Concrete to abstract
 Simple to complex
 Known to unknown
 Immediate to remote
 Easy to difficult
In other words, it should follow inductive logical arrangement
of the content and a psychological sequence. There should be
connection between ideas, facts and relationships.
Step 5 and 6: Selecting and Organizing learning Experiences
 With the content in hand, it is easy to plan for learning
experiences or activities.
 The criteria with which the content is drawn should
provide/plan/visualize what students need to experience
in order to acquire certain behavioural competencies and
sequence of the experiences.
 Care must be taken to include a variety of learning –
reading, writing, observing, doing research, analysing,
discussing, tabulating, painting and absorption.
The learning experiences are expected to be:
 Introduction, Opener, Orientation- Generally, viewing at
learning experiences, at least 3 main stages should be
involved. The learning strategies/activities introduced are
essentially (1)introductory, (2)for opening up and (3)for
orientation. These include the following activities:
 Provide diagnostic evidence for the teacher
 Help the students make a connection with their own
 Arouse interest
 Provide concrete descriptive data
 Create involvement and motivation
By following the above approach, learning experience can be
selected and organized to facilitate learning.

1. While teaching, any unit, students can be involved

actively and help them to make a connection to their
personal experiences, connect to the community or share
the experience of their parents. Thus the teacher plans
learning experiences by allocating tasks which are useful
for the students and discuss the method by which to do.
2. Development, Analysis, Study- Here the teacher plans learning
experiences by developing various dimensions of the subject,
for instance, reading, researching, then analysing the data,
studying various kinds and finding the answers to their
questions planned for their study.
3. Generalization- After developing the skills of analysis and
study, students will be able to generalize by putting together
all the ideas and reformulate them in their own way.
4. Applications, Summary, Culmination- Finally, the activities
are designed to apply what has been learnt, to asses and
evaluate and set into a larger framework.
5. Rhythm of learning activities- In some of the curriculum
patterns, some or the other mental activity is defectively
developed that creates problems in intake period, assimilation
without integration, inhibits new learning and burdens
memory. A balanced curriculum is one where learning is
balanced, which offers opportunities for mastery of knowledge
and helps in internalization. It requires disciplined knowledge,
analysis and reflection. Thus, the rhythm of building feelings
and meanings is also important.
Step 7: Evaluating
Evaluation is determining the objectives,diagnosis or
establishment of baseline for learning and appraising
progress and changes, there are varied approaches and
methods of evaluation to know the progress of the child.
Mostly, evaluation is in a way continuous diagnosis along
with the comparison of results. Even several informal devices
can also be used to evaluate the outcomes of the unit and
curriculum on the whole. Finally, whether the objectives of
the curriculum are achieved needs to be evaluated.
Step 8: Checking for Balance and Sequence
After completing unit by unit and the whole curriculum, it is
necessary to check the overall consistency among its parts or
individual aspects. Every aspect needs to be checked-

whether the core ideas are reflected in the content, whether

the suitable learning experiences are planned for the content
and whether the overall achievement of objectives is planned
for the overall progress of the topic.
Thus these are the basic steps necessary while designing a
unit or the whole curriculum related to a subject or
discipline, etc.