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- Nestor P. Campayan

What is a Curriculum?
It refers to the sum of learning stated as
educational ends, educational activities,
school subjects and or topics decided upon
and provided within the framework of an
educational institution or in a less formally
organized set up.

Curriculum - also refers to all

learning opportunities the student
decides to pursue and

The term curriculum refers to the

sum of learning stated as educational
ends, educational activities, school
subjects and/or topics decided upon
and provided within the framework of
an educational institution or in a less
formally organized set up (such as in
a summer cooking or swimming
class) for student achievement.
Curriculum also refers to all
learning opportunities the student
decides to pursue and experience.

Curriculum is available to the

student at two levels:
At the first level, a wide range of
opportunities to learn or learning
opportunities are planned and
provided for the student.
At the second level, each
individual student exercises some
control over his own curriculum.

The definition of a Curriculum is

influenced by modes of thoughts,
pedagogies, political as well as
cultural experiences. The numerous
definitions indicate dynamism that
connotes diverse interpretations of
what curriculum is all about.

1. Traditional point of view of

In the 20th century,

Curriculum is the body of subjects

or subject matter prepared by the
teachers for the students to learn.
It was synonymous to the course
of study and syllabus,

Robert M. Hutchins views

Curriculum as permanent
studies where the rules of
grammar, reading, rhetoric
and logic and mathematics
for basic education are
emphasized. Basic education
should emphasize the 3 Rs
and college education should
be grounded on liberal

Arthur Bestor as an essentialist,

believes that the mission of the
school should be intellectual
training, curriculum should focus
on the fundamental intellectual
disciplines of grammar, literature
and writing. It should also include
mathematics, science, history and
foreign language.

believes that
discipline is the sole source of
curriculum. Curriculum is divided into
chunks of knowledge we call subject
areas in basic education. To Phenix,
curriculum should consist entirely of
knowledge which comes from various
disciplines. Schwab coined the term
discipline as a ruling doctrine for
curriculum development.

*** Curriculum can be viewed as a

field of study. It is made up of its
foundations (philosophical, historical,
psychological, and social
foundations) domains of knowledge
as well as its research theories and
Most of the traditional ideas view
curriculum as written documents or a
plan of action in accomplishing goals.

Progressive Points of
View of Curriculum
John Dewey believed
that curriculum is the total
learning experiences of
the individual. Thought is
not derived from action
but tested by application.


3. Caswell and Campbell viewed

curriculum as all experiences
children experiences have under the
guidance of the teachers.
4. Smith, Stanley and Shores
believed that curriculum is a
sequence of potential exercises set
up in the schools for the purpose of
disciplining children and youth in
group ways of thinking and acting.

5. Marsh and Willis

curriculum as all the experiences in
the classroom which are planned and
enacted by the teacher, and also
learned by the students.

Points of View on
Curriculum Development
From the various definitions
and concepts presented,
curriculum is a dynamic .
Development connotes changes which
are systematic. A change for the
better means any alteration,
modification or improvement of
existing condition.

Ralph Tyler Model: Four Basic


Popularly known asTylers

Rationale posited four
fundamental questions or
principles in examining any
curriculum in schools.

Considerations that should

be made:
1. Purposes of the school
2. Educational experiences related to
the purposes
3. Organization of the experiences.
4. Evaluation of the experiences.

On the other, Hilda Taba improved on

Tylers Rationale by making a linear
model. She believed that teachers who
teach or implement the curriculum
should participate in developing it. Her
advocacy was commonly called the
grassroots approach. She presented
seven major steps to her model where
teachers could have a major input.

These steps are as follows:

1. Diagnosis of learners needs and
expectations of the larger society.
2. Formulation of learning objectives
3. Selection of learning content
4. Organization of learning content
5. Selection of learning experiences
6. Organization of learning activities
7. Determination of what to evaluate and
the means of doing it.

*** Thus as you look into curriculum

models, the three interacting
processes in curriculum development
are planning, implementing and


The Subsystems of Curriculum

3 Subsystems of Curriculum:
The formal curriculum which refers to
the school philosophy, aims and
objectives, subjects, and activities. At the
classroom level, available lesson plans,
guides, teaching modules , unit plans,
course syllabi, learning continuums and
similar plans may be prescribed or may
offer options to the learner. The formal
curriculum is the primary, clearly
acknowledged focus of the curriculum.

The extra-class or curriculum

extension which includes:
1. co-curricular activities like various
student organizations, the school
newspaper, programs, convocations,
socials and the like, and..
2. special school services such as the
library, the guidance center, the
entire educational technology center,
the health clinic, the school canteen,
and the like is designed to support
the formal curriculum.

To the hidden curriculum which

may either be supportive of or
contradictory to the formal curriculum
and the extra-class curriculum. The
hidden curriculum consists of the
policies, rules and regulations, and the
school climate. School policies, rules,
and regulations affect the norms of
behavior, beliefs, attitudes and
practices, and relationships among
the students, students and teachers,
and teachers and administration and
ultimately, what a student learns.

The Hidden
The Extra



The Three Subsystems of Curriculum

Or Curriculum

Types of Curriculum Operating in

From the various concepts given,
Allan Glatthorn (2000) describes
seven types of curriculum operating
in the schools. These are:
1. Recommended Curriculum
- proposed by scholars and
professional organizations.

2. Written Curriculum
- appears in school, district,
division or country documents.
3. Taught Curriculum
- what teachers implement or
deliver in the classrooms and
4. Supported Curriculum
- resources-textbooks,
computers, audio-visual materials
which support and help in the
implementation of the curriculum.

5. Assessed Curriculum
- that which is tested and
6. Learned Curriculum
- what the students actually
learn and what is measured.
7. Hidden Curriculum
- the unintended curriculum.

Major Foundations of
1. Philosophical
2. Historical
3. Psychological
4. Social

Philosophical Foundations of
Philosophy provides educators,
teachers and curriculum makers with
framework for planning,
implementing and evaluating
curriculum in schools. It helps in
answering what schools are for, what
subjects are important, how students
should learn and what materials and
methods should be used. In decision
making, philosophy provides the
starting point and will be used for the

Ralph Tylers Framework shows that

philosophy is one of the five criteria in
selecting educational purposes.

Four Educational Philosophies

1. Educational Philosophy
- to educate the rational person;
to cultivate the intellect
2. Educational Philosophy
- to promote the intellectual
growth of the individual and educate
a competent person.
3. Educational Philosophy-

4. Educational Philosophy
- to improve and reconstruct
society Education for change.

Criteria for an Acceptable

1. Relevance is satisfied by a given
curriculum when it is related to some
goal(s) accepted and sought by the
learner, when it responds to some
purpose that is related to..[ his life]
as Postman and Weingartner (1969)
2. Effectiveness- refers to the
capability of a program of instruction
to produce desired result.
3. Feasibility- refers to practicability.

Historical Foundations of
** Why is it important to know the
historical foundations of curriculum?
- Curriculum is not an old field.
Philippine education came about
from various foreign influences. Of
all foreign educational systems, the
American educational system has
the greatest influence on our
educational system.

Curriculum Theorists:
1. Franklin Bobbit (1876-1956)
presented curriculum as a science that
emphasizes on students need. Curriculum
prepares students for adult life.
2. Werret Charters (1871-1965)
believes curriculum is a science.
3. William Kilpatrick (1971-1965)Curricula are purposeful activities which
are child-centered. The purpose of the
curriculum is child development and

4. Harold Rugg (1886- 1960)- believes

curriculum should develop the whole
child. It is child-centered.
5. Hollis Caswell (1901-1989)- sees
curriculum as organized around social
functions of themes, organized knowledge
and learners interest. He believes that
curriculum is a set of experiences.
6. Ralph Tyler (1902-1994)- believes that
curriculum is a science and an extension
of schools philosophy. He believes that
curriculum is always related to instruction.

** The historical development shows the

different changes in the purposes,
principles and content of the
curriculum. The different changes are
influenced by educational philosophy,
psychology and pedagogical theories.
This implies that curriculum is ever
changing putting knowledge and
content from many fields of disciplines.

Psychological Foundations of
** Psychology provides a basis for the
teaching and learning process. It
unifies elements of the learning
process and some of the questions
which can be addressed by
psychological foundations of

1. Behaviorist Psychology
- learning should be organized in
order that students can experience
success in the process of mastering
the subject matter. The method is
introduced in a step by step manner
with proper sequencing of task which
is viewed by other educational
psychologists as simplistic and

2. Cognitive Psychology
- learning constitutes a logical
method for organizing and
interpreting learning. Learning is
rooted in the tradition of subject
matter and is similar to the cognitive
development theory

3. Humanistic Psychology
- are concerned with how learners
can develop their human potential.
Observers view humanistic
psychology as the third force
learning theory after behaviorism
and cognitive development theory. It
believes that curriculum is concerned
with the process not the products,
personal needs not subject matter,
psychological meaning and

In summary, psychology has a great

influence in the curriculum. Learners are
not machines and the mind is not a
computer. Humans are biological beings
affected by their biology and their
cultures. The psychological foundations
will help curriculum makers in nurturing a
more advanced, more comprehensive
and complete human learning.

Social Foundations of Education

Schools exist within the social
context. Social culture affects and
shapes schools and their curricula.
Society as ever dynamic is a source
of very fast changes which are
difficult to cope with and to adjust to.
In order for schools to be relevant,
school curricula should address
diversity, explosion of knowledge,
school reforms and education for all.

The relationship of curriculum and

society is mutual and encompassing.
Hence, to be relevant, the curricula
should reflect and preserve the
culture of society and its aspirations.
At the same time society should also
imbibe the changes brought about by
the formal institutions called schools.