Friday, August 8, 2014


There are many types of curriculum design, but here we will discuss only the few. Types or patterns are being followed in educational institutions.
ü  Subject curriculum
ü  Teacher Centered curriculum
ü  Learner centered curriculum
ü  Activity/Experience curriculum
ü  Integrated curriculum
   Core curriculum
   Board field curriculum
   Hidden curriculum
Subject Based Curriculum
Subject matter is the most used and accepted curriculum Design, it is also the oldest curriculum Design. We see the earliest example in the medieval era in the Middle Ages the monastery and Cathedrals and the organizations of the seven liberal arts in the schools of ancient Greece and Rome. The seven liberal arts were consisted of two divisions:
1. Trivium
2. Quadrivium
These subjects were broad. In the modern period the Trivium was further divided to include literature and history and the quadrivium to include algebra, trigonometry, geography, botany, zoology, physics and chemistry. In this manner subjects added one after the other so much so that in 1930 there were over 300 different subjects.
After centuries the curriculum design of the seven liberal arts are still the nucleus of the subject curriculum. In a subject base curriculum every subject is separate unit. In this kind of curriculum four or five subject are placed in curriculum and each subject has a separate teacher. Every teacher try to teach his own subject, no one intervene in the subject of other teacher
Characteristics of Subject Curriculum
Information for future use
Importance is given to acquire knowledge and information for future use, only those subjects are considered important which have a value and the individual have benefit from it in future (vocational importance). Adult problems are given importance and the problems of children in youth are ignored
Progress is measured to the extent the students learned the subject
In this type of curriculum subject matter is the most important thing to learn therefore the learning is measured by how much and well the subject matter has been mastered by the pupil. Frequent tests are given to students to check the degree of the achievement in the subject.
Predetermined uniform standard of knowledge:
There is a uniform standard for all the students to pass the subject else they well have to repeat the subject therefore the experts of the subject centered approach strongly support the minimum standards for examination so all  achieved the set standard and qualify the examination. The teacher tries to help the weak students and to bring him to the set standard and pass the exam or repeat a grade.
Each subject is a separate entity (unit) with a logical organization of its own:
Importance is given to the acquisition of skills, facts and information for vocational purpose in different logically organized subjects. The teaching staff teaches different subjects and they do not discuss or plan subject together.
Practice in skills is emphasized:
The main aspect of subject base curriculum is the continues practice or drill in a specific skill, it is one of the typical characteristics of the subject base curriculum. For this purpose multiple methods are used; evaluations, Exercise session, tutoring classes are often dedicated to such type of practices and all the students are given equal opportunities to participate.
Subject matter is selected by adults/experts for teaching learning situation:
The content of the subject is selected in advance before the teaching learning process; the subject matter is logically organized from simple to complex with the help of the experts, specialists, teacher’s supervisors, planners, writers and administrators.
Learning subject matter is an end in itself:
The main focus of the teachers, administrators and students are to complete the subject matter, to cover all the topics which are provided in the course out line by Listening to lectures, studying the recommended textbook. It is all preparation for examination on the part of students and teachers and it shows the influence of the subject centered approach. For the teacher to finish the textbook on time is a great accomplishment,
Requirements for the Optimum Operation of Subject Curriculum
ü  Trained Teachers with mastery in a subjects and expert in methodology are required to teach.
ü  A separate classroom for each subject and each level.
ü  A fixed time table is required for different subjects according to importance of the subjects and age in curriculum.
ü  Special arrangements for guidance physical education, Indoor and outdoor activities, tours and examinations etc.
   Need of Text books and guide books for           subject                      base curriculum.
Criticism on Subject Curriculum:
Teacher has the control over pupil experiences, Learning activities and conduct. The teacher follows the decision of others in the planning and evaluation process. The teacher and headmaster formulate the rules for the classrooms management. They demand a very stern discipline and they want a quite classroom atmosphere, teacher thinks it is the best situation for teaching learning process.
  1.  It is compartmentalized and fragmentary.
The critics believed that there is no unity and continuity in the subject base matter. The subject is learned in parts. Every teacher is specialist in one subject and he feel pride to have the knowledge of his own subject and teaching and denying any responsibility for any other subject. Here they say that the learner acquire scraps of information not actual knowledge.
2.            Subject base curriculum ignores the interest and activities of the learner. The critics think that the arrangement of the course content is useless and inefficient and not suitable for teaching learning process. The subjects are logically organized.
3.            The critics also have a viewpoint that the fact is the students know about the history what a few men had done in the past but they do not know about the current situation in their own country and what are the hopes and desires of Pakistani people and what are the social problems they have today here .
  1. The critics also said that subject base curriculum fails to develop habits of effective and critical thinking. This curriculum gives importance to mastery of conclusions of thought (the end result) rather than the process through which that conclusion were derived. Which support this conclusion that it lead to uncritical thinking? The traditional assumption is that anybody who has learned the facts and information can think effectively, but the evidence does not support this assumption.
Defense of Subject Curriculum:
         Defense of Subject Curriculum
  1. The supporter of the subject base curriculum rejects the claim that it did not develop child’s thinking. They argue that it is the most suitable method for the development of critical thinking in an individual but if one cant then the problem lies in the instruction not in the curriculum itself. A vast majority of countries select this method and they are producing botanist, doctors and geologist and so on.
2. The other claim that it is fragmentary and compartmentalized is also not true about subject base curriculum alone because no one can study one subject in one session at once in any kind of curriculum. They use the principle of selection in the selection of course contents.  In a sense anything that is learnt is a fragment and is a part of some larger unit.
3. It gives the teacher the idea what to teach and the student what he suppose to learn and how much time they have to cover the course of the subject. This provides them with a constant source of security and a self evaluation process through which they know how much course they have cover and how to complete.
4. Subject base curriculum use a logically sound framework for the organization of subject matter, it used the cause and effect principle in science and the chronological order of the historical events but they assumed an order and are reliable for learning experiences
5. The evaluation of subject base curriculum is easy. It use the achievement based testing in the evaluation to find the mastery of the subject matter in the individual.
6. It has a bright future. Subject approach is useful for specialization in any branch of knowledge. It is more effective.

Learner-Centered Curriculum
The supporters of learner-centered Curriculum give importance to individual development and they wants to organize the curriculum according to the needs and interest of learners, there are fundamental differences in this approach and the subject-centered design.
This movement from the traditional curriculum towards a programme that stresses the interests and needs of students, This approach was used by Rousseau in the education of Emile,  then Dewy in his laboratory School in 1896-1904. it is believed that all of these twentieth-century efforts reflect, the influence of Dewey.
 it is a fundamental principle of education that the beginning of each instruction it shall be connected  with the previous experience of learners. The purpose is that the experience and the capacities that have been developed  in early lessons, it should provide  a starting point for further learning.  The current importance given to student-centered programmes may not always acknowledge the Dewey’s philosophy and influence on the movement to incorporate more student-serving learning opportunities into the curriculum.
The association for the Advancement of Progressive Education formed in 1919, had its aim “The development of the individual, based upon the scientific study of his mental, physical, spiritual, and social characteristics and needs”. The views of this association, later called the Progressive Education Association (PEA), were compatible with the ideas of Dewey’s as indicated by their principles:
  1. Freedom to develop naturally.
  2. Interest is the motive of all work.
  3. The teacher is a guide, not a task-master.
  4. Scientific study of pupil development.
  5. Greater attention to all that affects the child’s physical development.
  6. Co-operation between school and home to meet the needs of child-life.
  7. The progressive school a leader in educational movement.
The aim of using the learner-centered curriculum on the part of curriculum planners to interpret the needs and interests design as one based on common needs and interests of learners rather than on those of the particular population to be served. Reflected in curriculum plans, this interpretation could and sometimes did, become the rationale for teaching. Research on learner centered curriculum in recent years made it possible for curriculum planners to develop a better learner-centered curriculum. Modern learning theories and dissatisfaction of students and parents from the old curriculum, are moving curriculum and instruction toward a design that focus on real student needs and interests.
  1. Characteristic:
the curriculum design on the needs and interests of student has these characteristic  and features.
  1. The curriculum plan is based on knowledge of learner’s needs and interests in general and diagnosis the specific needs and interests of the population served by the plan.
  2. The curriculum plan is flexible, to accept new modification to conform to the needs and interests of particular learner’s In fact, in some curriculum designs the learner may develop his or her own curriculum plan with the guidance of a teacher.
3. The learner is consulted and tutored individually    at difficult points in the curriculum and instructional process.
Learner centered approach is an example of the applications of needs and interests (activities) approach. Subject obstacles were lowered or removed as teachers combined subjects to study social problems identified by students.
Students in the experimental schools were more successful in college. This practice has ever lasting effect on secondary education.
  1. Applications of learner Centered Curriculum:
If the learning opportunities are not based on the needs and interests of the learners then there is no assurance that the learners well equipped with the skills to participate effectively in social activities; students as adults and good citizens. Therefore we see that the needs and interests design as especially appropriate for the personal development, but not for the social competence domain.
The most common approach to meet the needs and interests of learners is the grouping of students for special programmes believed by the planners to match the needs and interests of the students concerned.
The major use of the needs and interests design in curriculum planning is in the provision of options for individual students. For example, the middle schools provide many special interests activate, exploratory courses and other experiences aimed at giving each student opportunities to explore his own interest.
Currently the movement in higher education and expansion of it by “Open University” arrangements illustrates the feature of the needs and interests design. Drunker (1969) argues for continuing education which assumes “that the more experience in life and work people have, the more eager they will be to learn and the more capable they will be of learning.
Curriculum plans emphasizing the option concept:
  1. The options are based on knowledge of learner characteristic.
  2. Scheduling and other arrangements facilitate,  selection and choice of options, with counseling services available to help students.
  3. Students are actively involved in planning and evaluating the options in general and for themselves in particular.
Activity Based Curriculum:
The Activity Based Curriculum is also called project curriculum or an experience curriculum but the name activity is a fundamental conception.  Activity Curriculum has a long history. The title “Activity Curriculum”, however, did not come into general use before 1920, although Dewey used the expression “Activity Programme” as early as 1897 in a talk to the parents and teachers at his laboratory school in Chicago (U.S.A). Activity is the natural urge of the child. He wants to do things by himself. When curricular material is translated in terms of activity, it is known as activity curriculum. Learning of the prescribed material takes place through activities. Activity is used as a media or means for imparting knowledge and skills.
Activity is the greatest motivation for child. he enjoys the freedom of expressing his potentialities during activities.
These activities should not merely be considered as physical activity but also intellectual activity. The educator (teacher) should engage pupils in activities in such a way that while manual skills are gained there should be mental satisfaction found in the work. The students should not be passive listener they should be active participants in the process of learning.
True learning is experiencing, while activity is the process then experience becomes the product of activity. Activity results in experience, in fact activity and experience cannot be separated from each other. A purposeful activity must end in gainful experience. The school must, therefore, plan its activities in such a way that students gain mastery on various experiences. Such type of projects should be completed under a problematic situation in a natural setting.
Characteristics of Activity Curriculum:
  1. Children’s Interest Determines the Educational Programme:
The primary principle of the activity curriculum is that the interests and purposes of children determine the educational programme. The basic principle of the activity programme refers to the felt needs of children and not of adults. Because the educational programs are aimed at doing something in the best interest of the children and not for an adults only. It is the task of the teacher to discover these interests and to build educational activities upon them.
 Whims (urges) must not be considered as basis of an educational programme. The interest of the students must be carefully analyzed   and then accepted, These intended courses of actions are accepted after their consequences are reviewed. The subject matter is a mean of fulfilling the purposes of an individual or a group and as a result of manipulating subject matter children learn within the boundaries of group interests. The teacher’s responsibility is to find out the interest of individual students and of the groups. He helps children to select the most interesting activity for study;   Building a cage for an animal, making preparation for a field trip, gathering information on a current political affair, running a school store, planning family budget
 The Activity Curriculum is not planned in Advance:
The teacher discover the interests  of students in group or individually. He guides the students in the selections of activity and their interest among activities. He helps them to plan and carry out these activities according to their interests. He also guides the individual or group in assessing what they have accomplished in the process. This is the responsibility of the teachers to make plans for himself how to guide the  students and their activities in the classrooms. Although teacher does not come into the classroom with a preplanned subject matter. He does come with ideas and a background of experience of the students and their interests. These are his working tools.
Activities are Planned Co-operatively by Students and the Teacher:
The teacher and the students plan the activities cooperatively what needs to be done? And how, first of all objectives are formulated with the help of the teacher, and then the class students considers means of teaching the objectives e.g. a group has determined to improve the beauty of its own classroom. The class may be divided into small groups so that students can talk with their seat mates.
A student from each of these groups report to the total class. There should be ample opportunity to organize for investigating, seeking information, selecting materials, interviewing people and carrying on the activities needed to solve the problem, in each of these steps the students take part in making decisions and they assume full responsibility for it. Here the teacher is guide in the process of learning, he guide the students how to select group leaders and how to make intelligent decisions. Most important is the quality of thinking that goes in the group. There is a given and take of ideas in the group. The opinions of different students in the group are evaluated  by the students to select the best idea of all. It is really a laboratory for learning group processes.
Problem solving is the Dominant Method of Activity Curriculum:
In the activity curriculum, the teaching learning process consists largely of problem solving. In the pursuit of interests in the groups to complete an activity  various difficulties will arise. The teacher and his students are to find ways of overcoming these obstacles. As the interests of children lead to problems requiring a great diversity of content so the subject matter from almost every field of

Knowledge is used in the activity curriculum. But the subject matter is studied as a means of solving problems and not as subject.
The Teacher Assists the Group as a Resource Person:
Here the teacher works as a guide and resource person. He serves to small groups, to individual students. He sometimes leads the discussion to help the students to analyses the problem. He works with them in improving their skills. He is a part of the total learning situation rather than task master.

Practice and Individual Assistance are provided as needed:
In activity curriculum the need for practice grows out of the learning situation. As the students show the need for working on spellings of certain words, or grammar, the teacher gives them the opportunity to learn and practice these skills. If the students ask the teacher to help them in writing a letter to invite a speaker, the teacher will not write the letter for them, but he will guide them. He will work with them on the use of words and thus he will encourage them to write a letter inviting the guest speaker.
a.       Requirements for Optimum Operation of Activity Curriculum:
  1. Training of Teachers:
Teachers should have a broad general education with specialized training in child and adolescent development, guidance and methods of teaching.
  1. Physical Features of the School:
Activity base curriculum needs spacious Building, grounds and classrooms to permit as many activities as possible. Will light rooms and have ample facilities; for displaying and decorations devised by children. The ample use of school grounds in addition to outdoor class work and for other countless outdoor activities in which children may engage as they follow their interests.
To complete these possibilities the school will require several times more space then they have now.
Tentatively ten acres of land (one acre= 4940 sq. yards) would likely be the minimum to meet the needs of an activity curriculum. To those critics who criticize the activity curriculum as the most expensive pattern of curriculum organization, the advocates of an activity programme will give a reply that there is no such thing as “a good cheap education:.

Teacher-Centered Curriculum:
Teachers participate in a variety of curriculum activities at classroom level. These are the very core of their daily teaching tasks and include such activities as selection of specific content, selection of teaching approach, use of audio-visual aids and so on. In recent years teachers have become increasingly involved in a broader level of curriculum decision-making such as involvement in major curriculum projects. It mostly involves few teachers, although some teachers participate in syllabus committees.
At the school level, however, staff members are becoming more responsible for a vast array of curriculum decision.
In countries where they have adopted teacher centered curriculum the schools have considerably greater responsibility for curriculum development. In these schools teachers have become involved, willingly or unwillingly, in more school-level curriculum decision-making.
Regardless of the state in which one teaches, it has become obvious in recent years that all teachers are participating more in curriculum decision-making at the school level. The nature of this participation may be seen in the various roles that teachers adopt in the decision-making process.
It is suggested that teachers may participate in any combination of curriculum decision-making roles at the school level:
  1. Implementers
  2. Adapters
  3. Developers
  4. Researchers
  5. Implementers.
As an ‘implementer’ or ‘receiver’, the teacher’s role is to apply the developed curriculum. In this role the teacher has a minimum of responsibility and involvement in the curriculum development phase of the curriculum process, though he has a significant role in the application phase of this process.
  1. Adapters.
As an adapter, the role of the teacher is just the same as implementer. This is somewhat conceptual term which indicates that the teachers become ready to accept the curriculum in order to implement it.
  1. As a developer, the teacher’s role is to take part in the curriculum development process. In Pakistan, some representative teachers are being invited to attend various meetings held by the higher authorities in order to make contributions in the curriculum development or curriculum evaluation process.
  2. Researchers.
Curriculum is a dynamic process. Keeping in view this characteristic, there is a need to conduct research in order to bring about desirable changes in the curriculum. Teachers in most of the countries and also in Pakistan are taking part in various types of researches in curriculum development process. The nature of these researches is.
  1. To review the curriculum.
  2. To evaluate the curriculum.
  3. To change the curriculum etc.
  1. Advantages of Teacher’s centered Approach:
ü  As the curriculum is designed by the teacher, it become easy to achieve the desired goals.
ü  Subject matter become psychologically sound due to its relevance with interests, needs and level of the children.
ü  Content/Subject matter is logically arranged.
ü  Irrelevant material/Subject matter is avoided.
ü  Teachers feel comfortable and confident in the classroom activities.
ü  Democracy is encouraged.
ü  Co-operation is developed.
ü  Society/Community is also involved (directly or indirectly) in the development of curriculum.
ü  No objection is raised by the teacher in connection with the availability of sources and resources.
  1. Limitations:
If this approach is followed in Pakistan then the following limitations may hinder the process.
ü  A change in the attitude on the part of learners, teachers and community is difficult to develop.
ü  Lack of sources and resources.
ü  Hindrance due to rigid administration, planning and management.
ü  It will become difficult to maintain a common standard in various institutions.
ü  The existing curriculum for the teaching training institutions is not suitable for the teacher centered approach.
ü  A drastic change in the examination system/evaluation will be required.

Defining Integrated Curriculum
What exactly is integrated curriculum? In its simplest conception, it is about making connections. What kind of connections? Across disciplines? To real life? Are the connections skill-based or knowledge-based?
         Correlation may be as slight as casual attention to related materials in other subject areas . . . a bit more intense when teachers plan it to make the materials of one subject interpret the problems or topics of another
  • Integration: the unification of all subjects and experiences.
Arguments for supporting integrated curriculum
There are two strong arguments supporting an integrated curriculum. First, there is simply too much information to be covered in the traditional structure of a forty or fifty minute class period. Secondly, most subjects are taught to students in isolation from other related information. Advocates of an interconnected curriculum believe that individuals learn best when encountering ideas that are connected to one another. A strong belief system exists supporting that "all things are connected."
What do the critics say?
Critics of integrated curriculum have formulated several arguments against the idea;
v  First, it is sometimes appropriate for information to be taught within the content area. Some concepts run the risk of becoming confused when connected to unrelated subject matter.
v  Secondly, most teachers have always been a part of a somewhat modernist method of teaching. Therefore, implementing integrated curriculum becomes increasingly more difficult.
v  Third, critics claim that many teachers may lack knowledge and skills of the various disciplines.
v  Finally, a key criticism of integrated curriculum is assessment. Schools continue to struggle with effective methods to assess student achievement in regard to higher level thinking and deeper understanding. In order for integrated curriculum to replace traditional teaching styles, the entire structure of the school needs to be change. Frankly, this is a change that many modernist teachers are not willing to accept.
v  The integrated curriculum approach is successful in making students more aware of content area connections, challenging students, providing a learning environment, supporting academic and social needs, dissolving the boundaries among the disciplines, and fostering stronger student/teacher relationships.
Ø  Components of Integrated Curriculum
Ø  Focuses on basic skills, content and higher level thinking
Ø  Encourages lifelong learning
Ø  Structures learning around themes, big ideas and meaningful concepts
Ø  Provides connections among various curricular disciplines
Ø  Provides learners opportunities to apply skills they have learned
Ø  Encourages active participation in relevant real-life experiences
Ø  curiosity, motivates, and challenges learners
Ø  Provides a deeper understanding of content
Ø  Offers opportunities for more small
Ø  Accommodates a variety of learning styles/theories (i.e., social learning theory, cooperative learning, intrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy) and multiple intelligences
The organization of integrated curriculum is a post second world war occurrence. This phenomenon gain greatest support in the 1960s. Based on the essential organization of content, as in the subject design, the academic disciplines design emphasizes on the role played by those diverse entities called academic disciplines. Thus it is clearly defined in terms of knowledge, skills and values.
1.            The basic objective of integrated curriculum is to emphasize the learning and basic language skills for the children of class’ I to III this would increase the literacy rate of the country.
2.            Reeducation of text books to one or two only so that the Teachers may focus their attention on the improvement of language skills of the students and along with it they may be able to impart the concept of other subjects.
3.            In integrated curriculum, the mental level and interests of the children acquire the central place which is the basic condition of acquiring knowledge.
4.            Interesting textual material not only attracts the children but also provides opportunities to groom up their mental abilities. Therefore efforts have                been made to prepare the integrated curriculum with the following comprehensive general objective.
5.            The general objective of the integrated                approach is to make a clear relation between various subjects (having similar   concepts) so that the learners may apply their knowledge in real life situation.