Foundations of Curriculum
Foundations are the forces that influence the minds of curriculum developers.
In this way they affect the content and structure of the curriculum.
The curriculum reflects the society and culture of a country and this is the desire of a society that their children should learn the habits, ideas, attitudes and skills of the adult society and culture and educational institutional are the proper way to impart these skill. This duty of teacher and school to discipline the young of the society and provide them the set of experiences in the form of curriculum. The needs, knowledge and information of the society provide foundation in the formation of curriculum
Philosophical/ ideological foundation
It is concerned with beliefs.
What is real --- ONTOLOGY
What is true --- EPISTEMOLOGY
What is good – AXIOLOGY
Philosophy means the love of wisdom, it search for truth, not simple truth, It search for eternal truth, reality and general principles of life. Curriculum help in the practical use of knowledge in real life situations and understanding realities and ideas of life and this world that why curriculum is called the dynamic side of philosophy.
Curriculum is used for the modification of the behavior of the students and philosophy help in the process of finding new ways and basis for teachers and curriculum planner to modify their behavior. Philosophy also helps in the exploring new methods of teaching and how to apply in the classroom situation for better achievement of the teaching learning process. It also provides new ways and methods for the evaluation of student’s achievement and evaluation of curriculum.
Philosophers of the past have made major influence in clarifying the association in the nature of knowledge and curriculum development process and also provide a foundation for curriculum; Plato presented a curriculum in his book “republic” at that times and it is still the core of the curriculum of today. Knowledge is given the high role in human life.
Today world economics and societies are changing very rapidly; it needs depth in every discipline of education in this high time.
Today the world emphasis on finding new ways through which man develops new concepts of reality and knowledge and to form a new structure of knowledge in this dynamic and changing time therefore a high value is given to discovery, invention and restructuring of knowledge and curriculum in new patterns. Now the new curriculum is open to new experiences, logical and critical thinking, and to bring about the concept of knowledge out of interpreted experience.
Philosophy and ideology of education provide rules and principles which lead the in decision-making regarding educational practices and polices planning. It Guides the curriculum planner on the basses of the philosophical and ideological belief of the society in the constructing of subject matter keeping in view the future demands and needs of the schools and help in the promoting of human life through social change in the behavior of the students. In Pakistan the ideological beliefs of the society is based on Islam…
Therefore they are looking for curriculum planner to introduce such curriculum in education system, which inculcate true knowledge of Islam and preserve the culture of Muslim society in new generation that why they believe that Islamic curricula should be based on the ideology of Islamic laws and principles.
Philosophical/ ideological Implications on Curriculum
Philosophy and ideology has direct effect in curriculum planning because it guides the curriculum planner in the selection of the objectives and. As it provides guidelines in the selection of objectives, Learning experiences and content of the curriculum, and how to evaluate the curriculum, learning experiences and achievements of the students. Some justification provided for the implications of curriculum given by different researcher are as under (Rud Yard K. Bent and Urruh, n.d.);
- Various customs values, traditions and knowledge need to be preserved by transfer them to the next generation.
- The students also needed the knowledge of past and present in which they live, it help them in the process of adaptation and adjusting their self to new changes and new situation in life.
All those content of a subject who helps in intellectual development rather than practical value. It teaches student how to reason, develops mental ability to solve the problems in practical life situations. It helps in using different methods for search of eternal truth and how to analyze the knowledge and methods of inquiry.
- The Secondary school curriculum should designed for developing maximum potentialities of the students by including variety of leaning activities to educate each students to its highest.
- Schools should be a tool and leader in directing new changes in the curriculum rather than maintainers of curriculum.
- Students need skills and for that purpose some subject matter must be included in the curriculum to help them in acquiring these skills like experimentation and the use of laboratory techniques so they advance the knowledge.
Psychological foundation is based on the individual differences, every student has its own unique personality and they have differences in their leering and skills. They are different in nature so they can’t be treated alike in teaching learning process, some may be fast learner while other slow. Therefore the curriculum should be based on the above facts, and it should be design to support the capacity and potentialities of all the students.
Psychology play a vital role in the teaching learning process it is the foundation for all type of educational related programmed. The methods of teaching, the selection of content of subject and the methods and theories of learning, the overall development of the students and to inculcate the norms of the society in the students. Psychology helps in all the processes above in the development process of the curriculum.
In the past curriculum for child development and learning was developed in traditional ways without keeping in view the psychological implication in the development of curriculum.
Today psychology is the core and foundation element of all the learning processes; curriculum development, Child mental development, teaching methods, learning theories, administration of education system and planning, character building of the students, attitude of students and teacher, the society, the use of different technologies.
Today the researchers and Scholars using experimental approach to find new ways of teaching learning process, how students learn under different conditions. They are finding new ways and materials from the analysis of teaching learning problem and formulating new approaches for teaching and learning process.
Psychology helps in all fields of education, it not just add to knowledge, psychology is applied in practical class room situation as well as in the curriculum development process by defining teaching methods and origination of the
In the process of using psychology in curriculum development process some positive concepts or ideas about teaching learning process emerged, it is reflected in the work produced by different authors.
• The traditional readiness concept for a difficult subject which require children maturity has been rejected by the modern researchers, now the researchers formed a new principle that the child can teach any subject on the condition that it provided keeping in view the principle of from simple to complex and that the students have the previous experience.
• When the importance is given to basic concepts and the process of inquiry for teaching learning and curriculum development process the transfer of learning and future learning are improved.
• the guided discovery of the relationships in the student learning outcomes, subject matter and in teaching methods play a very important role in the teaching learning process compare to those approaches in which the curriculum planner used the views and conclusions of other for developing curriculum.
- The Interest and motivation level of the students may be generated using the discovery method within the subject itself, the content of the subject should be interesting and appealing to generate curiosity in the students to find more. In this way the student engage in finding the relationships in the subject matter presented to him, and engage the students in the process of inquiry.
- Meaningful conversation involves the students in the organizing or structuring of facts into conceptual system which help the students to generate new ideas, make new interpretations and raise new questions.
- The researchers prefer the use of inductive methods because it helps in the discovery through inquiry and help in the formulating of hypotheses and interpretation of information.
- To study a topic in depth or more helpful in the discovering the relationships between them than try to cover the whole material in once.
- The Depth of learning could be attained by applying different ideas, processes, theories, and models.
- Learning is improved when there is relationship order in the continuity of unit to unit from simple to complex in the instruction programme.
- The solving of problems helps the students in acquiring the concept development, and how to use different principles which lead the students to a higher level of mental development.
- It put emphasis on the organizing of ideas which helps the students to develop the skills to identify the relationships, improves their skills, remembers and retrieves old ideas; it provides a foundation for generating new ideas and concepts, and helps in the transfer of learning.
Therefore it is said that the impact of psychological sources on the foundations of curriculum is more than significant and still on the rise. The scope of the psychology for applying in curriculum construction and its principles, concepts, processes. The role of psychology in the development of curriculum is vast and with each day it is becoming increasingly more meaningful and unavoidable.
The purpose of psychology and psychologist is the study of human behavior, the study of living being. Investigate and explain the behavior of animate creatures. Therefore, curriculum needs educational psychology to provide information particularly in five areas:
• Prepare objectives of education.
- Characteristics of the students.
- The leaning processes.
- The methods of Teaching.
Socio Cultural Foundation
According to Murray print (1993). The society and culture exercise massive powers on the formation curriculum and the reason behind that it was society who created schooling to safeguard the survival of their cultural heritage, and survival of their species.
The purpose of curriculum planner and developers to translate traditional norms, philosophies, ethics, knowledge and attitudes in the objectives of curriculum, the content, learning processes and the evaluation of elements of the curriculum. Sociological factors have highest impact on the content of curriculum and that is the reason that curriculum developers and planner both reflect and transfer their own culture in curriculum. Therefore a curriculum without the reflection of culture is not possible for that reason one should consider what characteristic of the culture should be the part of curriculum and what not.
The social and cultural inspirations that affect curriculum designers consciously and unconsciously are apparent from the curriculum and their influence is deep. For example in Pakistan the curriculum is more reflective of the society and curriculum is design in a way that leads society to change. The society manifest through the curriculum and education, and the outcomes of the curriculum developers display the role of both of the above in curriculum development.
Because curriculum developers are the part of the society therefore they indirectly effected by the society and culture. Their cultural standards, attitudes and beliefs leave deep impact on the individuals because the curriculum designers influence the selection of objectives, subject matter, teaching learning methods and the process of evaluation.
Example: A group of teacher formulated a new course for teaching in schools to enhance the quality of the subject in curriculum. After the completion of the subject matter when analyze again one could not determine some lesson were eliminated and some were included in the course, how the old content was evaluated even the teacher who constructed the curriculum for the subject was unable to clearly say what was the basis of their decisions. If story reading was a component of the revised curriculum, what proportion would be real reading? And Why? And what would be the method for the assessment of that lesson? What stories were selected and why these are questions need to be asked from the curriculum developers
on the other hand, may be curriculum developers are well aware of society needs and they have planned intention to incorporate all those things in the curricula which the society need in the curriculum but the question is that the curriculum should student centered or society. Curriculum should be a tool for guiding the student’s potentialities in directions or to develop those potentialities without any restrictions.
Some Social values, changes and conditions are included into some extent in some of the curriculum projects in the context of current social issues and problems, such as rapid growth of population, democratic values, urbanization, and management problems could be found in proposed program. Some vital problems and topics are considered in relation to concepts and key ideas drawn from the disciplines.
In another way in which the social situation is used as a source of content and information for the curriculum formulation may be found in the present-day situations that are selected to light up the concepts and main ideas from the selected disciplines e.g. In mathematics program there may be some problems of social significance, for which student may use mathematical concepts to solve the problem. Or in others societal science program, socially important situations may be used to encompass and expand concepts and generalizations.
Therefore it can be concluded, that social and cultural forces have deep effect upon the curriculum. To find how much and to which degree the society and culture affect the education system of that society is controversial issue. Curriculum developer are the part of that society and culture therefore they should keep in mind that there decision could affect their culture and society. Therefore their decision should be culturally related to the society need and values
Guideline given by Rud Yard (1969) related to curriculum planning decision-making, it derived from societal needs and goals.
- The goals of education emerge from the needs and wishes of the society
- When a society urge a need or a goal it becomes an educational objective and the school accepted that demand and they attempt to attain that goal by putting it into school objectives.
And when a societal goal become an educational objective then the school, teacher and student must make their efforts to achieve it and for that purpose appropriate educational facilities and methods must be planned.
If there is a conflict between the objectives and aims of majority and minority groups, the aims of larger group is accepted.
Educational aims are based on the study of sociological and political condition of the society and the main purpose of the curriculum is preservation and advancement of the that society
- Role of curriculum in achievements of nations.
- Guides future plans
- Factors that influence development of nation e.g. unity
- Eliminates the useless traditions.
Role of the History of curriculum in the development of curriculum
History of the curriculum plays a very important role in the development of the nation. It takes long and tedious time to formulate a good curriculum which represents the need of the society and the experiences of the past. The history of the curriculum tell the curriculum planner how to develop and modify the curriculum, what to teach and what should be the core material of the subjects, what objectives they want to achieve through the curriculum. History also tell them how the teacher should teach, what are the best practices they need to incorporate in curriculum teaching and what kind of teaching need to be avoid.
The history of the curriculum also explains the teacher psychology at different time and how to improve their teaching styles. The history also provides a detail about the learner behavior at different times. It also provides information about the psychology of the students, how they learn and what they want to learn. In times curriculum changed its shapes and patterns from teacher center curriculum to learner center curriculum due to the long history of the curriculum development process from Plato to modern curriculum. the history of the curriculum also changed the teaching methods, now every researcher are finding new ways to teach and it is also becoming the part of curriculum an history.
Today majority of the develop countries are those countries who have a long history of freedom and proper education system. They achieved their successes through education and implementation of time needed curriculum. They modified their curriculum according to the need of time. Some of newly born countries also achieved that status because they adopted successful model of other developed countries and modified according to their own needs and culture.
History Guides future plans
The history of the curriculum guides the future plans because curriculum is always based on the future demands of the country and the lesson learned through history, tell the curriculum developer not to repeat the mistake of the past and develop a curriculum which is based on the future need of the society and international demands. History is the profile of past successes and failures.
History helps in the eliminations of useless traditions
The history of education tells the curriculum developer what not to include in the curriculum. What of lessons can bring no good to the curriculum and what type of contents material are good for the teaching learning process, so history of the curriculum eliminate all those useless traditions from the modern curriculum and help the developer to incorporate what is needed for the curriculum.
A short history of the curriculum and curriculum development process
Plato was the earliest most important Greek Philosopher and educational thinker. Plato thinks education as a key for a society and he stress on education, for this purpose he want to go to the extreme level even removing children from their mothers and rise them by the state, he want to identify the skills of the children and give them proper education for that particular skill which they have so they could be become a suitable member of the society and fulfil their duty in society.
Plato describes different stages of education in his republic. According to Plato the education of child should be start at the age of seven year and before this stage the child should stay with their mother or elders and learn moral education from them.
After the age of six years both girls and boys should be separated and boys should play with boys and girls with girls and they should be taught the use of different arms to both sexes. This stage goes up to the age of seventeen years. During these years they should teach them music and early education. After the age of seventeen years the youth should be brought to battle field to learn real life experiences.
The fourth stage start at the age of twenty five to thirty years and in this age they get the training of Mathematical calculation and last for another ten years, after the completion the selected one’s are admitted in the study of dialect.
During fifth stage they study dialect for another five years and after that, at the sixth stage one is ready to become a ruler and philosopher and the one enter in practical life.
The 11th century was a dark era for education. Few people in Western Europe were receiving any kind of schooling and across the globe; contributions were being made to the future of education. In China, printing by movable type was invented in 1045, and proved to be one of the most powerful inventions of this era which affect the curriculum development process and bring huge change in the improvement of curriculum and contents of the curriculum around the world. With future educational systems focusing on the written word, the invention of type printing set the path for future publications. The first paper mill was built in France in 1338. Paper was a Chinese invention (c. 600 AD), brought to Europe by the Arabs in the 11th century.
The great educator of Islam, Imam Ghazali was born in 1059 AD near Tus in Khurasan, a part of the then Persia.
His educational philosophy based on his personal experience. The philosophy, which he formulated over a period of 10 years, resembles to the Philosophy of Plato. He used his personal experience and concluded the reasons
According to Ghazali, there are four categories of Knowledge;
3. Philosophers/scholars 4. Preachers
Ghazali strongly criticizes the curriculum of his time. He raises the basic question of criteria for selection of subject matter for curriculum. He studied the various curriculums in his times and reached the following conclusions:
. More time is spent on religious education and worldly education is completely ignores
. Worldly education is equally important
. While teaching religious education, a great number of differences arise among the teachers, which result in mudslinging on each other
There is no Prioritization and it is only left to the interest and opinions of the teachers to concentrate on certain subjects, while ignore others.
. No place for character building in curriculum
Ghazali included industrial education, textile, agriculture, tailoring and hair cutting in the curriculum
Methods of Teaching and Techniques:
Ghazali has recommended the following teaching methods and techniques, which are based on psychological principles. These methods and techniques are widely used and educators all over the world agree with their usefulness and today they are the foundation of curriculum development process.
• Teaching of lessons to be based on previous knowledge and experience of the students.
• Teachers should simplify the difficult concepts by stories, tales etc. otherwise his teaching will not be effective
Move from simple to complex.
This is a very important principle of today curriculum which was presented by Ghazali at those times. History of curriculum laid down the basic foundation of curriculum development
Ghazali stresses the importance of planning and advises that teachers should do his preparation before teaching to make it effective
Abilities of students:
Ghazali stresses that while teaching the abilities of students should be kept in mind. Concepts, which are above the mental level of the students, will not make the teaching effective. Today in modern curriculum teachers are asked to keep in mind the individual differences.
In the era of colonist, the colonist came to indo-pack and they set up schools exactly like the ones they knew in Europe. The curriculum was centered on the learning of letters, numbers, and prayers. Their strict learning environment did not allow for crafts nor recess breaks, and only one out of ten children attended school.
There were common characteristics shared by these colonies:
1. Religious Education; its major aim was personal salvation
2 Education was centered on social class, dual system or class system. The children of workers should have minimal primary education, they learned the 4 R's (reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion
3 With the exception of few Schools, education was only for boys
4 Most children in colonial times received their education through informal means such as the family, the farm, and the shop.
Changes in educational philosophy and curriculum came about in this era as well. In 1901, John Dewey wrote The Child and the Curriculum, and later Democracy and Education, in which he shows concern for the relationship between society and education. Dewey was a philosopher, psychologist, and educator.
His philosophy of education focused on learning by doing rather than rote memorization. He criticized the old education system which keeps students busy. From Dewey’s educational philosophy came the emphasis on experience, activity, and problem-solving that helped to reshape our thinking about education and schooling.
Maria Montessori opened her first school in 1907. Maria Montessori was credited with developing a classroom without walls, manipulative learning materials, teaching toys, and programmed instruction. Many considered her to be the 20th century's leading advocate for early childhood education.
Anna Freud, Jean Piaget, Alfred Adler, and Erik Erikson studied under Montessori and made their own contributions to education and child psychology
The civil rights movement and technology change the face of the 20th century classroom.
In the 1990s, the computers invade the classroom around the world and now it the most important part of the curriculum.
In short history is the foundation of the modern curriculum
It focuses on:
• Job or market oriented curriculum
• Skill learning
The economical foundation of curriculum gives importance to the vocational aspect of the curriculum. The economic condition of a nation or a society guide the curriculum of the country, because the stakeholder of the education wants to employ such a curriculum which help them to build their economy and the people have better jobs when they finish their schooling. In this kind of situations the curriculum become job or market oriented. In this curriculum the curriculum developer gives importance to skills acquisition which is the demands of the time. Undeveloped nations try to prepare skill work force and send it to other countries for jobs
Here are some economical factor which influence the curriculum development process
- Allocation of funds
The financial condition of a country reflects its curriculum because without proper funding one can’t achieve the outcome of a good curriculum. It is the financial aspect of a country which guide them to adopt which type of curriculum, for example activity base or learner center curriculum need more money in the process of the implementation of the curriculum then subject matter curriculum
Because activity base and learner center curriculum need more space and money then subject matter, for that reason in Pakistan we adopted subject base curriculum because we have shortage of schools, classrooms in schools, trained teachers. In economical sound countries they have implemented all kind of curriculums in their schools according to the need of the school and that society. Without proper funding once can’t implement a good curriculum in the country and achieve the benefits of that curriculum.
Lack of resources due to finical constrains effect the developing and planning of the curriculum. What type of a curriculum should have to support it through proper funding? There are different factor in curriculum development, planning and implementation process which need financial support e.g.
Schools lack physical facilities including buildings, classrooms, furniture, Hostel, Play grounds, mats and even very basic necessities like blackboard, chalk, and charts.
Lack of other resources water, Fan, Electricity
Lack of skilled manpower
The lack of skilled manpower due to financial restrains, without proper financial support it is hard to train the people to support the teaching learning process. Only through proper funding and the establishment of training institutions for teachers and support staff. Teachers are the core of education system and without proper training one can’t implement a curriculum and to support the curriculum one need to train the entire teacher on that style of curriculum. So the skills of the teachers also guide the direction of the curriculum, and to develop these skills in the teachers need funds.
Lack of labs due to financial problems
The lack of labs and libraries also affect the curriculum development process because without proper computer labs in cities and villages one can’t implement computer education curriculum all over the country. In the same way without proper libraries in all school one can’t implement a curriculum which needs supporting or reference books.
Also without proper health care system in the schools lot of activities can’t part of the curriculum due to the risk factor to the health of the students and teachers.
The overburden of the population is also one of the factors that affect the financial support of the curriculum development, lack of facilities and implementation of the curriculum in the country.
In short we can say that economic play a vital role in the curriculum development and implementation process in the country and it is the foundation of the successful curriculum, without a good economic background a country can’t afford a curriculum which needs huge financial support.