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External and Divine Sources

• Curriculum design should be intended to perpetuate society.

• It should pass on the significance of values and personal morality.

• Includes divine will, eternal truth from religious documents.

• Has little influence in public schools primarily due to the mandated separation of religious institutions and state. However, to many private and parochial schools, this source of curriculum is still valid and has a major influence.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 1. Name the different sources of curriculum designs.

2. How does curriculum design operate on different levels?

• What gets taught?

• What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?

' • How can learning experiences be selected that are likely to be useful in attaining these objectives?

• How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction?

• How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated?'

Curriculum is a cumulative process and the experiences in the school exert its influences on the learner like the ways water dripping on a stone wears it away. Knowledge and skills are not duplicated, but instead, are taught sequentially over time. Skills-based or competency-based instruction draws upon a traditionalist approach to curriculum, with students mastering a particular set of skills or processes in a logical instructional progression.

Advantages of subject-centered curriculum

Advantages of subject-centered curriculum are as follows:

• It has traditional approach, which is liked by students as they are used to it and it fits in their idea of what a school should be.

• Learning distinct skills in a step-by-step process leads to traditional testing.

• Test scores can be effortlessly quantified and explained to funders as program outputs.

• Program administrators can use the results of traditional tests to validate their program's accomplishments.

• Whatever the students learn, they learn well.

• They do not have to wait for a class to start or fit it in their timetables, particularly in case of adult learners.

Disadvantages of subject-centered curriculum

Disadvantages of subject-centered curriculum are as follows:

• Learners spend time learning what is in the text instead of learning to think for them.

• The information is partitioned; where it should be included in other studies.

4.3.2 Learner-centred Curriculum

Student-centred learning also known as child-centred learning is an approach of education. It focusses on the requirement of students, rather than of others involved in the educational process like teachers and administrators.

Implications of learner-centred curriculum

• The curriculum is focussed on the needs of students and so the subject taught would be geared to the specific requirements of the students.

• It is focussed on student needs, abilities, interests and learning styles with the teacher as a facilitator.

• Students are also responsible for their own learning.

• Students participate in discovery learning processes.

• Students construct new knowledge and are proactive.

• Hands on activities are designed to facilitate student learning.

• Students are able to achieve life long learning goals, which enhance motivation and acts as an incentive to learning.

• Students learnto reflect on their work and so develop self-regulatory practices.

• Students are involved in knowledge production and not just rote learning.

• The multiple intelligence theory that studies student learning styles is very much a part of this method.

Advantages of learner-centred curriculum

The advantages of learner-centred curriculum are as follows:

• It strengthens student motivation.

• It promotes peer communication.

• It reduces disruptive behaviour.

• It builds student-teacher relationships.

• It promotes discovery/active learning.

This approach has changed the educator's methods and the way student's learning is innovative and is to a large extent also impacted by the teacher's mind set. When a teacher allows his student to make enquiries; he sets the stage for his academic success. Successful learning takes place when the students are folly engaged. The teacher's goal is to make new interpretations of the learning material. This is closely related to James Henderson's three basic principles of democratic living, which are as follows:

Subject learning: Students learn better if the subject matter is thoughtfully presented.

Self-learning: One should engage himself in the generative process.

Social learning: Social interaction with various groups develops generosity.

According to V.Y. Gotsky 'Learning is oriented towards developmental level that have already been reached. It is ineffective from the view point of the child's overall development as it does not aim for a new stage of developmental process but rather lags behind this process.' In short, instruction is planned to access a developmental level, which is measurable to the student's current stage in development.

Disadvantages of student-centred curriculum

Cannot help everyone: There are some extremes like the intellectually handicapped, or those impaired in a certain area e.g. dyslexia or those who are severely gifted, e.g. who can read Shakespeare at the age of three cannot be helped via student-centered curriculum.

The Internet as a classroom and community: Usage of Internet without supervision is not healthy. Discovering useful links to areas of interest through search engines is usually, but not always a useful thing to do. It entails to be supervised.

Thoughts about discipline: The concept of discipline is not as prominent in student-centered curriculum as it should be; because the basic aim of discipline is to gradually teach children to internalize it.

4.3.3 Undifferentiated and Differentiated

Differentiated approaches to curriculum development

When there are several stages in an outcome-based curriculum development, it is characterized as being differentiated. This type of curriculum development can be witnessed in countries that follow the IVET (Initial Vocational Education and Training) programmes in mainstream institutions and are closely associated with general education to a certain extent. This suggests that IVET curriculum is inclusive of general or academic knowledge, although the level needed may be lower than that of the entire academic programmes. For example, Sweden, where the IVET programme is a part of the national curriculum.

Undifferentiated approaches to curriculum development

In the undifferentiated approach, there are a few recognizable changes during curriculum development. The undifferentiated approach deals with curricula that serve different programmes which basically cater to learners who have already completed national curriculum. These programmes mainly emphasize on vocational learning that includes a small component of generic skills. General or academic knowledge is usually absent in these programmes. The programmes have a work-based character. The training programmes provided under the undifferentiated approach are not a part of upper secondary schools that also provide general education. These training programmes are conducted in special upper secondary vocational schools or post secondary institutions. This can be seen in United Kingdom at the NVQ Level 3 curriculums for travel services and in Ireland for professional cooking traineeship where the entire structuring of the design process is simple and undifferentiated.

In an undifferentiated classroom instruction only student similarities takes the core stage. In a differentiated classroom, commonalities are acknowledged and teaching and learning is built upon student differences.

At its most fundamental level, differentiating instruction means' shaking up' what goes on in the classroom so that students have numerous options for captivating information, making common sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn. In simple words, a differentiated classroom provides different avenues for acquiring content, processing or making sense of ideas to develop products.

Curriculum differentiation

Gifted students work through the curriculum at a quicker pace and requires less time on the basics and revision. Thus a differentiated curriculum is a programme of actions that offers a range of entry points for students who are at variance in abilities, knowledge and skills. In a differentiated curriculum teachers offer diverse approaches to whet students learn (content), how students learn (process) and how students demonstrate what they have learnt (product).

Differentiated instruction is Student-Centered: Learning experiences are considered to be most effectual when they are engaging, applicable, and interesting. But all learners do not have the same pace of leaning, teachers who make a distinction in instruction in mixed-ability classrooms try to find appropriately challenging learning experiences for all their students.

Differentiated instruction is Proactive: The teacher keeps in mind that different learners have differing needs therefore the teachers proactively proceeds with a variety of ways to 'get at' and express learning.

Differentiated instruction is more qualitative than quantitative: Adjusting the quantity of an assignment will generally be less effective than adjusting the nature of the assignment to match the needs of the students.

Differentiated instruction provides multiple approaches to content, process, and product: Teachers keeping in mind the nature of difference among the three, offers different approaches to what students learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they've learned

Differentiated instruction is a blend of whole: Class, group, and individual instruction

Differentiated instruction is organic: In a differentiated classroom, students and teachers learn together. Though teachers may know a little more about the subject matter at hand, they are constantly learning about how their students learn. Teachers assess students' readiness in a variety of ways, continuous association with students is compulsory to refine the learning opportunities so that they prove to be effective for each student. The nature of differentiated instruction is dynamic.

4.3.4 Problem-centered Design

Problem- centered design can be classified into

• Life Situation Design

• Core Design

• Social problems and Reconstructionist Design 1. Life Situation Design

Persistent life situations are vital to a society's functioning and therefore it makes sense to systematize and organize a curriculum around them. Students will see direct significance to what they are studying if the content is organized around the various aspects of community existence. By making the students study these social or life situations, they not only come to know the ways to improve society but also become directly involved in that development.


• Presents subject matter in an incorporated manner

• Motivates students to learn and apply problem solving procedure

• Helps students to determine scope and sequence of essential areas of learning


It does not expose student effectively to their culture 2. Core Design

Centers on all-purpose education and is based on problems arising out of common human activities Strengths

• Unified content

• Provides relevant subject matter

• Encourages active processing of information

• Develops democratic environment in the classroom Weaknesses

• It is non-traditional thus difficult in accepting

• Ignores the fundamentals

• Materials are hard to find

• Requires an exceptional teacher