Impact of Curriculum Development in shaping future

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Impact of Curriculum Development in shaping future


In the 21st century, scientific and technological achievements have become commonplace. Science and Technology allow an abundant supply of food and safe drinking water. People can travel the globe with relative ease, and bring goods and services wherever they are needed. Growing computer and communication technologies are opening up vast stores of knowledge, supporting not only economic growth and development, but also strengthening effective democracy and governance. Most of these scientific and technological breakthroughs have taken place in tertiary education institutions in more developed countries.

Contribution of the private sector is important, but cases in East Asia confirm that private sector usually invests in a given country when there is a core skills base to warrant return of the investments. The role of government in providing the critical mass of Science Technology & Innovation (STI) skills to attract local and foreign investors is essential.

Just as information technology has improved effectiveness in medicine, finance, manufacturing, and numerous other sectors of society, advanced computing and telecommunications have the potential to help students master complex 21st century skills. Research-based curriculum projects are developing technologies that enable online virtual communities of practice using advanced tools to solve real world problems. Learners engage in guided, reflective inquiry through extended projects that inculcate sophisticated concepts and skills and generate complex products. Pupils act as partners in developing learning experiences and generating knowledge, and students’ collaborative construction of meaning is enhanced via different perspectives on shared experiences. Simulation and visualization tools help students recognise patterns, reason qualitatively about physical processes, translate among frames of reference, and envision dynamic models. These curricular approaches curricular approaches improve success for all types of learners and may differentially enhance the performance of at-risk students.


In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard.

In The Curriculum, the first textbook published on the subject, in 1918, John Franklin Bobbitt said that curriculum, as an idea, has its roots in the Latin word for race-course, explaining the curriculum as the course of deeds and experiences through which children become the adults they should be, for success in adult society. Furthermore, the curriculum encompasses the entire scope of formative deed and experience occurring in and out of school, and not only experiences occurring in school; experiences that are unplanned and undirected, and experiences intentionally directed for the purposeful formation of adult members of society. But now-

‘Curriculum is the PIVOT of all activities within an educational institute’


A decade before the conference that Jerome Bruner writes about, Ralph Tyler (1949) published his classic text on curriculum development. It was organized around four questions:

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

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

3. How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction?

4. How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated?

This short volume, written to help educational institutions engage in curriculum building, called for the application of four corresponding principles in the development of any curriculum: defining goals, establishing corresponding learning experiences, organizing learning experiences to have a cumulative effect, and evaluating outcomes. Tyler’s principles were the accepted approach to curriculum development for almost 30 years, and they guide the essential questions of curriculum development today, though they now are applied to newer ideas and considerations that extend or reinterpret his principles.

What is Curriculum Development?

Curriculum development – what is it? It is the organized preparation of whatever is going to be taught in schools at a given time in a given year. They are made into official documents, as guides for teachers, and made obligatory by provincial and territorial departments.

Teachers use curricula when trying to see what to teach to students and when, as well as what the rubrics should be, what kind of worksheets and teacher worksheets they should make, among other things. It is actually up to the teachers themselves how these rubrics should be made, how these worksheets should be made and taught; it’s all up to the teachers. In a practical understanding, though, there is no concrete way to say what methodology is right to use. But it is also true that the way in which a certain topic is taught habitually resolves what is actually taught. This is why it is required to make a distinction between the official or planned curriculum and the de facto curriculum; the one that is formal and the one that is actually taught in schools.

Another topic to be discussed in this article about what curriculum development is that in the year 1959, there gathered at Woods Hole on Cape Cod a group of 35 scientists, educators, and scholars with the intention of conversing about how to improve science education, with the purpose of “examining the fundamental procedure concerned in passing on to students a intellect of the matter and technique of science” ‘(Bruner, 1960, p. xvii)’ (taken from a Curriculum Development report done by Judith Howard of the Department of Education in Elon University) They met for ten days, decided on themes and ideas about education that would have major implications for both science education and also for education in general. In the book, The Process of Education, Jerome Bruner discussed an account of the more important themes and conclusions that had emerged from that meeting. The chapter which discusses the importance of structure is one which speaks most directly about the development of curriculum, though the whole book is worth reading and rereading.

Meaning of Interpretation

The act or process of interpreting or explaining something; the result of interpreting; an explanation; a particular view of an artistic work; explanation, as of the environment, a historical site, etc, provided by the use of original objects, personal experience, visual display material, etc is interpretation.

Other says interpretation is allocation of significance to the terms of a purely formal system, by specifying ranges for the variables, denotations for the individual constants, etc; a function from the formal language to such elements of a possible world ‘interpretational (adj)’.

An interpretation is an assignment of meaning to the symbols of a language. Many formal languages used in mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science are defined in solely syntactic terms, and as such do not have any meaning until they are given some interpretation. The general study of interpretations of formal languages is called formal semantics.

The most commonly studied formal logics are propositional logic, predicate logic and their modal analogs, and for these there are standard ways of presenting an interpretation. In these contexts an interpretation is a function that provides the extension of symbols and strings of symbols of an object language. For example, an interpretation function could take the predicate T (for “tall”) and assign it the extension {a} (for “Abraham Lincoln”). Note that all our interpretation does is assign the extension {a} to the non-logical constant T, and does not make a claim about whether T is to stand for tall and ‘a’ for Abraham Lincoln. Nor does logical interpretation have anything to say about logical connectives like ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘not’. Though we may take these symbols to stand for certain things or concepts, this is not determined by the interpretation function.

An interpretation often (but not always) provides a way to determine the truth values of sentences in a language. If a given interpretation assigns the value True to a sentence or theory, the interpretation is called a model of that sentence or theory.

Principles of Science Curriculum

All the definitions of Curriculum Design support the view that curriculum is an educational approach that prepares children for lifelong learning. There is a strong belief among those who support curriculum integration that schools must look at education as a process for developing abilities required by life in the twenty-first century, rather than discrete, departmentalized subject matter. In general, all of the definitions of curriculum include:

  • A combination of subjects
  • An emphasis on projects
  • Sources that go beyond textbooks
  • Relationships among concepts
  • Thematic units as organizing principles
  • Flexible schedules
  • Flexible student groupings.

Principles of Science Curriculum Design

J. J. Squibb (1962 A.D.):

1. Inquiry Related Subject;

2. Creative Subject;

3. Design Making Ability: Introductory Subject (Social Science).

Frairie Robin & Coheel (1978)

1. Health and Biology;

2. SEX Education;

3. Applied Science;

4. Technology.

Now-A-Days Education Specialists Say-

  • To give Importance to the Backward Students;
  • To Design a Curriculum is the Work of A Skilled Group such as-
      • Subject Specialists;
      • Teacher Trainer;
      • Psychologists;
      • School Administrators;
      • Managers;
      • Supervisors;
      • Class Teachers.
  • To Signify the Attitude, Value, Belief etc. of the Target Group.
  • To Create New Ideas about HRD.
  • To Ensure Health & Education for All.
  • Ensure Quality among Environment, Population and Development.
  • Increasing Scientific Literacy.
  • Taking Measures to Expand Science & Technology Education.
  • To Develop the Knowledge of Education, Science and Technology by Regional Cooperation.

The idea of curriculum is hardly new – but the way we understand and theorize it has altered over the years – and there remains considerable dispute as to meaning. It has its origins in the running/chariot tracks of Greece. It was, literally, a course. In Latin curriculum was a racing chariot; currere was to run.

A useful starting point for us here might be the definition offered by John Kerr and taken up by Vic Kelly in his standard work on the subject. Kerr defines curriculum as, ‘All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school. This gives us some basis to move on – and for the moment all we need to do is highlight two of the key features:

Learning is planned and guided. We have to specify in advance what we are seeking to achieve and how we are to go about it. The definition refers to schooling. We should recognize that our current appreciation of curriculum theory and practice emerged in the school and in relation to other schooling ideas such as subject and lesson.

In what follows we are going to look at four ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice:

1. Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.

2. Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.

3. Curriculum as process.

4. Curriculum as praxis.

It is helpful to consider these ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice in the light of Aristotle’s influential categorization of knowledge into three disciplines: the theoretical, the productive and the practical.

Curriculum as process-

We have seen that the curriculum as product model is heavily dependent on the setting of behavioral objectives. The curriculum, essentially, is a set of documents for implementation. Another way of looking at curriculum theory and practice is via process. In this sense curriculum is not a physical thing, but rather the interaction of teachers, students and knowledge. In other words, curriculum is what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate. What we have in this model is a number of elements in constant interaction. It is an active process and links with the practical form of reasoning set out by Aristotle.

Teachers enter particular schooling and situations with an ability to think critically; -in-action an understanding of their role and the expectations others have of them, and a proposal for action which sets out essential principles and features of the educational encounter. Guided by these, they encourage conversations between, and with, people in the situation out of which may come thinking and action. They continually evaluate the process and what they can see of outcomes.

Perhaps the two major things that set this apart from the model for informal education are first, the context in which the process occurs (‘particular schooling situations’); and second, the fact that teachers enter the classroom or any other formal educational setting with a more fully worked-through idea of what is about to happen. Here I have described that as entering the situation with ‘a proposal for action which sets out essential principles and features of the educational encounter’.

This form of words echoes those of Lawrence Stenhouse (1975) who produced one of the best-known explorations of a process model of curriculum theory and practice. He defined curriculum tentatively: ‘A curriculum is an attempt to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice’. He suggests that a curriculum is rather like a recipe in cookery.

It can be criticized on nutritional or gastronomic grounds – does it nourish the students and does it taste good? – And it can be criticized on the grounds of practicality – we can’t get hold of six dozen larks’ tongues and the grocer can’t find any ground unicorn horn! A curriculum, like the recipe for a dish, is first imagined as a possibility, then the subject of experiment. The recipe offered publicly is in a sense a report on the experiment. Similarly, a curriculum should be grounded in practice. It is an attempt to describe the work observed in classrooms that it is adequately communicated to teachers and others. Finally, within limits, a recipe can varied according to taste. So can a curriculum.

Stenhouse shifted the ground a little bit here. He was not saying that curriculum is the process, but rather the means by which the experience of attempting to put an educational proposal into practice is made available. The reason why he did this, I suspect, is that otherwise there is a danger of widening the meaning of the term so much that it embraces almost everything and hence means very little. For example, in a discussion of the so-called ‘youth work curriculum’ (Newman & Ingram 1989), the following definition was taken as a starting point: ‘those processes which enhance or, if they go wrong, inhibit a person’s learning’. This was then developed and a curriculum became: ‘an organic process by which learning is offered, accepted and internalized’ (Newman & Ingram 1989: 1). The problem with this sort of definition, as Robin Barrow (1984) points out, is that what this does is to widen the meaning of the term to such an extent that it just about becomes interchangeable with ‘education’ itself. More specifically, if curriculum is process then the word curriculum is redundant because process would do very nicely!

The simple equation of curriculum with process is a very slap-happy basis on which to proceed.

We also need to reflect on why curriculum theory and practice came into use by educators (as against policy-makers). It was essentially as a way of helping them to think about their work before, during and after interventions; as a means of enabling educators to make judgments about the direction their work was taking. This is what Stenhouse was picking up on.

We have explored four different approaches to curriculum theory and practice:

Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted.

Curriculum as an attempt to achieve certain ends in students – product.

Curriculum as process.

Curriculum as praxis.

In a number of respects these different bodies of curriculum theory and practice link to the four main forces in North American curriculum-making in the twentieth century: the liberal educators; the scientific curriculum makers; the developmental/person-centered; and the social meliorists (those that sought more radical social change).

the liberal educators the scientific curriculum makers the develop- mentalists the social meliorists Orientation Guardians of an ancient tradition tied to the power of reason and the finest elements of the Western cultural heritage Human life consists in the performance of specific activities. Education that prepares for life is one that prepares definitely and adequately for these specific activities. The natural order of development in the child was most significant and scientifically defensible basis for determining what should be taught Schools as a major, perhaps the, principal force for social change and social justice Curriculum Systematic development of reasoning power and the communication of ‘the canon’. Influenced by the rise of scientific management and notions of social efficiency. Focus on setting objectives (the statement of changes to take place in the students) and the organization of schooling to meet these. Sought a curriculum in harmony with the child’s ‘real’ interests, needs and learning patterns Corruption and vice, inequalities of race and gender, and the abuse of privilege and power should be addressed directly. With the aim of rising a new generation equipped to deal effectively with these abuses. Key thinkers Charles W. Taylor Franklin Bobbitt and Ralph W. Tyler G. Stanley Hall Lester Frank Ward Linked to transmission product process praxis We shouldn’t push the similarities too far – but there are some interesting overlaps – and this does alert us both to the changing understanding and to shifting policy orientations over time. For the moment we have to operate within a policy environment that prizes the productive and technical. Furthermore, the discourse has become so totalizing that forms of education that do not have a curricula basis are squeezed. The temptation is always there to either be colonized by curriculum theory or adopt ways of describing practice that do not make sense in terms of the processes and commitments involved. Kleibart’s analysis provides us with some hope – things will change. However, there is no guarantee that they will move in a more edifying direction. Tyler, R. W. (1949) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Important discussion of product-oriented curriculum building. The process is clear from the chapter titles: what educational purposes should the school seek to attain? How can learning experiences be selected which are likely to be useful in attaining these objectives? How can learn experiences be organized for effective instruction? How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated? How a school or college staff may work on curriculum building. Wragg, T. (1997) The Cubic Curriculum, London: Routledge. 120 + x pages. Put aside the naff title – this book provides an accessible model of curriculum building that attempts to incorporate a ‘vision of the future’; a recognition that there are escalating demands on citizens, a belief that (children’s) learning must be inspired by several influences; and lastly that it is essential to see the curriculum as much more than a mere collection of subjects and syllabuses. Wragg’s ‘cubic curriculum’ has three dimensions: subject matter; cross-curricular themes and issues that influence children’s general development; and the different methods of teaching and learning that can be employed. The concern is to provide a model for practice – so the book is a bit lightweight with regard to competing conceptualizations of curriculum and alternatives to curriculum.

Access and Equity in Sc Education-

Getting clear the purposes of science and technology education may be the first step towards meeting the challenges in the Perth declaration, but a second step is to ensure that the curricula that follow are open to all students in terms of access and equity.

In many countries there are still restrictions that prevent many students having access to quality science education. In some cases this is part of the more general issue of access and equity to schooling itself, but in other cases it relates to unequal access for some specific groups or to more subtle equity issues.

In countries where primary schooling only is the level that is available to all, policy makers must direct their attention to resources and assistance to their primary teachers so that they can include basic science and technology in the primary curriculum. There are so many useful S&T notions and practices that these young students can then feed back into their families and carry with them into their lives in society. An example of how focused teacher support can overcome extreme limitations of physical resources for teaching science is to be found in a beautiful book, One Pencil to Share, written by a number of South African primary teachers in rural settings. It is in a number of these countries also that social traditions and conditions often still act to the disadvantage of girls gaining this all important level of education. Policy makers need to offer family support that enables the full participation by girls in primary education.


A Supplement to Planning Curriculum in Science

This section is designed to assist the teacher of science to make decisions about science instruction before working with students. This section is intended to be informative.

Ultimately, final instructional decisions should be made using the local district’s science curriculum and program.

The grade-level foundations in this section are intended to be a helpful tool for district science committees in the process of making decisions about science concepts that should be included in a K–9 science curriculum. These foundations might also be useful to district committees developing grade-specific concepts that will make up the district’s curriculum or scope and sequence. While extensive, the document is not intended to be exhaustive.

Curricular details reside at the local level.

When using this section, it is important to note that the content reflects the work of the committee only, and may or may not be in agreement with a particular district’s textbook scope and sequence or the district’s existing science scope and sequence. As the committee developed the science foundations, the committee drew information from Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards in Science, which are linked throughout the section, and the Assessment Framework for Science. On the pages that follow, science concepts are organized by grade, beginning with kindergarten. The tables under each grade include the following:

Part 1:

a) Tables list the concepts for the nature of science, grade specific science concepts, habits of mind in science, and examples of the science classroom in action.

b) Science concepts for each grade are presented in the traditional sequence of life, earth, and physical science. The big ideas for those concepts are also included.

c) Wisconsin’s state science standards are linked to the foundations in this section.

Part 2:

a) This part is a repeat of Section 1, Part A.

b) This part shows the relationship of the science concepts to the big ideas for life, earth, and physical science and illustrates that relationship.

c) Uniquely found in this section are the page number references to the Curriculum Topic Study for Section 2, Parts A & B.

Part 3:

a) Repeated in the section are the science concepts for each grade.

Planning and developing in Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh recognizes that education is an important prerequisite for ensuring sustainable development. The country’s constitution obligates the State to provide basic education to citizens and eradicate illiteracy within a given time frame. As a signatory to the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990); World Conference on Children’s Rights (New York, 1990); and the EFA Summit Conference of Nine High-Population Countries (New Delhi, 1993), Bangladesh is committed to the eradication of illiteracy by the year 2006. As a result of both government and private efforts over the last two decades, some important improvements have occurred in the primary education sector. More than 95% of children aged 6 to 10 years are admitted to primary schools and the drop-out rate are now only 38%. The literacy rate for the population over 15 currently stands at 56%, in comparison to 1971 post-liberation figures reflecting a rate of only 22% for that same group. During the past twenty-five years, considerable improvements have also taken place in secondary education.

However, although Bangladesh has experienced quantitative educational improvement, the qualitative aspects of education have become a cause of government concern. Steps have been taken to address educational quality and it is in this larger context that curriculum has come to play a crucial role. In order to place in proper perspective some of the key issues and actions taken to improve educational quality, a brief overview of primary and secondary education structures and of curriculum development is provided below.

In 1982, the National Curriculum Development Centre merged with the Textbook Board to form the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB). The NCTB currently serves as the national curriculum agency for the country as a whole and has been entrusted with curriculum and instructional materials development activities from pre-primary to pre-university level.

The tasks of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board include:

l. Completion of curriculum revision for all primary grades;

2. Field trials as well as the production of teaching learning materials for classes I-V, including pupil assessment schemes; revision of the curriculum in education and the curriculum for pre-service education and training of primary school teachers;

3. Introduction of revised curriculum and materials for classes I-V in the school system throughout the country;

4. Development of supplementary/complementary teaching aids (i.e. charts, maps, reading-learning materials, kits, video films, etc.);

5. Organization of experimental and innovative activities in the content of primary education;

6. Development of the capacity to address women’s development issues;

7. Provision of technical support to other institutions in developing curriculum and establishing linkages between formal, non-formal, religious education streams;

8. Development of training packages and participation in the training programmes for dissemination of revised primary curriculum;

9. Monitoring and evaluation of the training programmed and development of reinforcement materials;

10. Development of motivational materials for media coverage;

11. Revision of Junior Secondary Curriculum and materials in line with the revised primary curriculum and field trials;

12. Review of existing secondary curriculum and development of a plan of action for modification.

Some of the major deficiencies in curriculum development in Bangladesh include: (a) lack of professional expertise in the development of modern curriculum, both in the NCTB and nationally; (b) lack of a solid research base providing assessment information about the previous curriculum and the areas needing revision; and (c) insufficient curriculum emphasis on such competencies as understanding, comprehension and application.


· As a first priority, policy makers should consider what are the educational purposes that science and technology education can best provide for students as they move through the stages of schooling.

· The establishment of a curriculum research section is urgently needed for effective curriculum development.

· Lack of expertise is also a fundamental problem. Reviews of the capacity of the NCTB by different institutions in Bangladesh have repeatedly highlighted the lack of trained professional curriculum developers.


Although growth in the primary and secondary education sectors in Bangladesh is quite satisfactory, the quality of education is not. However, the country is striving hard to achieve this quality and, in this context, many efforts have been undertaken with the help of domestic and expatriate experts to improve the curriculum.


1. Development data group, World Bank.

2. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Division, Ministry of Planning, 1989, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2008.

3. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 11, Issue 1, Article 5, p.6 (Jun., 2010)