Post date: Mar 31, 2014 3:32:31 PM
Q1. National issues that commonly prompt curriculum change in educational system are:
a. Obsolete curriculum
b. Change in government and subsequent change policy
c. Systematic change, that is, transitioning educational curriculum
Q2. Stakeholders are those who have an interest in a particular decision, either an individual or the representative of group. This includes people, who influence a decision or can influence it, as well as those affected by it. Stakeholders in a in education reform and curriculum change are:
• Direct stakeholder
1. The teacher
2. The student
3. The parents
5. School staff
• Indirect stakeholder
7. Community leaders
8. Political leaders
The roles and interest of stakeholders in education reform and curriculum change:
1. The teacher: Planning and writing the curriculum are the primary role of teacher. A teacher is a curriculum maker. Teacher writes a curriculum daily through a lesson plan, unit plan or a yearly plan. Teachers addresses the goals, needs interests of the learner by creating experiences from where the students can learn. Teachers design, enriches and modifies the curriculum to suit the learners’ characteristics.
2. Learners are the primary stakeholders in the curriculum. Considerations must be made such as the physical, mental and emotional development, cultural background, aspiration and personal goals. The success of the curriculum revision can achieve by interest of the learner.
3. Parents as Supporters to the Curriculum change. How do parents shape the curriculum and why are they considered as stakeholders? Effective parental involvement in school affairs may be linked to parent educational program which is central to high quality educational experiences of the children. It results in better communication between home and school, in this case there will be lesser disciplinary problems, greater student motivation and more responsibility for learning. Thus results to greater academic achievement of students. Parents involvement extends from the confine of the school to the home. The parents follow up the lesson of their children and provides curriculum materials that are not provided in schools. They take permission for their children to participate in various activities outside the campus. In most schools the Parent Association is organized. In most cases parents association have strengthened the school curriculum and revision by giving support to various activities and assisting on the accomplishment of the school’s curriculum. It is called Parents Teacher Association.
4. The administrator: The school administrator is the Principal who is entrusted with the day to day running of the school. Based on his experience he provides information from the evaluation of curriculum for a change.
5. The supporting staff also makes contribution to curriculum change by way of suggestions and innovations.
6. The Government is the major decision and policy maker and hence curriculum revision to the dynamic society.
7. The community leaders are the custodians of the cultural heritage. Curriculum change must have regard for the society norms and belief.
8. The political leaders at helm of affairs make laws and take decisions on school issues including curriculum changes. Their decisions can transform the educational sector
9. Society as agent of change: The changing society may be the reason for the educational reform. For instance the high rate of employment has affected the curriculum by inclusion of vocations in the senior secondary.
Q3. Curriculum change is a complex and difficult process and requires careful planning, adequate time, funding and support and opportunities for teacher involvement. When a new curriculum is proposed it is important to consider two questions – whether it will offer significant benefits and whether it can be implemented successfully. In answering these questions, educational authorities should consider the critical factor of how different it is from the existing curriculum with which teachers are familiar. In many cases of unsuccessful curriculum change, the key factor is the level of difficulty they present to teachers.
Other potentially decisive issues will include the social and political influences which may lead to opposition and the likely financial and other resource implications of the proposed curriculum.
Feasibility studies may be informal or highly structured evaluation exercises which analyses the proposals in great detail and seek the views of stakeholders in and beyond the education system.
Feasibility studies are particularly important in determining the cost of effective curriculum design and implementation. In some contexts, education systems suffer from “initiative overload”; teachers may be weary as a result of constant change and morale may be low. Under these circumstances, a feasibility study can effectively and efficiently establish the value of curriculum change and identify potential problems in implementation.
Q4. Suggested ways of managing/dealing with conflict and resistance as well as mobilizing support for proposed change in curriculum.
Piloting and evaluation
In recent decades there has been a growing demand for empirical data to justify new curriculum prior to wide scale implementation. The demand has arisen, in part, from the high financial cost of curriculum development and implementation. It is important that empirical evidence is gathered to demonstrate the quality of a curriculum and to test its practicality and utility in a “real world” setting. Piloting in this sense is a dimension of curriculum evaluation.
Lewey has identified three phases of curriculum “tryout”. Each phase will adopt successively more formal evaluation methods in order to provide more reliable findings:
- Laboratory tryout: The first phase may begin as formative evaluation very early in the curriculum development process in what is sometimes described as “laboratory tryouts”. Here elements of the curriculum may be tested with individuals or small groups. Responses of learners are observed and modifications to the curriculum materials may be suggested.
- Pilot tryout: A “pilot tryout” may begin in a school setting as soon as a complete, albeit, a preliminary version of a course is available. Curriculum development team members may take the role of the teacher. The purpose of this phase is to identify if it is possible to implement the curriculum, if changes are needed, what conditions are required to ensure success.
- Field tryout: When a revised version is completed based on the findings of the pilot tryout, “field tryouts” may be conducted by teachers in their classrooms without the direct involvement of the development team. This exercise attempts to establish whether the program may be used without the ongoing support of the team and to demonstrate the merits of the program to potential users.
Q5. Examples of sensitive or challenging curriculum policy issues in Nigeria are:
a. Gender balance
b. Introduction of major languages (Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo.)
c. Cultural belief
d. Religious knowledge (Christian religious knowledge/ Islamic religious knowledge)
e. Political inclination