OKO, BLESSING ELE BSU/VTE/M.SC/12/3737
Post date: Mar 31, 2014 3:38:01 PM
OKO, BLESSING ELE
ANSWERS TO GROUP B PAPER QUESTIONS
Briefly mention three national issues that commonly prompt and shape changes in the curriculum and education systems
Answer to 1
Someof the national issuesthatcommonlyprompt and shape changes in the curriculum and education system are as listed below
Ø Corruption on the part of those at the helm of affair of educational system: those at the helm of affair sometimes bring about a new curriculum so as to get benefit from the money set aside or approved for the implementation of the new curriculum.
Ø Change in government: this is another national issue that prompt changes in the curriculum and education system. As government comes and go, that is how each of them comes with their ideas and policies which leads to change in curriculum and the education system
Ø Change in societal need: the need of the society changes, that is how it affects the school curriculum and educational system since it’s meant to solve the problem of the society.
Who are the various participants or stakeholders involved in education reform and curriculum change and their respective roles and interests in policy formulation?
Participants of educational reform and curriculum change, their roles and interest are
Ø Departmental project leader/specialist: this set of people are expertise in the subject area/course under development, they act as liaisonwith groups. Their interest is to make sure that the there is no laps in the policy being formulated with regards to their area of specialisation.
Ø Inter-organisational curriculum advisory committee (ICAC): this organisation gives advice in the reform of education and curriculum change and their interest is to make sure that the new curriculum is better than the old one and also it solves the problem of the immediate society.
Ø Scholars: this are sets of people that knows everything about the subject matter and knows when it’s necessary for reform. Their aim is also to make sure that the right thing is done at the right time
Ø Industry representatives: this are people that represents industry’s in the institutions immediate society, they employ the product of the institution so they ought to detect what they are to be thought so as to be useful to them and also be marketable.
Ø Parents: parents know the needs of their children and this reform is for the benefit of these children. The interest of parents in curriculum change is to make sure that the change do not affect their words negatively but rather positively
Ø Educational organisations and society : this are organisations that are concerned with with educational matters, they partake in curriculum change so as to make sure that everything concerning the change is well carried out
Ø A qualified writer who has excellent oral and written communication skills and a background in the subject area/course under development.
What are potential problems and area of conflict that may arise from formulation and implementation of changes in the curriculum?
The problems and area of conflict that may arise from formulation and implementation of changes in the curriculum are listed below(Fullan 1994)
Ø Characteristics of the innovation itself: it is observed that the higher the need for the solutions the innovation proposes is, the better the chances the implementation is. A general feeling of need or the impression of need by some political body or by academia is not enough, rather this need must be perceived by the constituencies directly involved in the implementation. The innovation i.e. the curriculum being changed must possess the following
I. Need for clarity; practitioners of curriculum must be cleared about what they are expected to do differently
II. Need for complexity; this has to do with the amount of new skills,altered belief and different materials etc. needed by the innovation
III. Need for solution offered by a curriculum must not just be one among many others
IV. Quality and practicable; the curriculum standard must be high and it should be practicable
Ø Local characteristics: this has to do with the attitude of the following towards the formulation and implementation of the curriculum. If they have negative interest towards the previous curriculum, the implementation of the new one might be very easy but if they have positive attitude towards the previous curriculum as compared to the new one, it will be difficult to implement the new curriculum and also this will pose a problem. those involved in this category include,
I. Regional administrators; this has to do with the school administrators and their interest in the previous curriculum
II. Community characteristics; this involves the school board, they influence the school administrators and detect what they are supposed to do so their interest in the new curriculum matters
III. Contextual stability; makes a difference. It is much easier to successfully advance an implementation within a stable environment. "Marked social change usually disrupts reform projects that are already on the way." (Thomas 1994, p.1853)
Ø Organizational characteristics
Another crucial factor for implementation is the characteristics of the organization (e.g. the school) which is the venue for implementation, and, in particular, the role of the management, i.e. in the case of a school: the principal and the school management team. There is broad research evidence that principals, headpersons and school management teams cannot change schools just on their own, but that they are the single most influential group of persons to make change processes fail. "The principal is the most likely person to be in a position to shape the organizational conditions necessary for success such as the development of shared goals, collaborative work structures and climates, and procedures for monitoring results." (Fullan 1994, p.2842) Change processes are in need of the management's active support and participation – not necessarily as curriculum experts, but as initiators, as 'change leaders' (Fullan 1983, p.492).
Thus, the school leaders' level of commitment is a crucial feature: "The degree to which people are committed to a reform is reflected in the time and energy they devote to its implementation and in the extent to which they remain faithful to their role in the face of opposition and operational difficulties." (Thomas 1994, p.1852), Commitment is important at all levels of an educational hierarchy but particularly among the personnel at the top, so e.g. among school principals or top administrators of districts or ministers of education. They are in the position to give resources and impose both rewards and penalties, and they provide well-observed images for how seriously the innovation is to be taken.
Ø Government and other agencies
Priorities for education which arise from political forces, lobbying of interest groups and public concerns channel resources and gratification, "put pressure on local districts (sometimes to the point of mandates) and also provide various incentives for changing in the desired direction." (Fullan, 1994, p.2843) Its instruments are legislation, regional guidelines, incentives, sponsored projects etc. Fullan (ibid.) is critical of government agencies which all too often "have been preoccupied with policy and program adoption, and have vastly underestimated the problems and processes of implementation. The policy maker and the local practitioner inhabit different worlds, each side ignorant of the subjective world of the other."
Suggest ways of managing/dealing with conflict as well as mobilising popular support for on-going or proposed change in the curriculum
Answer to 4
There are various ways of dealing with conflict and also mobilising various support for on-going or proposed change in the curriculum, some of which are listed below
Ø The curriculum should meet the need of the society: the curriculum being developed or implemented to stand the test of time, i.e. aim at solving the current [problem of the society
Ø The curriculum should practicable: it should be curriculum that will be put into practice and not just theory curriculum
Ø Curriculum implementers should be involved in the development of the curriculum
Ø Clarity: the curriculum should be well understood by those implementing it
Ø Everyone should be involved in curriculum development either directly or indirectly etc.
Question 5: give examples of sensitive or challenging curriculum policy issues in Nigeria, in particular socio-political and cultural context
Answer: challenging socio-political and cultural policy issue in Nigeria are;
Ø Gender equality: the policy of putting gender equality into consideration in all issues is a challenging idea when it comes to curriculum development
Ø Cultural difference: diversity in culture and belief of the people also is another challenging policy that faces curriculum development and implementation in Nigeria
Ø Religious belief: religious believe of the people differs and this poses a challenge to the formulation and implementation of the curriculum