Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DepED Order on Curriculum: Learning hours


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Curriculum Implementation

Curriculum implementation is expected to occur between component 4 (educational plan) and component 5 (evaluation and revision) of Kellough and Kellough's curriculum development model.

Principals need to implement the curriculum with the help of teachers in an actual school setting and find out if the curriculum achieved its goal. Implementation refers to the actual use of the curriculum or syllabus or what it consists of in practice. Implementation is a critical phase in the cycles of planning and teaching a curriculum.

Implementing the curriculum does not focus on the actual use but also on the attitudes of those who implement it. These attitudinal dispositions are particularly important in educational systems where teachers and principals have the opportunity to choose among competing curriculum packages.

How should curriculum be implemented?
There are two extreme views about curriculum implementation:

a. laissez-faire approach or the "let-alone" approach. This gives teachers absolute power to determine what they see best to implement in the classroom. In effect, this allows teachers to teach lessons they believe are appropriate for their classes and in whatever way the want to teach such lessons. There is no firm of control or monitoring whatsoever.

b. authoritarian control. In this view, teachers are directed by authority figures through a memorandum, to follow a curriculum. Teachers have no control or leeway over the subjects the are teaching. The school head exercise absolute power in directing teachers to teach certain subjects in specified ways. In other words, this approach is dictatorial way of imposing curricular implementation in the classroom.

A realistic view o curriculum implementation should be between the two extremes. Teachers are expected to follow the prescribed syllabus exactly and make sure that they do not miss any topic/component. When teachers diligently follow a prescribed syllabus in teaching a lesson, then they are considered to have fidelity of use or fidelity of implementation.

To promote fidelity of use, one need to identify the topics or subjects that need more focus. These subjects are are those that are more technical or more difficult. A structured approach to implementation is then followed, one on which teachers are provided clear instructions early on.

On the other hand, some topics allow or encourage teachers to be creative ad unique in teaching these topics. Teachers implement personalized variations of the prescribed curriculum, but still be guided by it. This is referred to as adaptation to the curriculum or process orientation. process orientation came as a response to the need to acknowledge different organizational concepts and varying teachers' needs and abilities that would require on-site modification..

(Activity: If you are a teacher tasked by your school head to implement a new curriculum, what could be your questions on the new curriculum? What would be your concerns?)

Source: Module 2: Lead Curriculum Implementation and Enrichment. EXCELS Flexible Course, SEAMEO INNOTECH, c 2005.

Curriculum Leadership

Leadership refers to the role or process that enables systems and individuals to achieve their goals. Curriculum refers to all the experiences that learners have to go through in a program of education. Curriculum leadership therefore is the act of exercising functions that enables the achievement of a school's goal of providing quality education.

The definition of curriculum leadership involves functions and goals. A curriculum leader has to take charge of making sure that the curriculum goals are achieved. That ultimate goal is to maximize student learning by providing quality in the content of learning. Curriculum leadership focuses on what is learned (the curriculum) and how it is taught (the instruction).

Being a school head, the principal is responsible for making sure that the school has a quality curriculum and that the curriculum is implemented effectively. Achieving educational excellence is the goal. To attain such goal, the principal need to manifest curriculum leadership.

The Roles and Functions of a Curriculum Leader

Glatthorn (1997) was an educator interested in how curriculum development could be used to make teaching effective. He provides the list of the essential functions of curriculum leadership carried out at the school and classroom levels:

Curriculum leadership functions at the school-level:

a. develop the school's vision of a quality curriculum

b. supplement the state's or district's educational goals

c. develop the school's own program of studies

d. develop a learning-centered schedule

e. determine the nature and extent of curriculum integration

f. align the curriculum

g. monitor and assist in curriculum implementation

Curriculum leadership functions at the classroom-level:

a. develop yearly planning calendars for operationalizing the curriculum

b. develop units of study

c. enrich the curriculum and remediate learning

d. evaluate the curriculum

The roles and functions show that regardless of whether these are at the school level or classroom level, curriculum leadership involves tasks that guarantee quality education. The tasks and functions may further be specified into four major tasks:

a. ensuring curriculum quality and applicability

b. integrating and aligning the curriculum

c. implementing the curriculum efficiently

d. regularly evaluating, enriching, and updating the curriculum

Exhibiting curriculum leadership means that the principal have to be vigilant in overseeing the many instructional activities in one's school so that educational goals will be achieved. This implies that curriculum leadership is also a component of instructional leadership.

(Activity: Given the four major tasks of curriculum leadership, write some specific ways in which these tasks can be manifested).

Source: Module: Lead Curriculum Implementation and Enrichment. EXCELS Flexible Course on Leading Curricular and Instructional Processes. SEAMEO INNOTECH, C 2005.

Curriculum Approaches

Curriculum practitioners and implementers may use one or more approaches in planning, implementing and evaluating the curriculum. Even textbook writers or instructional material producers have different curricular approaches.

The following are the five curriculum approaches:

1. Behavioral Approach. This is based on a blueprint, where goals and objectives are specified, contents and activities are also arranged to match with the learning objectives. The learning outcomes are evaluated in terms of goals and objectives set at the beginning. This approach started with the idea of Frederick Taylor which is aimed to achieve efficiency. In education, behavioral approach begins with educational plans that start with the setting of goals or objectives. These are the important ingredients in curriculum implementation as evaluating the learning outcomes as a change of behavior. The change of behavior indicates the measure of the accomplishment.

2. Managerial Approach. In this approach, the principal is the curriculum leader and at the same time instructional leader who is supposed to be the general manager. The general manager sets the policies and priorities, establishes the direction of change and innovation, and planning and organizing curriculum and instruction. School administrators are less concerned about the content than about organization and implementation. They are less concerned about subject matter, methods and materials than improving the curriculum. Curriculum managers look at curriculum changes and innovations as they administer the resources and restructure the schools.

Some of the roles of the Curriculum Supervisors are the following:

a. help develop the school's education goals
b. plan curriculum with students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders
c. design programs of study by grade levels
d. plan or schedule classes or school calendar
e. prepare curriculum guides or teacher guides by grade level or subject area
f. help in the evaluation and selection of textbooks
g. observe teachers
h. assist teachers in the implementation of the curriculum
i. encourage curriculum innovation and change
j. develop standards for curriculum and instructional evaluation

3. Systems Approach. This was influenced by systems theory, where the parts of the total school district or school are examined in terms of how they relate to each other. The organizational chart of the school represents a systems approach. It shows the line-staff relationships of personnel and how decisions are made. The following are of equal importance: a) administration b) counseling c) curriculum d) instruction e) evaluation.

4. Humanistic Approach. This approach is rooted in the progressive philosophy and child-centered movement. It considers the formal or planned curriculum and the informal or hidden curriculum. It considers the whole child and believes that in curriculum the total development of the individual is the prime consideration. The learner s at the center of the curriculum.

(Question: Does a principal with humanistic approach to curriculum emphasize most memorization of subject matter? Does the systems approach to curriculum consider only each part?)

Source: Curriculum Development by Purita P. Bilbao, et. al. LoreMar Pub., 2008

Friday, February 20, 2009

Elements/Components of the Curriculum

The nature of the elements and the manner in which they are organized may comprise which we call a curriculum design.

Component 1: Curriculum Aims, Goals and Objectives
Aims: Elementary, Secondary, and Tertiary
Goals: School Vision and Mission
Objectives: educational objectives
1. Cognitive – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation
2. Affective – receiving, responding, valuing, organization, characterization
3. psychomotor – perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation, origination

Component 2: Curriculum Content or Subject Matter
Information to be learned in school, another term for knowledge ( a compendium of facts, concepts, generalization, principles, theories.

1. Subject-centered view of curriculum: The Fund of human knowledge represents the repository of accumulated discoveries and inventions of man down the centuries, due to man’s exploration of his world
2. Learner-centered view of curriculum: Relates knowledge to the individual’s personal and social world and how he or she defines reality.
Gerome Bruner: “Knowledge is a model we construct to give meaning and structure to regularities in experience”

Criteria used in selection of subject matter for the curriculum:
1. self-sufficiency – “less teaching effort and educational resources, less learner’s effort but more results and effective learning outcomes – most economical manner (Scheffler, 1970)

2. significance – contribute to basic ideas to achieve overall aim of curriculum, develop learning skills

3. validity – meaningful to the learner based on maturity, prior experience, educational and social value

4. utility – usefulness of the content either for the present or the future
5. learnability – within the range of the experience of the learners

6. feasibility – can be learned within the tile allowed, resources available, expertise of the teacher, nature of learner

Principles to follow in organizing the learning contents (Palma, 1992)

1. BALANCE . Content curriculum should be fairly distributed in depth and breath of the particular learning are or discipline. This will ensure that the level or area will not be overcrowded or less crowded.

2. ARTICULATION. Each level of subject matter should be smoothly connected to the next, glaring gaps or wasteful overlaps in the subject matter will be avoided.

3. SEQUENCE. This is the logical arrangement of the subject matter. It refers to the deepening and broadening of content as it is taken up in the higher levels.

The horizontal connections are needed in subject areas that are similar so that learning will be elated to one another. This is INTEGRATION.

Learning requires a continuing application of the new knowledge, skills, attitudes or values so that these will be used in daily living. The constant repetition, review and reinforcement of learning is what is referred to as CONTINUITY.

Component 3 – Curriculum Experience
Instructional strategies and methods will link to curriculum experiences, the core and heart of the curriculum. The instructional strategies and methods will put into action the goals and use of the content in order to produce an outcome.
Teaching strategies convert the written curriculum to instruction. Among these are time-tested methods, inquiry approaches, constructivist and other emerging strategies that complement new theories in teaching and learning. Educational activities like field trips, conducting experiments, interacting with computer programs and other experiential learning will also form par of the repertoire of teaching.

Whatever methods the teacher utilizes to implement the curriculum, there will be some guide for the selection and use, Here are some of them:

1. teaching methods are means to achieve the end
2. there is no single best teaching method
3. teaching methods should stimulate the learner’s desire to develop the cognitive, affective, psychomotor, social and spiritual domain of the individual
4. in the choice of teaching methods, learning styles of the students should be considered
5. every method should lead to the development of the learning outcome in three domains
6. flexibility should be a consideration in the use of teaching methods

Component 4 – Curriculum Evaluation
To be effective, all curricula must have an element of evaluation. Curriculum evaluation refer to the formal determination of the quality, effectiveness or value of the program, process, and product of the curriculum. Several methods of evaluation came up. The most widely used is Stufflebeam's CIPP Model. The process in CIPP model is continuous and very important to curriculum managers.

CIPP Model – Context (environment of curriculum), Input (ingredients of curriculum), Process (ways and means of implementing), Product accomplishment of goals)- process is continuous.

Regardless of the methods and materials evaluation will utilize, a suggested plan of action for the process of curriculum evaluation is introduced. These are the steps:

1. Focus on one particular component of the curriculum. Will it be subject area, the grade level, the course, or the degree program? Specify objectives of evaluation.

2. Collect or gather the information. Information is made up of data needed regarding the object of evaluation.

3. Organize the information. This step will require coding, organizing, storing and retrieving data for interpretation.

4. Analyze information. An appropriate way of analyzing will be utilized.

5. Report the information. The report of evaluation should be reported to specific audiences. It can be done formally in conferences with stakeholders, or informally through round table discussion and conversations.

6. Recycle the information for continuous feedback, modifications and adjustments to be made.

(Activity: "Is Philippine education really deteriorating?" This is a big question raised by many sectors of our society. Reflect and research (gather enough data/proof in your particular school/district/division) on this issue. Choose a particular level and a specific subject area as a point o reference).

Source: Curriculum Development by Purita Bilbao, et. al. LoreMar Pub., 2008)

Major Foundations of Curriculum

Philosophical Foundations of Curriculum:

Philosophy provides educators, teachers and curriculum makers with framework for planning, implementing and evaluating curriculum in school.I helps in answering what schools are for, what subjects are important, how students should learn and what materials and methods should be used. In decision-making, philosophy provides the starting point and will be used for the succeeding decision-making.

The following four educational philosophies relate to curriculum:

1. Perennialism. The focus in the curriculum is classical subjects, literary analysis and considers curriculum as constant.

2. Essentialism. The essential skills of the 3 R's and essential subjects of English, Science, History, Math and Foreign Language is the focus of the curriculum.

3. Progressivism. The curriculum is focused on students' interest, human problems and affairs. The subjects are interdisciplinary, integrative and interactive.

4. Reconstructionism. The focus of the curriculum is on present and future trends and issues of national and international interests.

Educational philosophy lays the strong foundation of any curriculum. A curriculum planner or specialist, implementer or the teacher, school heads, evaluator anchors his/her decision making process on a sound philosophy.

(Activity: Compare the four Philosophies of Education based on the aim of education, role of education and curriculum trends. How does a strong belief or philosophy influence curriculum?

Historical Foundations of Curriculum.
Curriculum is not an old field. Majority of scholars would place its beginning in 1918 with the publication of Franklin Bobbit's book."The Curriculum"

Philippine education came about from various foreign influences. This can be traced back to the glorious history. Of all foreign educational systems, the American educational system has the greatest influence on our educational system.

The following six curriculum theorists contributed their views on curriculum:

1. Franklin Bobbit (1876-1956)- presented curriculum as a science that emphasizes on students' need.

2. Werret Charters (1875-1952) - considered curriculum also as a science which is based on students' need, and the teachers plan the activities.

3. William Kilpatrick (1871-1965) - viewed curriculum as purposeful activities which are child-centered.

4. Harold Rugg (1886-1960) - emphasized social studies in the curriculum and the teacher plans the lesson in advance.

5. Hollis Caswell (1901-1989) - sees curriculum as organized around social functions of themes, organized knowledge and earner's interests.

6. Ralph Tyler (1902-1994) - believes that curriculum is a science and an extension of school's philosophy. based on students' need and interests.

The historical development shows the different changes in the purposes, principles and content of the curriculum.

(Question: What are the implications of ever-changing curriculum top teachers?)

Psychological Foundations
Psychology provides basis for the teaching and learning process. It unifies elements of the learning process and some of the some of questions which can be addressed by psychological foundations.

The following are the three major groups f learning theories:

1. Behaviorists Psychology - consider that learning should be organized in order that students can experience success in the process of mastering the subject matter, and thus, method of teaching should be introduced in a step by step manner with proper sequencing of task.

(Activity: Discuss the contributions of Edward L. Thorndike, Ivan Pavlov and Robert Gagne to the present views on curriculum)

2. Cognitive Psychology - focus their attention on how individuals process information and how the monitor and manage thinking. For the cognitive theorists, learning constitutes a logical method for organizing and interpreting learning. Learning is rooted in the tradition of subject matter where teachers use a lot of problem and thinking skills in teaching learning. These are exemplified by practices like reflective thinking, creative thinking, intuitive thinking, discovery learning, etc.

(Activity: Discuss the contributions of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Howard Gardner, Felder and Silverman and Daniel Goleman to curriculum development.

3. Humanistic Psychology - concerned with how learners can develop their human potential. Based on Gestalt psychology where learning can be explained in terms of the wholeness of the problem and where the environment is changing and the learner is continuously reorganizing his/her perceptions. Curriculum is concerned with the process not the products, personal needs not subject matter; psychological meaning and environmental situations.

(Activity: Give the contributions of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers to the present field of curriculum development.

4. Social Foundations of Education.
Schools exists within the social context.Societal culture affects and shapes schools and their curricula.

The relationship of curriculum and society is mutual and encompassing. Hence, to be relevant, the curricula should reflect and preserve the culture of society and its aspirations. At the same time, society should also imbibe the changes brought about by the formal institutions called schools.

(Question: A school has been using the same old curriculum it has had for the past ten years. Do you think this is a good practice? Why? Why not?)

Source: Curriculum Development by Purita Bilbao, et. al, Loremar Pub., 2008)

Types of Curriculum Operating in Schools

Allan Glatthorn (2000) describes seven types of curriculum operating in the schools:

1. recommended curriculum - proposed by scholars and professional organizations

2. written curriculum - appears in school, district, division or country documents

3. taught curriculum - what teachers implement or deliver in the classroom and schools

4. supported curriculum - resources-textbooks, computers, audio-visual materials which support and help in the implementation of the curriculum

5. assessed curriculum - that which is tested and evaluated

6. learned curriculum - what the students actually learn and what is measured

7. hidden curriculum - the unintended curriculum

(Activity: Visit a school of your choice. Observe and interview the appropriate persons (teachers, students, principals)and identify the existence of the different curricula. Write specific examples).

Source: Curriculum Development by Purita Bilbao, et. al. Lorimar Pub., 2008)