AIOU Course Code 838-1 Assignment Autumn 2021

Course: Curriculum Development and Instructions (838)

Level: MA/M.Ed

Assignment no I

 

Q1 Discuss why a study of curriculum is important?

definition of curriculum development, let me describe to you first the importance of curriculum. A curriculum is considered the “heart” of any learning institution which means that schools or universities cannot exist without a curriculum. With its importance in formal education, curriculum has become a dynamic process due to the changes that occur in our society. Therefore, in its broadest sense, curriculum refers to the “total learning experiences of individuals not only in school, but in society as well” (Bilbao et al., 2008).

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Definition of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development is defined as planned, purposeful, progressive, and systematic process in order to create positive improvements in the educational system. Every time there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected. There is a need to update them in order to address the society’s needs.

Given the importance of curriculum development in formal education, the curriculum has become a dynamic process due to the changes that occur in our society. Therefore, in its broadest sense, curriculum refers to the “total learning experiences of individuals not only in school but society as well” (Bilbao et al., 2008).

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Curriculum development is defined as planned, a purposeful, progressive, and systematic process to create positive improvements in the educational system. Every time there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected. There is a need to update them to address the society’s needs.

To illustrate this contention, let’s trace back history. During the ancient times, people taught their children knowledge and skills in order to survive by catching fish or hunting animals for food. They had no formal education during that time, but their children learned and acquired the knowledge and skills for survival. So, during that time, they already had a curriculum which other educators call as, the saber-tooth curriculum. This type of curriculum refers to a kind of curriculum that existed during the ancient times in which the purpose of teaching was for survival.

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However, when the effects of discoveries and inventions became inevitable, ancient people’s way of life had changed for the better. As a result, education became formal and curriculum development evolved as systematic, planned, purposeful and progressive, even today.

Importance of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development has a broad scope because it is not only about the school, the learners and the teachers. It is also about the development of a society in general.

In today’s knowledge economy, curriculum development plays a vital role in improving the economy of a country. It also provides answers or solutions to the world’s pressing conditions and problems, such as environment, politics, socio-economics, and other issues on poverty, climate change and sustainable development.

There must be a chain of developmental process to develop a society. First, the school curriculum particularly in higher education must be developed to preserve the country’s national identity and to ensure its economy’s growth and stability. Thus, the president of a country must have a clear vision for his people and for the country as well.

For instance, in the Philippines, if President Aquino would like the country as the Asia-Pacific’s tourism hub, then the school curriculum must be developed along that line. Curricular programs for higher education can be crafted in such a way that it will boost the tourism industry and work into different models on edu-tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, medo-tourism, biz-tourism, techno-tourism, agri-tourism, archi-tourism, among others.

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If universities have curricular programs that are innovative and in demand in the local or global markets, many students even from foreign countries will enroll. Higher number of enrollees would mean income on the part of the universities. As a result, if the income is big, it can be used for teachers’ promotion, scholarship and remuneration. It can also be used in funding research and development endeavors, and in putting up school facilities, libraries, and laboratories.

People taught their children knowledge and skills to survive by catching fish or hunting animals for food during ancient times. They had no formal education during that time, but their children learned and acquired the knowledge and skills for survival. During that time, they already had a curriculum that other educators call as, the saber-tooth curriculum. This type of curriculum refers to a kind of curriculum that existed during ancient times in which the purpose of teaching was for survival.

However, when the effects of discoveries and inventions became inevitable, ancient people’s way of life had changed for the better. As a result, education became formal, and curriculum development evolved as systematic, planned, purposeful, and progressive.

I believe that the country’s economy can improve the people’s way of life through curriculum development. And in order to develop it, curriculum experts or specialists should work hand in hand with the lawmakers (senators and congressmen), the local government officials, such as governors, mayors, and others; the business communities and industries; and stakeholders to set implementing rules and policies for educational reforms.

IMPORTANCE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Curriculum development has a broad scope because it is not only about the school, the learners, and the teachers. It is also about the development of society in general.

In today’s knowledge economy, curriculum development plays a vital role in improving a country’s economy. It also provides answers or solutions to the world’s pressing conditions and problems, such as threats to the environment, issues on politics, socio-economic problems, and other issues related to poverty, climate change, and sustainable development.

There must be a chain of the developmental process to develop a society. First, the school curriculum, particularly in higher education, must be designed to preserve its national identity and ensure its economy’s growth and stability. Thus, the president of a country must have a clear vision for his people and the nation.

Curricular programs for higher education can be crafted in such a way that it will boost the tourism industry in the country. For example, different models may arise, such as edu-tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, medo-tourism, biz-tourism, techno-tourism, agri-tourism, archi-tourism, among others.

If universities have innovative curricular programs and demand in the local or global markets, many students, even from foreign countries, will enroll. A higher number of enrollees would mean income on the part of the universities. As a result, if the income is high, it can be used for teachers’ promotion, scholarship, and remuneration. It can also be used to fund research and development endeavors and put up school facilities, libraries, and laboratories.

I believe that the country’s economy can improve people’s way of life through curriculum development. And to develop it, curriculum experts or specialists should work hand in hand with lawmakers such as senators and Congress members, the local government officials, governors, and mayors. Likewise, business communities and industries and other economically oriented players in society may be engaged in setting and implementing rules and educational reform policies.

Hence, curriculum development matters a lot in setting the direction of change in an organization, not only at the micro but also at macro levels. As long as curriculum development goals and objectives are apparent in the planner’s mind, cutting-edge achievements in various concerns can be realized

Q2 Explain the main elements of curriculum.

 

Elements/Components of Curriculum

  1. ELEMENTS/COMPONENTS OF THE CURRICULUM
  2. • The nature of the elements and the manner in which they are organized may comprise which we call a curriculum design.
  3. Component 1: • Curriculum Aims, Goals and Objectives

Aims of Elementary Education • Provide knowledge and develop skills, attitudes, values essential to personal development and necessary for living in and contributing to a developing and changing society. • Provide learning experiences which increase the child’s awareness of and responsiveness to the changes in the society; • Promote and intensify knowledge, identification with and love for the nation and the people to which he belongs; and • Promote work experiences which develop orientation to the world of work and prepare the learner to honest and gainful work.

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  1. Aims of Secondary Education • Continue to promote the objectives of elementary education and • Discover and enhance the different aptitudes and interests of students in order to equip them with skills for productive endeavor and or to prepare them for tertiary schooling.
  2. Aims of Tertiary Education • Provide general education programs which will promote national identity, cultural consciousness, moral integrity and spiritual vigor; • Train the nation’s manpower in the skills required for national development; • Develop the professions that will provide leadership for the nation; and • Advance knowledge through research and apply new knowledge for improving the quality of human life and respond effectively to changing society.
  3. School Vision and Mission Example of school’s vision: • A model performing high school where students are equipped with knowledge, skills and strength of character to realize their potential to the fullest. Example of school’s mission: • To produce globally competitive lifelong learners.
  4. Domains • Cognitive – knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation • Affective – receiving, responding, valuing, organization, characterization • Psychomotor – perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation, origination.
  5. Component 2 •Curriculum Content or Subject Matter
  6. 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 the world.
  7. 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.”
  8. •Criteria used in selection of subject matter for the curriculum:
  9. • Self-sufficiency – “less teaching effort and educational resources, less learner’s effort but more results and effective learning outcomes – most economical manner (Scheffler, 1970) • Significance – contribute to basic ideas to achieve overall aim of curriculum, develop learning skills.
  10. • Validity – meaningful to the learner based on maturity, prior experience, educational and social value. • Utility – usefulness of the content either for the present or the future.
  11. • Learnability – within the range of the experience of the learners • Feasibility – can be learned within the time allowed, resources available, expertise of the teacher, nature of learner
  12. •Principles to follow in organizing the learning contents (Palma 1992):
  13. • Balance – Content curriculum should be fairly distributed in depth and breadth of the particular learning or discipline. This will ensure that the level or area will not be overcrowded or less crowded.
  14. • 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. • 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 level.
  15. • The horizontal connections are needed in subject areas that are similar so that learning will be related to one another. This is INTEGRATION.
  16. • Learning requires a continuing application of the new knowledge, skills, attitudes or values so that theses will be used in daily living. The constant repetition, review and reinforcement of learning is what is referred to as CONTINUITY.
  17. Component 3 •Curriculum Experience
  18. • 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.
  19. • 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.
  20. • Whatever methods the teacher utilizes to implement the curriculum, there will be some guide for the selection and use. Here are some of them: Teaching methods are means to achieve the end There is no single best teaching method
  21. Teaching methods should stimulate the learner’s desire to develop the cognitive, affective, psychomotor, social and spiritual domain of the individual. In the choice of teaching methods, learning styles of the students should be considered.
  22. Every method should lead to the development of the learning outcome in three domains Flexibility should be a consideration in the use of teaching methods
  23. Component 4 •Curriculum Evaluation
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  25. • 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.
  26. CIPP Model Context • environment of curriculum Input • ingredients of curriculum Process • ways and means of implementing Product • accomplishment of goals
  27. • Regardless of the methods and materials evaluation will utilize, a suggested plan of action for the process of curriculum evaluation is introduced. Theses are the steps: Focus on one particular component of the curriculum. Will it be subject are, the grade level, the course, or the degree program? Specify objectives of evaluation.
  28. Collect or gather the information. Information is made up of data needed regarding the object of evaluation. Organize the information. This step will require coding, organizing, storing and retrieving data for interpretation.
  29. Analyze information. An appropriate way of analyzing will be utilized. 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.
  30. Recycle the information for continuous feedback, modifications and adjustments to be made.
  31. Interrelationships of the Components of a Curriculum Aims Objectives Content/Subject Matter Methods/Strategies Evaluation

Q3 Briefly describe “humma growth and development as a basis of curriculum.”

Human growth and development as a lifelong educational process. The responsibility for this education belongs first and foremost to parents, church, and community. The district recognizes the obligation of the schools to support and supplement this aspect of education. Since students are in school for a large portion of their lives, it seems appropriate that the school offer to assist parents in these areas.

This human growth and development program has been planned with the active, constructive involvement of parents, teachers, students, community leaders, and administrators with approval by the School Board.

 

The Kimberly School District is committed to provide human growth and development instruction as part of a comprehensive education program. Human growth and development instruction refers to the process of growth in the intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social phases of individuals and their human relations.

Human growth and development should not be an isolated special facet of education. Sequential, well-planned units appropriate for developmental needs will be integrated through the 4K-12 curriculum. Our goal is to provide accurate information in a non-threatening environment which includes dialogue between parents, students, and teachers.  This accurate information will allow students and educators to use correct terminology when referring to human growth and development topics.

The Kimberly Area School District recognizes its responsibility to promote in our students positive self-concepts, healthy interpersonal relationships, and responsible decision making. This curriculum will help students examine their own attitudes and behavior in relation to the norms and values of parents, church, and community.

Stages of Human Development?

If human development is the study of how people change throughout their lives, how and when does this development happen? Many scientists and psychologists have studied various aspects of human development, including ego psychologist Erik Erikson. He examined the impact of social experiences throughout an individual’s life and theorized that psychosocial development happens in eight sequential parts. What are the eight stages of human development?

 

Stage 1 — Infancy: Trust vs. Mistrust

In the first stage of human development, infants learn to trust based on how well their caregivers meet their basic needs and respond when they cry. If an infant cries out to be fed, the parent can either meet this need by feeding and comforting the infant or not meet this need by ignoring the infant. When their needs are met, infants learn that relying on others is safe; when their needs go unmet, infants grow up to be less trusting.

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Stage 2 — Toddlerhood: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

In addition to autonomy versus shame and doubt, another way to think of the second stage is independence versus dependence. Like in the first stage, toddlers go through this stage responding to their caregivers. If caregivers encourage them to be independent and explore the world on their own, toddlers will grow up with a sense of self-efficacy. If the caregivers hover excessively or encourage dependence, these toddlers grow up with less confidence in their abilities.

For example, if a toddler wants to walk without assistance in a safe area, the caregiver should encourage this autonomy by allowing the independent behavior. If the caregiver insists on holding the toddler’s hand even when it’s not necessary, this attention can lead to doubt later in life.

Stage 3 — Preschool Years: Initiative vs. Guilt

During the preschool years, children learn to assert themselves and speak up when they need something. Some children may state that they’re sad because a friend stole their toy. If this assertiveness is greeted with a positive reaction, they learn that taking initiative is helpful behavior. However, if they’re made to feel guilty or ashamed for their assertiveness, they may grow up to be timid and less likely to take the lead.

Stage 4 — Early School Years: Industry vs. Inferiority

When children begin school, they start to compare themselves with peers. If children feel they’re accomplished in relation to peers, they develop strong self-esteem. If, however, they notice that other children have met milestones that they haven’t, they may struggle with self-esteem. For example, a first grader may notice a consistently worse performance on spelling tests when compared with peers. If this becomes a pattern, it can lead to feelings of inferiority.

Erik Erikson’s eight stages of human development illustrated from left to right

The key components of Erikson’s model of human development include stage one, infancy, trust versus mistrust; stage two, toddlerhood, autonomy versus shame and doubt; stage three, preschool years, initiative versus guilt; stage four, early school years, industry versus inferiority; stage five, adolescence, identity versus role confusion; stage six, young adulthood, intimacy versus isolation; stage seven, middle adulthood, generativity versus stagnation; and stage eight, late adulthood, integrity versus despair.

Stage 5 — Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion

The adolescent stage is where the term “identity crisis” originated, and for good reason. Adolescence is all about developing a sense of self. Adolescents who can clearly identify who they are grow up with stronger goals and self-knowledge than teenagers who struggle to break free of their parents’ or friends’ influences. Adolescents who still deeply depend on their parents for social interaction and guidance may experience more role confusion than teenagers who pursue their own interests.

Stage 6 — Young Adulthood: Intimacy vs. Isolation

In young adulthood, which begins roughly at age 20, people begin to solidify their lifelong bonds; many people enter committed relationships or marriages, while others form lifelong friendships. People who can create and maintain these relationships reap the emotional benefits, while those who struggle to maintain relationships may suffer from isolation. A young adult who develops strong friendships in college may feel more intimacy than one who struggles to form and maintain close friendships.

Stage 7 — Middle Adulthood: Generativity vs. Stagnation

In middle adulthood, people tend to struggle with their contributions to society. They may be busy raising children or pursuing careers. Those who feel that they’re contributing experience generativity, which is the sense of leaving a legacy. On the other hand, those who don’t feel that their work or lives matter may experience feelings of stagnation. For example, a middle-aged adult who’s raising a family and working in a career that presumably helps people may feel more fulfilled than an adult who’s working at a day job that feels meaningless.

Stage 8 — Late Adulthood: Integrity vs. Despair

As adults reach the end of life, they look back on their lives and reflect. Adults who feel fulfilled by their lives, either through a successful family or a meaningful career, reach ego integrity, in which they can face aging and dying with peace. If older adults don’t feel that they’ve lived a good life, they risk falling into despair.

Other Theories of Human Development

Although widely used, Erikson’s psychosocial development theory has been critiqued for focusing too much on childhood. Critics claim that his emphasis makes the model less representative of the growth that people experienced in adulthood. Erikson’s model of the stages of human development is only one theory addressing growth and change throughout life, as many other psychologists have researched their own theories of human development, including the following:

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Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget developed the theory of cognitive development. Piaget’s theory is widely used in education programs to prepare teachers to instruct students in developmentally appropriate ways. The theory is based on four stages:

Sensorimotor — In the sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years old), children learn object permanence, which is the understanding that people and objects still exist even when they’re out of view.

Preoperational — In the preoperational stage (2-7 years old), children develop symbolic thought, which is when they begin to progress from concrete to abstract thinking. Children in this stage often have imaginary friends.

Concrete operational — In the concrete operational stage (7-11 years old), children solidify their abstract thinking and begin to understand cause and effect and logical implications of actions.

Formal operational — In the formal operational stage (adolescence to adulthood), humans plan for the future, think hypothetically, and assume adult responsibilities.

Moral Development

Lawrence Kohlberg created a theory of human development based on moral development concepts. The theory comprises the following stages:

Preconventional — In the preconventional stage, people follow rules because they’re afraid of punishment and make choices only with their best interests in mind.

Conventional — In the conventional stage, people act to avoid society’s judgment and follow rules to maintain the systems and structures that are already in place.

Postconventional — In the postconventional stage, a genuine concern for the welfare of others and the greater good of society guides people.

 

Q4 Discuss the importance of situational analysis in curriculum development

 

Situational analysis” helps develop a basis of understanding of the environment in which a plan is delivered. It provides a common reference point for the planning process and prioritises actions.

The analysis can provide an appreciation of the risks and benefits to the project and the organisations involved from the way in which the communication process is implemented. It takes a snapshot view of an organisation or situation and where things stand at a certain point in time. It is sometimes accomplished by means of a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), which examines all aspects in relation to the success or results of the project in question.

Clearly, if the communication activities are poorly designed and implemented due to a poor understanding of the situation on the ground, the project could be fatally impacted due to a lack of public trust and confidence. This can help identify where the potential weaknesses in the plan are, enabling responses to be developed if necessary before irreparable damage is done. The analysis will also identify where opportunities may exist to develop strategic alliances with groups of supportive stakeholders and indicate where extra efforts can be made to develop these.

The analysis can also help identify capabilities within an organisation in terms to fulfil the requirements of the communication plan before it is developed to implement the strategy. It also serves to highlight areas in the strategy where improvements may need to be made, to take account of the current or developing situation. By keeping the analysis updated, it may also identify where something may not be working as expected within the implementation plan.

The Importance of Situational Analysis and needs assessment in the initial stages of curriculum development. An article for education.

Situational analysis is the systematic process of analyzing the situation before the curriculum is developed effectively. However, Hilda Taba (1962) describes situational Analysis as a diagnosis of needs. In this simpler form, we can define situational Analysis as the process of examining factors that exist in the environment or society where the curriculum is going to be implemented.

Situational analysis factors include knowledge about the environment in terms of mountains, rivers, flora and fauna including places where the programme or curriculum is going to be implemented, the social or power structure of that society, the traditions, norms, needs and aspirations of the community and the language of instruction.

Bishop (1985) argued that the situational Analysis must incorporate members of the general public and not only ‘experts’. These members should be invited to play their past in situational Analysis. This si because Education itself is not a discipline like English and History but an area involving a wide variety of society with different backgrounds. Hence, Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) and religious Organisations would feel to say something pertaining to the lives and future of their children. This simply means that there is a way parents and society at large would want the curriculum to shape their attitudes of their children.

Simpson Yinger (1958) argued that situational Analysis involve careful observation and an acute understanding of the variables influencing a given situation. The particular role of a researcher in situational Analysis is to contribute to our knowledge by isolating one by one each of the many variables that are involved in every situation and then studying the effects of their interaction. The scientists in this regard measures the influence of each factor alone and later how these variables interact with each other. In short, every stakeholder must be anlysed in details. To ensure effective results curriculum developers need to undertake SWOT analysis of the stakeholders involved.

In situation analysis, you need to look at the Resources people posses. Rich people will contribute positively towards the education of a learner. Poor people are unable to contribute positively towards the development of the curriculum.

Kaufman (1982:75) defined Needs Assessment as “a formal analysis that documents gaps between current results and the desired results.” He further defined a need as a gap between what is and what should be.

Need assessment involves arranging gaps (needs) in priority of order, selection of the needs to be resolved. Once analyzed, the information is then used to set appropriate arms , goals and objectives in curriculum Development.

The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they provide us with up to date information which can be used to solve the problems, set providers, identify groups which require special need intervention and can create a basis or platform for discussion in as far as curriculum development is concerned.

Another importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that Policy makers (Government officials) and decision makers (curriculum specialists) can make strong arguments in as far as allocation of resources is concerned.

A needs assessment can be a powerful tool used to develop strategies to address the curriculum needs.

Will provide the met and unmet needs within the targeted groups e.g. (i) met needs may be availability of teachers and pupils, supplementary readers (ii) unmet may be the distance between the school and the learners home.

The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they will help in the formulation of curriculum intent, content, selection of learning and teaching activities.

It help educationalists meet the needs and expectations of the society. Ordinarily, the content of subjects in curriculum intent is too formal and academic to meet the needs of the majority of the children who do not proceed on to higher studies especially if it was developed without situational analysis. What pupils do in schools neither satisfies the developing needs of the child nor prepares the child adequately for the world/environment he/she lives in (no wonder we have more street kids in Zambia). Practical and aesthetic subjects such as wood work and music are therefore not given enough time and attention. This is because curriculum is mainly designed to transmit factual knowledge rather than to provide learning experiences.

The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they guide on what need to be done by attacking a real problem in the community which are issue based rather than assumptions.

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Q5 Write the principles of curriculum design

Curriculum Design

(Curriculum/Instructional Coordinators, Specialists, Developers, Managers)

We appreciate the contributions to this resource from several Wellesley alumnae engaged in curriculum design.

Career paths in curriculum design are wide-ranging, beginning with the variety of terms and job titles you will hear and levels of preparation required (a Bachelor’s degree is required, often a master’s is preferred–or depth of knowledge in the subject). There is often confusion within the occupation surrounding titles. Typically, the role involves development and evaluation of curricular and training materials.

Curriculum design focuses on the creation of the overall course blueprint, mapping content to learning objectives, including how to develop a course outline and build the course. Each learning objective is met with assessment strategies, exercises, content, subject matter analysis, and interactive activities.

The vision for curriculum that schools have developed should then guide curriculum design.

Based on the curriculum requirements set out in legislation, their curriculum must:

enable learners to make progress towards the four purposes

be broad and balanced

be suitable for learners of different ages, abilities and aptitudes

provide for appropriate learner progression

include all six Areas

cover every statement of what matters

include the mandatory curriculum components of religion, values and ethics, relationships and sexuality education, Welsh and English

embed the mandatory cross-curricular skills

incorporate a range of assessment approaches which support learner progression

provide choice for learners in what they study at 14 to 16 but still ensure every learner has learning in each Area

This guidance should also:

provide a breadth of learning, drawing together a range of experiences, knowledge and skills across a range of contexts, topics and activities, making links across Areas

provide for, over time, an increasing depth and sophistication of learning

be developmentally appropriate and drive learners’ progression

incorporate opportunities for learning and consideration of cross-cutting elements, which:

allow learners to consider local, national and international contexts

develop understanding of careers and work-related experiences

develop understanding of human rights education and diversity

Often, teachers may transition into curriculum development if they are seeking to continue working in education without directly teaching students. If you are seeking alternatives to classroom teaching, there are many choices, including curriculum design.

School-based Career Path

Within public schools, the role of curriculum (or instruction) specialist or coordinator is well-defined and most states require teaching or education administrator certification or licensure. A master’s degree in education is also required in most circumstances. According to O*Net Online, 73% of instructional coordinators have a master’s degree and 20% have a post-master’s certificate.

Skills & Responsibilities Required

All curriculum specialists must have a desire to enhance and improve the education system, and be familiar with current guidelines, policies, and regulations as they pertain to education. A successful curriculum coordinator will work well in large groups and be able to teach, guide, and mentor other teachers and administrators. Curriculum development jobs also require strong interpersonal and communication skills. Developing curricula for new courses, supervising class content, implementing curriculum changes, interpreting regulations, and planning or advising on the technological materials and textbooks are among the typical tasks fulfilled by a curriculum and instruction specialist. Additionally, these professionals often provide teacher training, based in part on observing teachers in the classroom.

Online curricula and computer-based learning tools are becoming increasingly common at all levels of education. Curriculum designers will likely need to have a decent level of comfort with and understanding of basic web design concepts. As today’s students rely heavily on online resources to keep current with their coursework, curriculum designers should be familiar with methods of both creating and maintaining web-based curriculum materials. Aspiring curriculum designers may want to incorporate technology into their teaching as early as possible in order to develop expertise. You may want to strengthen your background by taking some business classes as well as courses in instructional design.

Alternatives to School-Based Careers

With a Bachelor’s degree, entry-level opportunities may be open to you if you have expertise in a particular subject (languages, social-emotional learning, science, technical knowledge, etc…). A Training and Development Specialist or Manager may not require advanced degrees. Training and development specialists design and implement instructional programs for companies’ employees. Training and development managers, who oversee them, plan, coordinate, and direct these programs. Their goal is to improve workers’ skills and knowledge and, in turn, performance.  While the needs of an educational program in a corporate environment might be distinctly different than one in an elementary school, both need a mindfully designed curriculum in order to function properly. A curriculum designer’s job is to ensure that any educational program they work with has the most effective curriculum materials possible, according to WiseGeek.

Professional Organizations

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) – A professional organization that provides career development tools and networking for instructional coordinators and administrators.

American Association for Teaching & Curriculum (AATC) – The AATC promotes the scholarly study of teaching and curriculum and provides members with a scholarly journal, networking opportunities, and an annual conference.

Additional Resources

Search The Wellesley Hive for alumnae who work in curriculum or instructional design and do an informational interview

Connect with Career Education’s Civic Engagement Program, as they have some opportunities to get educational (and curriculum development) experience in nonprofits and after school programs.

Search Handshake for opportunities that can give you more experience in building educational content and curriculum coordination

The IDEALIST offers career advice and lists volunteer and paid opportunities (over 600 volunteer opportunities, 1100 jobs, and 36 internships involving key search word “curriculum” as of June 2018)

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