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Module 4: Transaction and assessment of curriculum

Unit 7: Engaging with the curriculum

a) Critically analyze existing school practices in the light of what is valued and devalued in
commonplace rituals of school, its celebrations, and its notions of rules, discipline, or the timetable
b) Understanding of hidden curriculum and children's resilience w. r. t the above. (Unit 7a)
c) Strategies for making curriculum contextually responsive
7a) Critically analyze existing school practices in the light of what is valued and devalued in
commonplace rituals of school, its celebrations, and its notions of rules, discipline, or the
Although the common curriculum is prescribed by the state or national agencies its
implementation depends upon various internal factors prevailing in the schools which in tern are
reflected in the school practices. School practices are governed by following factors

school policy
vision and mission
need and background of the student population
organizational culture and climate
All schools may have similar components in their infrastructure, they may follow the

same prescribe syllabus and conduct similar activities, yet each institution lends its unique
flavor to what it does. Certain aspects get valued in one school but the same aspects may be
recorded secondary importance in another institution. Though the intended curriculum is
meant to be the same, the implemented curriculum varies. Following are the critical analysis
of existing school practices in the light of what is valued and devalued.

Rituals of school:

Schools are communities with rules, expectations, and customs, all which of reflect schools
underlying values.Schools need their own rituals to bring meaning and passion into learning.
One teacher starts her VI grade class each morning by giving two new words and its
meaning. Teacher encourages students to rememorize the word along with its application
towards the end of the day. Then, at the end of the day she asks students to have them assess
how well they apply the word. This simple ritual builds enthusiasm reinforces vocabulary
and linguistic abilities. Schools have different categories of rituals and ceremonies. Some of
the rituals are given below:
Greeting rituals: In the mornings, principals and teachers use unique rituals to welcome
students or staff. This develop a bond between the individuals
Opening day ceremonies: schools have assembly which comprise of common prayer,
school song, news and national anthem. Assemblies usually mark the start of the school
day. It is likely that schools, especially those run by religious minorities, recite a prayer
from a particular religion. Sometimes passages from religious texts are chosen for
reflections. All these activities need to be thoughtfully carried out. In no way should
students get the message that one faith or religion is superior to the others.
Recognition ceremonies: Successful cultures find ways to celebrate. In some schools
the principal calls the name of a student who has achieved something, then allot stars for
that student.
Co-curricular activities are an integral part of our curriculum. The implementation of
these activities also influences students. A celebration of different festival is an integral
part of the activities in most school. We need to reflect over the fairness of these
celebrations. If the celebration of one festival is more extensive than the celebration of
another, it is possible that a wrong message is being sent to the students. For example if
the school has the practice of celebrating the religious festivals, all the festival should be
given due weightage. Each religious festival should be presented in front of students
thoughtfully. The values of festivals like peace, cooperation, brotherhood etc. should be
given emphasized.

Students should be exposed to the essence of the festival through stories, music, dance,
food, discussions and a variety of hands on activities and projects.
Notions of rules and discipline:
The vision mission statement of the school is reflected in the activities that the school
organizes. This may lead to certain activities and practices getting more attention than
others. The rules that the school enforces, the means used to ensure discipline, the rapport
that the staff has with the students and their parents are ways to inculcate values in the
Students consciously and unconsciously pick up messages from what they see happening
in the school. The school culture and organizational climate, that includes the rapport
between the principal and the teachers or the rapport between teachers, cannot go
unnoticed. Students are slowly shaped by whatever they see. Many schools are facing
indiscipline problems among the students. It is very essential for a school to value what is
more important for maintaining discipline. Some of the notion of rules and discipline
adopted by the schools are given below:
Discipline Policies
Discipline policies are the rules regarding student conduct, both within classrooms and in
the school as a whole. These include rules about running in the halls, disrespectful
language, willful disregard of teacher requests, and, for older students, public displays of
affection. Discipline policies might also include student conduct on the bus and
playground, or in the cafeteria.
Attendance Policies
Most schools establish their attendance policies on the assumption that the students can't
learn unless they are in school. The goal of such policies is to ensure that students attend
school as much as possible.
Homework Policies
Teachers assign homework to students mainly to extend learning time. Students are in
school for six hours or so each day; if they complete assignments at home, they can be
actively engaged in learning for considerably longer than that.

Time tables are prepared in such a way that the non-scholastics subjects are placed at the end of
school day while scholastics subjects are given a primetime place. One finds discrimination even
among scholastic subjects with subjects from science and mathematics disciplines considered
superior to other subjects. Students, parents and teachers view mathematics and science as
scoring subjects or career associated subjects and hence give more importance to these
subjects. All these practices unconsciously shape students attitude and action. Following are
some of the aspect that we need to value while framing time table in the schools.

Mindset of the students

Nature of the subjects
Duration of the recess

What is valued by the schools in the time table depending upon the culture of the school? For
example if the school gives lots of importance to co-curricular activities they find a place of
practice for the same in the time table in the form of zero periods. If one institution is having
zero periods, doesnt mean that other institution should have the same. Its the institutions need
or objectives which should be reflected in the time table.
The awareness of school practices and the dedication with which such practices are pursued
reflect the way in which the school perceives its mission. Thus every activity that goes on in
school is a contributing element towards the implementation of the curriculum. All stakeholders,
parents, students, society, teachers and school authorities need to be mindful of these practices
and see that they are transacted in a way that will help the holistic development of the students.
Understanding of hidden curriculum and children's resilience w. r. t the above (Unit 7a)

Hidden curriculum refers to the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons,
values, and perspectives that students learn in school. While the formal curriculum consists of
the courses, lessons, and learning activities students participate in, as well as the knowledge and
skills educators intentionally teach to students, the hidden curriculum consists of the unspoken or
implicit academic, social, and cultural messages that are communicated to students while they
are in school.

The hidden-curriculum concept is based on the recognition that students absorb lessons in
school that may or may not be part of the formal course of studyfor example, how they should
interact with peers, teachers, and other adults; how they should perceive different races, groups,
or classes of people; or what ideas and behaviors are considered acceptable or unacceptable.
The hidden curriculum is described as hidden because it is usually unacknowledged or
unexamined by students, educators, and the wider community. And because the values and
lessons reinforced by the hidden curriculum are often the accepted status quo, it may be assumed
that these hidden practices and messages dont need to changeeven if they are contributing
to undesirable behaviors and results, whether its bullying, conflicts, or low graduation and
college-enrollment rates, for example.
It should be noted that a hidden curriculum can reinforce the lessons of the formal
curriculum, or it can contradict the formal curriculum, revealing hypocrisies or inconsistencies
between a schools stated mission, values, and convictions and what students actually experience
and learn while they are in school. For example, a school may publicly claim in its mission or
vision statement that its committed to ensuring that all students succeed academically, but a
review of its performance data may reveal significant racial or socioeconomic discrepancies
when it comes to test scores, graduation rates, and other measures of success. And because what
is not taught in school can sometimes be as influential or formative as what is taught, the hidden
curriculum also extends to subject areas, values, and messages that are omitted from the formal
curriculum and ignored, overlooked, or disparaged by educators.
While the hidden curriculum in any given school encompasses an enormous variety of
potential intellectual, social, cultural, and environmental factors.
The following examples will help to illustrate the concept and how it might play out in
Cultural expectations: The academic, social, and behavioral expectations established by
schools and educators communicate messages to students. For example, one teacher may
give tough assignments and expect all students to do well on those assignments, while
another teacher may give comparatively easy assignments and habitually award all
students passing grades even when their work quality is low. In the high-expectations

class, students may learn much more and experience a greater sense of accomplishment,
whereas students in the low-expectations class may do just enough work to get by and be
comparatively uninterested in the lessons they are being taught.
Cultural values: The values promoted by schools, educators, and peer groups, such as
cliques, may also convey hidden messages. For example, in one school, students may
learn that behaviors such as following the rules, acting in expected ways, and not
questioning adults are rewarded, while in other schools students learn that personal
expression, taking initiative, or questioning authority are valued and rewarded behaviors.
Cultural perspectives: How schools recognize, integrate, or honor diversity and
multicultural perspectives may convey both intentional and unintended messages. For
example, some schools may expect recently arrived immigrant students and their families
to assimilate into Indian culturefor example, by requiring the students to speak Hindi
in school at all times or by not providing translated informational materials or other
specialized assistance. Other schools, however, may actively integrate or celebrate the
multicultural diversity of the student body by inviting students and parents to share
stories about their home country, for example, or by posting and publishing informational
materials in multiple languages. In one school, cultural diversity was entirely ignored,
while in another that was actively celebrated.
Curricular topics: The subjects that teachers choose for courses and lessons may convey
different ideological, cultural, or ethical messages. For example, the history of the India
may be taught in a wide variety of ways using different historical examples, themes, and
Teaching strategies: The way that schools and teachers choose to educate students can
convey both intentional and unintended messages. For example, if students earn good
grades or extra credit for turning in homework on time, listening attentively, participating
during class, raising their hands, and generally doing things they are told to do, the
students may learn that compliance is important and that certain behaviors will be
academically rewarded and allowed to compensate for learning deficiencies.
School structures: The way that a school or academic program is organized and operated
can convey messages to students. For example, if non-English-speaking students are
largely separated from their peers for most of the school day, or students with physical or
learning disabilities are enrolled in specialized programs that are relegated to windowless

classrooms in the basement, these organizational decisions may have unintended effects
on the students sense of cultural belonging, self-worth, or academic potential.
Institutional rules: The formal rules in a school may communicate a wide variety of
intentional and unintentional messages to students. For example, some schools require
students to wear school uniforms, some ban certain types of attire (short skirts, clothing
with images and language considered to be inappropriate), and others have very liberal or
permissive clothing policies. While the intent of formal school rules and policies is to tell
students how they are expected to behave, the degree to which they are enforced or
unenforced, or the ways in which they are enforced, may communicate messages the
undermine or contradict their stated intent.


Resilience among students with respect to school practices need to be examined.
Resilience is the capacity to bounce back after adversity. It is the individuals ability to
face stress and adversity. It is important to note that resilience is not only about just
overcoming a deeply stressful situation, but also coming out of the said situation with
competent functioning.
A learner will undoubtedly face some stressful and challenging situation during his/her
school life. One cannot provide a smooth life for children but education can surely
provide them with resilience skills to face the rough ups and downs of life. Educators
need to examine the school practices to see if they facilitate or inhibit building of
resilience in children. To understand this aspect, we need to look at what skills constitute
resilience. Experts identify four basic skills as part of resilience in children:

Independence: children who are reasonably independence have great capacity to

deal with difficulties.

Problem solving: problem solving attitude facilitates resilience by helping

children identify what causes the problem.

Optimism: optimism plays an important role in dealing with challenges.

Social connection: if children have the right social connections, they are likely to
gain support from their connection and thus bounce back to normal life after a

Role of School Practices in Building Resilience

Nurturing Optimism:
School practices are a vehicle to nurture optimism in students. This optimism
helps to build a spirit of resilience. Consider, for example, a case where students
who do not perform well in an examination are offered counseling sessions. Such
sessions can help them imbibe healthy study skills so that they perform better in
subsequent examinations. Timely guidance and regular counseling will help to
build a spirit of optimism.
Role of Mentoring:
Mentors could be in the form of faculty or peers. Mentoring helps to support and
encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise
their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the
person they want to be. Mentoring is based on mutual respect and trust. A good
mentor helps the mentee to bounce back into action after a setback.
Fostering Independence:
Some school practices help students to become independent. Responsibility is
enhanced with such independence. The more independent a person, greater will he
the ability to accept tough situations. Resilient persons show more independence
and hence activities must be organized to let students take leadership roles and use
their independence wisely.
Leveraging the Potential of Teachable Moments:
School practices must help students to realize that problems are opportunities in
disguise. Make most of adverse moments so that one can build up skills of
resilience. Suppose the students are out on a school camp and the bus breaks
down. Let us say it will take about one hour to LTA the bus repaired. A wise
teacher can use this as a teachable moment and have the students interact with the

people in the vicinity and learn from them. This teaches the student that even an
adverse situation can be utilized wisely.
Building Coping Skills:
Coping skills are important in building resilience. The first skill that children need
to learn is to accept an adverse situation without panic. Children should learn that
negative coping mechanisms such as yelling, fighting and shouting should be
avoided. These can he replaced with positive coping mechanisms like discussion
or maintaining a diary to note down feelings. Meditation, yoga and sports are
school practices that promote healthy coping mechanisms.
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, author of 'A Parent's Guide to Building Resilience in
Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roofs and Wings', identifies the seven C's
to building resilience. Educational Institution can integrate these seven Cs into
their school practices and help students become resilient.

Competence describes the feeling of knowing that you can handle a situation
effectively_ Competence can be built by helping children focus on individual
strengths, empowering them to make decisions and avoiding comparisons. Cocurricular activities and student-led events are school practices that enhance

Build the confidence of children by providing a platform to show their talents and
praising them honestly for their achievements. Confidence arises from the
competence of the learner.

Develop close ties with the students and their families to help them become
resilient. Provide time in the schedule for students to connect to the faculty
through mentoring programmes. A robust connection between students and
faculty helps to have better resilience.


Strong character nurtures resilience. Children need to develop a solid set of

morals and values to determine right from wrong and to demonstrate a caring
attitude toward others. This can be instilled through school programmes like the
assembly, value education classes and through sports.

Children need to realize that their contribution matters. When they see that they
are important members of the school community, they develop a sense of selfworth and this make them more resilient.

Overcoming life's challenges is easier when one has strong coping mechanisms.
Sometimes, students resort to taking drugs or intoxicants in order to cope with
adversity. Regular counselling sessions will help students to avoid such coping

Children who realize that they can control the outcomes of their decisions are
more likely to realize that they have the ability to bounce back. All children need
to learn that life's events are not purely random or chance events. Our life is much
dependent upon what our choices are and hence resilient persons learn to make
proper choices.
Schools need to consider resilience as an important asset. School practices and
curricula must weave programmes that encourage resilience in students. Resilient
students are an asset to the society and the nation.
C) Strategies for making curriculum contextually responsive
Contextually Responsive Curriculum
Sociological determinants are very important when we construct the curriculum.
Curriculum framers need to analyze societal needs, aspirations, challenges and
opportunities and address these through the curriculum. Since social context and
conditions vary from region to region, curriculum too should be flexible enough
to accommodate these differences. Thus, the curriculum must be contextually
responsive bearing in mind the culture of the place where the school is located.

Grumet (1988) describes curriculum as "artifice," suggesting that curriculum is

"deliberately designed to direct attention, provoke response and express value, it
reorders experience so as to make it accessible to perception and reflection". A
contextually responsive curriculum is useful to address social issues.
Meaning of Contextually Responsive Curriculum
A Contextually Responsive Curriculum is one that uses the contextual and
cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance
styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant
and effective for them. Here are two examples to elucidate how the contextually
responsive curriculum operates.
The Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP) carried on between 1972
to 2002, integrated teacher orientations with curriculum development. In 1984,
one of the examination papers carried a question that asked children to use their
knowledge of Mathematics from the topic 'Probability' to compute the chances of
winning at a two and three digit satta (a widespread form of gambling), and to
conclude whether playing satta was mostly a losing or a winning proposition.
Most of the children had correctly concluded in the examination papers that based
on the laws of probability, playing satta was mostly a losing proposition. The
incident caused a flurry in the State Assembly as it was seen by some as 'a
stimulus that could lead student to gamble'. The teachers who set the question
gave a spirited reply that when gambling was eroding the society; such a question
showed the students that it was an activity that would cause waste of time and
money. They emphasized that such a question was more effective than
sermonizing on the ill-effects of gambling. The teachers had truly contextualized
the students' learning and tried to wean them from a potential social menace.
Here is an incident that occurred in a school situated in a village about 50 km
north of Mumbai City. The students of Class Five had learned about
communicable diseases in Science. In Class Seven, during the Political Science
class, students learned about civic duties. In both classes, the discussion included

the issue, of waste disposal. The students talked about a particular place near their
school, where waste was carelessly dumped. The civic authorities were not very
regular with the garbage clearance in this area. Incidences of diseases around the
locality were high. The classroom discussion extended to the staffroom.
Coincidentally, it was when India had launched the Swaach Bharat Abhiyaan on
the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The proactive Principal of the school took the
lead to organize the school, the local community and the civic authorities in a
cleanliness-cum-beautification drive, the initiative paid rich dividends as the place
was cleaned and diseases decreased. The students learned about civic
responsibilities and the importance of public hygiene through their endeavours.
This is an example of contextually responsive curriculum in action.

A contextually responsive curriculum must be culturally responsive. According to

Wlodkowski and Ginsberg, a Culturally Responsive Curriculum is a pedagogical
framework that respects the backgrounds and contemporary circumstances of all learners
regardless of individual status and power, and employs learning processes that embrace

Epistemological Assumptions of a Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Knowledge is socially-constructed and therefore all knowledge is a reflection of

the culture in which it was developed.

Knowledge is not neutral; it is value-laden and reflects specific beliefs and
worldviews. Education/learning is enculturation; it is the appropriation of the

knowledge of a culture group.

Motivation is inseparable from culture.
Language is a primary medium of culture.

When we speak of culture of an individual, it is not .just the culture in which she/he is
born into. The individual is the product of his/her gender, class, race, ethnic group,
region and religion. The culture of the individual is also affected by whether the

individual belongs to any groups with special status such as migrants, war affected
person, person with disabilities or person with refugee status. Since culture is
interplay of several complex aspects, the curriculum should he sensitive to these
various aspects.
Example 1: If the teacher is teaching parts of the digestive system, all children can be
taught using a visual aid. But if there is a visually handicapped child in the class, the
child should be given a three-dimensional representation of the digestive system.
Then such a class is said to be contextually and culturally responsive.
Example 2: Consider a class which includes students who have migrated from other
states. If a teacher is teaching about a particular festival, she/he can discuss about how
the festival is celebrated in different states so as to include the views of students who
have migrated. The voice of the minority must find place in the curriculum.
Characteristics of a Culturally Responsive Curriculum

The curriculum in a contextually and culturally responsive environment is
flexible. The ultimate aim is that the child learns according to what suits him/her
the best, Multiple Intelligences and learning styles are recognized and ate an
integral part of how children learn. For example, imagine a student in class five
who has come to Maharashtra in a Marathi medium school after attending earlier
classes in a Hindi medium school, in a flexible environment, the teacher can give
him initial instructions in Hindi, the language that he is comfortable with, so that
he cope with the studies. Flexibility is fostered when a learner with learning
disabilities is allowed to use a calculator during the book keeping and
accountancy examination.

A culturally and contextually responsive curriculum is adjusted to suit the needs
of the learner and society. It can go beyond the prescribed curriculum. For
example, many schools have added self-defence classes for girls. Schools conduct
awareness sessions about child sexual abuse as many cases of child abuse are

encountered. If a particular area experiences drug menace, awareness sessions can

he organized in such areas.

Caters to Ethnic Diversity:

A contextually and culturally responsive curriculum must take into account ethnic
diversity. In a country like India, this needs special attention as we have variety in
languages, religions and traditions.

Establishes Inclusion:
The norms, procedures and structures are woven together to form a learning
context in which all learners and the teachers feel respected and connected to one

Non-threatening Environment:
No child should feel threatened in a culturally responsive environment. Ragging,
teasing and labelling are not permitted. No one feels inferior in an ethos that is
culturally and contextually responsive.

Role of School in Transacting a Contextually and Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Reflective Practices:
Emphasis on reflective practices, at individual level by the teachers and at the
institutional level by the Principal and staff, will be useful to identify areas where
the curriculum can be made culturally and contextually responsive. Through this
undesirable practices or traditions followed can be weeded out and replaced by
practices that are more culture friendly.
For example, a minority school earlier largely catered to children practicing one
religion. Later, due to increased migration, the school had students from different
religions. The Principal and the staff decided to change the regular prayer (which
was from one particular religion) to a secular prayer. This came due to reflection
on part of the Principal and staff.

Action Research:

Teachers can carry out action research to find ways that make the class culturally
more responsive. Such best practices can he shared among others. For this,
teachers must be given the freedom to try out different pedagogic approaches.

Teachers need to be empowered:

Empowered teachers can think critically and identify hurdles that come in the
sway of being culturally responsive. Such teachers can identify flaws in the
textbook and syllabi. They can identify sources of hidden curriculum that are
impediments in ensuring a contextually and culturally responsive curriculum.
Once they are empowered, they can question such situations and deal effectively
with the same.

Significance of a Contextually and Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Inculcates Values:
A contextually and culturally responsive curriculum inculcates healthy values of
secularism, egalitarianism and democracy. This is very important to ensure

citizenship education.
Responds to Social Needs:
Society is often fragmented on basis of race, religion and culture. Such a society
is vulnerable to attacks from outside. To build a society that is free from harm due

to divisive forces, the curriculum must be contextually and culturally responsive.

Problem Solving Attitude:
Children learn to solve problems caused by divisive forces if they grow up in a
culturally and contextually responsive environment. They will not accept biased

views and be swayed by sentiments.

Fosters Reflection:
A contextually and culturally responsive curriculum helps to become a critical

thinker. One rises above narrow mindedness and acts rationally.

Adds Meaning to Learning:
The child learns meaningfully if she/he is taught in a contextually and culturally
responsive curriculum. Since individual differences are expected and accepted,
the child learns according to his/her own unique style. Consider a school situated
in an area where environmental degradation is rampant. A contextually and
culturally responsive curriculum will take this issue up through including

environmental awareness drives in the school community as well as in the

locality. Thus, what the child learns is not limited to the classroom. Learning goes
beyond mere knowledge, it extends to higher objectives as application and

problem solving.
Respect for All Cultures:
Humanity thrives in a contextually and culturally responsive environment. One
learns to respect all cultures and religions. This helps to build local peace which
then helps to expand to national and global peace. In a world that faces several
challenges that arise out of cultural differences, we need to think of ways that will
help to make the curriculum contextually responsive. Educators ought to analyze
the socio-cultural situation and incorporate a curriculum that can address
challenges faced. Only then will education he of relevance and significance to the
learner. A contextually responsive curriculum will help the learner face his/her
current life with courage. It will also be of use to the learner in his/her later life.

Unit 8: Evaluating curriculum

a) Indicators of effective curriculum construction
b) Evaluation of the effectiveness of curriculum content, existing pedagogies and
instructional approaches, teacher training, textbooks and instructional materials.

c) Agencies of evaluation of curriculum at national/ state level-National Ministry

of Education, regional education authorities Functions of NCERT, SCERT

Indicators of an effective curriculum

"A measure that conveys a general impression of the state or nature of the structure
or system being examined. While it is not necessarily a precise statement, it gives
sufficient indication of a condition concerning the system of interest to be of use in
formulating policy."

Everyone associated with the process of education, such as policymakers,

curriculum developers, curriculum implementers, curriculum end-user and
stakeholders as parents and employers are all concerned with the construction and
implementation of an effective curriculum. Here are some indicators of an effective
High level of Engagement of Learners:
Learners must be involved in the implementation of the curriculum. A
curriculum that fosters learning based on constructivism will ensure learner
engagement. Learning tasks are often of two types, prescribed and
discretionary. If one reflects, one can notice that children seem to be more
engaged in discretionary (non-compulsory) tasks rather than the tasks
prescribed. For example, completing home assignments or appearing for a
written examination is a prescribed task. Children show less inclination to
such tasks. On the other hand, participation in a field trip, taking part in
sports may be optional. But students seem to participate in such activities
more readily and with complete enthusiasm.

Learners individuality is respected:

Curriculum construction must cater to learner individuality by incorporating
different learning experience, bearing in mind the differences that exist
among learner. Differentiated instruction helps to address learners needs. A
variety of choice in courses, subjects and learning experience will help to
cater to learner diversity.
Sound psychological basis of the curriculum:
A robust curriculum is based on the learners previous knowledge, ability,
maturity and aptitude. The curriculum should be constructed bearing in mind
development theories, learning theories and theories of motivation.
Reflects decisions and choices made in the interest of the learner:
All decision taken with respect to the curriculum should be in the ultimate
interest of the learner. It must be based on the immediate and ultimate need
of the learner. For example, a curriculum designed to learn English may
sound very interesting and effective to an expert but may be little use if it is
meant to teach first generation learners from a rural school.
Sound and workable curriculum framework:
A curriculum should be easy to follow and transact. It should be clear to
administrators, teachers, parents and students. It should be workable, bearing
in mind available resources and time.
Content is meaningful and utilitarian in value:
All content in the curriculum should be designed such that it is meaningful
and useful to the learner. This will ensure learner involvement, prevent
dropouts and help the learner in his present and projected life. In this
context, the NCF 2005 suggests linking learning with work so that right
from the primary stage work transforms knowledge into experience and

generates important personal and social values, such as self-reliance,

creativity and cooperation.
Adequate and holistic assessment
Assessment in an integral part of the curriculum. Assessment should be
holistic with appropriate focus on cognitive, affective and psychomotor
aspects. It should involve variety of approaches and be based on inclusive
principles. Assessment should not be associated with anxiety and stress.
NCF 2005 states the role of assessment is to gauge the progress that both
leaner and teacher have made towards achieving the aims that have been set
and appraising hoe this could be done better. Opportunity for feedback,
leading to revision and improvement of performance, should constantly be
available, without exams and evaluations being used as a threat to study.
Comprehensive and contextually relevant curriculum:
The curriculum must be comprehensive with due emphasis on various
subjects as well as on work, art education and heritage crafts, health and
physical education and peace. It should be relevant to the social, economic
and cultural context of the region. It must also reflect global values and have
concern for global issue.
Concern for healthy school ethos:
An effective curriculum displays a concern for a healthy school climate. The
curriculum should not be burdensome to students, teachers and parents. It
must not foster unhealthy competitiveness. It must be a curriculum that
respects individual differences, needs and aspirations.
With respect to the Indian educational landscape, NCF 2005 provides five
guiding principles for effective curriculum construction.
1. Connecting knowledge to life outside the school
2. Ensuring that learning shifts away from rote methods

3. Enriching the curriculum so that it goes beyond textbooks

4. Making examination more flexible and integrating them with
classroom life
5. Nurturing the overriding identity informed by caring concerns within
the democratic polity of the country

These five guiding principles can be used to draw a checklist (or any suitable
evaluation tool) to ascertain the effectiveness of curricula followed in India.
Curriculum evaluation is a systematic and scientific exercise. It draws from
different models of evaluation.

b) Evaluation of the effectiveness of curriculum content, existing pedagogies

and instructional approaches, teacher training, textbooks and instructional
Meaning of Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation essentially is the provision of information for the sake of facilitating
decision making at various Wages of curriculum development. This information
may pertain to the program as a complete entity or only to some of its components.
Evaluation also implies the selection of criteria collection and analysis of data. It
includes obtaining information for use in judging the worth of a programme and
procedure. It is a comprehensive term and transcends standardized tests covering
all means of ascertaining the results of construction.
Evaluation of curriculum is an integral and essential part of the whole process of
curriculum development. It is a continuous activity and not a "tail-end-process".
Evaluation and planning are complementary processes which occur almost

simultaneously and continuously. Planning is made on the basis of evaluation and

vice versa.
According to Worthen and Sanders, (1987) all curricula to be effective must have
element of evaluation. Tuckman defines evaluation as meeting the goals and
matching them with the intended outcomes. Curriculum evaluation may refer to the
formal determination of the quality, effectiveness or value of the program, process,
and product of the curriculum. The most widely used is Stufflebeams CIPP
(Content, Input, Product, and Process) Model. The context refers to the
environment of the curriculum. Input refers to the ingredients of the curriculum
which include the goal, instructional strategies, the learners the teachers the
contents and all the materials needed. Product indicates if the curriculum
accomplishes its goals.
Objective of curriculum evaluation

The determine the outcomes of a programme

To help the deciding whether to accept or reject a programme
To ascertain the need for the revision of the course content.
To help the future development of the curriculum material for continuous

5. To improve methods of teaching and instructional techniques.
Regardless of the methods and materials evaluation will utilize a suggested plan of
action for the process of curriculum evaluation is introduces. These are the steps.

Focus on one particular component of the curriculum

Collect or gather the information.
Organize the information.
Analyze information.
Report the information.

6. Recycle the information for continuous feedback, modification and

adjustments to be made.
Curriculum content is another main lever of education quality. The knowledge,
skills and attitudes imparted by learning areas/subjects, cross-cutting approaches
and extra-curricular activities is a main source of systematic and comprehensive
learning. While learners may learn from many other different sources (especially in
an informal way from the Media and Internet), curriculums advantages in
structuring and sequencing learning represents a major asset for sustainable
acquisitions that ought to be well exploited and capitalized on.
According to Child (1977), curriculum content is defined as what the teacher and
the students pay attention to when they are teaching and learning. It is a list of
subjects, topics, themes, concepts or works to be covered. It is the subject matter,
process, approaches, and feelings used in teaching as the curriculum is being
implemented. Curriculum content refer to what is taught in school, it is the subject
matter or topics consisting facts, concepts, ideas, knowledge within a particular
subject and how they will bring about change in the individual and to the society,
The content is like the engine of the curriculum. While deciding the content, it
is also necessary, to look at some key questions:
What is included into the curriculum? (Content)
Why should this content be included? (Objectives)
When should it be included? (Sequencing of content)
How should it he included? (Teaching-learning, strategies)

How should the content be connected with previous and projected content?
How should the effectiveness of content be ascertained? (Evaluation strategies)
Indicators to Evaluate the-Curriculum Content
Some indicators to evaluate the-curriculum content are:
1. The content should be age-appropriate, accurate, updated, objective and
2. The content must be connected to life outside the school, local life and with the
rest of the world.
3. It must cater to the learner's interests and needs, both for the present and the
4. The content must take into account principles of inclusivity.
5. It should be connected to the pre-decided aims and objectives.
6. The content should be responsive to socio-economic and cultural contexts of the
7. It should be aligned to the Curricular Framework suggested by the educational
8. Various principles such as flexibility, correlation and variety must be considered.
9. The content should be value-based.
10. The nature of the hidden curriculum should be considered. It must be checked
for conflict with values.

11. The difference between the intended and enacted curriculum should be
checked. The impact of this difference should be taken into account.
Many such indicators can be drawn and the effectiveness of the content be
evaluated. Any content that is irrelevant, outdated and detrimental to the learner
and/or the must be weeded out. All stakeholders should be involved in the
evaluation of curriculum content. In fact, we do indulge in such an exercise,
though not in a formal way. When students say 'the content is interesting', when
teachers say 'there is an overload of content' or when employers say 'the ', they are
in fact evaluating the curriculum content. Such an exercise, if conducted
systematically, can help to identify lacunae in the curriculum content. These can
help to modify the curriculum.
Who can evaluate curriculum content?
Educational authorities, school administrators, teachers, parents, students and
What can we evaluate in curriculum content?
Relevance, quality and quantity of content, connection of content with real life,
benefits gained from the content, alignment of content with national and local
needs, psychological, philosophical and sociological bases of the content, impact
of the content on the learner and on society and vocational value of the content.
What are the expected outcomes?
Weeding out of irrelevant content. It will help to provide a better match between
what is learned in school and what the world of work needs. Content will be
aligned to the needs and interest of the learner. This will result in updating content.


If the content is the engine of the curriculum, than pedagogies and instructional
approaches are the fuels. Just like the fuel needs to be replenished from time to
time, so is it with pedagogies. Pedagogies must match the content being transacted.
It must bear in mind psychological aspect aspects as age and maturity of the
learner, principles of growth and development and individual differences. The
social cultural context of the learner, the resources available at hand and the
objectives associated with the learning content need to be considered.
For example, a teacher working in a tribal area reported that co-operative learning
worked most effectively in his school as the learners were very close knit as a
community. Since competition was not part of their upbringing, these children
disliked ranks and grades. While evaluating the effectiveness of existing
pedagogics and instructional approaches, it must be remembered that a tool that is
used in one school may not be applicable in another. One has to look at the larger
picture bearing in mind the region in which the school is located and accordingly
generate the tool used to evaluate. Some key indicators that can be used to evaluate
the pedagogics and instructional approaches are:
I. The learner-centeredness of the pedagogics
2. Scope given to learners by pedagogic practices to construct their own knowledge
3. Alignment of the pedagogy to content and the objectives.
4. Extent to which teacher effectively uses the pedagogy

5. Alignment between pedagogy and evaluation procedures being followed.

6. Suitability of the diverse instructional approaches to the content.
7. Adequacy of learning resources to support the pedagogic practices.
8. Extent to which the pedagogy ensures that learning shifts from mere rote
9. The healthy relationship fostered with self, peers and teachers by the pedagogy.
Who can evaluate Existing Pedagogies and Instructional Approaches?
Educational Authorities, school administrator, teachers, parents, students, techno
pedagogy experts and psychologists
What can we evaluate in Existing Pedagogies and Instructional Approaches?
Relevance of the pedagogy to the topic, relevance of the pedagogy to the leaners
needs and characteristics, variety in pedagogy, support material available for the
pedagogy and teacher training with respect to the pedagogy being used.
What are the Existing Pedagogies and Instructional Approaches?
Relevant and interesting, pedagogy will be used, outdated and irrelevant ways of
teaching will he eliminated, child's interest and involvement in learning will
Teachers drive the engine of curriculum. A curriculum by itself will be worthless if
it is not implemented in the right manner. Even the most perfectly constructed
curriculum may fail if the teachers are ill equipped to transact the same. Teachers
need to be equipped with skills that will help them transact curriculum effectively,

identify lacunae in the process and overcome obstacles in their path. Both preservice teacher education and in-service teacher education should be carefully
planned and executed. An effective curriculum takes into account capacity building
programmes for teachers. A robust teacher support network is needed to tide over
problems. Newly inducted teachers needed special assistance. A network of
colleagues learning from and supporting each other is not only essential in building
a community of practice, but it will also help sustain the curriculum change
process. Some indicators of effective in-service teacher training embedded in the
curriculum are:

Provision for regular teacher enrichment programmes

Teacher involvement in action research
Availability of resources to facilitate teacher development
Provisions of facilities that help a teacher update his/her techno-pedagogic-

content knowledge
5. Provision of teacher networks to share best practices and insights
Who can evaluate Teacher Training?
School administrators, teachers, parents and students
What can we evaluate in Teacher Training?
Frequency of in-service Will facilitate the teaching-training, kind of pre-service
learning process, will help training received by teachers, build a conducive
learning relevance of training, coverage atmosphere in the school and of technopedagogy in will help the teacher in training, teachers involvement problem
solving in training programmes, extent to which teachers utilize the inputs got
during training.
What is the Teacher Training?

Will facilitate the teaching learning process, will help build a conducive learning
atmosphere in the school and will help the teacher in problem solving.
Textbooks and learning materials are an integral part of the learning process. If one
carefully examines the present Indian school, one finds that textbooks dominate the
learning process. The National Focus Group's Position Paper on Curriculum,
Syllabus and Textbooks notes that the textbook is sought to collect all the
knowledge that a child is supposed to acquire at a given stage or class and is
planned so that the child never needs to look beyond it. Thus, 'teaching the
textbook' becomes the whole of education.' A good curriculum framework is one
that enables the teacher to move beyond textbooks and use teaching-learning
material that engages the learner actively. While evaluating the textbook and
instructional materials, it is necessary to see if the textbook and instructional
1. Facilitate interaction with environment, peers and self
2. Facilitate construction of understanding through active engagement
3. Are updated and free from bias, inaccurate content, stereotypes and prejudices
4. Are in alignment with the learning objectives






6. Are based on psychological principles

7. Address the contextual situation of the learner




The textbook normally caters to a large geographical area like a state or a part of
the state and is created by the state authorities. The supportive instructional
materials in the form of Teaching Learning Material (TLM) such as videos, audios,
technology-based presentations; charts and other material are constructed in the
school and hence should complement the textbooks by giving the content a local
flavour. For example, if the learner is learning about Rivers of Maharashtra, all
necessary content may be available in the textbook. The TLM must go beyond this
material and include content about local rivers and their impact on local life. This
makes the topic relevant to the learner. Teachers need to be trained in the
construction of such TLM.
Who can evaluate Teacher Training?
Educational authorities, school administrators, teachers, parents, students and
What can we evaluate in Teacher Training?
Content in the textbook and instructional material, connection with practical life,
ability to facilitate construction of knowledge
What is the Teacher Training?
Make learning interesting and facilitate self-learning.
It is most important that the results of a curriculum assessment are used to improve
the curriculum. This includes building on the strengths of the curriculum and
improving or eliminating the weakness many agencies, both at the central and state
levels, are involved in regular evaluation of the curriculum.

c) Agencies of evaluation of curriculum at national/ state level-National

Ministry of Education, regional education authorities Functions of NCERT,
A country with a limited geographical expanse may have one curriculum for the
entire nation! But in a large country like India, the Centre formulates the general
guidelines and individual states develop the curriculum suited to regional needs
and issues. The Centre is responsible for deciding and conducting detailed surveys
and identifying areas in the education system where change is required. The
National Education Policy emerges out of these exercises. The next step is to
develop a curriculum framework.
The NCF 2005 was a result of a series of intensive deliberations by eminent
scholars from different disciplines, principals, teachers and parents, representatives
of NG0s, NCERT faculty, and several other stakeholders at various levels. The
Ministry of Human Resource, Development (MHRD) oversees the curriculum
development and evaluation process through bodies like NCERT.
Role of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

In India, the central and the state governments have joint responsibility for
education. Freedom is given to the state governments to organize education within
the national framework of education. The educational policy is planned by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development which includes the Department of
School Education and Literacy (SE&L) and the Department of Higher Education.
The Department of SE&L focuses on universalization of education and making
better citizens out of our youth. Various new schemes and initiatives are taken up
regularly. Improved enrolment and retention is an indicator of the success of this
department. The Department of Higher Education is engaged in bringing worldclass opportunities of higher education and research to the country so that Indian
students can avail of educational opportunities that are available on the
international platform. For this, the Government has launched joint ventures and
signed memorandums of understanding to help the Indian student benefit from the
world opinion.
The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) is the national level advisory
body and the education ministers of all states are members of the CABE. The
National Curriculum for Classes 1 to XII is defined by the National Council of
Educational Research and Training (NCERT). State Councils of Educational
Research and Training (SCERT) are the principal research and development
institutions in all the states.
The main objectives of the MHRD are:
Formulating, the National Policy on Education and to ensure that it is
implemented in letter and spirit.
Planned development, including expanding access and improving quality of
the educational institutions throughout the country, including in the regions
where people do not have easy access to education.

Paving special attention to disadvantaged groups like the poor, females and
the minorities.
Provide financial help in the form of scholarship, loan subsidy, etc. to
deserving students from deprived sections of the society.
Encouraging international co-operation in the field of education, including
working closely with the UNESCO and foreign governments as well as
universities, to enhance the educational opportunities in the country.
Role of NCERT with respect to Curriculum Framing and Curriculum
The first Curriculum framework was formulated by the National Council of
Education Research and Training (NCERT) in 1975 as a recommendation to the
individual states. NCERT was accorded the responsibility of developing a binding
National Curriculum Framework through the National Policy on Education (NPE
1986). NCERT reviews the curriculum every five years on the basis of
consultations within the whole school sector.
The core areas of the curriculum are common. NCERT published the National
Curriculum Frame in 2005. The focus has been on changing the curriculum from
traditional information based curriculum to be a more learner-oriented and
competence-based curriculum.
The main functions of NCERT with respect to curriculum are as follows:
(1) To prepare the curriculum framework to guide curricula prepared by states
(2) To undertake aid, promote and co-ordinate research in all branches of
education for improving school education
(3) To organize pre-service arid Ace educational programmes for teachers
(4) To promote, organize and foster research in all areas of education

(5) To undertake functions assigned by Ministry of Human Resource

Development (MFIRD) for improving school education
(6) To disseminate knowledge of improved techniques and pedagogy
(7) To conduct special studies and surveys related to education
NCERT's thrust areas are:
Conducting research through National Institute of Education, Regional
Colleges of Education and Central Institute of Educational Technology
Development and renewal of curricula and instructional material for
school education bearing in mind relevance to changing needs of children
and society. This includes curricula for pre-school education, formal and
non-formal education, teacher education and vocationalization of
education. Special activities are undertaken with respect to inclusive
education, educational technology and population education.
Pre-service and in-service training at various levels ranging from preschool education to higher secondary education. Training is also provided
in areas like vocational education, educational technology, guidance and
counselling and special education.
NCERT works closely with other agencies and institutions in the state.
Special programmes are organized in geographically distanced areas and
areas where special intervention is required. NCERT collaborates with
international bodies like UNESCO, United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF.
NCERT publishes textbooks for Classes 1 to Xll. It also publishes
workbooks, teacher handbooks, supplementary readers, research reports

and instructional material for teacher educators, pre-service and in

service teachers. These instructional materials are the result of research
and hence serve as models for state level agencies. Books are published
in English, Hindi and Urdu. NCERT publishes educational journals
which teachers can use to learn about research and innovations in
education. They can also publish their work.
Role and Functions of SCERT With Respect To Curriculum Framing and
Curriculum Evaluation
At the state level, the State Council of Educational Research and Training
(SCERT) is responsible for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the
curriculum that is drawn on basis of the framework provided by NCERT. The
primary objective of the Council is to help through suitable programmes of
research, training and extension. The Maharashtra State Council of Educational
Research and Training (MSCERT) has a number of constituent departments such
as Research unit, Curriculum Development unit, Publication section, Teacher
Education unit, unit for inclusive education, etc. The State Institute for Educational
Technology (Balchitravani), Maharashtra Institute of Planning and Administration
and other units support the MSCERT. Besides 92 DIETS (District Institutes of
Education and Training) provide training to teachers.
The functions of the SCERT are quite similar to those carried out by the NCERT;
however, these functions are limited to the respective state.
These functions are elucidated below:
1. Curriculum Development:
SCERT develops the curriculum bearing in mind changing needs of the
nation, society and individual. This curriculum follows the guidelines

provided by the National Curriculum Framework. In 2012, the MSCERT

reviewed and reconstructed the primary curriculum. A vision point was
identified by the members of the Boards of Studies for different subjects.
This helped to decide the aims and objectives in general and with specific
focus on individual subjects. The units and subunits for each subject were
identified. The NCF 2005, the Right to Education Act 2009 and the State
Curriculum Framework 2010 provided insights that helped to decide the
The draft syllabus was prepared and examined by experts. The draft was
circulated to experts and published on the website to solicit feedback.
Feedback from all quarters was sought and incorporated before finalization.
Thus, a meticulous and systematic procedure was used to finalize the
2. Extension:
SCERT organizes and implements special educational projects sponsored by
UNICEF, NCERT and other agencies for qualitative improvement of school
education and teacher educators.
3. Development and Promotion of Instructional Material:
SCERT undertakes the task of creating textbooks, teacher's handbooks and
other material that will augment the teaching-learning process. It also
conducts workshops to train teachers in the production of teaching learning
material that will support the textbooks and make learning more interesting_
Audio-visual material is prepared by the State Institutes of Educational
4. Publication:

The publication unit of the SCERT publishes material that helps professional
growth of the teachers. The MSCERT publication unit is known as Jeevan
Shikshan Prakashan and it publishes the Jeevan Shikshan monthly magazine
to enrich teachers regarding new education thoughts, new ideas in education,
researches and new techniques. Other print material that can help teachers
improve their inputs is also published.
5. Training:
When the curriculum is revised SCERT provides training to in service
teachers. In Maharashtra, pre-service teacher education of teachers for
primary school is also under the aegis of the SCERT. There is a special
correspondence course unit to provide training to untrained teachers who are
working in local self-government-run schools, government aided and
unaided schools in Maharashtra.
6. Research:
Research is an important function of the SCERT. Financial provisions are
made available to those undertaking action researches. Special training
programmes research is organized for teachers.Research bulletins are
published to disseminate the findings of researches conducted by teachers.
Paper reading sessions are organized by DIET.
The SCERT is also the link between the state and the centre in matters
concerning education, research and training. It supports the educational
vision and endeavours of the centre. The state is also responsible for
supervision of the implementation of the curriculum. A well co- ordinated
network of state authorities, advisory bodies, educational institutions,
teachers, parents, students, employers and NGOs involved in education, can
help educational endeavours become fruitful and meaningful.

Curriculum development is a dynamic process. This process needs the

dedication of everyone, right from the centre (where the educational policy
is framed) to the institution (where the curriculum is implemented). This will
ensure that the curriculum help the progress and development of the nation,
the immediate society and the individual.