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C';mld Challenges

. ria. wccr,
'. Education. DEVELOPMENT
Professor Grace Chibiko Offorma
riculum, In Department of Arts Education
Chinyere; University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
8!Ce (eds.),

"or Africa.
T HIS chapter focuses on approaches to curriculum
development. The key concepts namely: curriculum and
curriculum development are first of all explained. Different
approaches to curriculum development are presented and
discussed. They include the four-step approach, the five-step
approach, the seven-step approach and others, some of which are
institutionally determined. The similarities and differences
: Research between the various approaches are also treated.

What is curriculum?
eorv and The term curriculum has been differently defined by different
Ime. people. These definitions are dependent on their different
conceptions of education and the functions of school and the
oprneni ­ types of products they expect from educational institutions. The
iJshing co. origin of the word curriculum was from the Latin word 'currus',
which means to run a race. This means that once a child starts to
learn, he/she begins to run the race. This race is comprehensive
:S:7:rUction. in nature because, in the course of the race, the child or the
learner encounters a lot of experiences, which may be
intellectual, social, moral, spiritual or physical. These experiences
:ilder and are provided to produce the total man. The experiences may be
formal and planned or informal and accidental or unplanned. In
the course of the race, the child may also encounter some
obstacles which he/she must surmount either through his/her
efforts or by the assistance of someone else to enable him/her to
attain the expectations of the society. The child is the main focus
of the curriculum.

Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges

Curriculum can be defined as the document, plan or blue print :111,;·!)lI"r::HI::II(I;;~ :;I"i~:' \~~Ip;,;

for instructional guide, which is used for teaching and learning to , 1\ 111\\: < :i\1:>II~:::lI«."~iP(::n"

bring about positive and desirable learner behaviour change. This

definition refers to the formal curriculum, which is planned ':',llllml!JCllilll,illlJllliJJllW.
ahead of time, bearing in mind the characteristics of the IIW"lmllJlmllldl\lulolllCIJlII

curriculum recipients, the philosophy and goals of education, the ;;I\IIUI~\~: ~mlllr
environment, the resources, methods of teaching, and evaluation !~II; IIlI!!i Jill 1\I\llellllllllilldlllC
procedures. It is the road map to attainment of the goals of llffllnlll. illi::
education. The curriculum document can be regarded as the !~lIIwillllWllf!!l$ :8Illl:
syllabus, the scheme of work or the course outline. It refers to the ,\Wlll11lm!lhl~ 'Dml
planned curriculum. 111ll\~'"

The definition of curriculum as a structured series of learning e-riLaI

experiences intended for the education of the learners is related I~
to the above definition. It is a course of studies offered in the ,~l1D1
school for the education of the learners, and which students
pursue in order to get a degree, a certificate, a diploma or any

other forms of academic awards. Learning experiences are ,~!li.!MlI1IIlJ11j",

embedded in courses taught to the learners in schools. The l~;"'"

learning experiences are learner oriented, goal oriented; and they ltil.niiwt, •
can be physical or mental activities, observable or unobservable ~s~
(Offorma, 2002). Learning experiences are equated to curriculum (~"'Jr1
_ , . . . , P'mlil{j!
content by some authors (Tyler, 1971; Ivowi, 2009). Wheeler
(1978) distinguishes learning experiences from the content. He ~llia
sees the former as the activities engaged by the learners and the • .....wm
latter as the knowledge they are exposed to. The learning ~TInmmelamlll·~
experiences are the means while the content is the end. ~II_.
Curriculum content is made up of the subject matter to be WJmer 1llmImI
taught, body of knowledge, topics, ideas, concepts, symbols, facts .~­
and cognitions, presented to the learners (Offorma, 2002). 11~{L
Curriculum is a programme. This includes programme of studies,
programme of activities and programme of guidance. One can not InmJ. ldile'v;~
talk about curriculum without referring to the programme .of ~ tJbese I
studies which is seen in form of subjects, contents, subject mm.ll'wua
matters and bodies of knowledge. The programme of activities is lillte:ginniDg.,
made up of all the learning experiences presented to the learners. (~(:ulUD
Learners learn through activities and so the programme of Ui:nmlpi.emeD!\J1II
activities facilitates the learning of the programme of studies. :md wbe!'e
Programme of guidance is the assistance given to the young and lerlucat~
inexperienced members of the society by more experienced Iue.:aroing,. ..
:,r:;"c Challenges

r blue print /Jllff"sons to help them solve their educational, career or vocational,
! learning to , ;B!IId socio-personal problems.
aangs, This
~5 planned
'Curriculum can be taken to mean the instrument by means of
~:ics of the
Which schools seek to translate the hopes of the society in which
~2ation, the
ttIlih€y function into concrete realities. It is planned and sequenced.
k is a vehicle through which education is attained. The essence of
:e goals of education is the ability to transfer the knowledge, facts, skills,
i:::d as the mues and attitudes learnt from one situation to solving
E::ers to the ,roblems in another situation, and this is done through
I: learning Curriculum Development
. lS related Curriculum development deals with the arrangement of
red in the [curriculum materials to facilitate implementation. Ivowi (1994:6)
1 students
sees curriculum development as curriculum planning, when he
:::3. or any
distinguishes the three angles of curriculum: 'planning or
E'nces are development, curriculum implementation and curriculum
0110 Is . The
evaluation'. Curriculum development precedes curriculum
and they ~lanning. It involves all stakeholders in the education of the
1ItJ'S€rvable Learners and takes into account everything that will make the
.rriculum curr iculum recipients functional members of their society. That
\\l1eeler •.....as why Prof Babs Fafunwa championed the policy introducing
:::,ent. He .ndigenous language in the school curriculum. He tried to show
~ and the
.t s workability through his developmental research on the
.earning :eaching of primary school children in Yoruba (the He Six Year
;:r.~ end.
Project). He found out that children taught in Yoruba performed
:'::" to be oetter than those taught in English. Today, the three major
: .s. facts ~igerian languages are taught in the schools either as first
.anguage (L l ) or second language (Lz). The essence was to make
:he Nigerian children functional through the languages.
.an not In developing a curriculum a number of factors are considered,
z.rne of and these factors are the elements that can promote or mar
curriculum implementation if not taken cognizance of in the
',-:::ies is
beginning. The elements include the learners, who are the
::2.:'"':1ers. curriculum recipients; the teachers who are the curriculum
~=e of .mplemerrters; the society (culture) from where the learners come
and where they will function after schooling; the philosophy of
r.: and education, on which the goals of education hinge; psychology of
'''-:-nced learning, which is the embodiment of the principles for effective
Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges

teaching and learning (methods); the economy of the society, "111\1:11111:1111':' '\\""":"

which determines how robust the curriculum is and its effective :i111'i1l1l1!:::::11I:;;,'111'.'11

implementation; resources, which are the paraphernalia of ",I"!!lIl1ll1l11ll11nnllll(!HnllU;",

effective curriculum implementation and without which '\\\\\l,Imnllllllltl;"
curriculum development becomes worthless; and values of the :Il1llltl1t11Wunnl",'
society, which is the essence of education. '11IWm.Illn1lllltt, '".!
1IIIill8J~~' it,,;::
Approaches to Curriculum Development lIlllll1l\\1!\" 't:::
Curriculum practitioners and implementers may use one or more 1(IIDJllII!IIlIIDlU::7!1

approaches in planning, implementing and evaluating a "'1. "r'(~:111

curriculum. In discussing the approaches to curriculum :autMmiimnm!!!1I
development, one focuses on the manner curriculum is arranged
to facilitate effective delivery by the implementer. Approaches to ,iM\\MDUl!!!I!!jmlmJ#Dhmnmm:
curriculum development are the strategies employed in II :z.....l,ml!l!lmwre:m;
organizing curriculum content and learning activities that are
presented to the learners. They are the ways of attaining a
functional curriculum development. Mbakwem (2009), writes
."",,,$ ,I,.

iliilijml'8 'II!lJIIlJl~

fiIIIIIndIIwn 'Iillli
that curriculum approach and design can be used
interchangeably. Approaches to curriculum development can also
be regarded as models of curriculum development.

The Four-Step Approach

There are different approaches to curriculum development, which
are presented according to ones focus on the elements of
curriculum development and the level of operation of the
curriculum. No matter the approach or design or model, they all
cover the same scope needed to develop a functional curriculum.
Giles, McCutchen and Zechiel (1942) developed a four-step model
of curriculum development. The four steps are: selection of
objectives, selection of learning experiences, organization of :iIlIIII!
learning experiences and evaluation. Their understanding of
curriculum development approach is that the developer must first
of all select the objectives which they believe propels the other
steps, since every other step has focus on attainment of the '~'• • •'m !:u
.- '"

Tyler's (1975) approach to curriculum development also has four

steps, just like Giles et al. The only difference between the two mmIiiiIH1iiitlillil\!, I(~]
approaches is that Tyler's approach is liner, showing that one 1_111IIi!'.id,!!H!#liiiiIWIIIDl
step leads to another; while Giles et al show the interrelatedness IItIIIltimItUIt RIIIlIllIIkmm:n 1
and interdependence of the steps. They believe that the objectives
'-;,ges Ai:proaches to Curriculum Development

.ety, 'determine what happens at the other steps. Tyler posed four
rtive basic questions to explain the approaches to curriculum
, of development, namely:
hich L What educational purposes should the school seek to
the attain?
2, What educational experiences can be provided that are
likely to attain these purposes?
,3. How can these educational experiences be effectively
::.o1'e organized?
~ a 4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being
_.um attained? p.l.
es to A curriculum developer in answering the questions would develop
In a good curriculum because he would have selected the objectives,
are .earning experiences, organized the learning experiences and
r:.g a embarked on evaluation. The questions are specific and help the
-:-ites curriculum developer to be on track, always focusing on the "
:':'3ed objectives.

Kerr's (1968) approach has also four steps dealing with selection
)f objectives, selection of content, selection of learning
experiences and evaluation. Though the steps are interrelated
~ of
and dependent on each other, he did not say anything about ,


organization of learning experiences. This is a limitation to this

the model, because curriculum implementation cannot be attained

;- all without effective organization of the learning experiences.

xlel The Five-Step Approach
of The five-step approach presents a departure from the four-step
of approach as discussed above. Nicholls and Nicholls (1978)
of recommended this type of approach. The additional step is due to
lrst their emphasis on situational analysis. They see this as a very
ner crucial component of curriculum development process.
the Situational analysis is the diagnosis of all the factors and issues
involved in curriculum planning and development. These factors
are identified and analysed to ensure that the development of the
Jur curriculum will be hitch free and that a worthwhile and
functional curriculum is developed. They believe that embarking
me on situational analysis would facilitate selection of the objectives
ess that reflect the needs of the society.

Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges
'11111 11
So Nicholls and Nicholls approach include: situational analysis, III!I,~~' ~1t!!!l~~.',II~!!!'m, ''''';,~lIj;:

selection of objectives, selection of content, methods, and ""illll::WIl ~.~II3;;:

evaluation. The four-step approach proponents did not use 111I1!"'\""I!!!III1:::lIr~I'I:r.JIIf.!Jr.!llI;

content but learning experiences, to qualify the knowledge, skills, : 11111111111: t:;JjL')lIe' ,~IICI,aul

attitudes and values presented in the curriculum for the learners ::;llIlIII"'l11'JilllL,lIIllilillll!IDlllIDJ dllf.!"
to imbibe. Nicholls and Nicholls call it content. They also refer to ""I:iillll:Jillnll~J~J11Ii!S::: .,aul
organization of learning experiences as methods. Methods deal iillll11~IUlIiRiitlmJ_1 '.illl
with the arrangement of the curriculum materials to be 111II:;lUlIIiIlllitl!!!l~ ,id /l;;i¥.1UI

presented to the learners, which is the same as organization. It 1IIII!IIlUIIl1'11Dll1lflJl1", ~lILle:1

deals with observing the principles of effective organization, ,lIIl1lC1l1lmlllllDlDJB!wllllt.1lliIm :::J
which include sequencing, integration, continuity and scope. ,'!tRjWIIIIl11Iill!l ;mnmIl'
Their approach is cyclic in nature which depicts a flexible process IllIlJnJmIII'liimttttDidltitili.&lllt::lllL 1'
whereby the curriculum worker can start from any point to IttDllnuiii· ~
develop the curriculum. This presents curriculum development as ~ IIIIiBr!I;iIIll
a continuous and on-going process. 1(.' 1lII9fIil"uumdI!mJ
In the same vein, Wheeler's (1980) approach supports that of 1«BdlII" IIIDDIIJ1IfJf!!I!IIId Ii 'm:g
Nicholls and Nicholls. His model is a five-step, cyclic approach, IUJI!IUIIIIB'MmJ.1. . ..m 1!"\1I
made up of: Selection of objectives, selection of content, selection lIIIIDDIIIl'«:JMiIti!l/llld :m,!
of learning experiences, organization of content and learning
experiences, and evaluation. Wheeler differed from the others by
accommodating both learning experiences and content, which he
shows as two different components. The content is the body of
knowledge, the subject matter, the facts, ideas etc. presented to
the learners, while the learning experiences are the activities <'.1, ~("'I)t "lIniis ;iil 1
embarked upon by the learners to help them learn the content. '; diiilllhemUII.UnfillilC3l'Mmn, II

They can be physical or mental; overt or covert. They are learner­

oriented and goal-oriented. So the learning experiences are the 1IIj~
,BIDdJ ~"
means, while the content is the end. Wheeler also sees the • •'WIIDie" 2IIIIIIIIIi i rn
organization of the two as the methods applied in the ,aId::Il!I~mi5 .

implementation of the curriculum.

,"",raJl:m~l1Em I~#
Wheeler neglects situational analysis which deals with needs ' 'I1IImJis is mJnr.e tIffi

analysis. His approach is also cyclic and flexible in that one can 11lll1lI1IIn"iia- • 1
begin curriculum development task from any point. It also shows :Bciety A ~
that curriculum is an on-going activity because the society is RJrilety and . '
dynamic, and so, curriculum, a vehicle used to produce functional
members of the society should also be dynamic. _I be
IIIlI!IIIne basis fOr El

~Iliem.s. ID _



, J$1611,d Challenges Approaches to Curriculum Development

aDDa1 analysis, The Seven-Step Approach

Bbods, and Taba (1962) proposes her model or approach to curriculum
,diiid not use development to have seven components. She strongly believes
..ledge, skills, that the phases should be specified to avoid confusing the
r the learners curriculum developer. She has the same point with Nicholls and
v also refer to );icholls; that curriculum development should begin with
lliitethods deal situational analysis. She went further to identify the factors to be
Eriiah to be studied at the situational analysis phase, which include: the
g:;amization. It learner, the teacher, the learning process, the nature of available
organization, accumulated body of knowledge, the nature of the educational
; and scope. system and facilities, the nature of the society, and
~le process environmental influences on the learner. The data collected from
il1mIly point to this analysis will equip the curriculum developer with the
wropment as necessary details to select the curriculum objectives. The process
or approach has the following steps: Situational analysis,
selection of objectives, selection of learning experiences, selection
IDJlOln.s t hat of of content, organization of learning experiences, organization of
tIJIC approach, content, and evaluation. Unlike Wheeler, the learning experiences
=1Jl]j'!t,. selection and content are organized separately.
i1'JJld learning
be others by John Hopkins University Approach
ut, which he An approach to curriculum development which was developed by
me body of physician educators at John Hopkins University for clinical
p,:resented to educators was presented by Kern, Thomas, Howa and Bass
lThe activities '1998). This approach has six steps, which include: problem
L,ne content. identification, needs assessment of targeted learners, goals and
3lf'e learner­ objectives, educational strategies, implementation, evaluation
!lces are the and feedback. They see the approach as logical, systematic,
iI\QISE-e~ the dynamic, and interactive. These six steps are discussed briefly in
\1~ltd :n the details.

Problem Identification
W'i'"1tr. needs This is the first step. The main reason for developing a
;,,3:.1 :me can curriculum is to train learners to be useful members of their
3...i.S'~ shows society. A functional curriculum focuses on the problems of the
society is society and so in developing a curriculum these problems form
:":.:.r.c:ional the basis for selecting the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes
to be inculcated in the learners to equip them to solve their
problems. In identifying the problems, the learner characteristics,
their current status and what they should be are analysed to


Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenge:

identify the problems. The society is also studied to sift the I :, II\I\11!~ ,:Jill '.',;II:,,\11 ' ',I!'''
problems, which will be dealt with in developing the curriculum. 1:1111' ::l1l1l;\I:, ..",

Needs Assessment of Targeted Learners ,11111 ~tt!!IIIII!!t!I::ll;,,;::'::

At this step, a needs assessment of the targeted learners is ,lllllmll!!flmJltJil\\Vl11P.' lUi.::
embarked upon. It involves a process by which the curriculum :11111111111111 !Il!lt!lll~I' I[::::~:
developer finds out the differences between what is and what Imllllllllllllli, ''IIIJ'1'InIIl~
should be; the actual characteristics of the targeted group of 1IIIIIIm\WllltUIIIIOlll1JllmrnJII~::I~
learners, and what obtains in their environment. The first step in ,ldUlIIlIIJllIm "I\III!!!)m'I~1
any curriculum development process involves research that i1111D11l1IDIHHIll11llllllilil111,
reviews recent issues and trends of the discipline, both within the ill'llDll11111111llBIJ1I1l11tlt:;, :$\lU
society and across the nation. This research allows a curriculum ,,"lliIB!'lelWlillUl
committee to identify key issues and trends that will support the t-.dllliliuBllllllDlilUlmrn
needs assessment that should be conducted and the philosophy ,.IIw&,I.1lln1ll1ll
that should be developed. Tyler (1971) describes needs as the gap
between where the learner is and where he/she wants to be or "-illJJ7l1llllll
should be. To be able to close this gap, the required knowledge,
I skills, attitudes and values must be included in the curriculum.

As a result of this process, committee members are likely to _iiilluillrn

identify many of the following issues and trends that will need to
be addressed as the curriculum development process moves
forward: meeting the needs of all students; learning theory and
other cognitive psychology findings on how students learn; what
determines developmental readiness or developmental
appropriateness; the current expectations of the field; the
knowledge of and readiness for change on the part of teachers;
the. availability of resources; the role and availability of
information and technology resources; scheduling issues;
methods and purposes of assessments; and
professional development.

Goals and Objectives

This is the third step. Goals are broad statements of intended
learning outcomes. They are stated using broad terms that are
not measurable until they are broken down into action verbs.
Objectives are specific statements of intensions of what is
expected of the learners at the end of teaching session. They are
stated in action verbs, which are measurable. Once the problems
are identified the needs of the targeted group analysed, the broad
goals are formulated and broken down to specific objectives.
-_ ...................- - -------­

'-: ...allenges
/ipproaches to Curriculum Development
; sift the
Subsequent steps hinge on the specific objectives because they
are put in place to facilitate attainment of the objectives.

In selecting the objectives, the three behaviours: cognitive,

arners IS
affective and psychomotor are borne in mind. This is to ensure
that the curriculum is comprehensive and will produce the total
and what
man. The objectives drive every other activity in curriculum
STouP of development. This is why it is important to use specific and clear
-st step in
action verbs to avoid misunderstanding. Goals and objectives are
L'ch that
important because they help direct the choice of curricular
rithin the
content; suggest what learning methods will be most effective;
enable evaluation of learners and the curriculum; suggest what
pport the
evaluation methods are appropriate; clearly communicate to
t ilosophy
others what the curriculum addresses and hopes to achieve.
is the gap
to be or
Educational Strategies
Educational strategies are the detailed means of facilitating
learning. It involves the manipulations of the learning
environment to motivate learners to learn. A method may
.rkely to
accommodate a number of strategies, which means that
L need to
strategies are sub-sets of method. In this step, the educational
is moves
strategies are developed. The strategies must promote the
eory and
attainment of the objectives. The strategies involve both the
:r:.: what
activities and the contents. The activities are the means while the
contents are the ends. This is why active participation of the
;ei.d: the
learners in curriculum endeavours is encouraged. Today,
interactive strategies such as collaboration, cooperation, learner
:l:ity of
autonomy, use of songs, small group activities and drama are

Implementation is putting into action, the planned curriculum. It
.s the combined efforts of the learner, the teacher and other
stakeholders in ensuring effective execution of the curriculum
:.::at are
.iocument. It calls for teacher-learner, learner-learner and
':::. verbs.
learner-classroom environment interactions. Careful attention
must be paid to issues of implementation. The curriculum
_':-. .::!y are
ieveloper must ensure that sufficient resources, political and
.inancial support, and administrative strategies have been
.:- broad
:leveloped to successfully implement the curriculum. It has been
.:"crives. .ibserved in Nigeria, that lofty policies which are formulated are
Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges

not adequately implemented, especially when the political will is ,,"":'Ii:II":I'I,;:I:

lacking. 111111, "",,:1Il


Evaluation and Feedback 1111111111' ili\Ullllllllllll

Most curriculum development models put evaluation as the last 11\:' '1IIIII\1III!' ',',:

step. Evaluation and feedback closes the loop in the curriculum ill1ll1l1\lBlltlililulIl

development cycle. Evaluation deals with the extent of 1.111I~\11\!!

attainment of the stated objectives. It is the process of identifying

the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum. It exposes what dili/aftlll_llllil
the learners have learnt and the gaps to be closed. It is through ''1\\IIIllI!IlJ''llllllillll
evaluation that the feedback which is knowledge of result (KR) is
obtained. The feedback informs the curriculum developer about
the next action to embark on. This is why Wheeler sees
curriculum development as a cyclic activity which has no end as


the feedback is ploughed back to the entire process for


Connecticut State Department of Education Approach

The Bureau of Curriculum Development and Instruction (2006),
propounded four major approaches to curriculum development,
namely: Planning, articulating and developing, Implementation
and Evaluation. They called them components of curriculum
development process. Each step has a number of activities that
~ must be carried out by the curriculum developer during the
process as shown below.

This section entails: convening a Curriculum Development
Committee meeting to identify key issues and trends in the
specific content area, and assess needs and issues. Curriculum
development should be viewed as a process by which meeting
student needs leads to improvement of student learning.
Regardless of the theory or model followed, curriculum
developers should gather as much information as possible. This
information should include the desired outcomes or expectations
of a high quality curriculum, the role of assessment, the current
status of student achievement and actual programme content.
The information should also consider the concerns and attitudes
of teachers, administrators, parents and students.
liE @dljitl

t ;:];J7'JC: Challenges Approaches to Curriculum Development

oltitieal will is Articulating and Developing

This component deals with articulating the philosophy of the
programme; defining the goals and deriving the objectives from
the goals; identifying the required resources for implementation
IlrJias the last of the curriculum; and identifyingLho appropriate assessment
liE' curriculum procedures and instruments to measure the students' learning
~ extent of outcomes.
of identifying
exposes what Implementing
h is through The third component is implementation and this means putting
'emIt (RR) is the New Programme into practice. This is the operational stage
lelloper about of the curriculum whereby the learners are exposed to the
~neeler sees curriculum and then engage in the learning activities as
as no end as contained in the curriculum.
process for
Evaluation deals with determining the success of the curriculum.
sroach. Through the attainments of the learners, the strengths and
;:njon ,2006), weaknesses of the curriculum are identified and the feedback is
evelopment, used to update the curriculum. Appropriate instruments are
Ille-mentation developed and used to evaluate the attained curriculum. The
curriculum feedback is used to restructure, modify, review or jettison the
trvit ies that curriculum.
Juring the
Other Approaches
Mbakwem (2009) discussed a number of curriculum designs
which are extension of the designs presented by Mkpa (1987) and
>.:'yel')pment Offorma (1994).These designs are the subject, the core, the broad
r:'ids in the fields and the activity or experience curriculum designs. Mkpa
. "::':-?°lculum calls the broad fields the integrated curriculum design, because it
:;;";. 21eeting is an amalgam of related contents from different knowledge
.-:-arning. areas. These designs depict means or ways of developing a
,. -::-:-;culum curriculum.
.: :-:-, This
~-=,,~:: ations The subject curriculum is the oldest design which organizes the
":.':: .urrent curriculum according to discrete subjects as we see in the senior
: : nt ent.
secondary school curriculum. The core curriculum design deals
: .:-.=:;tudes with organizing the curriculum that every member of a group
must offer. In the schools, they are regarded as the compulsory
courses or subjects that each member of the group must offer; for
example in the secondary school, English Language and
Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges ,illk MUiIIll/llllU

Mathematics are compulsory subjects. The broad fields

curriculum is the organization of the curriculum contents and
learning experiences selected from different but related
disciplines, which are put together and presented to the learner
as a subject or an area of knowledge. A good example of this kind
of curriculum is the Cultural and Creative Arts and the Basic
Science and Technology in the junior secondary school
curriculum. This kind of design does not make for specialization
as is the case with the subject curriculum, but exposes the learner
to broad areas of knowledge. It can be said that it gives the
background information required to understand the subjects that
formed the bases of correlation. The activity curriculum is mainly
used at the pre-primary and primary schools. This design is not
pre-planned and the focus is the activities dictated by the
learners according to their interest. It is also called experience
curriculum, because it is based on the experiences of the learners.

In addition to the above designs, Mbakwem (2009) included more

designs such as Task/Job Analysis Approach, Occupational Area
Approach, Functional Analysis Approach, Competency Approach,
Modular Approach and On-line Curriculum design. The task/job
analysis approach focuses on the required competencies in a job
or task. The design maps out the relevant knowledge, skills,
attitudes and activities the learner must possess to be able to
perform a particular task or job. The curriculum contents
therefore emphasize the tasks. It is useful in designing a
curriculum for technical or trade school. The major limitation to
this design is that the tasks do not take cognizance of future
labour market demands. Again it does not promote transfer of
learning, which is the essence of education.

Task/job analysis approach resembles the occupational area

approach and the competency approach. These three designs
focus on the required competencies, skills, attitudes, values and
knowledge for effective delivery in the occupation or job area. The
design enables the learner to perform the required up-to-date
tasks and duties in their disciplines.

The functional analysis approach is a design that focuses on the

demands of the society in organizing curriculum content. It can ,KlIrd"·Mlu
be seen as problem-solving design, whereby the imminent I~'~

.4i-:::roaches to Curriculum Development

'''JiaQ fields problems are the focus in the design. It takes into consideration
ote:Hs and the problems of the society and incorporates the needed
::.:t related knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to solve the problems.
:r.be learner This design is put in place as the need arises. We can use the
}f this kind retraining programmes of the secondary school teachers
rhe Basic embarked upon by the Universal Basic Education Commission to
L-,· school make the teachers functional as a good example of functional
ice3ign. First of all, needs analysis is carried out to identify the
;,:1":-learner problems or setbacks, before embarking on the selection of the
g:,"es the content, activities, strategies, resources and evaluation
;;-;Jioffts that procedures to be employed in the training.
~ is mainly
,~11 is not
ltd by the
The modular approach is the design that arranges the curriculum
content into modules. The modules are presented as topics, and .,
::xperience the objectives explained, method of work, needed resources,
., l-earners. ,•
strategies and evaluation modes are explained. It is so specified
and simplified that the learner may use the modules without
lied more recourse to the teacher. In modular design individualized
cnal Area i.istruction can be used as each learner goes according to his/her
~proach, pace. This design relies heavily on electronic media but at times,
:: ta.3k/job the print media is used. The student is at liberty to spend as
~ 1.:: a job much time as he or she needs to learn a particular skill. The
III::. skills ,
modules are pre-planned and pre-packaged.
'" ?.ble to
~( ntents
The on-line curriculum design enables the curriculum developer
i.;:-:mg a and the teacher to organize instructions, tasks, discussions and
::",:o.:ion to even examinations for the learners. This is presented to them
.: :::1 ture
through a system that allows students' input through a
L-:::-f'er of networked device. Computer and computer software are required
for its implementation. A topic is introduced and the students are
asked to contribute their ideas. There is active participation of
1..'::'" area the students and their contributions get back to the teacher or
:~3igns instructor through the networked electronic device. The students
_-=-3 and II·
can be evaluated based on their contributions to the topic
;-''::1:2., The
discussed. These can be done through the social communications
,- :,.:.·-date prevalent today, such as face book and twitter.

This is an innovation and it promotes communication among the

::: the
learners. It makes learning active and lively. Cooperation is
.: can
enhanced as all the members are carried along, in reasoning,
analysing, and evaluation of the activities. It promotes problem­

Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges

solving and tolerance of the learners. The design is expensive and "l\lI\\~' ':,:1'. ::,..

requires Information and Communication Technology literacy. '1IIIIIIIllllll\':I" 1'::,,""

Availability of power supply is a determining factor· in its allll~lI!~ 1t!lJ1nnnlr.i1J1::,,~

Conclusion illll\\llUllI!mIIIIil
The development of an effective curriculum guide is a multi-step,
on-going and cyclical process. There are many approaches to
curriculum development as presented in this chapter. No matter rnlffiilcln\
the choice of approach, the curriculum developer must be guided
t by the following principles. The curriculum developer must llllllniiiiDnpnIlte:..
establish a clear philosophy and set overarching goals that guide
the entire curriculum and the decisions that affect each aspect of mlnl".m
the curriculum. He should establish sequences both within and
between levels and assure a coherent and articulated progression
from one level to another. A basic framework must be outlined
for what to do, how to do it, when to do it and how to know if it
has been achieved. He must allow for flexibility and encourage
experimentation and innovation within an overall structure. The
curriculum must promote interdisciplinary approaches and the
integration when appropriate. Methods of assessing the
achievement of the curriculum goals and objectives must be
suggested and a means for revision and improvement provided.
The direction for procurement of human, material and fiscal
resources to implement the curriculum should also be provided.

There is no perfect approach. However, to be effective, an

approach must attract acceptance of the teachers and other
stakeholders in the education of the learners. This acceptance
will be far easier to attain when the curriculum approach reflects
child growth and development, the philosophy of the society,
principles of teaching and learning, needs and varying abilities of 1IIIIlm

the learners, ease of implementation; and cooperatively developed lU...

by a broad-based committee of teachers and relevant experts. G.,I
The approaches presented here resemble each other. The
difference, one can rightly claim is in the semantics
(terminology), because they emphasize the same process.

Curriculum development in Nigeria has followed these

approaches. Prof Aliyu Fafunwa was the Minister of Education
for years and made useful contributions to the development of

':':allenges ~'\;:;:roaches to Curriculum Development

nsive and Ilthe 6-3-3-4- system of education, which Nigeria is still operating
literacy. today, He was passionate about the indigenous languages, which
Jr in its are emphasized today in the schools.

Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction (2006).Guide to
'..:.lti-step, curriculum development: purposes, practices and
aches to procedures. Hartford: Connecticut State Department of
: matter Education.
€" guided
er must Chinyere, N zewi, U.M. & Offorma, G.C. (eds), Curriculum
,3.: guide

diversification in Nigeria. Nigeria: Curriculum
ispect of Organization of Nigeria (CON).
. ::.in and
gression Giles, H.H.; McCutchen, S.P. &Zechiel, A.N. (1942).Exploring the
:T;ltlined curriculum. New York: Harper & Row Publishers Inc.
:::)w if it
courage Ivowi, U.M.O. (1994), Concept of curriculum implementation. In
.re, The Offorma (ed), Curriculum Implementation and Instruction. .'
:"'''!d the Onitsha: Uni World Educational Publishers.
:~ the
f I
l-..:.st be Ivowi, U.M.O. (2009). Definition or meaning of curriculum (an I
":::',ided. operational) definition suited for Nigeria. In Ivowi, U.M.O.,
: fiscal Nwufo, Kate, Nwagbara.
t ied.

Kern, D., Thomas, D., Howa D., & Bass, E. (1998).Curriculum

',,'-=-. an development for medical education: a six-step approach.
Jther Baltimore & London: The John Hopkins University Press.

"::ance London: George Allen and Unwin.

,,>o:::iety, Mbakwem, J.U.(2009). Diversification through the use of
::~5 of multiple curriculum designs and approaches. In Ivowi,
-:-:Jped U.M.O. Nwufo Kate, Nwagbara C, Nzewi, U.M. & Offorma,
G.C. (eds) Curriculum Diversification in Nigeria. Nigeria:

Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON).


:Y1kpa, A.M. (1987). Curriculum development and

implementation. Owerri: Totan Publishers Ltd.
~ ..ese
'.:::JOn Nicholls, A. & Nicholls H. (1978). Developing a curriculum: a

.: of practical guide.



Education in Nigeria: Development and Challenges

Offorma, G.C. (1994) Curriculum design. In Offorma (ed),

Curriculum Implementation and Instruction. Onitsha: Uni
: . tI
world EducationalPublishers.

Offorma, G.C. (2002). Curriculum Theory and Planning. (ed)

I Enugu: Donze Press.

Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development: theory and practice.
New York: Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich.

Tyler, RW. (1971). Basic principle of curriculum and instruction.

Chicago: TheUniversity of Chicago Press.

Wheeler, D.K. (1978). Curriculum process. London: Hodder




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