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TOPIC 6:

CURRENT ISSUES IN
CURRICULUM
IMPLEMENTATION
FRAMEWORK OF TOPIC

Current issues and


curriculum
implementation

Literacy Access Equity Multilingualism

Technological Unity Specialneeds


innovation
Definition of Curriculum
Implementation
 Curriculum implementation entails putting into practice the officially
prescribed courses of study, syllabuses and subjects. The process involves
helping the learner acquire knowledge or experience.
 It is important to note that curriculum implementation cannot take place
without the learner. The learner is therefore the central figure in the
curriculum implementation process.
 Implementation takes place as the learner acquires the planned or
intended experiences, knowledge, skills, ideas and attitudes that are
aimed at enabling the same learner to function effectively in a society.
 Curriculum implementation also refers to the stage when the curriculum itself, as an
educational programme, is put into effect.

 Stenhouse (1979) identifies the teacher as the agent in the curriculum implementation process.
Implementation takes place when the teacher-constructed syllabus, the teacher’s personality,
the teaching materials and the teaching environment interact with the learner.

 Curriculum implementation therefore refers to how the planned or officially designed course of
study is translated by the teacher into syllabuses, schemes of work and lessons to be delivered
to students.
Factors That Influence Curriculum
Implementation
1. The Teacher

 As Whitaker (1979) asserts, the teachers view their role in curriculum


implementation as an autonomous one. They select and decide what to teach
from the prescribed syllabus or curriculum. Since implementation takes place
through the interaction of the learner and the planned learning opportunities,
the role and influence of the teacher in the process is indisputable.
2. The Learners
 Learners are also a critical element in curriculum implementation. While
teachers are the arbiters (negotiators) of the classroom practice, the learners
hold the key to what is actually transmitted and adopted from the official
curriculum. The official curriculum can be quite different from the curriculum
that is actually implemented. The learner factor influences teachers in their
selection of learning experiences
3. Resource Materials and Facilities

 For the officially designed curriculum to be fully implemented as per plan, the government or
Ministry of Education should supply schools with adequate resource materials such as textbooks,
teaching aids and stationery in order to enable teachers and learners to play their role
satisfactorily in the curriculum implementation process. It is suggested that the central
government must also provide physical facilities such as classrooms, laboratories, workshops,
libraries and sports fields in order to create an environment in which implementation can take
place.
4. The School Environment

 One other factor that influences curriculum implementation concerns the


particular circumstances of each school. Schools located in rich socio-
economic environments and those that have adequate human and material
resources can implement the curriculum to an extent that would be difficult
or impossible for schools in poor economic environments.
5. Culture and Ideology

 Cultural and ideological differences within a society or country can also


influence curriculum implementation. Some communities may resist a
domineering culture or government ideology and hence affect the
implementation of the centrally planned curriculum.
6. Instructional Supervision
 Curriculum implementation cannot be achieved unless it has been made possible through the
supervisory function of the school head. The head does this through:
• deploying staff,
• allocating time to subjects taught at the school,
• providing teaching and learning materials, and
• creating an atmosphere conducive to effective teaching and learning.
The head “monitors and guides curriculum implementation through ensuring that schemes of work,
lesson plans and records of marks are prepared regularly”. The head teacher maintains a school
tone and culture that create the climate of social responsibility.
7. Assessment

 Assessment in the form of examinations influences curriculum implementation


tremendously. Due to the great value given to public examination certificates
by communities and schools, teachers have tended to concentrate on subjects
that promote academic excellence and little else. This action by the teacher
obviously can affect the achievement of the broad goals and objectives of the
curriculum.
Current Issues in Curriculum
Implementation
1. Literacy
 Literacy is the ability to read and write. The inability to do so is called
illiteracy or analphabetism. Visual literacy also includes the ability to
understand visual forms of communication such as body language,
pictures, maps, and video.
 Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the
dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community
development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding
to include the media and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and
number systems. These abilities vary in different social and cultural contexts
according to need, demand and education.
 The primary sense of literacy still represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining
meaning from a critical interpretation of the written or printed text. The key to all literacy is
reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken
words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text.
 Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness
of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns (orthography), word meaning (semantics),
grammar (syntax) and patterns of word formation (morphology), all of which provide a necessary
platform for reading fluency and comprehension.
 Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the
abilities to approach printed material with critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write
with accuracy and coherence; and to use information and insights from text as the basis for
informed decisions and creative thought.
2. Access to Education

 Access to education is the ability of people to have equal opportunity in education,


regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity background or physical and mental
disabilities. The term is used both in college admission for the middle and lower classes, and in
assistive technology for the disabled. Some critics find this idea an example of "political
correctness". In order to facilitate the access of education to all, certain countries have right to
education
 Access to education encourages a variety of pedagogical approaches to accomplish the
dissemination of knowledge across the diversity of social, political, cultural, economic, national
and biological backgrounds.
 However, as the definition of diversity is within itself is a broad amalgamation, teachers
exercising universal access will continually face challenges and incorporate adjustments in their
lesson plan to foster themes of equal opportunity of education.
Equitable access
 Across the globe, UNICEF is committed to nothing less than full and complete access to free,
quality education for every child. Universal access to quality education is not a privilege – it is a
basic human right.
 UNICEF is deeply committed to creating a world in which all children, regardless of their gender,
socio-economic background or circumstances, have access to free, compulsory and quality
education. In education, UNICEF supports the Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium
Development Goals 2 and 3 to ensure that all children have access to and complete a full course
of primary schooling, and to eliminate gender disparity in education by 2015. Other global goals
echoing these commitments include the World Education Forum’s Dakar Framework for Action,
which stresses the rights of girls, ethnic minorities and children in difficult circumstances; and
the emphasis in A World Fit for Children on ensuring equal access to and achievement in basic
education of good quality.
 While UNICEF adapts its strategies to fit each situation, its interventions typically include
outreach to identify excluded and at-risk girls and get them into school, policy support and
technical assistance for governments and communities to improve access for those children who
are hardest to reach or suffer most from discrimination, and programmes to eliminate cultural,
social and economic barriers to girls’ (often the marginalised group)education.
3.Equity in Education

 In education, the term equity refers to the principle of fairness. While it is


often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity
encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs and strategies
that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It is has been said that
“equity is the process; equality is the outcome,” given that equity—what is
fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict
equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally.
 The growing importance of education equity is based on the premise that now, more than ever
before, an individual’s level of education is directly correlated to the quality of life he or she
will live in the future. Therefore, an academic system that practices educational equity is a
strong foundation of a society that is fair and thriving. However, inequity in education is
challenging to avoid, and can be broken down into inequity due to socioeconomic standing,
race, gender or disability.
Socio-economic equity in education

Income and class


 Income has always played an important role in shaping academic success.
Those who come from a family of a higher socioeconomic status (SES) are
privileged with more opportunities than those of lower SES. Those who come
from a higher SES can afford things like better tutors, impressive programs,
and so on. Parents generally feel more comfortable intervening on behalf of
their children to acquire better grades or more qualified teachers. Parents of
a higher SES are more willing to donate large sums of money to a certain
institution to better improve their child's chances of acceptance, along with
other extravagant measures. This creates an unfair advantage and distinct
class barrier.
Costs of education
 The extraordinarily high cost of the many prestigious high schools and universities in the United
States makes an attempt at a "level playing field" for all students not so level. High-achieving
low-income students do not have the means to attend selective schools that better prepare a
student for later success. Because of this, low-income students do not even attempt to apply to
the top-tier schools for which they are more than qualified. In addition, neighbourhoods
generally segregated by class leave lower-income students in lower-quality schools.
 For higher-quality schooling, students in low-income areas would be required to take public
transport which they do not have the means to pay for.
 Fewer than 30 percent of students in the bottom quarter of incomes even enroll in a four-year
school and among that group, fewer than half graduate. Higher education has become too
expensive and doesn’t do enough to help lower income students succeed.
Tracking (Streaming)
 Another contributor to the inequality in the education system is tracking. Tracking sorts students
into different classes or groups based on ability or future plans. The point of tracking is to
create an environment in which the student's abilities match both the curriculum as well as the
other student's in the class.
 This separation, however, creates an inequality within itself. Starting at an extremely young
age, the sorting of students mimics hierarchy similar to one which will form later on in life.
Students are both viewed and treated differently depending on which track they take. The
quality of teaching and curricula vary between tracks and as a result, those of the lower track
are disadvantaged with inferior resources, teachers, etc.
Racial equity in education
 From a scientific point of view, the human species is a single race. It is
therefore misleading to use terms such as races and racial groups.
Nevertheless, the term racial group is enshrined in legislation, and phrases
such as race equality and race relations are in widespread official use. Racial
equity in education means the assignment of students to public schools and
within schools without regard to their race. This includes providing students
with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless
of their race.
Higher education
 Higher education plays a vital role in preparing students for the employment
market and active citizenship both nationally and internationally. By
embedding race equality in teaching and learning, institutions can ensure that
they acknowledge the experiences and values of all students, including
minority ethnic and international students.
Gender equity in education
 Gender equity in practicality refers to both male and female concerns, yet
most of the gender bias is against women in the developing world. Gender
discrimination in education has been very evident and underlying problem in
many countries, especially in developing countries where cultural and societal
stigma continue to hinder growth and prosperity for women.
Societal structure and costs
 While both basic education and higher education have both been improved
and expanded in the past 50 years, this has not translated to a more equal
society in terms of academics. While the feminist movement has made great
strides for women, other groups have not been as fortunate. Generally, social
mobility has not increased, while economic inequality has. So, while more
students are getting a basic education and even attending universities, a
dramatic divide is present and many people are still being left behind.
Summary
The quality of an education system encompasses multiple dimensions. The
assessment of quality in this chapter focuses largely on the intellectual
dimension of academic student outcomes, with the benefit of available and
measurable data. It is acknowledged that the numbers alone tell only one side of
the story. There are other critical aspects vital to the quality of education such
as a student’s spiritual, emotional, and physical development. Nonetheless,
children who are unable to master core intellectual skills such as literacy and
numeracy, as well as higher-order thinking, will be less likely to succeed in
today’s rapidly changing economy and globalised society.

Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025


Further Reading

 Chapter 2 & Chapter 3 Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025


TUTORIAL TASK

 Define a teacher.
What are the roles of teachers in curriculum
development?

 Teacher resists change because they lack understanding,


competencies and time. Discuss.