The Curriculum Development Process
In a broad sense, the curriculum development process includes the design, development, implementation and evaluation of curricula. However, as one examines the process more closely it becomes evident that each component may itself comprise several varied but inter-related activities. The Curriculum Development is charged with the responsibility to operationalise the Curriculum Development Process. Accordingly, the work of the division may be more adequately described as designing, developing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing curricula that are appropriate and relevant to the needs and interests of a developing nation, such as ours.
The following is a brief description of these various activities involved in the development of curriculum materials:
Design: This involves all the preliminary work that is carried out to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, appropriate and workable. At this stage, the curriculum is conceptualized and attention is paid to arrangement of the varied components. Considerations include the focus on the philosophical underpinnings, goals, objectives, subject matter, learning experiences and evaluation ; all established in consultation with stakeholders. At present, emphasis is being placed on the learner in curriculum development activities.
Develop: In this stage, curriculum development involves planning, construction and the logical step-by-step procedures used to produce written documents, as well as print and non-print resource materials. These documents may include vision statements, goals, standards, performance benchmarks, learning activities and instructional strategies, interdisciplinary connections, and other integration activities that guide curriculum implementation.
Implement: This is the stage in which all stakeholders become part of the process by making their contribution to operationalise the curriculum as designed and developed. The process is managed by the officers of the Curriculum Development Division. It requires interaction between officers of the division, principals, teachers, parents, students and the general public, all key in the education of the child. Since implementation is a change actvity, the Curriculum Development Division also engages in in-service teacher education through seminars and workshops to facilitate the required alteration of individuals’ knowledge, skills and attitude
Monitor: This can be seen as part of the implementation process. It is at this stage that officers visit schools to verify that classroom practice is consistent with the established goals and objectives of the national curriculum. Data is gathered to inform policy and decision making relative to the curriculum. The monitoring activities also capture best practices for generalization and develop the working relationship between officers of the Curriculum Division and school personnel, allowing for technical support at the school level to be provided where needed.
Evaluate: At this stage, officers engage in analyzing data collected on the field to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum design and its implementation as they relate to the child. The process entails comprehensive study of the data with the view of identifying possible deficiencies and root causes that can lead to corrective action. It is the findings from this exercise that directly influence the final stage of review.
Review: The information gained from data analysis is used to guide appropriate adjustments to the curriculum documents. Such adjustments incorporate the strengths and address any apparent weakness of the implemented curriculum. Because of technological developments and the resulting ease with which new information can be shared, continuously evolving curriculum is now possible. Updates, links to resource material and successful teaching and learning experiences can be easily incorporated in curricula. These considerations are all geared towards curriculum improvement and improved student performance in meeting national, developmental and educational goals.