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DEVELOPING HEALTH

SCIENCES CURRICULA:
PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS
Only workbook for HSE 3704
SU1-3: Assignment 02

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookCompiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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The success of tomorrows students will be built upon the


education we design today
Dr Linda Price

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookCompiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook


Contents
Section B .................................................................................................................... 4
Study Unit 1: CURRICULUM THEORIES .................................................................. 4
1.1

THE CONCEPT: CURRICULUM AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT ..... 5

1.1.1 Curriculum defined in terms of subject matter (content) ................................... 10


1.1.2 Curriculum defined in terms of outcomes (product) ......................................... 12
1.1.3 Curriculum defined in terms of process (planned learning experiences) ............. 15
1.1.4 Curriculum defined in terms of praxis (interactions) ........................................ 17
1.1.5 Curriculum as having a conceptual and a cultural dimension ............................ 20
1.2

INTRODUCTION TO CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .............................. 23

1.3

THE PURPOSE OF A CURRICULUM ........................................................ 24

1.3.1 The academic-rationalist perspective ............................................................. 26


1.3.2 The cognitive processes perspective .............................................................. 27
1.3.3 The humanistic (personal relevance) perspective ............................................. 28
1.3.4 The social reconstructionist (social adaptation and reconstruction) perspective /
Critical theory ..................................................................................................... 29
1.3.5 The personal commitment perspective ........................................................... 30
1.4

CLASSIFICATION OF CURRICULA ........................................................... 36

1.5

CURRICULUM TERMINOLOGY................................................................. 38

1.6

THE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE ............................................................. 39

1.7

SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 40

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookCompiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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Week
1-2

Section B

16 hours

Study Unit 1: CURRICULUM THEORIES


In this first study unit you will be introduced to the field of curriculum studies. We will
focus on the following questions:
What is a curriculum?
What is the purpose of a curriculum?
What is meant by curriculum development?
How is a curriculum developed?

Specific outcomes:
After you have worked through this study unit you will be able to conceptualise the
meaning of the concept of curriculum and its purposes, based on your ability to
distinguish between different perspectives about the meaning of the concept
of curriculum
distinguish between different perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum
analyse a given definition of curriculum
explain what a curriculum is from a chosen perspective, or from a combination
of perspectives
argue in favour of a perspective, or combination of perspectives, about the
purpose of a curriculum within the context of your own profession
enhance effective communication by using curriculum

Before we start, remember:

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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1.1

THE CONCEPT: CURRICULUM AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Traditionally curriculum is defined as a course of study - those items that establish


the course (Wiles &Bondi 2011:3). The word curriculum is derived from the Latin
word curro or currerewhich means to run'' (Billings & Halstead 2012:79; Iwasiw&
Goldenberg, 2015:4). In this sense curriculum refers to an educational journey or
race that learners embark on to achieve some educational goal.

This is a general definition of the concept of curriculum. Various more specific


definitions are to be found in the educational literature; but, as we have mentioned,
these definitions vary greatly.

How we define the concept of curriculum depends on our perspective about what
acurriculum is, as well as our perspective about the nature of education and the
world. It is for this reason that various, often diverse, definitions of curriculum are
found in the literature. It is important to understand these different perspectives
because our own view about what a curriculum is will influence the decisions we
make about the type of curriculum which we value.

Activity 1.1: In your own words, without consulting any sources, write down what
YOU think a curriculum is.
A curriculum is a compiled document in a faculty or department which has full details
about a specific course, the course content, learning outcomes, how the content will
be delivered to the students, what methods will be used and how they students will
be assessed or evaluate if learning outcomes have been achieved. It also has full
details

of

what

content

will

be

covered

and

what

resources

will

be

used._______________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Lets look at a few evidence-based definitions of a curriculum!


HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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Ebert, Ebert and Bently (2013) defines curriculum as

the means and materials with which students will interact for the
purpose of achieving identified educational outcomes.
The authors further state that

A key concept to keep in mind is that the curriculum is only that


part of the plan that directly affects students. Anything in the plan
that does not reach the students constitutes an educational wish, but
not a curriculum.
As an example, let us analyse Keating's definition of a curriculum. According to
Keating (2015:1), a curriculum is

... the formal plan of study that provides the philosophical


underpinnings, goals, and guidelines for delivery of a specific
educational program.
Underline each of the keywords in Keating's definition. Critically evaluate the
definition and then make notes on the implications for health sciences education.

Keatings definition suggests three major points, the first being that learning is a
formal educational plan. We do plan theoretical and clinical teaching sessions and
learning opportunities. Usually we use a curriculum document to guide us. This
document includes the content and skills, for example, which learners should acquire
in order to achieve specified learning outcomes (goals), and an indication of how
learning assessment will occur. In addition the educational plan also specifies which
clinical areas the learners should be exposed to and the number of hours needed for
each exposure.

On the other hand, we need to ask ourselves whether we can really plan all possible
specific learning experiences. Learning is a private journey. It is not owned by the
educator. It can at times be quite spontaneous. Learning possibilities may arise that
have not been anticipated while the learners utilise planned learning opportunities
and interact with the learning material, with the educator and with one another. The
nature of health sciences education, and of education in general, is such that
learners are likely to learn in groups in both the classroom and clinical areas and will

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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also spend time working individually in both the educational institution and the
clinical field.

Learning may occur as a learner is pursuing some meaningful idea, triggered by


something that has been read, discussed or investigated, which may be quite
different from where the educational plan was supposed to lead. For this reason
Keating's definition is restrictive because it does not make provision for the
curriculum as interactions in the educational setting, which may lead to intended and
unintended learning.

Secondly, the definition suggests that a curriculum provides the philosophical


underpinnings for the delivery of a specific educational programme. This adds
another perspective to our understanding of what a curriculum is. Keating's definition
makes provision for the fact that our philosophical views influence our decisions
during curriculum development and therefore also the nature of the curriculum which
we develop. The definition also accounts for the fact that we teach the learners the
values and wisdom which underlie the content and skills which they are supposed to
acquire.
Keating therefore suggests that a curriculum is a means by which we form the
learners in terms of ethics and their ability to seek to answer the basic questions of
what is real and true, and how truth differs from opinion. This is in addition to
teaching them what they need to practise a particular profession competently in
technical terms. Keating's definition therefore makes provision for the foundations of
a curriculum.

Thirdly, the definition suggests that a curriculum provides guidelines for the delivery
of a specific educational programme. This means that this definition sheds light on
the fact that a curriculum comprises an implementation guideline in addition to the
educational plan. A curriculum therefore communicates an educational plan and
guidelines on how the educational plan should be applied in practice. Therefore the
curriculum involves not only a formal educational plan but also what happens in the
teaching-learning situation.

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Keating's definition does contribute something to our understanding of the meaning


of the concept of curriculum in terms of having a conceptual and cultural dimension.
We at least know that if we follow this viewpoint we need to plan carefully for all the
learning opportunities that a learner requires to become a competent health care
practitioner. We also know that we have to establish a guideline which educators and
learners can use to ascertain that teaching and learning actually contribute towards
achieving the goals as stated in the educational plan. In addition we need to
explicate the philosophical underpinnings (or foundations) of the curriculum.

If we look at the definition of a curriculum, it is clear that most of the definitions of a


curriculum have certain key-words in common.

Activity 1.2: Using Mindmeister(www.mindmeister.com), draw a mind map on the


definition of what a curriculum is/entails. Remember to include the sources that you
have consulted. (At Unisa we make use of the Harvard method.) The mind map must
be saved in your e-portfolio and pasted in the space provided below. Copy and paste
the link to your mind map here: https://www.mindmeister.com/518882535

Tip: You may consult any relevant source, such asthese suggestions:

http://www.edudemic.com/benefits-of-mind-mapping/ and/or
http://www.education.com/reference/article/curriculum-definition/and/or
http://www.slideshare.net/UmairAshraf/curriculum-history-and-elements-ofcurriculumand/or

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1.1..1 http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-educationsystems/quality-framework/technical-notes/different-meaning-of-curriculum/

Activity 1.3: In the myUnisa discussion forum, under the topic Curriculum
Development Definitions, paste your Mind Map. Take a look at some of your costudents mind maps and leave feedback (an academic comment). Your comment
will be graded and contributes to your semester mark. [Nicely done is not an
academic comment.]
Copy and paste the two responses that you have provided on two other students mind
maps here:
Student 1: 34173552 (number). Your response: Your mind map is simple,straight forward and
has less clutter.It outlines the main points accurately. I did not see any references though.

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Student 2: 49669087 (number). Your response:

I have viewed your map. It is easy to

understand and I noticed the references too.

Copy and paste two responses that you have received on your mind map here:
Student 1: __________ (number). Their response: ____________________
Student 2: __________ (number). Their response: ____________________

Do you agree with the feedback you have received? Yes / No


Motivate your answer:
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________

A curriculum can be defined in terms of:


subject matter (content)
outcomes (curriculum as product)
planned learning experiences (curriculum as process)
interactions in the educational setting (curriculum as praxis)
and have a conceptual and a cultural dimension.

We will quickly discuss each of the above perspectives. As you read through these
descriptions, you must highlight or circle the basic concepts as it relates to this
definition/perspective. (You will use these keywords for the next activity.)

1.1.1 Curriculum defined in terms of subject matter (content)


Traditionally, curriculum is viewed in terms of content and education is viewed in
terms of the transmission of knowledge. Viewed from this perspective, a curriculum
is a pre-planned entity that consists of a collection of courses, subjects or subject
disciplines. This category represents a perspective that a curriculum is a written
description of the content that educators deem important and intend to teach their
learners. In this sense content refers to facts, concepts and generalisations that are
inherent in particular subjects or subject disciplines, as well as to related skills and

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attitudes that learners need to acquire. Specialists in the academic fields teach
learners the modes of academic inquiry practised by them.
Learners are therefore exposed to the subject matter of a particular field of study, as
well as to the methods of inquiry by which knowledge is generated by experts.
Below is a definition that reflects the view that a curriculum is a collection of subject
matter.
Bell (Quinn 2007:107) defines curriculum as follows:

A curriculum is the offering of socially valued knowledge, skills and


attitudes made available to learners through a variety of
arrangements during the time they are at school, college or
university.
You might also want to look at Dr Asgaris presentation (Slideshare, slide 12 of 63) for
her perspective on the content or subject based curriculum.

Figure 1: Curriculum Approaches (Asgari, n.d. 12/63)

This perspective supports the development of a curriculum consisting of an outline of


the subject disciplines and individual subjects that are taught to learners. Biological
sciences are an example of a subject discipline and anatomy, physiology and
microbiology are examples of subjects falling under a discipline. Each subject can
also be broken down into topics that should be covered by educators, for example
the anatomy of the respiratory system. It is the responsibility of the learner to master
the subject content and the reasoning processes inherent in the subject discipline.
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Activity 1.4: Write down the key-words that you have circled for the CONTENTbased curriculum:
Pre-planned
Facts
Knowledge
Specialists
skills
methods
description
Academic

What would be some of the disadvantages of the content or subject-based


curriculum?
Some content changes due to new research findings and facts changing
Sills to be acquired require a practical demonstration therefore if content is the
only method then practical skills will be lacking
The method used to deliver the content might be difficult to understand
therefore not suitable for that specific topic
The content might not be suitable for that specific group of students.Prior
learning which the educator might assume as having being acquired by the
learners, when in fact it was not.
Roy Killen(2010:51)states that it generates debates regarding which content
should be included and excluded in the curriculum
Roy Killen(2010:51) indicates that teachers make decisions about specific
pieces of content without necessarily considering how this content will help
learners to achieve long term goals of curriculum

In Billings and Halstead (2012:79) you will find another definition by RC Doll.

1.1.2 Curriculum defined in terms of outcomes (product)

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According to this perspective, a curriculum is viewed as a pre-planned educational


guideline that consists of stated purposes, aims and objectives. Content to be taught
to learners is seen to be secondary to the intended results of learning as stated in
the form of, for instance, learning outcomes. The learning outcomes are indications
of what learners should be able to do or perform on completion of individual study
units, a collection of study units and the curriculum as a whole. A close link exists
between pre-specification of outcomes and testing of performance when learners are
required to demonstrate mastery of the learning outcomes.
Therefore, criteria are specified according to which the outcomes of learning should
be evaluated. This perspective is underpinned by a belief that the purpose of
education is to equip learners with the necessary skills to function effectively in
society. It has had an impact on especially vocational training courses.

Spady, who is considered to be the father of outcomes-based curriculums and


education concluded that:

In its briefest form, an outcome is a culminating demonstration of


learning. It is a demonstration: what it is the kids will actually do.
Most people have thought over the years that the outcomes were the
curriculum content: What will the kids know? What can they recall
on a test? But outcomes are not content, they're performances.
According to Tyler (1950:5) education (curriculum) is

.. a process of changing people's behaviour patterns.


Johnson (1967:130) defines curriculum as

... a structured series of intended learning outcomes.


According to Pratt (1980:4), a curriculum is

... an organised set of formal educational or training intentions.


A definition of curriculum as a set of planned outcomes supports the development of
a behavioural objectives-based or an outcomes-based curriculum in which learning
outcomes, together with learning areas and assessment criteria, are outlined. The
learners systematically achieve the stated objectives or outcomes and demonstrate
what they have learnt by using the curriculum content to perform certain skills

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competently.Nicholson provides a concise summary and quote Spadys 1994 original


publication by stating that:

Outcome-Based Education means clearly focusing and organizing


everything in an educational system around what is essential for all
students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning
experiences. This means starting with a clear picture of what is
important for students to be able to do, then organizing the
curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning
ultimately happen.
If one then needs to visually illustrate the process, it would look something like my
diagram below:

Activity 1.5:Taking all the above definitions and explanations into account, write
down the key-words that you have circled for the OUTCOMES-based curriculum:
Pre-planned
outcomes
criteria
demonstrate mastery

What would be some of the disadvantages of the outcomes-based curriculum?


If the learners are not well equipped for learning content on their own, i.e. if
they are dependent on the educator always dishing out information
Lack of resources, i.e. if they do not have access to where they can acquire
information, e.g. internet, or basic computer skills
Learners should be required to apply their gained knowledge to real life
situations/settings (Spady,1998:25)

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There are quite a number of presentations on Slideshare and YouTube where


lecturers and students elaborate on the value and constraints regarding an
outcomes-based curriculum. If you find a presentation that is useful (any topic),
kindly share the link with the rest of the class via myUnisa. You do not need to
upload the clip you can use my example to guide you:
Useful OBE-links (downloadable presentations): Outcomes-based Education
http://www.slideshare.net/crlmgn/outcomnesbased-education?related=1and
http://www.slideshare.net/alwynlau/outcomebasededucation?next_slideshow=1
**Please bear in mind that not all content on the World Wide-Web is always 100%
accurate so use viewer discretion.**

1.1.3 Curriculum defined in terms of process (planned learning experiences)


Curriculum as a set of planned learning experiences represents a view that a
curriculum is aplan according to which personal experiences, which are intended to
contribute to learning,are brought to learners. This view considers almost anything
which the learners encounter inschool and outside the school (as long as it is
planned) as being part of the curriculum.

Asgari (2010:8) describes planned learning experiences as:

any activity that provides a practicing administrator with


knowledge or skills, or that changes attitudes, and is deliberately
planned and presented as a learning event. Each learning experience
should contribute to the development of at least one learning
outcomes.
Examples of definitions that are based on the process-based perspective are that of
Ornstein and Levin(2006:414):

... planned experiences provided through instruction,


and that of Print (1993:9):

... all the planned learning opportunities offered to learners by the


educational institutionand the experiences learners encounter when
the curriculum is implemented.
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and Kerr (Quinn 2007:108):

... all learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it
is carried on ingroups or individually, inside or outside the school.
A definition of curriculum as a set of planned learning experiences represents a shift
of focusaway from curriculum content and outcomes in favour of a focus on learning.

Activity 1.6:Write down the key-words that you have circled for the PROCESSbased curriculum:
skills
personal experiences
development
planned
For which subjects or learning would a process-based curriculum works best?
Anatomy and physiology
Pharmacology
Demonstrations of nursing procedures in a nursing unit

What would be some of the disadvantages of the process-based curriculum?


It is learner-centred, therefore if a learner is dependent on the educator,
learning will be difficult or will not occur.
Lack of resources where learners will not be able to experience some of the
learning due to shortage or lack of equipment
Ever changing systems and methods of how certain procedures are executed

Do you think that it is possible to plan for all learning experiences? What happens if
a teaching/learning opportunity presents itself, but the lecturer did not plan for this?

If you want to read more about the process-based curriculum, try this (rather old)
article: Knight, P. 2001. Complexity and curriculum: a process approach to
curruculum-making. Teaching in Higher Education, 6 (3). pp. 369-381. ISSN 13562517.

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1.1.4 Curriculum defined in terms of praxis (interactions)


The word praxis implies practice. Therefore, a praxis-based curriculum focuses on real-life
problems (as opposed to theoretical statements and assumptions). The student and the lecturer
form a team. The ideal is that real life problems are confronted (together) by the students and
their lecturers. They then critically think about and reflect on it and find application and
meaning of content to real-life situations (Yek& Penney, 2006:7-8).

Grundy (in Yek& Penney, 2006:7) describes the teaching and learning process as:

a process which takes the experiences of both the learner and the
teacher and, through dialogue and negotiation, recognizes them both
as problematic.

Grundy (in Yek& Penney, 2006:7) further states that:

the curriculum is not simply a set of plans to be implemented, but


rather is constituted through an active process in which planning,
acting and evaluating are all reciprocally related and integrated into
the process
Bevis and Watson (1989:5) define curriculum as

... the interactions and transactions that occur between and among
students and teachers with the intent that learning occur.
Study Billings and Halstead (2012:7980) and add the definitions by William E Doll (2002)
and Nelms (1991) to this section.You will notice that WE Doll (in Billings & Halstead,
2012:79)focusses on the shifting paradigm where the focus is not solely on the
individual undertaking the study. Look at the five major concepts as used by him:
Currere
Complexity
Cosmology
Conversation
Community

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These definitions indicate that all other aspects of curriculum such as programmes of study,
written plans, and extracurricular activities are adjuncts to educator-learner and learnerlearner interactions. This perspective is based on the assumption that a curriculum is what
actually happens in the teaching-learning setting as opposed to a written plan, which might
not be realised in practice as intended.

This perspective also underscores the principles of interactive learning (interaction between
the learners and the learning material) and collaborative learning (interaction among learners
and educators). Interaction and collaboration enable the learners to internalise and apply
curriculum content in order to solve problems.

Activity 1.7: Write down the key-words that you have circled for the PRAXIS-based
curriculum:
practice
real life
team/collaboration
interaction
reflect

What would be some of the disadvantages of the praxis-based curriculum?


Not all learning experiences can be applied to real life situations

___________________________________________________________

If we look at the definition of a curriculum, it is clear that most of the definitions of a


curriculum have certain key-words in common, although their application may differ.

Activity 1.8: In table format (see outline provided) differentiate between the different
perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model. Use the
keywords that you have written down. You must upload the final table to your
portfolio.

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For this activity, you may work in groups of four (4). One of the easiest ways to do
group work over a distance, is by using collaborative online documents. Remember
that you will also need to include YOUR perspective on the rest of the teams
contributions towards the project. The total must add up to 100%.

Enter the names and student numbers of the four group members here:
Name: _________ Student nr: _________ Contributed 25%
Name: _________ Student nr: _________ Contributed ______%
Name: _________ Student nr: _________ Contributed ______%
Name: _________ Student nr: _________ Contributed ______%

A few websites that you might want to consult for information regarding the table:
http://infed.org/mobi/curriculum-theory-and-practice/
UCD teaching and learning @ www.ucd.ie and
http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/ucdtlp00631.pdf
http://www.sabes.org/curriculum/instruction/bit-about-curriculum.pdf
You might also want to consult Uys and Gwele (2005:13-14).

Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model


Content
Theorist
Curriculum is:

Consist of

Focus

Emphasize

Bell
- Written
description of
content to be
taught to
learners
- Facts,
concepts,
generalisations
- Attitudes and
skills to be
acquired
- Knowledge of
subject matter

Outcome/Product
Ralph Tyler

Process
Stenhouse

Praxis
E Doll

- Pre-planned
educational
guideline

- Planned learning - What actually


experiences
happens in
provided through
teaching-learning
instruction
setting

- Stated purposes,
aims and objectives

- Planned learning - Teacher learner


opportunities
collaboration

- Equip learners with


skills to function
effectively in society
- Changing peoples
behaviour patterns

Education is
seen as:

- Transmission of - Behaviour changing


knowledge
expeience

Learners
expectancies

- To master
subject content

- To achieve set
learning objectives

learning
- Processes of
learning and the
methods that
promote active
learning
- Personal
experience
- Total
invoilvement of
teachers and

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

- Principles of
interactive
learning
- Application of
curriculum to real
life situations

Enable learners to
internalize and use
curriculum content
to solve problems
- To be taught how
to relate content to
reality

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Evaluation

- Formative
assessments

Purpose

- Teach learners
modes of
academic
enquiry

Known as

- Collection of
subject matter

Dangers

Content takes
time to change
as opposed to
technology
which might
hinder delivery
of the
knowledge to
learners

- Demonstrate
mastery of learning
content
- To promote
achievement of
stated objectives

- Planned,structured
learning outcomes
- Competency based
model
It reduces content
and it may not be
easy to express
some outcomes in a
manner that will
enable the educator
to use them to guide
them in planning
instructional
practices

learners
- Formative
- Equip learners
with skills to
solve problems
from personal
experiences
- Learner centred
learning

Practical

Equip learners with


skills to apply
content to real life
situations and
therefore solve
problems
Interactions in the
educational setting

If there is lack or
poor Interpersonal
skills between
teachers and
learners,learning
will be affected

1.1.5 Curriculum as having a conceptual and a cultural dimension


From the above categories, we can distinguish between two major uses of the concept of
curriculum. Some educators use the concept to refer to a written description of what is
intended to happen in the educational setting. For instance, a curriculum is seen to constitute
pre-specified content which educators are supposed to teach, the outcomes which the learners
should achieve and the learning opportunities which the educators should create and the
learners should utilise.

Others use it to refer to what actually happens in the educational setting (e.g. the learning
experiences which the learners encounter as well as their interactions and collaboration which
result in their learning). These educators use the concept to refer to the teaching-learning
strategies which they actually employ, the learners' clinical learning experiences, and so on.
The resultant learning may be either intended or unintended.

Grundy (1987:5,7) combines these two uses of the concept by stating that a curriculum
consists of a conceptual and a cultural dimension. The conceptual dimension refers to a plan
according to which education should be rendered. This plan consists of pre-specified content,
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outcomes and learning opportunities which are presented to the learners. The cultural
dimension is the learning experiences of learners as a result of the implementation of the
educational plan in practice. It is clear that this perspective encompasses all of the above
perspectives; it is therefore an eclectic approach.

The following definition of Print (1993:9) reflects this perspective:

... all the planned learning opportunities offered to learners by the


educational institution and the experiences learners encounter when
the curriculum is implemented. This includes those activities that
educators have devised for learners which are invariably represented
in the form of a written document and the process whereby educators
make decisions to implement those activities given interaction with
context variables such as learners, resources, educators and the
learning environment.
Curriculum development based on this perspective will result in the establishment of an
educational plan in which general outcomes, subject matter, planned learning opportunities
and assessment criteria are outlined.

This perspective even goes further in that the concept of curriculum is understood to include
guidelines according to which the educational plan could be implemented in practice.
Specific learning outcomes, study guides, learning contracts and learning assessment tools
could be incorporated in the implementation guidelines. The implementation guidelines
would then serve as point of departure for personnel development on how to implement the
educational plan in practice. This is to ensure that the experiences of learners during their
interactions with the educational plan and with educators do in fact contribute to achievement
of the intended outcomes as stated in the educational plan. Figure 2 serves as an example.

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Figure 2: Curriculum dimensions

At this point, note the fact that a curriculum is influenced by its context. If you read the
previous/above definition by Print (1993:9) again you will discover that the author specifies
context variables, namely learners, educators and the environment. This matter will be
elaborated on in study units 2 and 4 where we discuss the context of the curriculum and the
situation analysis which is aimed at investigating the context of a particular curriculum.

Activity 1.9: Consider your personal view about curriculum that you have written down at
the beginning of this study unit. Now reflect on the following:
Do you think your stated view was realistic? (Motivate your answer)
Yes it was realistic because my definition stated that it is a written planned guide of
what is to be learned, by whom how the course content will be executed.
What misconceptions did you have prior to studying the various perspectives about
what a curriculum is?
I did not realise that it can be split into several different types of definitions if divided
into main subsections, namely; content, process, product and praxis
How would you define curriculum at this point? Use your own words.
A written formal plan of how a programme will be implemented, i.e the course
content, objectives, outcomes, who will be delivering the content and how, the
evaluation of learners etc.
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It is quite acceptable if you were unable to explain what curriculum meant to you in activity
1.1. We trust that you were able to do so now. Defining curriculum now was probably
difficult because there are various perspectives about what a curriculum is, and you had to
consider each of these perspectives. You might even be a bit confused. At this point it is
sufficient for you to understand that various perspectives exist and to be able to formulate
your own definition, based on what you have read so far.

By now you are probably wondering how you, as a potential educator, are to make sense of
these widely differing approaches. The implications of each of the various perspectives will
become clear to you as you proceed through this and the other third level health sciences
education modules. At this point you should note that the perspective which is adopted by
your profession will influence the type of curriculum which will be developed to educate
health care professionals.

1.2

INTRODUCTION TO CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

The development of a curriculum forms part of the basic competencies expected of


an educator. In this workbook, you will look at the various approaches to curriculum
development as well as the application of all of the theories underpinning the actual
process of developing a curriculum.

In recent times the responsibility for curriculum planning, development and


evaluation has shifted from national professional councils, such as nursing councils
and other health professional councils, to educational institutions. This shift is a
worldwide trend and stems from the belief that curriculum decisions should be made
by the educators who implement them and that the decisions should be shared by all
who are involved in some way in planning the curriculum. Therefore, once you have
been appointed to a teaching post, you will be involved in some way in planning,
developing and evaluating a curriculum which will guide your teaching practices.

You may be involved as a member of a team planning a new curriculum, or planning


improvements to or updating an existing curriculum. Alternatively you may be asked
to comment on a curriculum which has been developed by other people. You will
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even be involved in curriculum development when you are teaching a course


because you will be constantly developing lesson plans and other learning materials.
Regardless of the nature of your involvement with the curriculum, it is important to
have in-depth knowledge of the theory of curriculum development. This will enable
you to apply its theoretical principles successfully in educational practice. This is why
curriculum theory is included in your course.

Activity 1.10: As stated above, all teaching staff are involved in curriculum
development. Compiling your lesson plans is viewed as crucial to your teaching
responsibilities and form part of your class preparation. Watch the following videoclip on Curriculum Development (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkKSgSChJA)
and explain which of the two members views are correct. [Remember to include the
sources that you have consulted. At Unisa we make use of the Harvard method.]

The principals view is that anyone can develop a curriculum, even if they have very
little to no educational background. Her view is that one does not even have to be an
expert

to

develop

curriculum

which

will

be

used

by

the

educators.___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
The educator is of the belief that one needs to be knowledgeable in order to be able
to develop curriculum. not only should the developer be highly educated but capable
of teaching that curriculum too. The teacher is correct because a person who is not
experienced in a field will know what needs to be learned, how to teach it, to whom,
when and how to asses if it was learned.

Can you teach/facilitates from someone elses lesson plan? Why / Why not?
Yes. If the lesson plans are done correctly one can teach/facilitate using them. They
will have outcomes, objectives, target group, theme, topic, method and assessment
method. In short lesson plans are a step by step guide of executing a lesson.

1.3

THE PURPOSE OF A CURRICULUM

The curriculum serves a particular educational purpose. You have learnt that various
perspectives exist about the meaning of the concept of curriculum. Similarly, various
HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

Page 24

perspectives exist about the purpose of a curriculum. Each perspective has


implications for curriculum development. It is therefore important for educators to
clarify their views about the purpose of a curriculum before embarking on a
curriculum development project, or implementing an existing curriculum in a specific
educational setting. In this module we focus on curriculum development for the
health sciences and not for education in general. You should therefore specifically
concentrate on the purpose of a curriculum within the context of your own
profession.

Activity 1.11: What is your opinion about the purpose of education and by
implication the curriculum? State your opinion by circling the option that reflects your
opinion best:
SA = strongly agree
A = agree
D = disagree
SD = strongly disagree
(1) The purpose is to transmit and preserve a cultural heritage, for example the
existing culture of your profession.
SA A D SD

(2) The purpose is to develop thinking, problem solving and learning skills among
learners.
SA

SD

(3) The purpose is to promote personal development of each individual learner (selfactualisation).
SA

SD

(4) The purpose is to promote social transformation.


SA

SD

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At some point, we will ask you to review your responses. In the meantime, we will
continue to explore various perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum, as found
in the literature.

You may use and add any reliable source such as Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead
and Boshee, (2012,Chapter 1) to add depth to our discussions below by integrating
the content into our discussions in the studyguide.

Manley-Delacruz (1990:5) provides an overview of the different perspectives. (I know


it is a very old article, but the content is still good.) Try to compile your own.

Figure 3: Curriculum perspectives (Manley-Delacruz, 1990:5)

1.3.1 The academic-rationalist perspective


According to this view, the purpose of a curriculum is to foster academic excellence
and to transmit the intellectual tradition or culture of society from generation to
generation. Learners are taught to recognise the finest achievements in their cultural
heritage (which includes the cultural heritage of a particular profession) and, where
possible, to add to these achievements through their own efforts. The purpose of the
curriculum can therefore be stated as conserving the existing social order. A
curriculum is developed to teach learners the knowledge, skills and values by which
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civilisation was shaped in the past and is still being shaped today. The focus is on
the development of a rational mind and on teaching learners the standards of
reason, as well as on how to do research. The aim is to develop the insight and
intellectual skills that are required to study academic subjects or subject disciplines.
Another aim is to prepare learners to function effectively in society, for instance to be
a competent occupational therapist, a nurse or a physiotherapist. Decisions on what
to teach are based on the consideration of the usefulness or vocational value of
certain kinds of knowledge (McNeil1996:1).

An expression of the purpose of a curriculum, in terms of conveyance of the


intellectual tradition or culture of a particular health profession, supports the
development of a content-centred, a behavioural objectives-based or an outcomesbased curriculum.

According to Barone (2012:3) there are eternal truths that one needs to discovered.
However, an overstuffed curriculum should be avoided and

the most worthwhile learning centers on those enduring ideas and


artifacts that have stood the test of time.
Activity 1.12: Look at the presentation uploaded by Chan on Academic Rationalism
or the article by Barone (2010). Which types of institutions will ideally teach from an
academic-rationalist perspective? Secondary schools

1.3.2 The cognitive processes perspective


According to this perspective, the purpose of a curriculum is viewed in terms of the
development of critical thinking skills among learners. The aim is to equip learners
with the knowledge, skills and processes that are needed to solve problems and to
learn how to learn.
The assumption is that society is in a process of constant change and that subject
content constantly becomes outdated. Learners should therefore be equipped with
the intellectual and learning skills that will enable them to adapt to social change and
keep up to date with new developments. They should be taught to apply intellectual
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skills to solve problems. Content relating to the academic disciplines is specified in


the curriculum, but this content is seen to be the source of knowledge necessary to
solve problems successfully, as opposed to knowledge that should simply be
memorised and regurgitated. The curriculum content is learnt by means of selfdirected learning and discovery learning techniques, which require active learner
involvement. It is not simply transmitted by the educators (McNeil 1996:1).

Activity 1.13: Given the statement above, reflect on how you were taught certain
practical skills (e.g. wound-dressing) when you were a student. Where you taught a
sequence of steps that you had to follow, or were you taught the basic principles of
wound-dressing? We were taught a sequence of steps that we needed to follow, a
step by step guide from preparing the equipment until the end when the wound was
done.
Do you think this was a good way of teaching? (Motivate your answer.) It was a
good way of teaching according to the company policy, but sometimes the step by
step guide does not accommodate the unforeseen circumstances which could
change the sequence of steps completely, e.g. if a patient has multiple wounds or
starts touching the sterile sections of the dressing pack. Therefore I think teaching
principles and basics first would have worked better since it teaches not only the
step by step routine but also maybe what to do in this case.

An expression of the purpose of the nursing curriculum in terms of the intellectual


development of learners paves the way for the development of a process curriculum
which is organised according to a problem-based design.

1.3.3 The humanistic (personal relevance) perspective


This perspective focuses on the learner as an individual and on meeting the basic
needs and aspirations of each learner. Humanists believe that the purpose of a
curriculum is to provide each learner with intrinsically rewarding learning experiences
that contribute to personal liberation and development, namely self-actualisation.
The ideals of personal growth, integrityand autonomy are pursued. The aim is the
development of the total person, namely theintellectual, emotional, moral and

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spiritual development of learners. In terms of thinkingskills, the aim is to develop


creative thinking abilities of learners. The curriculum consists ofintrinsically valuable
learning experiences that will promote the self-actualisation of eachlearner. An
individualised approach is maintained to meet the needs of each learner in his orher
quest for personal development (McNeil 1996:1).

An expression of the purpose of the nursing curriculum in terms of self-actualisation


supportsthe development of a learner-centred, flexible curriculum which makes
provision forexperiential learning. You may want to read the article by Cannell and
Macintyre (2013:4-12).

Activity 1.14: What are the unique features of a flexible curriculum? You can consult
the CHEs (2013) document for some insight into this.
It allows students who can complete a programme in less than formal time to be
permitted to do so. It also accommodates different levels of preparedness among
entering students.

1.3.4 The social reconstructionist (social adaptation and reconstruction) perspective /


Critical theory

Social reconstructivists are concerned with the relation of the curriculum to society
as itshould be, as opposed to society as it is. According to social reconstructivists,
the primaryconcern of education is to deal with the needs and problems of society,
rather than those ofthe individual learner, and to contribute to the creation of a better
social order. Theodore Brameld believed that the purpose ofa curriculum is the
enhancement of social reform by providing liberatory education. Learners are
empowered by acquiring the ability to contribute to social reform as opposed to
accepting current realities and practices or merely adapting to social change. This is
done by developing thinking skills that will enable learners to show a healthy
scepticism about the world, their community and their schooling (McNeil
1996:1).Learners are encouraged to ask critical questions and have meaningful
dialog

they

are

guided,

but

NOT

told

what

to

think

or

believe

(Education.com).Freire opposed the thought that educators deposit knowledge into


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the students heads. He believed that, through a process of inquiry, the child/student
must invent and reinvent the world (Houston Community College System, n.d.).The
needs of society are seen as greater than those of the individual and the focus of the
curriculum is therefore to meet the most urgent needs of society. Learners are
confronted with the many severe problems that humankind experiences. They are
equipped with the skills to analyse arguments, look for valid evidence and reach
sound conclusions. They are taught to use these skills to conduct a critical survey of
the community, analyse political practices, consider proposals for change and
determine which of the proposals for change suit the needs of the community. On an
individual level, learners are also taught how to shape their own destiny; thus they
take control over their own lives, bearing in mind that empowered individuals can
contribute towards social change.

An expression of the purpose of the curriculum, in terms of social reform, supports


the development of a curriculum that will empower learners to contribute to building a
more just society. This perspective is consistent with the development of a praxis
curriculum which supports community-based education.

See Uys and Gwele

(2005:153+).

Activity 1.15: Do you think that all teaching institutions will be able to adopt a social
reconstructive curriculum? (As always, motivate your answer.) No,not all institutions
can be able to adopt a social reconstructive curriculum because not all courses or
programmes can be applied in the community for example, a chemical engineering
degree studied in a community setting will be difficult to implement as the daily
activities will not allow for community involvement. A nursing or teaching qualification
can however be able to be implemented in a community based settings since dealing
with the community and its problems will affect how they work once they have
completed their courses.

1.3.5 The personal commitment perspective


The central concern of this perspective is commitment on the part of the educator
and the learners. According to this perspective the purpose of a curriculum is to

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develop, in learners, a personal commitment to intellectual inquiry and learning. The


aim is to encourage the personal liberation that comes from understanding and
appreciating the questions that the traditional disciplines ask - and from being able to
synthesise them to appreciate a variety of modes of knowing. The outcome is
knowledgeable and competent practitioners who are committed to whatever they do.
This commitment is characterised by a passion for working hard and experiencing
the joys of intellectual exploration (Vallance 1986:27-28).

The personal commitment perspective paves the way for developing a praxis
(practice) curriculum, using an eclectic approach by incorporating the academic
rationalist and humanist perspectives. A committed individual is able to embrace a
personal ethic of social responsibility and service, and exhibit ethical behaviour in all
professional activities.

Activity 1.16: Let's revisit your own views about the purpose of a curriculum. Without
looking back at your previous responses, answer the questions below:
What is your opinion about the purpose of a curriculum in your own profession?
State your opinion by circling the option in the box that reflects your opinion best:

SA = strongly agree
A = agree
D = disagree
SD = strongly disagree

(1) The purpose is to transmit and preserve the existing culture of your profession.
SA

SD

(2) The purpose is to develop thinking, problem solving and learning skills in
learners.
SA

SD

(3) The purpose is to promote personal development of each individual learner.


SA

SD

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(4) The purpose is to promote social transformation.


SA

SD

(5) The purpose is to develop in learners a personal commitment to intellectual


inquiry, learning and social transformation.
SA

SD

Let us reflect: Did your view on the purpose of a curriculum change? What,
according to your own opinion, contributed to a changed view? If your views
remained the same, can you give any reasons why? (Remember: The above options
do not represent right or wrong answers. Your responses depend on your personal
views.)Yes it has changed because in my initial opinion I did not realise that
curriculum had a lot to do with developing social transformation and preserving the
current existing culture of a profession.
Table 1: Perspective Definitions of Curriculum (Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead and Boshee, 2012:3)

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Comparing content is usually easier if it is in table format. In the table below a


condense summary of what was discussed in section 1.3.1 1.3.5 is provided.
Please add your own notes to this as well. You will see that some of the blocks are
either empty or need additional information. On myUnisa, contribute to the
discussion regarding this table.

Table 2: Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum

Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum


Academicrationalist

Cognitive
process

Humanistic /
Personal

Focus

- Academic
excellence
- Academic
subject

- Intellectual
processes

- Individual /
Holistic
- Student /
Personal
- Selfactualization

Goal and
purpose

- Foster
academic
excellence
- Transmit
tradition or
cultural
heritage

- Improve critical - Provide


thinking and
intrinsically
problem solving rewarding
skills and
learning
abilities
experiences
- Motivate
personal

Social
Reconstructionist
- Communitybased
- Society (ideal)
- Contributing to
social reform
(needs and
problems)
- Develop
thinking skills
(scepticism) via
a Liberatory
education
- Focus on the
greater good of

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookEdited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

Personal
commitment
- Commitment
- Ethical
behaviour

- Personal
commitment to
intellectual
inquiry and
learning
- Intellectual
exploration

Page 33

Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum


Academicrationalist

Aim

Content
source

Curriculum
content

Structure of
curriculum

Student
competencies

- Conserve the
existing social
order
- Prepare
students to
function
effectively in
society

Cognitive
process

Humanistic /
Personal
interests in
learning

- Prepare
- Prepare
students to
students to be
solve problems
creative
thinkers
- Students adapt
to ever
changing
society
(change=const
ant)
- Learn how to
learn (?life-long
learners)
- Constructs and - Cognitive
- Student
concepts
processes
interests with
subject context
- Recognise
achievements
- Contribute to
the body of
knowledge
- Teach
knowledge,
skills and
values that
shaped
civilisation and
profession
- Usefulness and
has vocational
value
- Contentcentred
- Objective/outco
me based
- Behavioural

- Develop
rational mind
- Standards of
reason
- Insight and
intellectual
skills

- Content
- Experiential
specific
learning
- Knowledge
- Consists of
needed for
intrinsically
problem-solving valuable
learning
- Self-directed
experiences
learning and
discovery
- Holistic focus
- Content
- Learnerspecific
centred /
Individualised
- Problem-based
approach
curriculum
- Flexible
- Process
curriculum
curriculum
- Experiential
learning
- Active learner - Autonomy
involvement
- Personal
- Problemgrowth
solving
- Integrity
- Selfactualization
- Personal

Social
Personal
Reconstruccommitment
tionist
society
- Knowledgeable
- Contribute to
and competent
social reform
practitioners
- Empower
- Create students
student to
who will work
contribute/creat hard
e a better social - Students who
order
enjoy
- To develop a
intellectual
healthy
exploration
scepticism
about the world

- Societal needs - Passion for


working
- Problems
experienced by - Enjoying
intellectual
humankind
exploration
- Successful
work
behaviours
- Social change
- Needs and
- Eclectic
problems of
society
(contemporary
issues?)
- Community
surveys
- Political
practices
- Communitybased
education
- Praxis
curriculum

- Eclectic
(academic
rationalist +
humanist)

- Analyse
- Knowledgeable
arguments
and competent
practitioners
- Find Evidence
- Create students
- Reach sound
who will work
conclusions
- Students shape hard
own destiny - Students who

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Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum


Academicrationalist
- Research
Structuring
elements

- Taxonomies
- Scaffolding of
knowledge

Technology
Educational
goals

- Industry and
Technology:
appreciate the
evolution of
industry and
technology

Curriculum
model

- Lawtons
cultural
analysis model
- Zais model

Cognitive
process

Humanistic /
Personal
liberation

Social
Reconstructionist
take control
over own lives

Personal
commitment
enjoy
intellectual
exploration
- Social
responsibilities
- Ethical
behaviour

- Problem
- Student
- Social
solving and
research and
problems or
troubleprojects
work
shooting
adjustment
processes
skills
- Intellectual
- Career
- Critical
- Develop
Processes:
Exploration and Consumerism:
competent
develop
Vocation:
establish
practitioners
creative
develop human values on the
who are
solutions to
potential for
impact of
committed
present and
responsible
industry and
- Ability to
future societal
work, leisure,
technology and
synthesize
problems using
and citizenship
how it alters our variety of
technical
roles in a
environment.
modes of
means.
technological
knowing
society.
- Zais model
- Zais model
- Lawtons
- Lawtons model
cultural
analysis model

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1.4

CLASSIFICATION OF CURRICULA

There are many ways of classifying curricula. In the figure below, an overview is
provided to illustrate the different types of curricula.

Figure 4: Relationship of types of curricula (Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead and Boshee, 2012:31)

Although this is adequately covered in the prescribed and recommended books, I


have included a table with a few quotes on the different types of curricula.

Activity 1.17: Look at the definitions below and in any of your prescribed books
(such as Billings and Halstead, 2012:80-82; Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead and
Boshee, 2012) and formulate your OWN definitions.
Add your definition to the table.
Provide an example of each type of curricula.
This table must be uploaded in your electronic e-portfolio.
Table 3: Types of Curricula

Type of
curriculum
Legitimate /
Official

Description
The official curriculum, or written curriculum, gives the basic lesson plan to be
followed, including objectives, sequence, and materials. This provides the basis
for accountability. http://www.hzmre.com/dotty/spintro.htm / (Posner, p.10-12)
It serves as a documented map of theories, beliefs, and intentions about
schooling, teaching, learning, and knowledge - evidence in the development of

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teacher proof curriculum.


http://coefaculty.valdosta.edu/stgrubbs/Definitions%20of%20Curriculum.htm
Actual /
Operational

The operational curriculum is what is taught by the teacher, and how it is


communicated. This includes what the teacher teaches in class and the
learning outcomes for the student. http://www.hzmre.com/dotty/spintro.htm /
(Posner, p.10-12)

Illegitimate

Is known and actively taught by faculty yet not evaluated because descriptors
of the behaviours are lacking. Such behaviors include caring, compassion,
power and its use. http://www.scribd.com/doc/47305704/curriculum-curriculumdevelopment

Hidden

Hidden curriculum is a concept that describes the often unarticulated and


unacknowledged things that students are taught in school and is an
important issue in the sociological study of how schools generate social
inequality. For example, female students, students in lower-class families, or
those belonging to subordinate racial categories, are often treated in ways that
create or reinforce inferior self-images. They are also often granted little trust,
independence, or autonomy and are thus willing to submit to authority for the
rest of their lives. On the other hand, students who belong to dominant social
groups tend to be treated in ways that enhance their self-esteem,
independence, and autonomy and are therefore more likely to be successful.
http://sociology.about.com/od/H_Index/g/Hidden-Curriculum.htm
Pelletier points out that hidden lessons are given to students through school
rules, grading policies, teacher attitudes, class sizes and instructional
practices. Also when students are taught the formal curriculum there are
unintentional positive and negative learning outcomes which are also included
in the hidden curriculum. http://www.facetofaceintercultural.com.au/the-nullcurriculum/
- The HiddenCurriculum (1970) by Benson R. Snyder Read it if you dare!
- The hidden curriculum @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY2hpAOJTRQ

Null curriculum

Null curriculum refers to what is not taught but actually should be taught in
school according to the needs of society. In fact, null curriculum is a kind of
vacant phenomenon between the ideal of curriculum value and the actual
development of curriculum.
http://ci5003summer09.wikispaces.com/share/view/13181441
The null curriculum consists of what is not taught. Consideration must be given
to the reasons behind why things are not included in the official or operational
curriculum. http://www.hzmre.com/dotty/spintro.htm / (Posner, p.10-12)
That which we do not teach, thus giving students the message that these
elements are not important in their educational experiences or in our society.
http://coefaculty.valdosta.edu/stgrubbs/Definitions%20of%20Curriculum.htm
Leaving out this information can have very interesting and in some cased
detrimental implications, especially when dealing with race and gender issues.
Sometimes what is NOT said is just as important, if not more so, that what is
said. http://ministryeducationcalling.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-nullcurriculum-say-what/

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1.5

CURRICULUM TERMINOLOGY

Many terms are used in curriculum theory and you need to comprehend these in
order to understand curriculum theory. Some of the more frequently used
terminology are described below.

A syllabus is a subsection of a curriculum and is typically a list of content areas to


be addressed. The syllabus is a detailed indication of the aspects of a subject to be
presented to the learner. It is normally organised in themes, topics and activities. For
instance the table of contents of this module represents the syllabus for HSE3704.
The content, outcomes, learning activities and assessment strategies of HSE3704,
together with those of all the other modules which you have to complete before you
can graduate, constitute the curriculum for the educational programme for which you
are registered.

The timetable lists the specific theoretical and clinical learning sessions that the
learners should attend, their times, the venues and the educators involved.

The core curriculum consists of the fundamental knowledge, attitudes and skills
that are considered to be essential in order to know and understand the subject or to
practise effectively in a particular field. The list of courses or learning opportunities
from which the learners may choose a number of options to meet their unique
learning needs are called electives.

Curriculation, according to Carl (1995:38),

is regarded as the systematic and effective planning action during


which components such as inter alia objectives, goals, situation
analysis, selection and classification of content, selection and
classification of teaching experiences, planning of teaching methods
and teaching media, planning of the instructional learning
situation,implementation and evaluation figure strongly.
In other words, curriculation is the activity in terms of which each phase of curriculum
development is actually brought into being.
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Curriculum development is a very broad concept that encompasses all the


processes involved in the production and implementation of a curriculum, from the
initial idea through to monitoring and review. Curriculum development and
curriculation are often regarded as synonymous.

1.6

THE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

So far we have discussed the meaning of the concept of curriculum, the purpose of a
curriculum, the terms that are used in curriculum theory and the fact that you will in
someway or other be involved in curriculum development. But will you develop the
curriculum alone or will you be working with colleagues? In most educational
institutions the curriculum is developed by a team, known as the curriculum
committee. The composition of the committee may vary from institution to institution.
In a small educational institution all educators may serve on the committee, together
with some representatives of the clinical area. At large institutions only the subject
heads, together with the principal and representatives of the clinical areas, may
constitute the curriculum committee. The principal generally serves as chairperson of
the committee. At some university departments, academics and subject experts,
media specialists and graphic designers, as well as respected colleagues from other
educational institutions, may serve on the curriculum committee.

In the ideal situation, the committee will be constituted with the following members:
Project leader
Module leader
Project manager from Directorate of Curriculum and Learning Development:
education consultant and specialist
Course coordinator
Teaching assistants
External moderator
Instructional designer
Scriptwriter
Sound-and-Video production
Graphic designer/artist
Programmer and ICT consultant:
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Librarian
Member from departmental quality assurance team
Language editor
Previous students who have completed the module
Any partners or providers
Financial department

The work of the curriculum committee is on-going. Once the course is running, the
curriculum committee still meets regularly in order to evaluate and improve the
curriculum.

We discussed various matters related to curriculum development in this study unit. It


is the curriculum committee who is responsible for curriculum development. The
functions of the curriculum committee will therefore become apparent to you as you
proceed through this study guide. Make notes on the functions of the curriculum
committee as you work through each study unit.

1.7

SUMMARY

By actively working through this study unit, you should have acquired a perspective
on the many interpretations of the concept of curriculum, its purpose and the way it
can be classified. By now you should also be familiar with the terms that are used in
curriculum theory. We will continue with our orientation to curriculum theory in study
unit 2, by examining and analysing some of the major curriculum models found in the
literature.

Curriculum is what we do with what we believe it is all about (Gurr, 2012).

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DEVELOPING HEALTH
SCIENCES CURRICULA:
PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS
Only workbook for HSE 3704

The success of tomorrows students will be built upon the


education we design today
Dr Linda Price

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HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook


Contents
Study Unit 2: CURRICULUM MODELS.................................................................... 43
2.1

OVERVIEW ................................................................................................. 43

2.2

INTRODUCTION......................................................................................... 43

2.3

MODELS DEPICTING THE NATURE OF A CURRICULUM ...................... 44

2.4

MODELS DEPICTING THE NATURE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT


51

2.5

THE CURRICULUM DEBATE: PROCESS OR PRAXIS? ........................... 63

2.6

SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 65

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Week 3-4
16 hours

Study Unit 2: CURRICULUM MODELS


2.1

OVERVIEW

&&&&&&&&&&&&
Study unit 2 of this study guide, Developing Health Sciences Curricula: Principles and
Process, deals with curriculum models.
We provide an outline of selected models depicting the nature of the curriculum and
curriculum development. Note that models help us to visualise the curriculum and the
curriculum development process. This greatly enhances our understanding of these abstract
concepts. S

After you have worked through this study unit you should be able to conceptualise the nature
of a curriculum and curriculum development, based on your ability to &

discuss specified models depicting the nature of a curriculum

discuss specified models depicting the nature of curriculum development

debate the relative value of specified curriculum development models for curriculum
development in your profession

debate the merits of the process and praxis curriculum for health sciences education

You will be able to achieve most of the learning outcomes by working through this study
unit. Where necessary, we will refer you to appropriate supplementary sources such as
sections in textbooks, video-clips, SlideShare presentations or articles.
Should you come across any valuable sources that can assist your co-students, kindly share
them with the group on myUnisa.

2.2

INTRODUCTION

In study unit 1 of this module you became acquainted with various perspectives on what a
curriculum is and the purpose of a curriculum. You were also introduced to curriculum
terminology used in curriculum studies. In this study unit we will focus on curriculum models
that will enable you to gain a better understanding of what constitutes a curriculum and what
curriculum development entails. The curriculum committee frequently selects a particular
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model to provide a structure or map which will make coherent development possible. It is
therefore desirable that you, as future educators and curriculum developers, have a thorough
knowledge of relevant curriculum models so that you can determine the extent to which each
model meets your requirements. Being familiar with various models will enable you either to
select an existing model or to make adjustments to an existing model, to plan or to improve
your curriculum.

There are a variety of conceptions about what constitutes a model. Broadly speaking, a model
is a symbolic representation of reality which enables us to understand something which
occurs in the world (De Villiers, 2001:34). A curriculum model denotes a simplified
representation of reality which helps to clarify thinking about the nature of a curriculum.
Curriculum development models provide a structure, enabling coherent development. Models
are usually represented in graphic form (i.e. diagrams with some explanatory text).

A variety of curriculum models are found in the literature on curriculum matters. Models in
curriculum studies are used to explain the nature of a curriculum, the nature of curriculum
development and the organisation of a curriculum. In this study unit we focus on the former
two types of models. We trust that these models will enable you to visualise the nature of a
curriculum and the curriculum development process.

2.3

MODELS DEPICTING THE NATURE OF A CURRICULUM

In study unit 1, we indicated how curriculum is defined according to various perspectives on


what a curriculum is. The stated definitions give a broad indication of what is meant by the
concept. The question that arises at this point is:What does a curriculum consist of? In
other words, it is necessary for us to determine what the components of a curriculum are. We
need to answer this question in order to understand what the nature of a curriculum is. For the
purpose of determining the nature of a curriculum, we will examine Zais's and Lawton's
curriculum models.

2.3.1 Zais's curriculum model

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Zais (1976:96-98) developed a very useful model that gives us a clear indication of what a
curriculum comprises.

Activity 2.1: Before continuing, please watch the PowerPointPresentation:ZIAS


MODEL FOR CURRICULUM DESIGN - NWIC Blogs. Keep figure 2.1 at hand.

Zais's model is presented in Figure 2.1. According to this model, a curriculum consists of a
foundation and a structure.

Figure 2-5: Zais's model depicting the nature of a curriculum

The curriculum's foundation is its philosophical underpinnings.

The philosophical underpinnings of a curriculum, according to De Villiers (2001:34)

refer to the underlying values and beliefs that influence the


curriculum structure and its substance. Any decision that educators
make about a curriculum is influenced by their philosophical
assumptions about the epistemology (the nature of knowledge),
society/culture, the individual (human nature and specifically that of
the learner) and learning
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These matters are discussed in detail in the HSE3703 module. At this point it is sufficient for
you to understand that any curriculum is based on and is influenced by a set of philosophical
assumptions or by the values of those who are involved in its planning, development and/or
implementation.

The curriculum structure refers to the aims/goals/objectives or outcomes, content, learning


activities (teaching and learning strategies) and evaluation (learning assessment).

Aims/ goals/objectives or learning outcomes are statements about the intended results
of learning.

Content refers to the subject matter, values, processes or skills that should be taught
to and mastered by learners.

Learning activities are those activities offered to learners in the teaching-learning


situation that are designed to enable them to acquire the designated content and
thereby achieve the stated outcomes.

Evaluation refers to assessment of learning by means of, for instance, tests and
examinations.

In short, from Zais's model we can deduce that a curriculum consists of a structure that is
influenced by a set of underlying philosophical assumptions.

Zais's model contributes to our understanding of what a curriculum is by stating what it


consists of. Now that you have been introduced to this model, you should realise that, when
we speak about a curriculum, we refer to both its foundation and its structure.

Note that you already have knowledge about the curriculum structure. Many learning
activities of the first and second levels of the Health Sciences Education course introduced
you to the specifics of the curriculum structure. You already know how to formulate learning
outcomes, select and teach clinical and theoretical subject content, facilitate learning in
students and conduct learning assessments. We can therefore say that you are already partly
competent in curriculum development, specifically at the micro level of development.
Activity 2.2: Refer to Study Unit 1 where we analysed Keating's definition of curriculum.
Which of the components of the curriculum were accounted for in the definition?
Philosophical

underpinnings,

goals,

plan

of

study

(foundation),guidelines

for

delivery(structure).

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According to Keating (2006:2),

a curriculum is the formal plan of study that provides the


philosophical underpinnings, goals, and guidelines for the delivery of
a specific educational program''.
This definition specifically accounts for the foundations of the curriculum and aspects of the
curriculum structure. With regard to its structure, only the goals were specifically mentioned.
The other components which constitute a curriculum were implied in the definition, but not
mentioned specifically. The definition suggests that a curriculum provides guidelines for the
delivery of a specific educational programme. This possibly implies that the curriculum
content and the teaching, learning and learning assessment strategies are considered to be part
of a curriculum.

At this point we should state that a curriculum is socially situated. This means that a
curriculum evolves from the needs and demands of a particular society and that, once
developed, it is implemented in the particular society, thus having an impact on that society.
For instance, the philosophical assumptions underpinning a particular curriculum are closely
related to the value system of the broader society. Similarly, the curriculum structure is also
influenced by society. If, for instance, a need exists for graduates who are able to solve
problems, then problem solving will be one of the curriculum outcomes. Cognitive learning
theories should therefore underlie the curriculum. Curriculum content should then include
problem-solving strategies, learners should engage in learning activities that require them to
solve problems independently and strategies to assess their problem-solving abilities should
be devised. Curriculum implementation is also influenced by certain conditions in society
such as the nature of the learners, availability of resources and the general environment in
which learning will take place.

Activity 2.3: Given the above, do you think that it if feasible for a NEI (nursing education
institution) to buy or use a curriculum that was developed and successfully implemented in
another country? (Motivate your answer.) No it might not work. Different countries have
different laws regarding a lot of things, resources are not the same, education system might
not be the same, different cultural backgrounds, social structures and needs,so using a
curriculum that was designed to suit the legislation of that country might pose a problem
should that country not have the same legislation.
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In the health sciences we strive to prepare health practitioners who can function in a
particular health care setting in order to contribute to meeting the health care needs of society.
It is therefore imperative that we also introduce you to a model that specifically deals with the
social context of a curriculum, namely Lawton's cultural analysis model.

2.3.2 Lawton's cultural analysis model


Lawton (Kelly 2004:48) developed a cultural analysis model that is based on the assumption
that the main purpose of a curriculum is to initiate learners into the cultural heritage of
society or into what is best in it. Lawton (Gultig et al 2002:24) defines curriculum as a
selection from the culture of society.

This definition implies that content that represents the finest intellectual and artistic
achievements of society are selected for inclusion in a curriculum. The objectives that we
formulate and our decisions about the content to be included are derived from an analysis of
society. It is therefore clear that a curriculum develops from a particular social context.
However, it is also implemented in a particular context and various factors in society will
enhance or even impede successful curriculum implementation. Therefore you need to
understand the social and cultural context of a particular curriculum before you can embark
on curriculum development.

According to Lawton's model, curriculum development should be based on the technique of


cultural analysis. A situation analysis is done to become acquainted with the social context of
a particular curriculum. Situation analysis will be explored further in study unit 4.

Lawton's model is designed for general education and is very broad. Nevertheless, this model
is thought particularly suitable for directing health sciences educators' attention to the
contextual nature of the curriculum at a time when health sciences education is required to
respond to the demands of an ever-changing world and to meet the changing needs in
society. The model can be easily adapted to health sciences education if the notion of society
is limited to the groups immediately concerned.

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Activity 2.4: You might want to read Lawtons earlier publication on this: Lawton, D. 1975.
Class, Culture and the Curriculum.Routledge an

d Kegan Paul, London.

From the discussions above, it is possible to identify three major characteristics of a


curriculum:

It consists of a foundation.

It consists of a structure.

It is developed from and is implemented in a particular social context.

The context of a curriculum refers to all the factors inside and outside the educational
institution that influence a curriculum. Various global, national and regional trends in society,
the health care system, the educational system and your profession influence what and how
learners should learn. These factors are discussed in the HSE3702 and the HSE150 modules.
Figure 2.2 gives a visual presentation of the context of a curriculum.

Figure 6.2: The social context of a curriculum

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2.3.3 A comprehensive definition of curriculum


Quinn (2007:108-109) provides a comprehensive definition of curriculum:
A curriculum is a plan or design for education and training that addresses the following
questions:

Who is to be taught? This is the learners who experience the curriculum.

What is to be taught and/or learnt? This is about the intentions and content.

Why is it to be taught and learnt? This is about the ideology (underlying


foundations), namely the beliefs and values which underpin the curriculum.

How is it to be taught and/or learnt? This refers to the process of education, ie


teaching, learning and assessment approaches and the learning opportunities which
the learners should utilise.

Where is it to be taught or learnt? This is the context of the curriculum.

When is it to be taught? This is the timetabling of the curriculum.

Figure 2.: W5H

Consider the definition by Quinn (2007:108-109), did you recognise that the structure of a
curriculum has been incorporated in the definition? These are the intentions (outcomes),
content, teaching-learning strategies and learning assessment strategies. In addition to this,
Quinn also incorporates the curriculum foundation (ideology) and its context. Would you
agree that this definition is much more comprehensive than the definitions which we
discussed in study unit 1?

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2.4

MODELS
DEPICTING
DEVELOPMENT

THE

NATURE

OF

CURRICULUM

Now that you have more insight into what a curriculum comprises, we will proceed by
shifting our focus to curriculum development.

Activity 2.5: In your own words, explain the difference between the terms curriculum and
curriculum development:

Curriculum: a planned formal guide of how a course will be implemented/executed

Curriculum development: the process of planning a formal guide of how a course will
be executed

Evaluate your own explanation by referring to the appropriate sections in the previous study
unit.

We shall use various curriculum development models to explain what curriculum


development is and the activities involved in developing a curriculum.

Print (1993:61-62) says that a curriculum development model is used to study the
components of a curriculum and the relationship between these components.

According to Gosby (1989:67), a curriculum development model provides a structure


enabling coherent development. In other words, a curriculum development model
enables us to determine which curriculum components require attention, what
activities are involved in developing a curriculum and how we should systematically
perform these activities.

Various models depicting the nature of curriculum development are to be found in the
literature. These models are classified by Print (1993:63) into linear-prescriptive, cyclic and
dynamic-interactive models. Each of these classifications represents a particular view about
how curriculum development should proceed.

Activity 2.6: At the end of this study unit, you will have to complete this table below. It must
be pasted or uploaded into your e-portfolio. (It would therefore be a good idea to keep the
table next to you and to start entering data as you read through the various sections). Please
join the discussion on myUnisa regarding this activity.
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Table 4: Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model

Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model


Content

Outcome/
Product

Process

Praxis

Theorist
Curriculum is:

Consist of

Focus

Emphasize

Education is
seen as:

Learners
expectancies

Evaluation

Purpose

Known as

Dangers

2.4.1 Linear-prescriptive curriculum development models


Two linear-prescriptive curriculum development models will be discussed: (1) Tyler's model
and an (2) outcomes-based model.
2.4.1.1 Tyler's objectives-driven model
Tyler contributed to curriculum theory by developing an objectives model (figure 2.4) which
depicts curriculum development as a logical and systematic process. According to Tyler
(1950:7), curriculum developers should ask four basic questions that have to be dealt with
during curriculum development:

What educational purposes shall the school seek to attain (objectives)?

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What educational experiencescan be provided that is likely to attain those purposes


(content and educational strategies)?

How can these educational experiences be effectively organised (curriculum


organisation)?

How can we determine whether these purposes have been attained (learning
assessment)?

Look at the presentation by Herren, Duncan and Ricketts for a quick overview of
Tylers curriculum development model. According to Tyler's model, curriculum
development proceeds in a linear fashion, following a fixed sequence. The major activities
that are involved in curriculum development are to:

state objectives,

specify the curriculum content and educational strategies,

organise the curriculum and develop learning assessment strategies.

Figure 2-7:Tylers objectives-driven model

First, objectives (the behaviour that a learner should be able to display through his or her
thoughts, actions or feelings) are formulated, usually in behavioural terms. These objectives
are organised in a hierarchy of aims, goals and objectives that enables learners to proceed in a
step-by-step manner through lower levels to higher levels of behaviour.
Second, relevant curriculum content is selected and organised to ensure that the stated
objectives are met in a logical fashion.
Third, teaching and learning strategies are designed.
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Finally, assessment criteria to measure achievement of the stated objectives are developed.
These assessment criteria are open to measurement, so that learning can be quantified.

As in the case of curriculum development, this model also supports the notion that learning
takes place in a linear fashion. Learning experiences are planned to ensure that step-by-step
procedures are followed to effect learning. Tyler's model is called prescriptive because the
stated hierarchy of objectives is a predetermined educational plan, or blueprint, to be
followed by educators and learners, thus allowing little scope for creativity or making few
allowances for the interests and needs of individual learners.
Tyler's model is used to develop a behavioural objectives curriculum.

To summarise the main characteristics of Tyler's model:

It is a model that is prescriptive in terms of curriculum development and teaching.

It is objectives-driven.

It is a linear model that assumes that curriculum development and learning take place
in a linear fashion.

The model accounts for the curriculum structure because it involves activities relating
to objectives, content, teaching and learning strategies and learning assessment.

The model makes provision for curriculum organisation.

Remember to populate the table in Activity 2.6)

2.4.1.2 Curriculum development using an outcomes-based model


The outcomes-based movement has its roots in the work of Ralph Tyler, among others.

Outcomes-based approaches to curriculum development are based on the assumption that


knowledge is negotiable and that the study of certain bodies of knowledge (subjects/
disciplines), as the main focus of education, might no longer be sufficient to equip learners
with the knowledge and skills required to cope with a rapidly changing technological world.
Instead, the acquisition of skills and understandings that are required for modern ways of
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life should be the focal point of learning and teaching. These skills and understandings can be
developed in a variety of ways, of which the academic study of certain bodies of knowledge
is but one. The process and product of learning are seen to be interdependent. Each outcome,
once attained, becomes the starting point for a new process in which learners strive to
demonstrate competence in progressively more complex outcomes.

Activity 2.7: Read this light-hearted blog (Why Dont We Teach the Telephone Book?) by
Dr Klionsky (2014) where he shares this view. Do you agree with him? (Motivate your
answer.)

________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

Note that the outcomes-based curriculum development model is currently in operation in


South Africa.

The following activities are involved in outcomes-based curriculum development:

Formulate outcomes.

Explore the curriculum context.

Specify the curriculum content and the weighting of the content.

Specify the teaching-learning strategies.

Specify the learning assessment strategies.

If you compare Tyler's curriculum development model and the outcomes-based model, you
will notice that both models proceed through the stages of:

formulating objectives or outcomes,

selecting content,

specifying teaching and learning strategies, and

specifying learning assessment strategies.

Both models therefore incorporate the curriculum structure.

Tyler's model makes provision for organising the content and learning experiences to
optimise learning, while the outcomes-based model indicates that relative weighting should
be allocated to the content. The outcomes-based model makes provision for exploring
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curriculum context and developing a curriculum which is specific to and suitable for a
specific context, while Tyler's model does not make provision for the curriculum context.
None of the models make provision for considering the curriculum foundations, namely the
underlying philosophical assumptions which influence the decisions that educators make
during curriculum development and which will determine the characteristics of the resultant
curriculum.

Read Uys and Gwele (2005, Chapter 12) for more information on OBE.

Remember to populate the table in Activity 2.6)

2.4.2 Cyclic curriculum development models


Cyclic curriculum development models depict curriculum development as a continuing
process. These models indicate that the curriculum development actions are interrelated and
interactive. None of the actions in the model takes place in a vacuum but each is influenced
by the others. Also, because curriculum development is not regarded as linear, there is no
particular starting point. Any of the actions in the model can serve as stimulus for
curriculum development. The point of departure for curriculum development is therefore not
necessarily the statement of objectives or outcomes.
Nicholls and Nicholls (1978:21) identify five actions in their cyclic curriculum development
model, as represented in figure 2.5.

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Figure 2-8: The curriculum development model of Nicholls and Nicholls

The curriculum development actions are

conducting a situation analysis to investigate the curriculum context

selecting objectives (outcomes)

selecting and organising content (focussing on validity, significance, interest and


learnability)

selecting and organising teaching methods

evaluating, namely specifying learning assessment strategies

You will notice that, apart from being cyclical, Nicholls and Nicholls's model also differs
from Tyler's model in that it is not objectives-driven. Provision is also made for conducting a
situation analysis to investigate the curriculum context and assess the needs of society.
Remember that we have stated that a curriculum evolves from and is implemented in a
particular social context. The purpose of a situation analysis is to ensure that a curriculum
that is relevant to the needs and demands of society (including the learner) is being
developed.

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You can read the paper by De Mesa (pg 5 - 6) for more information on the model of Audrey
Nicholls and Howard Nicholls.

Remember to populate the table in Activity 2.6)

2.4.3 Dynamic-interactive curriculum development models


In the section on the nature of a curriculum you have learnt that a curriculum consists of a
foundation and a structure, and that it evolves from and is implemented in a particular social
context. If you review the curriculum development models that have been discussed so far
(Tyler's model, the outcomes-based model, and Nicholls and Nicholls's model) and compare
them with the models that depict the nature of a curriculum (those of Zais and Lawton), you
will realise that, up to now, curriculum development has been seen as involving the structure
of the curriculum, and that the social context of a curriculum has been acknowledged by
including a situation analysis (context analysis) as one of the actions involved in curriculum
development. None of the above curriculum development models involves actions that allow
the curriculum committee to reflect on the foundations of a particular curriculum during its
development. It is therefore appropriate to consider another category of curriculum
development models: dynamic-interactive curriculum development models.

You might have noticed that the models of Tyler and Nicholls and Nicholls, and the
outcomes-based model, represent curriculum development as a rather simple phenomenon which it certainly is not. We will therefore explore curriculum development in more depth, by
introducing the model of Print (1993:81-89), which adds more dimensions to this complex
phenomenon (figure 2.6).

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Figure 2-9: Print's curriculum development model

Print's model provides us with an opportunity to view curriculum development as involving


not only a situation analysis and decision making about the structure of the proposed
curriculum (its structure), but also deliberations and decision making about its foundation. It
represents curriculum development as a complex, multi-phased process.

According to Print's model, curriculum development proceeds through three phases:

organisation,

development and

application.

Organisation is a conceptualisation and planning phase. According to Print, this is the phase
of curriculum presage. Presage means to have a presentiment of (an intuition or feeling of
what is going to happen). Curriculum development is influenced by the personal value
systems of those who are involved in the process. Those involved also have preconceived
visions about what should be gained through education as well as a notion about the
philosophical assumptions that should underpin a proposed curriculum. The value systems
and visions of those involved in curriculum development and implementation will affect the
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way a curriculum is conceptualised, planned, constructed and implemented. It is therefore


important that a curriculum development model should also include activities aimed at
exploring and debating the pre-existing views of those persons who are involved in
curriculum development. Issues dealt with include views about what a curriculum is, its
purpose (refer to study unit 1), as well as the philosophical assumptions (refer to HSE3703)
that should guide curriculum planning, development and application. The aim is to reach
consensus about the approach that will be adopted for a particular curriculum. Based on the
discussions and consensus decisions, criteria for the proposed curriculum are formulated.
This represents a curriculum planning exercise that influences decisions which are
consequently arrived at during the development and application phases. Print (1993:25- 26)
describes this phase as follows:

Curriculum presage refers to those activities and forces which


influence curriculum developers in their curriculum decision-making
tasks. These activities and forces are brought with the developers
when they come to the task of constructing a curriculum. As such
they consist of the curriculum backgrounds (activities and
experiences), curriculum representations (organisations), curriculum
foundations of the various curriculum developers and curriculum
content with which they work.
Print (1993:46) says that any curriculum document should include a description of the
curriculum perspectives of the curriculum developers. This can include the consensus
decisions that were made, as well as the curriculum criteria that were formulated, based on
those decisions.

Activity 2.8: Sometimes it is easier for learners to depict what they have learnt in a graphical
sketch such as a mind-map than to summarise it in words. A mind-map enhances insight into
the learning material and learners' ability to remember what they have learnt. Now draw a
mind-map of the actions that are involved in the organisation phase.

You must include the following:

exploring and debating personal values and preconceived ideas about education and
the curriculum

debating and reaching consensus about the meaning attached to the concept of
curriculum

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debating and reaching consensus about the purpose of a curriculum in your profession

debating and reaching consensus about the philosophical underpinnings of the


proposed curriculum

You should have indicated that the end-result of this phase is as follows: formulating criteria
for the proposed curriculum.

The curriculum development phase is the phase during which a workable curriculum is
developed. During this phase the curriculum developers will follow the cyclical procedure
of the model. On the grounds of the findings of a situation analysis, substance is given to the
curriculum structure by specifying the:

goals (e.g. outcomes),

content,

learning activities, as well as

evaluation (learning assessment) criteria and procedures.

These decisions are influenced by the consensus decisions and curriculum criteria of the
organisation phase.

Activity 2.9: Now draw a mind-map of the actions that are involved in the development
phase. (Remember, that the criteria formulated in the previous phase influence the decisions
which the educators make during the development phase.)

The activities that you should have included in your mind-map are:

conducting a situation analysis

specifying the aims/goals and objectives or outcomes

outlining curriculum content (theoretical and clinical)

outlining learning activities that are planned for learners (learning opportunities
which the learners should utilise)

specifying how learning will be evaluated (assessed)

You should have indicated that the end-result of this phase is as follows: a workable
curriculum by which teaching and learning will be effected in practice.
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The application phase involves implementing the proposed curriculum and modifying it to
eliminate any limitations that may have been identified in practice. This phase also involves
formal curriculum evaluation to determine the extent to which the intended aims and
purposes were in fact achieved in practice. Based on the curriculum evaluation results, the
curriculum development process is repeated to ensure its continuing relevance and
effectiveness.

You might have noticed that Print's model differs from the other two models for different
reasons:

The linear-prescriptive and cyclic models do not allow explicitly for deliberations
about the foundation of a curriculum. Print's model bridges that gap because
educators, together with interested parties such as learners, community leaders and
practitioners, can participate in the deliberations of the organisation phase.

Print's model is unique in the sense that curriculum application (curriculum


implementation and evaluation) is seen as part of the curriculum development
process. Curriculum development is therefore not complete once a curriculum has
been designed and a curriculum document has been produced.

Another feature of this model is that a clear distinctionis made between assessment
of learning and evaluation of the entire curriculum. At some point you will learn
that assessment of learning is only one of many strategies educators use to evaluate a
curriculum.

When curriculum is viewed in terms of planned, structured, learning outcomes, content is


considered secondary to the intended results of learning, as stated in the form of
aims/goals/objectives or outcomes (depending on whether a behavioural objectives or an
outcomes-based approach is followed). The stated consensus definition's perspective is
consistent with the academic-rationalist perspective about the purpose of a curriculum,
namely to foster academic excellence and transmit the culture of society (or a particular
profession). Both these perspectives are also consistent with curriculum development, using a
linear-prescriptive model such as Tyler's model or an outcomes-based model.

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Refer to where we analysed Keating's definition of curriculum. If you were to look for a
curriculum development model that is congruent with this definition by Keating, you will
find that Print's model is appropriate. Prints model makes provision for deliberating on the
philosophical underpinnings of a curriculum, among other things, during the organisation
phase. It also makes provision for curriculum design and implementation. The latter provision
implies that the establishment of implementation guidelines will be part and parcel of the
curriculum development process.

Remember to populate the table in Activity 2.6)

2.5

THE CURRICULUM DEBATE: PROCESS OR PRAXIS?

There have been many debates whether curriculum should be process or praxis-focussed.
This argument was started in Study Unit 1.

2.5.1 Process curriculum


The process curriculum is learner-focused and focuses primarily on the learning process.
The central focus of the curriculum is the meaningfulness of learning experiences, as opposed
to how content is taught by the educators. The idea is that a curriculum can be organised
without having to specify in advance the behavioural changes that should occur in learners.
The curriculum is therefore not a physical thing but rather the interaction of educators,
learners and knowledge.
The curriculum is what actually happens in practice - in the teaching and learning setting.

The primary concern of the process curriculum is a value issue, advising us to select
curriculum content in relation to its likely contribution to the learner's development.
Educators decide about the specifics that the learners must learn, but within the boundaries of
the broad curriculum guidelines. For example, the educator and learners might decide what
health problems learners should learn about - on the basis of a community assessment to

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determine the most prevalent health problems in the community where the learners will serve
after graduation. This is in contrast to an approach in which specific curriculum content is
pre-selected and prescribed. Subject matter serves as a basis for speculation and conjecture
about a discipline, rather than comprising mere facts that have to be studied and remembered.
Learners interpret and give meaning to subject matter within the context of the broad aims of
the curriculum. The problem-based design and the problem-based learning method are
appropriate for a process curriculum.

The process curriculum is aimed at developing the learners' intellect (cognition), their ability
to learn (metacognition) and to make independent judgements, in addition to being
technically proficient. The learners are taught how to practise higher order thinking skills
such as problem solving. They are taught to exercise judgement, for example clinical
judgement, which entails the ability to critically evaluate rules of practice and to decide on
the most appropriate actions in a given situation. This is opposed to an approach requiring
that rules, regulations and procedures should be accepted without valuing their validity.
Learners therefore learn to act based on sound judgements as opposed to performing ruledriven or procedure-driven behaviours.

The process curriculum is underpinned by the perspective that a curriculum is defined as


interactions in the educational setting and by the cognitive processes perspective on the
purpose of a curriculum.

2.5.2 Praxis curriculum


The praxis curriculum is considered a development of the process curriculum. It serves a
particular interest which goes beyond the needs and development of the individual learner,
namely to contribute to social reconstruction through education. The purpose of a
curriculum is therefore to contribute towards the emancipation of learners and the
development of their abilities to shape their own destinies. However, emancipation is
believed also to extend to society at large and it is argued that well-educated graduates can
contribute to social reconstruction. This type of curriculum is also referred to as the
emancipatory curriculum.

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Learners are encouraged to adopt and maintain a critical disposition towards the world and
the learning material. In a praxis curriculum, knowledge, actions and critical reflections are in
constant interactions. The curriculum develops through the dynamic interactions of action
and reflection. At its centre is praxis, namely committed and informed actions. Learning
occurs through the learners' intellectual responses to the actions. This means that concrete
learning experiences are the focus of critical reflections, by learners. The principles of
experiential learning underpin the praxis curriculum; therefore this curriculum lends itself to
community-based education.

The curriculum focuses less on structure and content, and more on the dynamic of learning
through discovery, dialogue and critical reflection. The study field and problem-centred
designs are appropriate for a praxis curriculum. The learning material is closely related to the
social issues and realities that the health professionals encounter in the real world.

Critical reflections do not occur in isolation. Learning is seen as a social process and the
learning climate is characterised by dialogue. Dialogue and negotiation characterise the
learning process. The preferred teaching strategies include collaborative learning.

The praxis curriculum is underpinned by the perspective that a curriculum is defined as


interactions in the educational setting and by the social reconstructionist and the personal
commitment perspectives on the purpose of a curriculum.

2.6

SUMMARY

By working actively through this study unit you should have acquired insight into how
models can be used to conceptualise the curriculum and curriculum development. In the
following study units you will study various aspects of the curriculum development process
in more depth. In subsequent study units you will learn more about the curriculum
development process and the activities involved in the process.

If you need more information, you can look at the SlideShare presentation by Dr Mishra.

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DEVELOPING HEALTH
SCIENCES CURRICULA:
PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS
Only workbook for HSE 3704
Study Unit 3

The success of tomorrows students will be built upon the


education we design today
Dr Linda Price
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HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook


Contents
Study Unit 3 .............................................................................................................. 68
STAGES AND STEPS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .................................. 68
3.1

OVERVIEW ................................................................................................. 68

3.2

3.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................... 68

3.3

3.2 PRINCIPLES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .............................. 69

3.4

3.3 STAGES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT..................................... 73

3.5

SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 104

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Week
5-6

Study Unit 3
STAGES AND STEPS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
3.1

OVERVIEW

&&&&&&&&&&&&
We give an overview of the curriculum development process in this study unit. The
information given here will enable you to understand the stages of curriculum development,
the actions involved in each stage, as well as the principles on which curriculum development
is based. W

After you have worked through this study unit, you will be able to plan and implement a
curriculum development strategy, based on your ability to
&explain what curriculum development entails
&describe the principles of curriculum development
&discuss the constraints influencing curriculum development
&discuss the stages of curriculum development

You will be able to achieve most of the learning outcomes by working through this study
unit. Where necessary, we will refer you to appropriate text, articles or video-clips. For
further enrichment we suggest you read one or more of the books or articles listed in the list
of references and suggested readings at the end of the study guide, or any relevant literature
of your choice.

3.2

INTRODUCTION

In study unit 2, we discussed various curriculum development models. You should therefore
have a general idea about what curriculum development entails. In this study unit, we will
further elaborate on curriculum development by proposing and discussing a specific
curriculum development process suitable to health sciences education. First we shall discuss
the principles of curriculum development.

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3.3

PRINCIPLES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

For a curriculum in the health sciences we need to consider both educational principles and
principles based on the trends and developments in health care.

3.3.1 Educational principles


We first list a number of educational principles with which curriculum developers must be
familiar. These principles are adapted from Carl's (1995:68) synthesis of some principles
found in the literature. Our list is therefore only a sample of principles that we consider
important. You can add to these to meet the requirements in your setting.

Activity 3.1: After reading through the educational principles, create a Mind-map to
summarise the key-principles of each approach. Paste this Mind-map into your e-portfolio.
https://www.mindmeister.com/maps/show/516954959
The principle of curriculum development being a scientific approach:

Curriculum development must be approached in a systematic manner. It cannot be


dealt with on a trial-and-error basis with changes brought about haphazardly. The
curriculum development stages that we will discuss in section 3.4 provide us with a
systematic approach to curriculum development.

The rationale underlying curriculum development must be clear and communicable.

Curriculum development must be based on a sound accountable curriculum theory.

All members involved in curriculum development need some knowledge of


curriculum theory and skill in curriculum building.

The principle of curriculum development having a logical point of departure:

Curriculum development begins where the curriculum is; that is, existing curricula are
quite often the starting point. Curriculum development commences when there is a
need to revise or completely restructure an existing curriculum.

Adequate learning must be an important point of departure. This indicates that a


learning approachis adopted as opposed to a content-based approach whereby the

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point of departure comprises the views of educators on what content learners should
master.

Applicable educational principles for learning are essential items for consideration.

Therefore curriculum development decisions should be measured against educational


principles to ensure that a sound educational programme is developed.

The principle of curriculum development being a process:

Curriculum development is a never-ending process. This means that, once the stages
of curriculum development have been completed, the process is repeated to develop
yet another, new curriculum or to improve an existing curriculum by improving upon
identified limitations. These limitations are recognised when the curriculum is
evaluated informally during its implementation or by means of a formal curriculum
evaluation project.

The principle of curriculum development being a cooperative effort:

Curriculum development is basically a decision-making process. A variety of


decisions must be made in cooperation with other involved parties such as learners
and the management of health care institutions.

Curriculum development is influenced by the cooperative efforts of groups. Those


involved include the curriculum committee, educators, clinical practitioners and
educational experts.

The principle of relevance:

The curriculum must be relevant and true to life (incorporate the most important
health issues in society). The curriculum committee should ensure that the new
curriculum reflects the health problems and issues in society that need to be resolved.
It must be contemporary.

The curriculum should reflect the needs of the community. For instance emphasis
should be placed on the most important health needs and problems in society.

Besides being guided by the educational principles, developers of a health sciences


curriculum must also be guided by principles based on trends and developments in
health care in general and their profession in particular.

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The curriculum should be in line with the latest educational trends, especially how
the discipline of education has incorporated the latest technological developments to
apply innovative educational strategies.

The curriculum should be relevant to learners' needs - that is to the weak, average
and gifted learner. It should be appropriate to the developmental level of learners (in
line with the overall educational standards in society).

Curriculum developers need to examine and understand the micro context in which
the curriculum will be applied. They should be familiar with the realities in the
educational and health care institutions where teaching and learning will occur and
plan accordingly to ensure that the curriculum is effective in its implementation.

The principle of the curriculum being learner-centred:

The curriculum committee should follow trends in both adult and higher education to
promote active involvement of the learners and allow learners to take responsibility
for their learning. Discovery learning and self-directed learning strategies are
appropriate here. Care should be taken to ensure that the curriculum meets the
learning needs of learners and that the learning styles of the learners are catered for.

3.3.2 Professional principles


Apart from educational principles, curriculum development is also based on professional
principles. The professional principles of curriculum development were developed by
educators in the health sciences, after careful consideration of the social factors influencing
the curriculum in the health sciences, as indicated in the following discussions. These are
basic principles that apply to curriculum development for any health profession.

Activity 3.2: After reading through the p principles, create a Mind-map to summarise the
key-principles of each approach. Paste this Mind-map into your e-portfolio.
Dont you think that a mind-map is an extraordinary tool to assist someone to summarise and
condense information in a visual stimulating way?
Mind maps are a very creative and visual way of outlining content to make sense.
https://www.mindmeister.com/516950517

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The principle of comprehensiveness:

Referring to health care delivery, the curriculum should cover preventive, promotive,
curative and rehabilitative health care. It should also cover health needs throughout
the human life span.

Referring to the learner, the curriculum should support education of the learner as a
total person (holistic). It should accentuate the cognitive, affective and psychomotor
domains, and provide for moral development of the learner. The curriculum must
provide for personal, educational and professional development of the learner.

The principle of integration:

Integrated curricula focus on common themes that unite various subjects. An example
is the individual in pain''. Integration also requires close correlation of theory and
clinical practice. The theoretical content which the learners learn must be closely
related to what they encounter in clinical practice. Integration also applies to learner
groups, where learners from the different health science disciplines learn together
(Quinn 2007:135). This is also referred to as inter-professional learning. The
integrated curriculum is discussed in more detail in study unit 6.

The principle of networking:

Integration of subject areas, of theory and practice, and of community and hospital
care experiences, requires that educators collaborate among themselves and network
with health service managers and professional practitioners. Networking between
college staff and clinical staff is perhaps the most important continuing
communication and collaborative attempt in curriculum planning, implementation and
evaluation. Networking will need to be specified in the curriculum development
strategy, so that everyone has clarity about the communication channels.

The principle of the curriculum supporting problem-based learning:

Health care professionals approach their practice from a problem-solving perspective


rather than a task-oriented perspective. So when we are developing a curriculum for
health care professionals, we should adopt problem-based learning as a principal
educational strategy (refer to study unit 6).

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The principle of curriculum development being an innovative endeavour:

In view of all the developments and suggested changes which are currently
emphasised, we need to move away from traditional types of curricula (content-based
and behaviouristic curricula) and include innovative strategies. We have already
referred to problem-based learning, which is an innovation. Traditionally the
curriculum made provision for a hospital-oriented focus with regard to, for example,
learning experiences of learners whereby clinical placement was primarily hospitalbased. By this time you should be aware of the emphasis given to community-oriented
care by the health departments. This requires that a community-based approach
should be adopted whereby learners should also be placed in community settings to
gain their clinical experience, in addition to the hospital settings.

The principle of the curriculum developing a research orientation among


learners:

In developing a curriculum we have to plan to bring research into the health sciences
curriculum. This is done by including modules on research and epidemiology in the
curriculum. It is necessary to teach the learners the basic principles and methods of
research. Small, guided research-projects will empower the students with the
necessary skills to do basic research projects under the watchful eye of the lecturer.
This will enable them to initiate research projects or to participate in other people's
projects. Another important issue is evidence-based practice. Learners have to be
equipped with the knowledge and skills to critique research reports and apply
research results to improve their own practice.

3.4

STAGES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

The process of curriculum development is a general process that can be followed irrespective
of the purposes for which curriculum development is done or where curriculum development
takes place. It is also not rigid and may therefore be applied in a unique manner, by adapting
it to suit the demands of a particular curriculum development project. We will discuss four
stages of curriculum development. The purpose of this section is to give you an overview of
the curriculum development process suitable for health sciences education. Aspects of
curriculum development will then be discussed in detail in subsequent study units of this
study guide.

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3.4.1 Exploratory stage


According to Quinn (2007:131) the first stage of the curriculum development process is the
exploratory stage. Other writers use different names, for example Brady (1999) uses the term
presage, referring to what educators should consider prior to designing the curriculum''.
Print (1993) uses the term organisation phase and indicates that this is the presage phase
(refer to section 2.4.3).

3.4.1.1

Conducting a situation analysis

Different authors use different terms to refer to the situation analysis. Quinn (2007) and
Rowntree (1981) refer to market research. Lindeque and Vandeyar (2004) use the term
context analysis. Another term which you may come across is needs assessment. Regardless
of the term used for the stage or the activities involved, it involves examining the context of
the curriculum to help the educators develop a curriculum which serves the needs of society
and which responds appropriately to social trends.

The situation analysis will be discussed in detail in study unit 4 of this study guide. Issues
that should be considered include the following:

The curriculum committee must determine the educational needs of the health
science professions and the learners alike.

It is essential to conduct market research to obtain the views of employers and other
stakeholders on training of future health care personnel and the competencies required
for qualified health care professionals. Health services managers and professional
practitioners in the clinical settings will be able to shed light on the kind of
practitioner that has to be trained.

Ideas for new courses and/or new content should be obtained with due consideration
of the issues and trends which influence health, illness and care.

Recent knowledge and technological innovations and trends have to be identified


and the curriculum should be updated accordingly.

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3.4.1.2

Identifying constraints

During the exploratory phase, the curriculum committee should also consider possible
constraints that will require creative strategies to overcome.

a) Educators

The ratio of educators to learners may be very low (eg 1:30), making it difficult to
plan for learner accompaniment by educators. If availability of educators is limited, it
might be necessary to scale down expectations. For instance, the curriculum
committee might feel that learners should spend at least a month at an AIDS clinic
and receive individual attention because of the relevance of AIDS in our society.
However, a low educator learner ratio might force the curriculum committee to
allocate two weeks to this learning opportunity and accept the fact that learners will
be accompanied in groups (and not on an individual basis) during those two weeks.

There may be a given number of educator posts, and you must plan within that
framework, taking shortages of educators into consideration. If shortages of
educators exist, it might be necessary to develop a curriculum that allows for selfdirected learning by the learners. This is of course a positive development, provided
that self-directed learning is applied in an educationally sound manner and learners
are not left alone to fend for themselves.

The educators available to work on the course are of diverse backgrounds and
specialities, which may result in differences of opinion on what learners should learn
and how teaching should be done. For instance, an educator who specialises in
curative health care might be of the opinion that curative health care issues are the
most important thing in the curriculum. He or she may be opposed by those who
specialise in emergency care or community health care. Therefore it will be necessary
to compromise in the interest of a balanced curriculum.

Educators will have only a certain time available to develop their lesson plans and
other learning material, to consult learners, to assess learners' work, and so on. For
instance, it will be difficult to develop a curriculum that depends on regular formative
evaluation by the educator if, in reality, it is impossible to implement regular
formative evaluation in practice because of a heavy workload.

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b) Learners

Learners will have a set amount of time to devote to each subject. Time must also be
spent on other subjects as well as other aspects of their lives. Often, each member of
the curriculum committee is of the opinion that his or her subject is the most
important and that a great proportion of available time should be allocated to that
subject. Learners may not, as a result of other pressures, be able to cope with such a
demand.

Existing knowledge, skills and relevant attitudes may constrain curriculum


development: therefore the learners' backgrounds must be taken into account. For
instance, the curriculum committee might have grand visions about what should be
taught to learners and how it should be done, while inadequate secondary education
standards might make it impossible to achieve these visions with available candidates
who enter a particular health sciences educational programme. For instance, will
problem-based learning succeed if high school graduates are underprepared for the
demands of self-directed learning? And will computer-assisted instruction succeed if
the learners are computer illiterate when they enter the professional education
programme?

Learners may have certain expectations about what constitutes an acceptable course
in terms of workload, teaching methods, assessment, and so on. For instance,
curriculum developers might believe that inquiry learning strategies, using a problembased approach, will prepare learners for the demands of the modern world, while
learner bodies might pressurise educators to revert to giving lectures, a method that
might be in conflict with the notion of inquiry learning.

c) Facilities
Provision of library and laboratory facilities may be inadequate. For instance, a
lack of books, journals and educational media may make it very difficult to develop a
curriculum that supports inquiry learning.

Lecture rooms, seminar rooms and study spaces may be too small for the kind of
teaching and learning you wish to create. For instance, it might be difficult to achieve
a self-directed learning environment if there are no study facilities that can be used on
an individual basis.

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The budget may be insufficient for extras you may need. For instance, the curriculum
committee might want to develop a curriculum that supports media-based learning but
finds that limited funds for equipment such as DVD machines, televisions and
computers make this virtually impossible.

d) Other people's expectations

Educators in other courses may have strong ideas about what ought to be included in
your course. So there should be negotiations about what to include in each individual
course and how various related courses should be linked. Read this 2011 article by
Weimer: I Wont Mess with Your Course if You Dont Mess with Mine(Please join
the myUnisa discussion on this topic.)

Statutory bodies (nursing, medical and/or health professions councils) impose certain
requirements. The curriculum committee might be of the opinion that a certain topic
should be removed from the curriculum, only to find out that statutory requirements
prevent them from doing so.

Potential employers have particular expectations which must be catered for. For
instance, employers might specify that the curriculum should include computer
literacy. This may shock those curriculum committee members who believe that these
important skills might conveniently be overlooked because they themselves are not
computer literate. Similarly the employers may require that the learners have
knowledge about certain medical laboratory technology tests and be able to interpret
the test results while the educational institution struggles to create learning
opportunities in modern laboratories due to the unavailability of such laboratories.

Health and education authorities have requirements that must be taken into account.
Therefore, curriculum development decisions will be influenced by health and
educational policies.

3.4.1.3

Critical path analysis

According to Quinn (2007:131), the exploratory phase also involves a critical path analysis,
which results in a working schedule according to which the curriculum committee will
complete the various activities.

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Activity 3.3: Compile a critical path analysis for your module (assume that you have to recurriculate). Paste it in your e-portfolio.

A critical path analysis identifies tasks to be completed and the deadlines for each task. We
should start off by deciding on a date for the validation event: this is the date on which the
curriculum document must be ready to be submitted to the statutory registration authority (eg
SANC or HPCSA) for approval. We then work backwards from the date set for the
validation event. The following are other deadlines that need to be included: the first draft of
the validation document (the curriculum and other supporting documents), the internal
validation event (the date when the college/university senate must approve the curriculum
document), and the date for printing the document. Remember also to set deadlines for the
tasks which you allocate to the curriculum committee, such as formulating the learning
outcomes and identifying the subjects and topics to be included in the curriculum. Ensure that
there is sufficient time for critical reading and for obtaining comments from experts.
Up to this point, we have discussed and elaborated on Quinn's views about the exploratory
curriculum development stage. Do you remember Print's (1993) curriculum development
model which we discussed in study unit 2? We will now return to Print's model and integrate
his first curriculum development stage (which he calls the organisation stage) into Quinn's
exploratory stage.

3.4.1.4

Curriculum presage deliberations

Quinn's exploratory stage omits important aspects of curriculum development, namely


attending to the curriculum presage. It is therefore necessary to incorporate Print's curriculum
development model into our discussion in this part of the study guide. Look at the sketch by
Brook and Oliver.

Activity 3.4: Page to activity 2.9 in study unit 2 in which you compiled a mind-map of Print's
organisation phase. Incorporate your mind-map and our discussions in section 2.3.3 on the
organisation phase into this section (section 3.4.1.4) on the exploratory stage of curriculum
development. Include the activities stated by Print in this part of the study guide. Paste it in
the space provided below.

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By completing the activity, you have learnt how to enhance your insight into a phenomenon
by integrating the works of two authors. Did you include the following activities?

Preconceived ideas of those who are involved in curriculum development are


brought into the open (refer back to the activities where you reflected on your own
preconceived ideas on what a curriculum is).

Consensusis reached about the meaning that will be attached to the concept of
curriculum.

Consensus is reached about the purpose of a curriculum in your profession.

The philosophical underpinnings of the curriculum are decided upon (revise the
HSE3703 module).

3.4.1.5

Creating curriculum design criteria and a plan of action

The decisions that were made during the exploration stage are documented. These decisions
serve as a blueprint according to which curriculum design will be conducted. Decisions
pertaining to the following are documented:

the criteria that the new curriculum should adhere to

an outline of the activities to be completed up to the point of submitting the new


curriculum for validation by the statutory body

the foundations of the proposed curriculum, namely the

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o mission, vision and philosophy of the educational institution


o the underlying educational paradigm and philosophy (refer to HSE3703)
o the learning theories on which the curriculum is based (refer to HSE3703).

We have created a visual representation of the exploratory stage in figure 3.1.

Figure 3-10: The Exploratory phase

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3.4.2 Curriculum design stage


Once the exploratory stage has been completed, the curriculum committee can proceed with
the next stage: curriculum design. Curriculum design is the second stage of curriculum
development. The activities during this stage are focused on establishing a workable
curriculum that can be implemented in practice by educators and learners alike. The points of
departure for the stage of curriculum design are the end-results of the exploratory stage,
namely the stated foundations of the new curriculum (philosophy, educational paradigm,
learning theories; vision, mission and institutional philosophy), the criteria for the new
curriculum and the plan of action. The foundations spell out the underlying philosophical and
theoretical principles and value system which underpin the curriculum. The plan of action
provides the curriculum committee with an outline of the activities that must be completed, as
well as the time frame in which this should be done. The criteria are an indication of the
requirements that the new curriculum should comply with.

Curriculum design does not only refer to the creation of an entirely new curriculum, but may
also entail re-planning an existing curriculum.

3.4.2.1

Setting up a team of experts

The first step in curriculum design would be to set up a team of experts who would be able to
interpret the stated foundations, and the criteria for a new curriculum. It is their
responsibility to make sound decisions on the nature of learning outcomes to be formulated,
the content to be included, how the curriculum will be organised and the criteria and
methods by which assessment of learning should be done. The team will also recommend
which teaching strategies and learning opportunities would best serve the achievement of
the learning outcomes. Needless to say, the team should comprise of:

experts in the field of education,

the various subject disciplines,

as well as expert clinical practitioners.

This is necessary because they are supposed to oversee the development of the substance of
the curriculum.

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Our discussion of aspects of curriculum design in the following sections will be brief,
because each was discussed in the first and second level modules of the health sciences
education course.

3.4.2.2

Developing an educational plan and implementation guidelines

Revise Print's (1993) development stage (which we refer to here as the curriculum design
stage) in study unit 2. Bring forward the discussion about Print's development stage and
integrate it into our discussions on curriculum design in section 3.4.1.4.
This will give you a good overview of what curriculum design entails.

During curriculum design the theoretical and clinical outcomes at various levels of the
educational programme are formulated. The theoretical and clinical content that would
support the achievement of the outcomes is specified. The content is also organised and
sequenced to reflect a particular curriculum organisation. It should also be stated which
teaching strategies and learning opportunities would best help to achieve the outcomes
and contribute towards optimal professional and personal development of the learners. Lastly,
criteria for the assessment of learning (theoretical and clinical) are formulated. These criteria
are incorporated into assessment instruments and should closely reflect the stated outcomes.

Suitable assessment methods are also developed. All of these matters are incorporated into an
educational plan and implementation guide. The educational plan and implementation
guidelines should be congruent with the criteria that were stated during the exploratory stage.
a) Formulating outcomes
You are already familiar with planning and formulating learning outcomes. Please refer to the
first and second level Health Sciences Education modules and revise the sections which deal
with learning outcomes.

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Activity 3.5: Read the articles / webpages from the University of Sussex, the page by
Gardner, the article by Maher, as well as the webpage of UNSW. List the criteria that
outcomes must adhere to. They must be:
Specific
Active-verbs must be used to describe the outcomes
Aligned with the rest of the curriculum
Achievable-describe what a learner needs to do in order to pass
Assessed-several outcomes can be assessed with one task, there is no need for tons of
assessments

Do you agree with the proposed criteria? I Agree because outcomes must be specific to that
course, and they should be in line with the current curriculum. They should also be
measurable so that achievement thereof can be determined.

Go online to www.wordle.net or tagxedoand try to make a word cloud by using the


criteria listed above. Please paste it in the space below AND in your e-portfolio.

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Although the benefits of stating / creating outcomes are widely praised and encouraged,
Maher alludes us to certain potential drawbacks. Quickly list the drawbacks.
Stifling creativity-disempowerment of teachers and learners
One size fits all-problem with level descriptors
Commodification of knowledge

b) Selecting and organising curriculum content


We need to spell out what we mean by curriculum content before we can make informed
decisions on which content to include in the curriculum.

i) What is meant by curriculum content?


Traditionally, content is defined as the subject matter of teaching-learning, in other words the
what that has to be conveyed to learners. We would, however, like to emphasise that
curriculum content involves much more than simply factual information or subject matter.
UNESCO provides a condense overview.

Activity 3.6: Why do you think UNESCO refers to curriculum design and content selection
as both a political and technical process?

It is political because politics affect how a society develops. Political issues drive the needs of
the society. In curriculum design we tend to look at the needs of society during situational
analysis. The curriculum design is technical because it is designed and implemented by
human actions, using data and equipment that we have access to, for example computers.

We use the term curriculum content to refer to how much learners have to learn through
education. It can be used to refer to subject matter, such as facts, explanations, principles and
definitions that learners ought to acquire. The term could also refer to skills such as writing
skills, communication skills, technical skills or the skills required to perform clinical
procedures. Curriculum content also refers to intellectual processes that learners have to
master, such as logical reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.
Furthermore, it refers to values that learners need to internalise, for instance knowing what is
regarded as good or bad, and right or wrong, within a particular cultural context. Inherent in a
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value system are the attitudes of individuals to life in general and one's personal
responsibilities in life and professional responsibilities at work.
In short, curriculum content encompasses:
subject matter,
skills,
intellectual processes,
values and
attitudes.

Think about what we discussed so far. This has implications for the selection of curriculum
content. It is evident that it is not sufficient to merely choose a collection of subjects. The
curriculum committee should also indicate which practical and technical skills the learners
need, and the intellectual processes which they should apply. The values which the learners
should adopt to develop the attitudes required of a health care professional should also be
identified.

Another important point is that the curriculum content should not be viewed in isolation. The
educational strategies, learning opportunities and assessment strategies should contribute
towards learning experiences through which the learners acquire the required knowledge,
skills, intellectual abilities, values and attitudes.

ii The difference between subject matter, knowledge, and information or facts


Subject matter represents written records of knowledge that society has developed, while
knowledge comprises the meanings that a learner has attached to subject matter. In other
words, when a learner is exposed to subject matter through the process of teaching and
learning, the subject matter is converted into knowledge through a process of meaning
making.

Subject matter is presented to learners in the form of factual information, namely


definitions, principles and theoretical explanations that learners have to master. These are
incorporated into subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, psychology and
sociology. It is up to the learner to process subject matter in order to generate knowledge. It is
possible to memorise subject matter for the purposes of regurgitation during tests and
examinations. This however results in superficial learning and what has been learnt this way
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is often easily forgotten. To be able to generate knowledge, insight into the subject matter is
required. When this is achieved, deep learning is possible and knowledge gained can be used
in situations other than those in which learning has taken place (application).

So, clearly, the purpose of selecting and teaching curriculum content and assessing learning
must be to enable learners to generate knowledge, as opposed to merely memorise facts.

iii The difference between subject matter and intellectual processes


We will distinguish between subject matter and processes by relating it to Bloom's taxonomy
of behavioural objectives.
Revise Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives which you studied in HSE1502
and HSE2602. Please read the VERY interesting article by Peter Pappas (1&2) or
take hisPrezi tour of the Taxonomy.

Figure 3-11: Peter Pappas taxonomy of Reflection

We have explained what subject matter is in the previous section. When we teach subject
matter to the learners, this corresponds to Bloom's levels of knowledge and understanding.
We expect that learners learn specific facts and use the facts to classify phenomena, make
generalisations or identify trends, for example. The learners are also required to interpret
what they have learnt and show their understanding of an issue in their own words.

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The different subjects that we teach learners make unique demands on their logical
reasoning skills. It is necessary that we teach not only factual matter pertaining to each
subject, but also the relevant inquiry, learning and thought processes which the learners have
to apply to construct knowledge, namely to attribute meaning to what they have learnt.

We also explained that the term processes is used to refer to intellectual skills such as critical
thinking, problem solving, decision making and communication. When our teaching is aimed
at developing intellectual processes in the learners, this corresponds to Bloom's levels of
application, analysis, evaluation and synthesis. These abilities are not restricted to a
specific subject or subject discipline.
Application requires that the learners relate theoretical rules, principles and concepts
to real-life situations. They are also required to use the subject matter to enable them
to make informed decisions and to seek plausible solutions to given problems.
Analysis requires that the learners are able to break information down into its
component parts and to recognise the relationships between the components.
Evaluation requires that the learners should be able to criticise and judge the value of
the subject matter that is presented to them or the perspectives which they are required
to adopt.
To synthesise means that one should be able to combine the component parts of
information in order to create a new whole.

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These higher intellectual skills require that the learners can bring together subject matter from
more than one subject discipline and use it in an integrated manner to complete the task at
hand. It is therefore clear that processes and subject matter should be regarded as being
interdependent. The subject matter that we teach to learners provides the sources of factual
information and principles that learners require to enable them to practise these intellectual
processes.

iv The relationship between knowledge and processes


Remember that we said that the learners construct knowledge when they attach meaning to
the subject matter while they learn. Hence a close relationship exists between knowledge and
intellectual processes. We use our intellectual processes to construct knowledge. Similarly we
need the information which is contained in the subject matter to enable us to practise our
higher order intellectual skills.
Figure 3-12Blooms Taxonomy

Cholowski and Chan (1995:150) cite various research results that indicate that successful
problem solving requires not only the ability to practise problem-solving processes, but also a
rich knowledge base. However, proficiency in problem solving does not depend on gaining
more and more knowledge, but rather on an increased ability to apply the acquired
knowledge. This also applies to other thought processes. For example, the ability to think
critically is closely related to learners' ability to apply their knowledge to make sound
decisions and think creatively.

Educators should therefore link the problems that learners confront at any given point in time
to the knowledge that they have already acquired. Learners must be enabled to recall their
existing knowledge and apply this knowledge to the given problem in order to find an
appropriate solution.

From our discussions on curriculum content so far, it should be clear that the content
dimension comprises more than meets the eye, and that we should not regard it narrowly as
just the subject matter dealt with by an educator within a particular lesson.

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v Criteria for selecting curriculum content


The following are commonly cited criteria which we can use to select curriculum content:
Significance. Significant content is essential and fundamental to the discipline or
theme under study. In other words, it is an important sample of the particular field of
study or discipline. Curriculum committees are advised to strike a balance between
principles, concepts and facts to enhance the significance of curriculum content.
Learners will benefit more if we teach facts in order to illustrate principles and
concepts rather than confronting them with vast amounts of facts that are easily
forgotten.
Fundamental knowledge, principles and processes have a greater field of applicability
than a collection of isolated facts, as they rest on basic ideas. Furthermore, it is less
inclined to become obsolete than factual content. The focus should therefore be on the
teaching of principles and intellectual processes. If we regard problem solving as a
basic process in health sciences, knowledge which is offered by means of problemsolving methods should be more meaningful than knowledge offered as facts.
Utility. The criterion of utility dictates that the curriculum content should be useful.
The content should be professionally relevant and enable the learners to apply what
they have learnt in their professional education. Professionally relevant content is
essential to prepare the learners for their roles and functions. Learners who pursue
health sciences education are striving to qualify themselves for a specific occupation.
Unnecessary, time-consuming and irrelevant information kills motivation and
contributes to frustration.
While a theoretical stance is valuable to broaden learners' perspectives, the curriculum
committee should ensure that the content is not too abstract and general. It should be
relevant to the real world in which the learners will work and live and they should be
able to translate what they have learnt into competent practice, and to solve problems
and cope with the demands of the world outside the educational institution.
However, curriculum content should not be restricted to what has immediate practical
application, particularly in health care settings. It must rather allow the learners to
make contributions to their professions and society in general that extend beyond their
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immediate work responsibilities and their personal interests. It should therefore also
contribute towards the learners' personal development.
Consistency with social realities. Relevant curriculum content represents the most
useful orientation to the real world. It is in line with present and projected social
trends, and meets the present and future needs of the community, the health
professions and health professionals. They must be equipped with the ability to cope
with whatever demands are made on them by their professions, the community and
specific clinical situations.
Content should be current, not obsolete. It should reflect present-day scientific and
technological knowledge. Needless to say, the curriculum content should be updated
frequently and the learners required to study the most recent editions of available
publications. For instance, considering the constant advances in electronic health
informatics, it would be inappropriate to select content and sources of information
that deal only with paper-based health information systems. Balance is called for.
Long-term relevance. Whereas factual content rapidly becomes obsolete, a focus on
principles, intellectual processes and learning skills equips the learners with the ability
to function amid constant and revolutionary social changes. Individuals who
understand basic principles and who are able to think and learn are able to remain up
to date with new technological and scientific developments and to function in
different health care settings.
Rapid change represents one of the most important demands of the contemporary
social reality in which learners practise. They have to cope with problems that require
independent judgement. A curriculum should contain relevant content and learning
experiences to equip the learners intellectually and emotionally to handle change and
autonomous practice. This criterion therefore dictates that the curriculum should
consist of the principles, concepts and skills which the learners can rely on in their
quest to realise their lifelong learning needs.
Interest. This criterion dictates that provision should be made for the unique interests
of the learners. However, health sciences education is also concerned with
professional interests, so the curriculum cannot cater solely for the learners' individual
interests. The curriculum committee should consider including elective courses. These
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electives can be chosen to allow the learners to study topics which they are interested
in and which provide enriching learning experiences.
Learnability. Learnable curriculum content is presented in a form that provides some
schemata according to which learners can master learning material at increasingly
complex levels. It is much easier to master information that has been presented
according to a logical structure than to master many seemingly unconnected facts.
The learnability of the content can also be enhanced by establishing linkages between
new subject matter and what learners have already learnt, and by linking content
which is learnt at the same level. This is called horizontal and vertical articulation, as
indicated in the section on organising and sequencing the curriculum content (refer to
section C which follows on this section).
In addition to content presentation, it is also necessary to consider the abilities of the
learners who need to acquire the content. Provision should be made for the learning
needs of average, above-average and gifted learners. In countries where the secondary
school system inadequately prepares the learners for the demands of tertiary
education, it may be necessary to introduce bridging courses. The purpose of the
bridging courses is to equip the learners with the knowledge and skills which they
require to master the curriculum content.
Validity. Valid curriculum content contributes to achievement of the stated learning
outcomes. In other words, the content is closely linked to the stated outcomes.
Content which bears little resemblance to the outcomes is invalid.
Accuracy. Another important consideration is the accuracy of the content. For
instance, content which relates to specific countries should be accurate in terms of the
recent social and political events. Many countries and cities have experienced name
changes and content should be up to date with these changes. The same applies to
epidemiological data. Valid epidemiological content accurately communicates the
most recent trends. For instance if you choose content pertaining to the incidence and
prevalence of HIV infection as it stood seven years ago in your country, the accuracy
of the curriculum will be questionable because many changes will have occurred in
seven years.

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c) Organising and sequencing the curriculum content


According to Print (1993:XVII), curriculum organisation is the process of conceptualising
and arranging the elements of curriculum into a coherent pattern. Curriculum developers
must decide how curriculum content should be organised and ordered. They must also
allocate relative weights to various themes, topics and skills.

Content should be organised in some logical way to facilitate teaching and learning. A
curriculum is organised horizontally and vertically.
Horizontal curriculum organisation involves decision making about scope and
depth.
Vertical curriculum organisation involves decision making about sequence and
continuity.
Other dimensions of curriculum organisation that we will discuss are articulation and
balance.

i Scope
When curriculum developers make decisions about the scope of the curriculum, they must
consider the breadth versus the depth of curriculum content. Scope is also concerned with
the variety and form of learning experiences and appropriate teaching strategies. Let's have a
closer look at the scope of a curriculum.

The curriculum committee must set the boundaries for (or scope of) curriculum content. A
number of questions need to be answered:

Should we include the behavioural sciences and humanities in addition to the life
sciences and professional disciplines?

What about the arts in addition to the sciences?

It is important to include a variety of subjects to enable the learners to understand various


aspects of the world, human beings, the human body and health and disease. However, it is
not possible to teach the learners about everything which exists or occurs in the world. It is
more appropriate to make a selection of relevant subjects which the learners should study to
enable them to become competent practitioners. We should also ensure that curriculum
content contributes not only to the professional development of learners, but also to their

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personal development. A permissive curriculum is called for, however, a balance should be


maintained. Taba, in Greaves (1987:42-43), suggests that the major areas of knowledge to be
included could be mapped out by identifying and linking the unitary or modular themes. An
example is depicted in figure 3.4.

Figure 3-13: Concept map

Scope is also concerned with selecting a variety of learning opportunities and teaching
strategies. This will ensure that the learners have a variety of learning experiences, which will
greatly contribute towards their personal and professional development, as well as to learning
in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. We can structure actual teaching
learning interactions into the main curriculum plan so that they may function as powerful
factors integrating content and methods.

ii Depth
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The curriculum committee must decide on the depth in which curriculum content is to be
studied in addition to the scope of coverage. A curriculum that is broad in scope covers a vast
number of themes and topics in a relatively superficial way. A curriculum that is not broad in
scope covers fewer themes and topics, but deals with them in greater depth by uncovering
layer after layer of related concepts, principles and meanings. In short, if the breadth of
content is limited, it generally allows learners to study the content in depth. A curriculum that
is broad in scope does not make provision for studying curriculum content in depth.

One way of ensuring that depth is added to the curriculum is to select teaching strategies and
learning opportunities which enable learners to

learn the subject matter and master the necessary practical or technical skills

construct meanings, namely to develop insight into the principles which underpin
what they read or hear, or the situations which they encounter

critically reflect on what they have learnt and challenge the social, cultural and
historical trends related to the subject matter (which dictates that they should
understand the curriculum content according to a specific ideological stance, while
acknowledging that alternative perspectives are in order)

iii Sequencing
Sequencing of curriculum content refers to establishing a logical progression through
content, to ensure accumulative learning. Sequencing involves breaking up the content and
learning experiences into manageable steps to facilitate learning. This content should then be
introduced in such a manner that a logical progression is maintained. When determining
sequence, the curriculum committee need to ask what order is to be followed in the
curriculum. In other words, they need to determine when to offer the what of the
curriculum.

The progression can be arranged in various ways, including

prerequisite knowledge to subsequent knowledge

known to unknown

normal to abnormal

concrete to abstract

general to specific or specific to general

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wholes to the component parts of the whole

immediate issues of concern to issues that are wider and more remote.

Figure 3-14: Progression from simple to complex

Note that the subject matter that the learners should master, as well as the skills, intellectual
processes, values and attitudes that they have to acquire, are all sequenced to promote
progressive learning. Sequencing also calls for increasingly complex learning experiences as
the learner matures. Planning should ensure that learners are capable of mental operations
that are suitably complex and abstract by the time they are called upon to use them.

Figure 3-15: An example of vertical sequencing

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Complexity resides in both the curriculum content as such and the learners' perception of the
complexity of the content that they have to master. For instance, the learners' abilities to
master the more advanced concepts and principles will be greatly enhanced by first ensuring
that they acquire any prerequisite knowledge before they are exposed to the more advanced
content. By so doing, learners may be more inclined to perceive the complexity of the
curriculum as appropriate. Should they not have the previous knowledge needed to cope with
the increasing complexity of the content, however, they would simply find it too difficult. For
example, learners with an understanding of basic chemistry and mathematical procedures
may find it a lot easier to grasp pharmacological subject content than would learners without
this prerequisite knowledge. Curriculum developers must therefore specify successful
completion of modules in chemistry and mathematics as prerequisites for entry into a
pharmacology module.

Activity 3.7: Write down two other examples where certain subjects or pre-knowledge is
required to master another subject.
Anatomy and physiology one needs to have studied Biology/life sciences
Ethos one needs a background of sociology

The degree of difficulty of a programme is determined by the following factors:

number of variables to be coped with simultaneously by the learner (breadth)

quantity of content (breadth)

assistance offered by educators (e.g. how much structure)

level of theory (depth)

learners' previous knowledge (sequencing)

intensity of a situation

difficulty levels of skills to be mastered.

iv Continuity
Continuity (figure 3.5) refers to an approach whereby main themes and skills are repeatedly
studied by learners. The same concepts are repeatedly introduced into various levels of the
curriculum, but each time more depth or breadth is added to facilitate increased levels of
insight in learners. The breadth and depth of the study of the respective themes and skills will
increase progressively as learners move to more advanced levels of the curriculum.
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Figure 3-16: Example of continuity

The concepts that are offered in a simple form during the first year are extended in
complexity, scope, depth and sophistication in subsequent years.

v Articulation
Articulation is a further dimension of curriculum design which is achieved by linking various
aspects of curriculum content. Such linkages can be either vertical or horizontal.

Vertical articulation occurs when learning material of a given level is linked to


learning material of another level. Mastering the learning material of the lower level
would, for instance, constitute prerequisite knowledge for the learner's entry into the
higher level curriculum content. For instance, some knowledge of the anatomy and
physiology of the cerebrovascular system would be a prerequisite for studying health
problems related to cerebrovascular incidents. When teaching cerebrovascular
incidents, educators should develop learning activities that would enable learners to
bring their existing knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the cerebrovascular
system to the surface. This existing knowledge could then serve as a conceptual
structure that could make it easier for learners to grasp the new subject matter.

Horizontal articulationis achieved if learning matter that is presented to learners on


a given level is linked to other related learning matter on that same level. For instance,
if the principles of nutrition and subject content on the basic human needs applied to
infants are taught in the first year, but during different time frames, then linkages

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between the two topics must be established to enable learners to understand how the
principles of nutrition can be applied to meeting the nutritional needs of infants. Such
an approach would not only eliminate unnecessary repetition in the curriculum, but
would also obviate a fragmented curriculum.
Table 3.5: Articulation

vi Balance
Curriculum design should be balanced. Balance is maintained by allocating a relative weight
to each topic and subject. Curriculum developers should consider the social realities when
deciding on the relative weight of various curriculum topics. Balance should therefore reflect
social realities. The social realities of a specific community can be determined by studying
the findings of the situational analysisthat were done before the process of curriculum
design was started. In a developing country, for example, where communicable diseases are
prevalent and basic health care is rendered, more weight will be allocated to health issues
related to communicable diseases and less weight to the latest developments in genetic
research. More time will be allocated to teaching about communicable diseases and more

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emphasis will be placed on assessing learners' knowledge about communicable diseases


(refer to table 3.2).
Table 3.6: Allocating weight to curriculum content

d) How is curriculum content learnt?


Curriculum content cannot be viewed in isolation. When considering content for inclusion in
a curriculum, curriculum developers should also take account of the sources of content and
how content is learnt by learners.

An important point to remember about content is that, in the teaching-learning process, the
two curriculum dimensions of content and of teaching and learning are continuously
interacting. The content only acquires significance once it is transmitted to the learner in
some way, and that way'' means the learning opportunities and learning experiences that
learners are exposed to. It is important to remember that, although the choice of content may
satisfy all the criteria for selecting curriculum content, learning will not necessarily follow.
Similarly, effective teaching methods cannot raise insignificant content to the level of
worthwhile learning. Content and method must be significant before effective learning can be
achieved.

e) Selecting teaching strategies and learning opportunities


You are already familiar with the planning and implementation of theoretical and clinical
teaching strategies and you have already developed and implemented lesson plans when you
completed the Health Sciences Education Practica module. Please refer to the first and second
level Health Sciences Education modules.

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Activity 3.8: Select any module that you are familiar with. State the name of the module.
Describe at least three (3) teaching strategies and three (3) learning opportunities that you
will include (for this module) when you develop your curriculum.
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

f) Developing assessment methods and tools


You are already familiar with the principles and methods of learning assessment.
Please revise the sections on learning assessment in the first and second level Health Sciences
Education modules.
Study the section ``Evaluation'' in Billings and Halstead (2009:84 or 2005:99-100) for the
purpose of our discussion on the design stage of curriculum development.

Activity 3.9: Select any module that you are familiar with. State the name of the module.
Describe at least three (3) assessment strategies that you will include (for this module) when
you develop your curriculum.
HSE 3704-Developing Health Science Curricula: Principles and Process
Concept mapping-A descriptive term applied to a technique where learners are required to
express concepts in visual format. It provides a visual means for learners to demonstrate their
ability to think critically, organise information, understand relationship between concepts and
integrate theory into practice.

Portfolios A collection of the learners work throughout the specified period,compiled by


the student.It can be done with pen and paper as a hard copy or as a modern version,ie.
Electronic e-portfolio.It can be used as proof of achievement in a class,an outcome or
assessment tool for measuring a program, a marketing tool for job placement or for student
placement in a programme of study.

Reflection- A strategy that develops self assessment skills by using reflection mechanism.
The learners are expected to diarise their experiences during the course duration regarding the
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course content. This builds a more thoughtful, self aware and reflective practitioner. It allows
faculty to view the learners ability to fully consider a question, experience or thesis.

3.4.2.3

Preparing for curriculum validation

Regardless of whether a new curriculum is being developed or an existing curriculum is


being revised, it must be submitted to the relevant statutory body for validation after
completion of the curriculum design process. Therefore a validation document must be
compiled, which should comprise an outline of the following:

foundations of the curriculum (e.g. the philosophy, educational paradigm and learning
theories underpinning the curriculum, and the institutional vision, mission and
philosophy)

curriculum rationale (e.g. the broad purpose of the curriculum and the exit outcomes)

substance of the curriculum (the learning outcomes, curriculum content, assessment


methods and criteria)

the proposed teaching strategies and learning opportunities.

3.4.2.4

Personnel development

The next curriculum development phase is the implementation phase. Before the new or
revised curriculum is implemented, personnel development is undertaken to prepare the
educators for their new or changed role. The following ought to be covered in the personnel
development programme:

the philosophy and theories that underlie the curriculum,

the rationale for the new curriculum,

how to apply the proposed teaching strategies and assist the learners to utilise the
learning opportunities, and

how learning assessment should occur.

This is to ensure that the proposed curriculum and its underlying value system, as formally
documented, are put into practice as intended.

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3.4.3 Curriculum implementation


The next curriculum development stage is the implementation stage. During the
implementation stage, the following is done:

The curriculum is operationalised (put into practice).

Any teething problems are overcome.

The curriculum is evaluated informally on a continuous basis, and corrections are


made.

In this study unit we only mention what curriculum implementation entails because you
already have experience in curriculum implementation. Refer to the Health Sciences
Education Practica module.HSE2603.

Activity 3.10: Return to your original mind-map of the curriculum development process. Use
all the knowledge you have acquired during this process and create an extensive mind-map to
illustrate the entire process. You may create it in MindMeister or you may make a Voiceover-PowerPoint Presentation. Upload it to your e-portfolio and paste the final image in the
space.

3.4.4 Monitoring and review stage


The monitoring and review stage is the stage during which curriculum evaluation is done.
This is done by means of a formal curriculum evaluation strategy. The curriculum
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evaluation findings are documented, together with recommendations for change. These
recommendations form the basis for a repeat of the entire curriculum development process,
beginning with the exploratory stage.

Curriculum evaluation is discussed in study unit 7 of this study guide. It is sufficient to know
that the curriculum is subjected to formal evaluation at some point during its existence. The
findings of the curriculum evaluation project are used as a point of departure for renewed
curriculum development.

You should now be able to link the four stages of curriculum development with one another.

3.5

SUMMARY

In this study unit we dealt with the principles of curriculum development, the stages and the
steps of curriculum development. These discussions provide a broad overview of how a
curriculum is developed. In the following study units we discuss in detail those aspects of
curriculum development which are not covered in the other Health Sciences Education
modules.

PS: You might want to read this: A


students experience of the curriculum for
excellence: friend or foe? Discuss
That is where I found the tagxedo (the
picture of the hand )

Figure 3-17: Curriculum development

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookCompiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbookCompiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe

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