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DEVELOPING HEALTH

SCIENCES CURRICULA:
PRINCIPLES AND PROCESS
Only workbook for HSE 3704
SU1-3: Assignment 02 (2017)

The success of tomorrows students will be built upon the


education we design today Dr Linda Price

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 1


HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook

Contents
Study Unit 1: CURRICULUM THEORIES ................................................................. 3
1.1 THE CONCEPT: CURRICULUM AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT ..... 4
1.1.1 Curriculum defined in terms of subject matter (content) ............................. 9
1.1.2 Curriculum defined in terms of outcomes (product).................................. 11
1.1.3 Curriculum defined in terms of process (planned learning experiences) .. 14
1.1.4 Curriculum defined in terms of praxis (interactions) ................................. 15
1.1.5 Curriculum as having a conceptual and a cultural dimension................... 21
1.2 INTRODUCTION TO CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .............................. 24
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF A CURRICULUM ........................................................ 25
1.3.1 The academic-rationalist perspective ....................................................... 27
1.3.2 The cognitive processes perspective ....................................................... 28
1.3.3 The humanistic (personal relevance) perspective .................................... 30
1.3.4 The social reconstructionist (social adaptation and reconstruction)
perspective / Critical theory ............................................................................... 30
1.3.5 The personal commitment perspective .................................................... 32
1.4 CLASSIFICATION OF CURRICULA ........................................................... 37
1.5 CURRICULUM TERMINOLOGY................................................................. 38
1.6 THE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE ............................................................. 39
1.7 SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 41

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 2


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 workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 3
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 currere which 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 a
curriculum 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 (5): In your own words, without consulting any sources, write down what
YOU think the term curriculum entails.
NOTE: In all instances of written responses, please insert your response/answer
between the two * so that your entry appears in blue.
* A curriculum is a collective study of work designed to achieve a specific outcome. It
entails a detailed approach with structured learning objectives and specific
outcomes. A timeframe is provided to meet these outcomes. The students go
through different learning experiences through a journey of an educational process
to achieve a preset educational goal. The curriculum will include content of
educational objectives and planned interactions of the pupils. The curriculum is
based on philosophys, goals and guidelines to deliver a specific program within a
timeframe. The content is preplanned and refers to facts, ideas and generalities
based on the subject or discipline, including skills and attitudes that the students
need to attain. The Learners enquiring minds are guided by subject content of a
discipline/subject.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 4
Lets look at a few evidence-based definitions of a curriculum!
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 workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 5
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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 6
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 (20): Using Mindmeister (www.mindmeister.com), or MSWord Draw


(inser), draw a mind map on the definition of what a curriculum entails. Watch the
second video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtAcKzr30_0 A Basic Model
for curriculum development. The reference to religion in this presentation should
not be viewed as dogmatization but merely as an example.
Also watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMT8JdyWa1A The meaning and
approaches to curriculum.
While watching these videos, start drawing pencil and paper representation of what
the presenters say. Remember to include the sources that you have consulted.
Paste your mind map in the box below. Remember that mind maps should be
detailed.
NOTE: In all instances of mind maps, you might want to erase the space we created
and paste your mind map on a space you have creates at the same position within
the text. You might want to use page endings to insert a clean page for your
mindmap especially when it is very detailed.

Tip: You may consult any relevant source, such as these 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-of-
curriculum and/or
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-
systems/quality-framework/technical-notes/different-meaning-of-curriculum/

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 7
Sources 1. Developing Health Science curricula.: The Concept: Curriculum and Curriculum Development Only study guide for HSE
3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

Activity 1.3 (5): In the myUnisa discussion forum, under the topic Curriculum
Development Definitions, paste your Mind Map. Take a look at some of your co-
students mind maps and leave feedback (an academic comment). [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: 57181098 (number). Your response: You have posted a curriculum
development and not Definition of curriculum _
Student 2: 341217178 (number). Your response: your mind map lacks flow
and there is a spelling error.
Copy and paste two responses that you have received on your mind map
here (5):
Sources 1. Developing Health Science curricula.: The Concept: Curriculum and Curriculum Development Only study guide for HSE
3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 8
Student 1: S J LEMAO 55147844 (number). Their response: your mind map is clear and
very informative

Student 2: __________ (number). Their response: ____________________

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


Motivate your answer (5):

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
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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 9
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.

Activity 1.4 (5): Write down the key-words that you have circled for the CONTENT-
based curriculum:

* subject matter

* transmission of knowledge

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 10
* pre-planned activity with assortment of activities

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


curriculum?

* There is minimal emphasis on students.

* There is a minimal chance for the students input

*There is one method of assessment. There is no time for enhancement.

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

1.1.2 Curriculum defined in terms of outcomes (product)

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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 11
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
competently. Nicholson provides a concise summary and quote Spady s 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:

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 12
Activity 1.5 (5): Taking all the above definitions and explanations into account, write
down the key-words that you have circled for the OUTCOMES-based curriculum:

* skills development

* performance of activities

* Tasks are carried out self-reliantly

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

Mastery of skills with no proper theoretical knowledge.


The students absence theoretical foundation.
The students are unable to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

* Being skilful without no proper theoretical knowledge


* There is an absence of theoretical foundation
*The students are unable to link theory and practice
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=1 and

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 13
http://www.slideshare.net/alwynlau/outcomebased-
education?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 a plan 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 in school 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 institution and the experiences learners encounter when
the curriculum is implemented.

and Kerr (Quinn 2007:108):


... all learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it
is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school.

A definition of curriculum as a set of planned learning experiences represents a shift


of focus away from curriculum content and outcomes in favour of a focus on
learning.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 14
Activity 1.6 (5): Write down the key-words that you have circled for the PROCESS-
based curriculum:

* This is a pre-planned process


* this method is done in steps
* scheduled over a time period

For which subjects or learning would a process-based curriculum work best?


*subject that needs information and activities to be repeated
* studying that comprises of multifaceted events
* studying of actions that involve high risk procedures

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


*limiting little allowance for students input
* students have limited openings to discover
*this could be tedious to inquisitive students
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 1356-
2517.

1.1.4 Curriculum defined in terms of praxis (interactions)

The word praxis implies practice. Therefore, a praxis-based curriculum focusses 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:

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 15
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

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 learner-learner 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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 16
Activity 1.7 (5): Write down the key-words that you have circled for the PRAXIS-
based curriculum:
*It involves on the job experience
*It deals with reality
*there is active interaction and communication between student and educators

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


*scarce resources of educators
*insufficient clinical facilities for practice
*inadequate time for reflection of encountered decisions and procedures done
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 (44): 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.

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/

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 17
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).

Table 1: Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum


delivery model

Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model

Content Outcome/ Process Praxis


Product

Theorist Bell Tylers model Stanhope E. Doll

Curriculu - Written - Pre- - What - Interactio


m is: descriptio planned actually ns in the
n of education happen education
contents al s in the al settings
to be guidelines practice
taught to ,
learners teachin
g-
learning
setting
- Interacti
on of
the
educato
rs and
learner
s
Consist - Concepts - Stated - Planne - Dynamics
of generaliz purposes, d of

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 18
ations aims and learning learning
objectives opportu through
nities discovery,
dialogues,
critical
reflections
Focus - Attitudes, - Skills that - - Emancipa
skills learners tion of
need to learners
acquire in and he
order to developm
function ent of
effectively their own
destinies
Emphasi - Knowledg - Changing - Proces - Experienti
ze e of the in ses of al
subject behaviour learning learning
patterns , (discovery
method ,
s that dialogues,
promot critical
e active reflections
learning )
Educatio - Transmis - Behaviour - Person Social process
n is seen sion of change al characterized by
as: knowledg experienc experie dialogues and
e e nce negotiations
Learners - Master - Achieving Involvement of - Adopt and
expectan subject learning teachers and maintain
cies content objectives learners a critical
dispositio
n towards
the word

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 19
and
learning
materials
Evaluatio - Formative - Demonstr - Formati Ability of the
n ation of ve students to
mastery practice high
learning order thinking
skills
Purpose - Teach - Promote - Equip Students to learn
learners achieveme learner skills applicable
methods nt of s with to real life
of stated proble situations
academic objectives m
enquiry solving
skills
Known - Collection - Planned - Learner Interactions in
as of structured centred the educational
subjects learning learning settings
matters outcomes
competen
cy based
models
Dangers Content takes Reduces content No If there is poor
time to change and it may not be specification interpersonal
as opposed to easy to express of preselected skills between
technology some outcomes content. teachers and
which might in a manner that learners,
hinder delivery will enable the learning will be
of the educator to use affected
knowledge to them to guide
the learners students in
planning
instructional

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 20
practices

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, 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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 21
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.

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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 22
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 (5): 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
*when I read all the definitions of a curriculum it appears I have captured the
main concepts in my definition.
What misconceptions did you have prior to studying the various perspectives
about what a curriculum is?
*none

How would you define curriculum at this point? Use your own words.
*this is a well-developed process of study with aims, objectives and outcomes.
There are many diverse ideas from different theories. The main concept is
developed from the educators individual method and views. These are not
applied in isolation but a combination of the different models and theorists.

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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 23
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
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 (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 video-
clip on Curriculum Development (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAkKSgSChJA)
and explain which of the two members views are correct. Note that there are two

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 24
video clips at this address. Both are worth watching. [Remember to include the
sources that you have consulted. At Unisa we make use of the Harvard method.]
* The member who requested the other member to design a curriculum is correct.
She is right as curriculum development is a collective approach and not an individual
on their own. A curriculum is developed by the curriculum committee. This is
reviewed by different committees before approval and application.
* Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula. Principles and processes. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa
Pretoria, 2017.
2. Billings, D.M Halstead, JA 2009 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

Can you teach/facilitate from someone elses lesson plan? Substantiate your
answer.
*Yes, you most certainly can. Prior knowledge and research of the subject content
are important to be able to teach from someone elses lesson plan.

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
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 (5): 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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 25
(1) The purpose is to transmit and preserve a cultural heritage, for example the
existing culture of your profession.
A D SD
SA

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

(3) The purpose is to promote personal development of each individual learner (self-
actualisation).
SA A D SD
SA

(4) The purpose is to promote social transformation.


SA A D SD
SA

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 study guide.

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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 26
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
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 (McNeil 1996:1).

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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 outcomes-
based 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 (20): Look at the presentation uploaded by Chan on Academic


Rationalism or the article by Barone (2010).
Give a definition of Academic Rationalism (5)
Academic Rationalism aims at Nurturing academic excellence and to convey
tradition or culture of society to the next generation. Students are taught to identify
the best accomplishments in their traditional legacy including a specific profession
and if possible to use these to accomplish their own work. This curriculum assists the
students in gaining the required knowledge, skills and values to learn of the past
heritage to shape the future. This leads to sustaining the prevailing social order

What are the characteristics of Academic Rationalism? (5)

*Prepare students to function effectively in society


*A way to transmit culture from one generation to another
*Develop knowledge, skills and values by which civilisation was shaped in the past
and still be shaped in the present.
*Academic excellence
*Academic subject
What are the purposes of Academic Rationalism? (5)
*Foster academic excellence
*Transmit tradition or cultural heritage
*Conserve the existing social order

Should Academic Rationalism be the main focus of a nursing curriculum?


Substantiate your answer. (5)
*yes

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*Nursing should be evidence base, this method will encourage research , teach
knowledge, skills and values that will assist the community and the profession

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
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 self-
directed learning and discovery learning techniques, which require active learner
involvement. It is not simply transmitted by the educators (McNeil 1996:1).

Activity 1.13 (5): Given the statement above, reflect on how you were taught certain
practical skills (e.g. wound-dressing) when you were a student. Were you taught a
sequence of steps that you had to follow, or were you taught the basic principles of
wound-dressing?
*The step by step approach was used to teach wound dressing in my training

Do you think this was a good way of teaching? (Substantiate your answer)
*Yes, it was a worthy way of teaching. This method of teaching correlates the steps
that involve wound healing. Emphasising prevention and infection control. Infection
prevention and control is the central principle in wound healing.

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.

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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, integrity and autonomy are pursued. The aim is the
development of the total person, namely the intellectual, emotional, moral and
spiritual development of learners. In terms of thinking skills, the aim is to develop
creative thinking abilities of learners. The curriculum consists of intrinsically valuable
learning experiences that will promote the self-actualisation of each learner. An
individualised approach is maintained to meet the needs of each learner in his or her
quest for personal development (McNeil 1996:1).

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


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

Activity 1.14 (20): What are the unique features of a flexible curriculum? Please
consult the CHEs (2013) document for in-depth insight into this.
*this is centred on the student
*its intentions are to build the person in totality
*the student is provided with personal rewards such as self-actualisation and
personal development

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 it should be, as opposed to society as it is. According to social reconstructivists,
the primary concern of education is to deal with the needs and problems of society,
rather than those of the individual learner, and to contribute to the creation of a better

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 30
social order. Theodore Brameld believed that the purpose of a 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 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 (5): Do you think that all teaching institutions will be able to adopt a
social reconstructive curriculum? (As always, substantiate your answer.)
*yes, the likely hood is very probable
*the curriculum should aim at results, accomplishments and outcomes. The learning
environment should be active, self-motivated with a positive atmosphere for the

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students. This should ensure that the curriculum is flexible for the clinical faciltators
or tutors.

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
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 (5+5): Let's revisit your own views about the purpose of a curriculum.
Without looking at your previous responses, 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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 32
SA A D SD
SA

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

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


SA A D SD
SA

(4) The purpose is to promote social transformation.


SA A D SD
SA

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


inquiry, learning and social transformation.
SA A D 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.) (5)

*No my opinion has not changed. The curriculum should develop the learner to
change into a caring professional. Build on their knowledge and skills that could be
used positively to display the change that she would want to see in the community or
society that she would be involved in.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 33
Table 2: Perspective Definitions of Curriculum (Glatthorn, Boschee, Whitehead and Boshee, 2012:3)

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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 34
Table 3: Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum

Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum


Academic- Cognitive Humanistic / Social Personal
rationalist process Personal Reconstructionist commitment
Focus - Academic - Intellectual - Individual / - Community-based - Commitment
excellence processes Holistic - Society (ideal) - Ethical
- Academic - Student / - Contributing to social behaviour
subject Personal reform (needs and
- Self- problems)
actualization
Goal and - Foster - Improve critical - Provide - Develop thinking - Personal
purpose academic thinking and intrinsically skills (scepticism) via commitment
excellence problem solving rewarding a Liberatory to intellectual
- Transmit skills and learning education inquiry and
tradition or abilities experiences - Focus on the greater learning
cultural - Motivate good of society - Intellectual
heritage personal - exploration
- Conserve interests in - Knowledgeab
the existing learning le and
social order competent
practitioners
Aim - Prepare - Prepare - Prepare - Empower student to - Create
students to students to students to be contribute/create a students who
function solve problems creative better social order will work hard
effectively in - Students adapt thinkers - To develop a healthy - Students who
society to ever changing scepticism about the enjoy
society world intellectual
(change=consta exploration
nt)
- Learn how to
learn (?life-long
learners)
-
Content - Constructs - Cognitive - Student - Societal needs -
source and processes interests - Problems
concepts with subject experienced by
- Recognise context humankind
achievement - Successful work
s behaviours
- Contribute to -
the body of
knowledge
Curriculum - Teach - Content specific - Experiential - Needs and problems - Eclectic
content knowledge, - Knowledge learning of society
skills and needed for - Consists of (contemporary
values that problem-solving intrinsically issues?)
shaped - Self-directed valuable - Community surveys
civilisation learning and learning - Political practices
and discovery experiences
profession - Holistic focus
- Usefulness
and has

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 35
Perspectives about the purpose of a curriculum
Academic- Cognitive Humanistic / Social Personal
rationalist process Personal Reconstructionist commitment
vocational
value
Structure of - Content- - Content specific - Learner- - Community based - Eclectic
curriculum centred - Problem-based centred / education (academic
- Objective/ curriculum Individualised - Praxis curriculum rationalist +
outcome - Process approach humanist)
based curriculum - Flexible
- Behavioural curriculum
- Experiential
learning
Student - Develop - Active learner - Autonomy - Analyse arguments - Knowledgeab
competencies rational mind involvement - Personal - Find Evidence le and
- Standards of - Problem-solving growth - Reach sound competent
reason - Integrity conclusions practitioners
- Insight and - Self- - Students shape own - Create
intellectual actualization destiny take students who
skills - control over own will work hard
- Research lives - Students who
enjoy
intellectual
exploration
Structuring - Taxonomies - Problem solving - Student - Social problems or -
elements - Scaffolding and trouble- research and work adjustment
of knowledge shooting projects skills
processes
Technology - Industry and - Intellectual - Career - Critical -
Educational Technology: Processes: Exploration Consumerism:
goals appreciate develop creative and Vocation: establish values on
the evolution solutions to develop the impact of
of industry present and human industry and
and future societal potential for technology and how
technology problems using responsible it alters our
technical work, leisure, environment.
means. and
citizenship
roles in a
technological
society.
Curriculum - Lawtons - - - Lawtons cultural -
model cultural analysis model
analysis
model
-

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 36
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 (25): 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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 37
Table 4: Types of Curricula

Type of Description
curriculum
Legitimate / -Consist of curriculum framework with philosophy and mission.
Official -It states list of competences, objectives and individual courses.
EXAMPLE:
-A detailed set of objectives for a Midwifery Module.
-Competences to be achieved to pass the module.
-Total number of competences to be achieved.
Actual / -Consist of the actual teaching plan that is being taught to the students by the
Operational educators.
-It focuses on all domains of learning in the classroom (knowledge, skills and
attitude.
EXAMPLE:
-Lesson pal on the anatomy and physiology of the airway system.
-Assessment of the airway system.
-Abnormalities of the airway system.
- Use of mannequins is used to visualise system being studied
Illegitimate -Consist of known and actively taught curriculum by the educators.
-There is no written evaluation method for this type of curriculum.
EXAMPLE:
-Role play to teach caring, compassionate and stimulate feelings of
sensitivity.
-Story telling to create a real life situation an d stimulate caring feelings.
Hidden -Consists of verbal and nonverbal communication.
-The focus is on beliefs, values and morals.
EXAPMLE:
-Dress code-of the educators indirectly affects the students.
-Body language demonstrated by educators when communicating with students
affects the students. Educators who demonstrates caring and respect will
receive this back.
Null curriculum -Consists of both content and behaviours that are not tauht.
-Consists of curriculum that is being overlooked.
EXAMPLE:
-Critical thinking must be encourage to develop decision making stategies must
of the students. The faculty need to ensure that the skill is included by
constantly evaluating the the curriculum to avoid misconceptions.

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.

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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.
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
some way or other be involved in curriculum development. But will you develop the
curriculum alone or will you be working with colleagues? In most educational

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Edited by: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 39
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:
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.

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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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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? ........................... 68
2.6 SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 70

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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

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constitutes a curriculum and what curriculum development entails. The curriculum
committee frequently selects a particular 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.

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2.3.1 Zais's curriculum model

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),

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society/culture, the individual (human nature and specifically that of
the learner) and learning
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.

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Activity 2.2: (5) Refer to Study Unit 1 where we analysed Keating's definition of
curriculum. Which of the components of the curriculum according to Zias are
accounted for in Keatings the definition?
* It contains a formal educational plan.

*Comprises of three diverse phases.

*Theory is the basis of the foundation phase, next the clinical sessions and finally
there is the prospect of learning phase.

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

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society such as the nature of the learners, availability of resources and the general
environment in which learning will take place.

Activity 2.3 (5): 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? (Substantiate your answer.)
* According to Keating (2006:2), curriculum is socially structured. This makes it
inapplicable, to apply a curriculum that is devoted to a specific society and apply this
to a totally different society. Each society has exclusive demands and requirements
that are entirely different to other societies. Specifiers such as. religion, politics and
economic structure.

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.

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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.

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

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Figure 6.2: The social context of a curriculum

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.

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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?

2.4 MODELS DEPICTING THE NATURE OF CURRICULUM


DEVELOPMENT

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

Activity 2.5 (5): In your own words, explain the difference between the terms
curriculum and curriculum development:
Curriculum:
* It is the official learning strategy that has been approved on by the curriculum
committee and permitted and accredited by the educational bodies.

Curriculum development:
* It is the procedure of determining, choosing and collecting all learning theories,
activities and appraisal methods that are required to have the curriculum accepted
and applied into a Nursing school.

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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 (44): 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 5: Perspectives on curriculum development / curriculum delivery model

Perspectives on curriculum development/curriculum delivery mode


Content Outcome/product Process Praxis
Theories Zias Ralph Tyler Ralph Tyler Lawton

Curriculum is Formal plan of study Based on outcomes Based on objectives Based on society
Consist of Foundation Subjects A linear fixed sequence Foundation
Structure Discipline Structure
Social context
Focus Philosophical Outcomes Objectives Students
underpinnings Knowledgeable Content Educators
students Learning experiences Society
evaluation
Emphasize Goals Skills Student behaviour Inclusion of social heritage
Aims Knowledge Achievement of goals into curriculum
Objectives individual
Education is The primary focus of Sharing of knowledge A step by step approach Vehicle for the teaching of
seen as the curriculum One step must be societal values, heritage
achieved before moving to
the next step

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Learners The way people learn Participative Change of behaviour with Social aware
experience and learning theories Inquisitive acquisition of knowledge Cultural sensitive
explore Respectful
Responsible citizens
Evaluation assessment of skills stations skills stations Skills
learning by means of Exams Exams Tests
texts and Tests Tests Role play
examinations Debate
Group work

Purpose To impact knowledge To produce competent To prepare the students To prepare students who
and skills to students workforce who can easily step by step in acquisition are cultural sensistive and
adapt to the working of knowledge aware of their own and
environment To have a structured others cultures
approach in learning Aware of the needs of the
society
Known as Epistemology OBE Prescriptive Praxis
Dangers Lack of students Students might lack Restrictive to both Lacks research
theoretical foundation students and educator

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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)?
What educational experiences can 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.

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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.
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:

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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.

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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 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 (10): 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?
(Substantiate your answer clearly so that it reflects the fact that you have read this e-
article)
No I do not agree. The students will learn verbatim to memorise numbers
instead of promoting their critical thinking skills. The students can learn how to
find the numbers that they are searching for.

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.

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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 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

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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.

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

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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.

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 0-9: 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

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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 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: (10) 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.

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ORGANISATION PHASE.

Debating and
reaching consensus
about meaning of
curriculum

Formulating criteria for


the proposed
curriculum

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: Organisation Phase. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria,
2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

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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
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.

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Activity 2.9: (10) 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.) .
Paste it in the space below.

DEVELOPMENT PHASE

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: Development Phase of a curriculum. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria,
2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

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 distinction is 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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 67


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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 68


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 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 rule-driven 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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 69


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.

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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 70


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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 71


HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook

Contents
Study Unit 3 ............................................................................................................ 73
STAGES AND STEPS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .................................. 73
3.1 OVERVIEW ................................................................................................. 73
3.2 3.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................... 73
3.3 3.2 PRINCIPLES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT .............................. 74
3.4 3.3 STAGES OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT ..................................... 81
3.5 SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 118

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 72


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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 73


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 (30): After reading through the educational principles of curriculum
development, create a Mind-map to summarise the key-principles of each approach
and paste it into the box below.

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: educational principles. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 74


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 approach is adopted as opposed to a content-based approach
whereby the 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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 75


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.
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

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 76


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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 77


Activity 3.2 (30): The key-principles of curriculum development

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.:
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching i

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 78


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.

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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).

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 hospital-based. 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.

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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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 81


Activity 3.3: (30) After having studied the stages of curriculum development, create
a Mind-map to summarise these stages. Paste this Mind-map into the space blow.

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: The stages of curriculum development. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa
Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 82


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 self-directed 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

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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.

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 problem-based 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.

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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.
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
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.

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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.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 87


Activity 3.4: (10) Compile a critical path analysis for your module (assume that you have to re-curriculate).

August Decemberr January February April May June July August September October November December January

Form
plan
team

Curriculum development
Analysis of core
modules Curriculum
draft

Internal
validation

Document
to panel

Validation
event

Implementation
Response to
validation conditions

Intake of
students

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: The exploratory phase - critical path analysis. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 88


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 3.5 (20): Page to activity 2.9 in study unit 2 of this workbook 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
your private portfolio. In the space below, create a mind map on curriculum
deliberations.

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 89


mind map on curriculum deliberations

curriculum deliberations

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: Definition of a curriculum. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 90


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).
Consensus is 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
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.

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Figure 3-1: The Exploratory phase

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Activity 3.6: (10+5+5) Read the articles / webpages from the page by Gardner, the
article by Maher, as well as the webpage of UNSW. List the criteria that curriculum
outcomes must adhere to. They must be:
* Specific
*Active
*Aligned
*Achievable

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*Assessed
*Appropriate
*Practical
*Student centred
*Accreditation- of- learning
*Enhance-employability
*Open-educational-system
Do you agree with the proposed criteria? yes

Go online to www.wordle.net or tagxedo and try to make a word cloud by using the
criteria listed above. Please paste it in the space below AND in your e-portfolio.

Although the benefits of stating / creating outcomes are widely praised and
encouraged, Maher alludes us to certain potential drawbacks. Quickly list the
drawbacks.
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*Stifling creativity
*Disempowerment of teachers and learners
*One size fits all; the problem with level descriptions
*The 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 3.7: (5) Why do you think UNESCO refers to curriculum design and content
selection as both a political and technical process? Substantiate your answer.
*Curriculum development is a combination of a political and technical process.
The status of curriculum for society is that the curriculum is a matter of
community interest. Curriculum involves a technical feature that are the
accountability of curriculum specialists (technicians). Curriculum experts and
dedicated committees that should work in synergy with the support of curriculum-
specialized institutions1. Curriculum processes should be advantageous by
providing a widespread volume, development and sharing, together with the
contribution of pertinent education agents and stakeholders.

*Curriculum content is a focal platform of education quality. The knowledge, skills


and attitudes communicated by learning areas/subjects, cross-cutting techniques
and extra-curricular activities is a key source of methodical and complete
learning. Although learners have different sources (especially in an informal way
from the Media and Internet) that they learn from, the advantage of the curriculum
in structuring and sequencing learning signifies a key asset for justifiable
achievements that need to be well explored and benefited from.

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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 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
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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 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 his Prezi tour of the Taxonomy.

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Figure 3-2: 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.

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.

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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.

Figure 03-3 Blooms Taxonomy

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

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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.

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 problem-solving 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
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that extend beyond their 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.

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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 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
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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.

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?

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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 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.

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Figure 3-4: 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
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

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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
wholes to the component parts of the whole
immediate issues of concern to issues that are wider and more remote.

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Figure 3-5: 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 3-06: An example of vertical sequencing

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,

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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 3.8: (5) Write down two examples where certain subjects or pre-knowledge
is required to master another subject. Substantiate your choices.
*knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the system before examining
abnormalities

*knowledge of medication, its action, contra indications and side effects

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

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the respective themes and skills will increase progressively as learners move to
more advanced levels of the curriculum.

Figure 3-7: 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

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serve as a conceptual structure that could make it easier for learners to grasp
the new subject matter.
Horizontal articulation is 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 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 3.6: 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.

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Balance should therefore reflect social realities. The social realities of a specific
community can be determined by studying the findings of the situational analysis
that 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 emphasis will be placed on assessing learners' knowledge about
communicable diseases (refer to table 3.2).

Table 3.7: 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.

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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.

Activity 3.9: (7) 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.
*Name of module: Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing

*teaching strategies: Formal lecture


Demonstration
Role play
*Learning opportunities: Observation
Skill workshops
Nursing rounds

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 3.10: (4) 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. Substantiate your answer.
* Name of module: Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing

*Assessment strategies: Examinations


Competencies
Checklist

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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.

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.

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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.

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Activity 3.11: (30) 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 Voice-over-PowerPoint Presentation, or use MSWors Draw (Insert shapes). Upload it to your e-portfolio and
paste the final image in the space.

Sources
1. Developing Health Science curricula.: Curriculum implementation. Only study guide for HSE 3704 University of South Africa Pretoria, 2017
2 Billings & Halstead 2012:79 Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty 3rd edition. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 117
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 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 3-8: Curriculum development

HSE 3704 Curriculum Development workbook Compiled: Dr JC (Irene) Lubbe Page 118