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Topic 5

Learning Outcomes
Define what is curriculum design
Recognise the criteria for the selection of content
Explain the principles of content organisation
List the criteria for the selection of learning experiences
Compare subject matter-centred, learner-centred and
problem-centred curriculum design models.

deciding about the "shape" or "configuration" of a curriculum

involves selection of content in line with the goals and
objectives of the curriculum
the selected content will have to be arranged in a form that
will help the teacher in choosing and organising appropriate
learning experiences for the classroom
also referred to as 'curriculum organisation'

designing the curriculum involves the task of organising or

arranging the four components
subject matter
teaching-learning experiences
evaluation procedures

into a cohesive and comprehensive plan that can be

implemented with minimal difficulties
Giles (1942) components are intertwined and interactive

selection and organisation of content (or subject matter) for

selection and organisation of learning experiences (or

Questions to be addressed
What content or subject matter is to be included?
What learning activities should be planned for learners?
What teaching-learning or instructional strategies should be
What educational resources should be used in the teachingleaning situations?

What is content?
All curricula have content
How individuals view content is affected by their view of
knowledge and philosophical position.
The content selected is aimed towards helping students
understand knowledge that may be new to them but is
already known by scholars and practitioners in the field.
Content is selected for educational purposes and organised
according to the cognitive level of learners.

prescribed and transmitted to learners (behaviourism) /

constructed by learners (constructivism) based on their
experiences /
Cognitive psychologists
content as declarative knowledge or what students should know (the
facts, concepts and principles of a body of knowledge)
process as procedural knowledge or what should be able to do (the
procedures, thinking skills and methods of inquiry embedded in any
body of knowledge)

5 criteria to guide the selection of


Principles of Content Organization

Simple to complex
Whole to part
Vertical Horizontal


The Integrated Curriculum

Reasons for IC
The expanding body of knowledge
concerns about curriculum relevancy
lack of connection among subjects
the need for future workers to have the ability to draw from many fields
in solving problems

cuts across subject matter, bringing together various aspects

of content to focus upon broad areas of study
views teaching and learning in a holistic way that reflects the
real world

What are Learning Experiences

(Ornstein & Hunkins, 1998) content is the "meat" of the
curriculum plan, learning experiences planned for the students
as the "heart" of the plan
means towards achieving the goals and objectives of the
instructional component of the curriculum providing for the
interaction between teacher, student and the content
Can be divided into
teaching methods adopted
learning activities.

Criteria for Selection of Learning

Enhance students' learning of the content
Motivate them to continue learning
Develop thinking skills of students
Group interaction
Cognitive, affective, psychomotor and spiritual development

Types of Curriculum Design

curriculum designs can be grouped into three basic designs
subject-centred designs
learner-centred designs
problem-centred designs

Subject Centred Designs

academic subject designs
discipline designs
broad field designs
correlation designs
process designs

Learner-centred Designs
romantic/radical designs
humanistic designs

Problem centred Designs

life-situations design
core design
social problems design