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7 Essential Considerations in Curriculum Development

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Curriculum development is a systematic process to create positive improvements in the education system. It is a crucial development process for educators and students. It also has the potential to affect the development of the whole society.

Curriculum development characterizes who will be taught, what will be taught, and how it will be taught. All these aspects interact with each other. It’s a multi-step process that involves planning, content collection, method designing, implementation, and evaluation of the content. Each step further involves various tasks that need to be completed in a sequence. The curriculum needs to be revised regularly to serve the evolving needs of both the students and society. A country can even improve its economy through this process.

Curriculum experts work alongside the local government officials, the business community members, and lawmakers to implement policies for educational reforms. If you want to play your part in the curriculum development process, pursuing a Curriculum and Instruction MS in Education online will equip you with the required knowledge and training. While developing a curriculum, experts should consider some aspects carefully. Here we will discuss those aspects in detail.

Define Target Audience

Every individual in a society has unique abilities and interests. Curriculum developers should design a unique curriculum based on the interests, age, and attitudes of their intended audience. The curriculum requirements for school-going kids are opposite from university-level students. The growth trajectory of a society can be improved if the correct age group is taught relevant age-specific informative content. Curriculum development also includes and monitors how information may be delivered to the target group. Various learning styles and learning modes can help meet the individual needs of society.

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Relevant Content Selection

After defining the target audience and their needs, curriculum developers ensure that the content is appropriate for the targeted age group. The curriculum should be such that all students can self-sufficiently navigate through it. The economies of learning imply that the curriculum should offer students maximum benefit encouraging them to use minimum educational resources and receive minimal help from educators. Hence, the utility, validity, and learnability of content must be assessed before making it a part of the curriculum. The board members of the curriculum development authority consider and scrutinize the content thoroughly before approving a curriculum. The approved content should make a real difference in the students’ lives and then society. The scope and sequence of the content are also equally important.

Define Clear Goals

The aims and objectives behind designing a curriculum must be clear to the curriculum developers. A single curriculum can have various goals. The objectives of a curriculum should be specific and student-focused. Intended outcomes of a curriculum state what the learner may be able to do after participating in specific curriculum-related activities.

Social Considerations

The educational curriculum introduces special skills and attitudes to the members of the society. Curriculum developers must consider the local, regional, national and international needs of their people. Sense of identity is crucial for people in any society. The rich cultural heritage of all the people, including the minorities, should be respected. Younger generations can easily learn about this heritage as a part of the curriculum. It can help develop tolerance among students and eventually the whole society. In short, a curriculum that instills respect for minorities in its younger audience will ultimately lead to a peaceful society.

Apply Learning Theories and Methods

Curriculum developers utilize various learning theories to develop newer methods to impart education. Learning theories ensure that the developed curriculum is taught using these learning techniques to get the maximum benefit. The various methods may include;

Subject-Centered Designs

Subject-centered designs may include academic subject designs, correlation designs, process designs, and broad field designs. Curriculum developers use these techniques for the development of subject-specific curriculum.

Problem-Centered Designs

Curriculum developers may also use problem-solving designs like life-situation designs, social problem designs, and core designs. Curriculums designed using these techniques help teach courses focused on problem-solving.  

Learner-Centered Designs

Curriculums designed using this technique are focused on a specific age group or occupation. The resulting curriculum can be radical, child-centered, and humanistic.

Understand the Needs of the Target Audience

Curriculum developers are well aware of the fact that their target audience can have various strengths and weaknesses. They design a curriculum after assessing what their audience already knows and then decide what is crucial for them to learn in the future. It helps determine the direction of the curriculum. Understanding the needs of the audience helps develop appropriate tests, materials, evaluation strategies, and teaching activities. After a particular curriculum is introduced and implemented, it is re-evaluated, and feedback is taken into account to realign and improve the existing curriculum development practices.

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Sociological Considerations

The changes happening around the world affect curriculum, and the curriculum is updated regularly to fulfill the needs of an evolving society. School and sociology are closely linked. Societies face enormous changes from time to time. Just consider how the internet and social media changed our lives drastically, even though they were unheard of a decade or two ago. The curriculum is updated to encompass these topics to enhance the technological understanding of the youth. Sociological considerations involve the transmission of culture, economic issues, and political factors.

The Bottom Line

Curriculums can make or break nations. Its development is essential as schools are not apart from society but exist within them. The kind of next-generation that may be raised depends a lot upon the school curriculum. Curriculum development teams include several members of the society, interacting and analyzing the needs of their community. They try to formulate a curriculum that can equip students with the appropriate knowledge necessary to be a successful and responsible citizen. An ineffective curriculum design can leave students confused as they may not be able to deal with the challenges of a changing society. 

A detailed curriculum, developed keeping all the above considerations in mind, can transform a society. Hopefully, this article helped you understand what must be considered before designing a curriculum.