Kalyakorn Naksompop 521-9425 CI 6112Curriculum Development and Organization Dr. SurapeeSorajjakool
CURRICULU M To find the true meaning of “curriculum” is surely not easy. The word was invented and had been used in educational industry for so long that people somehow seem to overlook its true meaning. According to dictionary.com, curriculum means “a group of related courses, often in a special field of study”. Looking at the root of the word, however, the meaning is interestingly different. In Latin, curriculum means a racing chariot where currere, its root means to run. It is believed that back in the ancient Greece, racing chariot was literally a course (Smith, 2000). From this, it is probably possible to make an assumption that “curriculum” can be referred as a set of lessons or coursesdesigned to carry the learners through knowledge, often in a special field of study, so that they can grow understandings to purposely achieve a goal. If this is the real meaning of curriculum, it is likely to say that the goals and objectives of curriculum are crucial factors that directly influence the design of the course. The design of the course in collaboration with the instruction then affects the outcome on what the learners earn from the curriculum. Being aware of this fact, many schools of thought have been arguing about what the true purpose of education is. For example, Humanists believe in individuality. Their aim is to build the foundation for one’s life as a whole, where learning can continue throughout life in a self-directed manner (Huitt, 2001). As the consequence, humanistic curriculum is designed to serve that purpose by concentrating on creating positive learning environment that fosters freedom and fairness, where positive perception of self is allowed to grow. Therefore, one’s self-concept can also grow (Stuart, 2002). Contradictory, vocational education goes for a totally different purpose. Vocational colleges aim to prepare learners for their future jobs (Stone, Bowske & Alfeld, 2004). In other words, such education aims to produce workers who are ready to jump into the industry right after the completion of the school. Their curriculums, therefore, focus more on career and technical instructions in special fields than academic subjects. As mentioned above, the goals of curriculum heavily influence outcome of the learners. Hence, before designing a curriculum, one must precisely consider many factors. One very significant aspect that must not be forgotten is what learners need to achieve in order to survive in the world. In other words, it is very important to look at what the world needs at the moment. Consequently, curriculum should be changed and improved frequently as to the present situation of the time. For example, over the past few decades,the world has changed dramatically due to the advance development of technology (QCA,2000). The society no longer wants products similar to what already been seen yesterday. People of new generation must be able to keep in pace with the world that is moving rapidly towards a “hyper-individualized era” (Frey, 2007), where people value more of originality and individuality. The curriculum of today, therefore, should focus on how to bring out the individuality and creativity within the learners. This is becausewhen a curriculum can help prepare learners for they can survive in the real world is only when education can be called successful.
References Huitt, W. (2001). Humanism and open education. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved June 12, 2009 from http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/ col/affsys/humed.html Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA,2000). The Arts, Creativity and Cultural Education: An International Perspective (2000). London. Smith, M. K. (2000), 'Curriculum theory and practice'. In the encyclopaedia of informal education. Retrieved November 10, 2009 from www.infed.org/biblio/b-curric.htm. Stone, J.R.,Bowske, B.J.,and Alfeld, C. (2004). Career and Technical Education in the Late 1990s:A Descriptive Study. Journal of Vocational Education Research, 29(3). Stuart, G. (2002). Humanistic Approach in Teaching. Retrieved June 12, 2009 from http://homepage.ntlworld.com/gary.sturt/human.htm Wikipedia (2009, November 7), â€˜Curriculumâ€™. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 10, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curriculum.