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Definition of Curriculum, Steps of Curriculum Development and Ways of Implementation (ECT)


Date Posted: 11/20/2017 9:52:08 PM

Posted By: SAW  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 122



Man is naturally purposeful in his or her life endeavors. Every human activity is thus geared towards certain specific ends which must be achieved in order to make ends meet. Because every human activity is geared towards specific ends, life must be given a clear direction to take. Giving life direction is the role of education. But then what is the meaning of the term education? Education has been defined differently by different people. There are those who have defined education in terms of training, skill acquisition and formal school attendance. Others have also defined the term in terms of the basic socialization processes that an individual or people may be engaged in. In attempting to define education confusion has risen as to the difference between education and schooling. This should be cleared first in order to arrive at the specific meaning of education.

This is the act of physically attending an institution of formal learning, for example a primary or a secondary school (Oluoch:2006). It involves systematic promotion through the grade ranges governing a learning institution with the assumption that at the end of institutionalized cycle some learning will have taken place. Schooling may also mean the casual process of attending an institution of leaning in the formal education system with the aim of gaining something worthwhile. Education involves more than schooling although the latter may be a process in the former.

From the Latin word educare which means to bring up and educere which means to bring forth (Aggarwal: 2004). Education therefore means both to bring forth and to bring up with recourse to the norms of the society. Education as such is the process of acquiring habits, attitudes and skills which will enable one to lead worthwhile life. This is done by leading one out

of ignorance by extracting his or her best potential and showing direction to the worthy experiences and practices of humanity. In this case education becomes the process of drawing out the best of the individuals mental, physical, spiritual and social faculties with the view of enhancing the development of those characteristics desired by the society.

The process involving the development of man, modification of his or her behaviour, integrating human growth and continuous reorganization of experiences is what education is. In educating the individual he/she is comprehensively exposed to opportunities and challenges in life which will make him/her live responsively.

The Goals of Education
This is what education intends to achieve. They may be social and individual ideals. It is these ideals which can generally be referred to as the goals of education. OConnor (1957) identifies the generally accepted goals of education:
To provide men and women with the skills that will enable them to live responsibly.
To enable individuals to be self reliant.
To awaken an interest and a taste for knowledge.
To make men and women critical.
To enable men and women develop appreciation for moral and cultural achievements of mankind.

Functions of Education - The Kenyan Case
Addressing the needs of national development.
Fostering national unity.
Fostering individual development.
Promotion of social equality.
Promote the varied and rich culture of Kenya.
In attempting to meet the needs of the society- Education may as well provide individuals with skills which are not relevant to the progress of their society. To avoid that, education must come up with well designed programs that are meant to assist in achieving the aforesaid goals. It is these programmes that are referred as the curriculum.

Meaning of Curriculum
Traced to its roots, the term curriculum is derived from the Latin word currer which means a racecourse taken by horses. In education, curriculum may be taken to mean a racecourse taken by the educational process. Before 1918, courses offered in learning institutions were only known as subjects. The term curriculum had not been coined. Franklin Bobbit after working on a number of courses and after studying the social, economic and political changes which came with World War I coined the term curriculum to mean those experiences that the learner acquires in a learning institution.

After World War I, there was an increase in urbanization, technological advancement and rapid migration. These events had profound effects on common life generally, because of the above human life underwent dramatic change. Bobbit was influenced by scientific management, scientific management was only employed in industries and Bobbit applied it to education. It was seen as a means of minimizing or eliminating waste and maximizing output.

Due to the foregoing learners were viewed as materials to be processed and transformed, curriculum was seen as a means of achieving this. A study in curriculum with departments was therefore launched at the College of Colombia University in 1938. The curriculum was attended to in various subjects e.g. mathematics, geography, history etc. attempts were also made to define it.

Malusu (1997) defines curriculum as the selected, integrative, evaluative and innovative experiences given to the learner either consciously or unconsciously under the direction of a school. Given all, this curriculum is a planned course of study for use in the learning institution or any organized learning episode.

Oluoch (2006) defines curriculum as all that is planned to enable the students acquire and develop the desired knowledge, skills and attitudes. These are skills and attitudes that are desired by the society.
Curriculum is a plan from educating the youths this plan is laid down so that a definite route to be taken by the process of education is chartered. It should be noted that the term curriculum has two meanings and these are:
Curriculum as a field of study and
Curriculum as a programme of instruction.

Curriculum as a Field of Study
In defining the term curriculum emphasis was laid on the view that it is a plan of instruction. This is fine but it should also be borne in mind that curriculum is also an area where people gain specialty. That, besides being a plan of instruction, it is also a field of study. As a field of study, curriculum is an aspect of knowledge which has developed into a disciplined area of study. That it is knowledge organized for instruction with substantive knowledge content which can be passed on through instruction and which grows through research and other modes of inquiry. Curriculum qualifies for reference as a field of study because:
It is appropriate for teaching.
It is available for learning.
It is analyzable and can be simplified.
It can be synthesized and coordinated.
It is dynamic and has grown through research.
It has a rationale i.e. goals to achieve e.g. learning activities, organization and evaluation of educational experiences.

Goodlad (1970) attempts to identify three kinds of phenomena embraced by curriculum as a field of study:
The substantive phenomenon i.e. the substance in the curriculum, the very important and serious aspects of the curriculum e.g. the goals subject matter and materials to be found in any curriculum. These are inquired into to find their nature and worth.
Social and political phenomenon; involving the study of all those human processes that affect curriculum content.
Technical and professional dimension.
Curriculum examines those processes of group or individual engineering logistics and evaluation through which curricula are improved.

Content and Methods of Curriculum
Curriculum as a discipline has its own content and methods or process of inquiry (Brunner, 1960).

As a discipline curriculum has three main sets that form its structure; these are:
The context of the curriculum
The design of the curriculum
Curriculum development

Curriculum Context
This refers to the curriculum milieu or the physical, economic and social setting in which the curriculum is designed, developed and implemented (Shiundu and Omulando 1992) so as to achieve certain goals of education which must correspond to the ends or desires of the society. The context of the curriculum may be:
Social / cultural

Thus the many topics taught in various curriculum courses in colleges and schools of education such as sources of curriculum decisions, factors affecting curriculum development, causes of curriculum change, and the need for curriculum and so on, constitute the curriculum context.

Curriculum Design
This refers to the manner in which the various elements of the curriculum are stated. It is aspects like the structure, pattern or organization of the curriculum. In other words, curriculum designs are more or less the structure or arrangements of the school programme. The design identifies the elements of a curriculum, states what relationship they have between each other and indicates the principles of organization and the requirements of the organization. It also states the administrative conditions under which it is to operate.

Curriculum design is a proposal that indicates the basis for selection and organization of knowledge concepts and skills (Stratemeyer, 1957). That whatever is stressed in the proposal becomes the model. For example, Tyler (1949) stressed objectives hence his curriculum is called the objectives model.

Malusu (1997) states that, design is the way in which the curricular elements namely, the objectives, learning experiences, teaching learning strategies, resources and evaluation procedures have been selected and organized in order to facilitate learning.

Stratemeyer (1957) argues that any curriculum design stems from a set of values, fundamental beliefs and cultural principles relating to the kind of person or citizen which the society wants to produce and what the society wants to develop in the learner.

Various Types of Curriculum Design

The design of a curriculum will depend on the countrys philosophy and probably the philosophy of an individual. The designs are also known as patterns of curriculum development.
Four major designs have emerged and these are:
Subject centered designs.
Learner centered design.
Problem centered or life themes design or persistent life design.
Core curriculum.

Subject Centered Designs
This has under it such designs as:
Co- relational design.
Broad fields / fusion / integrated design
Core curriculum.

The Core Curriculum
This refers to the central aspect of the curriculum. They are learning central to the interest of the learner. They are the very essential curriculum and are made up of compulsory disciplines; for example mathematics and languages in both secondary and primary schools. Research methods at masters level is another example. The core-curriculum has its advantages and these are:
It enables the learner to interact with the teacher frequently.
It relates to the learners social and personal needs.
Core -curriculum looks at the resources in the community.

Alongside the advantages are also disadvantages:
Scarcity of teachers to teach the core- curriculum.
Core curriculum does not consider the learners freedom of choice hence it is unfair.
In the core curriculum more resources are needed e.g. in the mathematics.
Relationships with other subjects are not emphasized.

Correlated Design
Instead of teaching a subject independently some relationship is seen. In correlated approach subjects still maintain the boundaries like in general science, physical science and G.H.C.R.E/Social studies the latter in primary. The approach has a number of advantages:
Learners are made to see the relationship between subjects and relate them to normal life situations.
Subject matter from wider areas e.g. in general can be included.
There is room for team teaching hence it enhances greater teacher cooperation.
It can be designed to meet specific needs of particular learners.

On the other hand the design also has its disadvantages:
Only essential or basic knowledge in each discipline is included hence scanty knowledge.
May cause confusion among learners e.g. social studies in primary.
Some teachers when using correlated approach may end up stressing more on their areas of specialization than on other areas.
Fusion / Integrated / Broad Fields Design
In this instance, curriculum has a number of subjects. It looks at more areas, in integration there is a combination of two or more subjects to come up with a new one e.g. S.E.E was one such. The design is commonly referred to as the fused design. It presents an effort to overcome the fragmentation and compartmentalization of the subject design by combining two or more related subjects into a single broad field of study. Good examples are:
Languages which combine reading, writing, spelling, speaking and composition.
General science which combines physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and geology.
Social studies which combines civics, history, geography, sociology, anthropology, social psychology, economic and social ethics.
Mathematics which combines arithmetic, algebra and geometry. The design is common in the Kenyan education system.

Enables the learner to see the relationships among the various elements of the curriculum.
Teaching materials are readily available.
Easy curriculum supervision because there are not too many subjects to deal with.
Makes the learner and knowledge gained more functional because a lot of elements from various subjects are dealt with.
Saves time and resources.

Lacks in-depth coverage of subject matter hence it is superficial.
Does not take care of the learners interests and experiences.
Stresses on goals of content coverage at the expense of cognitive or effective processes.

Learner Centered Designs
These are designs which lay emphasis on the development of the individual. Their organizational patterns grow out of needs, interests and purposes of students. The learner is the focus of the curriculum and his or her active participation in the learning process is the focus of these designs.
The designs draw on the knowledge about human growth and development and on the theories of learning. Teacher domination of the learning process is minimized by allowing for freedom and active learner involvement and creativity which are all important for human growth. The prototypes of learner centered designs are child centered designs and activity designs.

The Activity / Life Experience Design
This pattern of curriculum organization can be traced to the 18th century early childhood educators like Rousseau and Pestalozzi. The need for this curriculum design was advanced in the early 20th century by William Kilpatrick who was a student of Dewey. Taba (19620 advocated for this design by stating that:
People learn only what they experience only that learning which is related to active purposes and is rooted in experience translates itself into behaviour changes. Children learn best those things that are attached to solving actual problems that help them in meeting real needs or that connect with some active interest. Learning in its true sense is an active transaction.

In the design; the structure of the curriculum is determined by the learners needs and interests and not the adults needs and perception. The teachers task is to discover what the needs and interests of the learner are and help the learner to select the most significant of those for study. The curriculum cannot be planned. That it will take shape as teachers and students plan together the goals to be pursued, the resources to be consisted, the activities to be carried out and the assessment procedures to be followed.

It focuses on problem solving procedures for learning. Subjects and disciplines are viewed as highly useful resources to solving problems. Learning activities and process objectives are accorded more importance than any other component of the curriculum. The pedagogical concepts associated with activity design include: life experience units, projects, social enterprises, field trips and centers of interest.

Learner motivation is intrinsic
Facts, concepts, skills and processes are learnt by pupils because they are important to them and not because they are required to.
Learning is real and meaningful to the learner as well as relevant.
Caters for individual differences of the learner.
The problem solving activities in this design provides students with process skills they will need to cope effectively with life outside school.

A curriculum based on students felt needs and interests cannot possibly provide an adequate preparation for life. Many things essential for effective functioning in the modern world will certainly be omitted if students are allowed to exclude from their curriculum anything that does not immediately interests them.
It lacks a definite horizontal structure i.e. no curriculum organizing principle exists since it depends on individual learners.
It lacks continuity (sequence) because student needs and interests are dynamic and change even for an individual learner.
It demands for an extraordinarilly competent teacher.
It is not possible to develop specialists in the specific subjects.
It makes it difficult to derive common educational goals.
Textbooks and other teaching materials organized by separate subject areas are not geared to its requirements and therefore cannot be useful.
It presents difficulty in timetabling the various activities for different classes and students.

The Problem Centered Designs
These have their basis in man-centered philosophical assumptions and contemporary problems to the society. They depend on the daily life situations, which may be social, economic or political.

In Kenya for example, some of the problem that may determine this kind of curriculum may include HIV/AIDS, pollution, terrorism, corruption, cattle rustling, road carnage, drug and child abuse, tribalism domestic violence etc. Content of such a design will cut across subjects because they are selected on account of their relevance. Examples of such designs include:
Areas of Living Design
The areas of living designs can be traced back to the 19th century and Herbert Spencers (1885) essay. What knowledge is of most worth? Spencer proposed that the curriculum prepares people to function effectively in five basic areas common to all societies; direct self preservation, indirect self preservation (such as food and shelter) parenthood citizenship, leisure activities. This design attempts to overcome the weaknesses of the subject design and at the same time avoids the disadvantages of the activities / experience design. According to Taba (1962) organizing curriculum around the activities of mankind will not only bring about a needed unification of knowledge, but will also permit such a curriculum to be of maximum value to students day-by-day life, as well as to prepare them for participation in a culture.

It presents subject matter in an integrated manner cutting across the separate subjects and focusing on the related categories of social life.
It encourages problem solving procedures for learning.
It presents subject matter in a relevant form i.e. content used in the solution of real life problems rather than for its own sake.
It presents content in a functional form i.e. it provides students with learning that is directly applicable to future life situation.
It is intrinsically motivational to students because they are learning about what concerns them most; the facts and processes of their own existence in the real world.

It is difficult to determine the scope and sequence of the areas of living.
It lacks integration and continuity because one unit developed around separate areas of living can be so discrete that they result in fragmentation like that of the subject design.
It does not provide an adequate exposure to the cultural heritage.
It has the tendency to indoctrinate the youth into existing conditions and thereby perpetuating the status quo.
Teachers are not prepared with this kind of design.
Textbooks and other learning materials needed for the design are not readily available.
Parents and colleges are not ready to accept the departure from the tradition of subject design because it is a conventionally accepted way of presenting content.

Principles of Curriculum Organization / Design
These at times are referred to the central issues in curriculum organization or design. In organizing the curriculum coherence must be considered. Because of this, both horizontal and vertical relationships within and across various class levels must be considered. For this to happen five key characteristics must be considered and they are:
Scope This has to do with the breadth and depth of the content. Questions to be answered under scope include; what content is considered central? What content should be considered elective? How much content should be learned in one subject area in a year, term, semester, topic and lesson? (Ornstem and Hunkins 2004).
All the above questions are considered in the light of available resources and the vast amount of knowledge that exists. Determining the scope of the curriculum is a challenge to the curriculum designers because knowledge is dynamic, the learners needs are varied and also change over times and national priorities and global trends are constantly changing.

Sequence This is concerned with the order in which the learning experiences should appear in the curriculum. It refers to the vertical relationship among curricula areas. This is important so that the curriculum planned can facilitate optimal teaching and learning. To be able to do this, the designers can utilize the logical sequencing which draws on the substantive structure of the subjects or by using the psychological principles which draw on the understanding of human growth, development and learning (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992).
In sequencing content, curricularists draw on some well accepted learning principles such as from simple to complex, prerequisite learning to whole part learning and chronological learning. Other organizers for determining sequence include: concept related, inquiry related, learning related and utilization related factors (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2004).

Continuity This is the vertical reiteration or repetition of the learning experiences at various levels within the education system. It is the continuous presence of certain themes, concepts or facts throughout a given phase of education such as primary or secondary mainly for emphasis (Ornstein & Hunkins 1998).
In mathematics for example, the concept of addition is repeated throughout the various classes. In English language pronunciation is repeated across the subject within the class and across the classes. Continuity accounts for the re-appearance in the curriculum of certain major ideas or skills about which educators feel students should have increased depth and breadth of knowledge over the length of the curriculum.

Integration This deals with horizontal relationship between various curricula areas in an attempt to interrelate learning experiences in order to enable the learner perceive unity of knowledge. Curriculum experts are of the view that learning is more effective when content from one subject is meaningfully related to content in another subject (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992). For example content in history can be related to content in geography; content in mathematics can be related to content in home science, content such as the Gas Laws is related in both physics and chemistry soil is related in both geography and agriculture.

Balance A balanced curriculum implies order in its scope and leads to the advancement of all the educational objectives outlined. This means that a balanced curriculum should develop all major areas of human competence such as communication, problem solving, understanding concepts and the environment, health care, recognition of interest and physical, mental and affective development of the learner. Balance should also be seen in other dichotomies such as the curriculum having a balance between the science and arts subjects, the academic and technical/vocational subjects, urban and rural learners. According to Ornstein and Hunkins (2004, pg. 171) a balanced curriculum is one in which students have opportunities to master knowledge and to internalize it in ways that are appropriate for their personal, social and intellectual goals. A balanced curriculum is difficult to achieve given the many factors at play and the dynamism involved in developing and implementing curricula. However, curriculum designers should make concerted effort towards curriculum balance.

Purposes of Curriculum Design
Enables the designers to focus on goals when designing a programme.
Reduces stress and enhances confidence in providing education to learners.
Ensures uniformity in education across the nation.
Allows room for comparison with others.
Ensures uniformity in evaluation and accuracy in monitoring programme success.

Curriculum as a Tool for Instruction
Education is about teaching and learning. The organizing tool for teaching is the curriculum itself which is a tool for instructing the youth.
Objectives which instruction intends to achieve are products of the curriculum itself. It is a component of the curriculum which gives instruction what it should focus on so that the aims of education can be achieved. The structures of the objectives in instruction are determined by the curriculum itself.

The main purpose of education is to prepare people for their roles in the society. This is through exposing them to the many experiences which the society has filtered, provided and systemized through the curriculum itself. The learner is exposed to these experiences through instruction on what is provided by the curriculum. Learning experiences Tyler (1949) explains refer to the interaction between the learner and the external conditions in the environment to which he/she can react. Learning takes place through the active behaviour of the student, it is what he does that he learns and all the student activities are determined by the curriculum.

This refers to all those processes and activates systematically undertaken by either an individual or an institution to come up with an educational programme. In some countries, curriculum development is not done centrally while in Kenya it is centralized and the body changed with the responsibility of developing the curriculum is the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (Kowino, 2013).

It is the planning of learning opportunities intended to bring about changes in the pupil’s behaviors and assessment of the extent to which these changes have taken place (Ondiek; 1986).

On the other hand, Marsh and Willis (1999) define curriculum development as a collective and intentional process or activity directed at beneficial curriculum changes. This definition captures curriculum innovation, which is an important aspect of the curriculum development process. It also points at the dynamism of the curriculum. However, it should also be borne in mind that curriculum development also involves production of new programme of study especially when there s a total absence of curriculum to address issues that have emerged and current problems (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992).

Despite the different perspectives on curriculum development there is a consensus about the fact that curriculum development is a dynamic, systematic and an unending process and it involves several stages some of which are universally adopted by curriculum developers in different parts of the world and others are more particular to national contexts (Gay, 1991).
There are a number of processes involved in curriculum development exercise and they are according to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

Policy Decision
This is the first stage of the curriculum development process which is also called the formal request stage. It entails considering a policy statement from the Ministry of Education that a new curriculum needs to be developed or the existing needs revision in order to address some needs to be developed or the existing needs revising in order to address some needs that have either arisen or are felt. For example in the 1990s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic becomes prevalent in Kenya, there arose the need to incorporate some content highlighting the issue and how to combat it. Thus, this has become one of the cross cutting issues in the Kenyan school curriculum.

On the other hand, a policy statement that may have emanated from stakeholders discussions in workshops or symposium and a conclusion reached that some actions needs to be taken. During discussions and deliberations it might be discovered that the existing curriculum is not effective in addressing the current needs of the learners are there may be lack of curriculum hence necessitating curriculum development.

Needs Assessment
Understanding the concept of needs assessment as used in curriculum development, it is important to first define the term need. A need in curriculum field is a situation where there is a discrepancy between what is and what ought to be that is there is a gap between an ideal situation which is acceptable and a current situation or observed state of the learner.

Consequently, systematic investigation should be carried out to collect data and establish learners needs in a given area of human affairs such as health. In Kenya for example HIV/AIDS is a health and even survival issues as this epidemic affects people of all ages. Results of the needs assessment should be combined with situational analysis (i.e. study of the contexts of the curriculum) to develop an appropriate curriculum for the learners and delineate the expected competencies of the learners.

It is after needs assessment and intensive situation analysis that objectives are outlined. Objectives are very important in the curriculum development process because they define the educational destination (end) and therefore in their formulation, curricularists have to respond to two important questions thus:
What should be achieved through the school curriculum?
What should the learners achieve?

Objectives are essential because they:
Assist curriculum planners in developing purposeful instructional programmes
Justify the need for providing education and therefore, solicit support for it.
Guide the educational process i.e. selection of content, learning experiences, teaching methods and evaluation approaches.
Provide a basis for evaluation, determine the extent to which an education or instructional programme is useful (Shiundu and Omulando 1992).
According to Bloom (1964), the objectives derived should be in three main domains; the cognitive or intellectual, the psychomotor and the affective. The objectives formulated for the curriculum should be specific measurable, achievable, result oriented and time bound (SMART).

Conceptualization and Policy Formulation
This stage involves collating the needs assessment studies and policy decision / formulation into a report to be presented to the course panel for discussion and possible approval. The course panel makes recommendations, which are then forwarded to the Academic Board of the Kenya Institute of Education. The board is chaired by the Education Secretary, Ministry of Education and the Director of the Kenya Institute of Education is it secretary. The Board serves the important function of overseeing curriculum development for all levels of education in Kenya except universities.

Formulation of Curriculum Design
In this stage, subject panels (specialists) meet to generate content guided by and considering the competencies to be acquired by the learners (Ndire, 2007). The design will contain information about the objectives for the new curriculum content (subject matter), methodology to be employed in the implementation, assessment procedures and time required to cover the content of each subject. Subject syllabuses are then developed after the design has been agreed upon.

Development of Syllabuses
During this stage, the subject specialists develop the syllabuses for the various subjects in the curriculum. The subject specialists will outline the objectives of the subject, the actual content to be covered, the sequence to be followed, the support materials required, the recommended instructional methods to be used and the evaluation / assessment suggestions.

Development and Selection of Teaching and Learning Materials
After the curriculum has been developed and the syllabuses has been prepared, accompanying learning and teaching support materials and resources are developed, examined, validated and approved for use in the schools by respective subject panels in order to facilitate curriculum piloting and implementation. These materials include textbooks (both pupils books and teachers guides) maps, charts and models.

However, liberalization of development of textbooks in Kenya means that the private publishers produce textbooks and the KIE only develops curriculum support materials such as teachers guide and teachers notes in areas where publishers show no interest. The private publishers are allowed to develop curriculum support materials and then submit them to KIE for evaluation and checking on whether they satisfy the requirements of the curriculum based on set criteria (Ndire, 2007).
Teacher Preparation
Once the curriculum and the necessary support materials have been developed teachers have to be prepared for the task of curriculum implementation. Teacher preparation involves orienting and training them so that they have necessary knowledge and skills and have positive attitudes towards the new curriculum which they are expected to adopt and use in schools.

However, because of the large number of teachers in the country, it is not possible to reach them all. So trainers of trainers (TOTs) are educated at the national level and they in turn train teachers at district levels. Such trainings are not always effective and some weaknesses have been identified. For example, training is sometimes not subject-based, thus such training may not be effective in preparing teachers for implementation of the new curriculum and some weaknesses have been identified.

Piloting or trying out the new curriculum and the curriculum support materials is an important stage of the curriculum development process. This involves using the new curriculum and the curriculum support materials in selected schools and colleges. This is limited implementation of the new curriculum and the curriculum support materials in selected schools and colleges. This is limited implementation of the new curriculum and it is monitored and evaluated. The information gathered on the curriculum and support materials are used to determine its viability, effectiveness and appropriateness for learners.

Decisions as to whether to revise, improve, adjust or even shelve the new curriculum are made based on the objective and accurate analysis of the data that have been gathered during piloting. It has been observed that sometimes the team carrying out piloting implements the curriculum despite the fact the data shows that curriculum requires improvements or other times piloting is skipped altogether. For example Oluoch (2002, pg. 93) argues that the 8:4:4 programme was tried satisfactorily, at the primary level but the try out was virtually skipped at the secondary, technical and vocational levels due to pressure for quick implementation of the programme it appeared like the 8:4:4 system of education in Kenya was a government project and therefore, it had to be implemented even though there were several issues that needed to be addressed before full implementation.

During the implementation of the 8:4:4 system of education, several problems such as overloaded curriculum, unnecessary overlaps across grades and subjects, the broad syllabuses whose coverage was difficult for teachers, teachers insufficient preparation to teach the new subjects and inadequate curriculum support materials were overlooked. These activities are necessary before full or nationwide implementation of the curriculum is undertaken.

Although piloting is a very essential aspect of the curriculum development process it is expensive and time consuming (Ndire, 2007). This implies piloting may not always be done or if done then it is not done well. The KIE used the phasing in-phasing out strategy in the revised primary and secondary school curricula (KIE strategic plan, 2007, p.20). That is, the old curriculum was gradually removed or phased out and the new one introduced in its place gradually.

Curriculum Implementation
Implementation is the act of putting the prescribed curriculum into practice in the school. It is the ultimate objective of curriculum development process because only after this has been done will learners have the opportunity to experience the curriculum and benefit from it. Needless to say teachers are the implementers of curriculum and this is usually facilitated by Education Officers, Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (Q.A.S.O) and the school system steered by the principals / headteachers, deputy headteachers / principals, fellow teachers, teachers advisory centers (T.A.Cs) among others. Several essential steps should be taken to ensure effective implementation of the developed curriculum.

However implementation of curriculum is complex and does not proceed in a linear fashion and the people involved can even have conflicting ideas about how to go about it. Because of this, there is need to put these and other issues into consideration.

Successful implementation of the curriculum therefore, requires a lot of planning and effort so that proper mechanisms are put in place. These include distribution of new syllabuses to all schools; physical facilities such as classrooms, laboratories and workshops are erected, in-servicing and orienting teachers; provision of curriculum support materials and continuous supervision and monitoring in schools.

Oluoch (2002, p. 57) identifies nine sub processes in curriculum implementation as persuading people, keeping the public informed, educating the teachers, educating teacher educators, providing necessary facilities and equipment. Supply of curriculum materials, actual presentation of the new curriculum, institution of appropriate student assessment procedures and continuous support to the teachers.

When a new curriculum has been developed, it is essential that the people who will be affected by it whichever way or have some stakes in it are informed so as to understand its relative merit over the previous one. This is to ensure their support for the new curriculum and contributions are enlisted. Such people include the teachers, educational officers from the Ministry of Education headquarters to field officers, parents, religious leaders, politicians, professional bodies and the general public. This will enhance the success of the entire process and forestall any resistance, sabotage or indifference to it.

Curriculum Monitoring and Evaluation
Implementation of the curriculum needs to be monitored closely to ensure it is being used in the schools faithfully by the teachers as planned. The monitoring should focus on the objectives, content, methods of instruction and assessment procedures. Evaluation of the curriculum should be carried out after complete implementation. It is the process of assessing the extent to which curriculum objectives have been achieved or are being achieved. Evaluation is the fourth question that Tyler (1949) raised in his rationale, “how can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?" (p. 1).

Both formative and summative types of evaluation are carried out. Formative evaluation is an ongoing process and should be part of the curriculum development process. It provides the curriculum developers with data which can be used to review fine-tune or refine the curriculum as the curriculum development process proceeds.

Summative evaluation is usually undertaken at the end of the implementation cycle to establish or otherwise of the completed curriculum project (Ndire, 2007). Data should be gathered and the feedback obtained should be used to improve and revise the curriculum. The findings of the monitoring and evaluation team may reveal that some aspects require revision or complete overhaul (Ndire, 2007). The findings will therefore be useful for other processes of curriculum development such as needs assessment policy formulation, development and design of new syllabuses. For example, there may be new educational gaps that need to be addressed or there may be need for new policy formulation because of an issue that has arisen such as the post-election violence that affected many parts of Kenya in early 2008. As a result, a peace education component may be incorporated into the school curriculum to address such an issue.

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