Linggo, Oktubre 16, 2011

Reflection 8: Current Issues and Trends in Curriculum Development

Effective Planning of Curriculum
 Planning, a complex task, is the most important aspect of curriculum development. In this early stage, educators should collaborate with parents, community members, and students. In fact, all stakeholders need to share their expertise in creating a curriculum based on high standards for student learning.

Changes Brought About By Science and Technology
Moving towards global competitiveness, the Philippines should re-conceptualize the policies and strategies of ICT in education towards life-long learning, and should continue to strengthen technology transfer in Science, Math and English. Also, there has to be a reflection of researches and advances in knowledge in curriculum development.

Reflection of National and Universal Culture in the Curriculum
The need to understand different cultures is an emergent issue in today's education and societies as relationships among countries become more intertwined. This then calls for a curriculum that creates international awareness,  understanding of various cultures, and learning  of different opinions and values  which can be made feasible through the incorporation of technology into the curriculum.

Empowerment and Continuous Professional Development of Teachers
This can be done through the promotion of professional development activities like reflective thinking, action research, and journal writing when confronted with problems in the classroom; exposure of teachers to the current trends in teacher education; involvement of teachers in the decision–making process particularly in curriculum change and in planning the curriculum; training effective trainers (at pre-service and in-service levels) who will train teachers; raising the awareness of candidate and actual teachers on the importance of professional development activities.

Staff development of Curriculists
The different parties involved in the development of the curriculum must undergo in-service training. They should be made fully aware of their role and responsibility in the curriculum development. They have to work together to develop a well-rounded curriculum, which includes the learning of different cultures inasmuch as today’s learners will need to cope with cross-cultural matters and grow into sensible adults who are fair and just to the global society

Emphasis on Learner Needs and Development Levels
Researches show that the design of the Philippine curriculum appears to be overcrowded. Learners are faced with seven subject areas everyday. When combined with the learning competencies required for each grade/year level, this has proven to be excessive. As a result, science and mathematics content cannot be completed in one school year. This further leads to, a backlog and a carry-over of the previous year’s content and competencies to the following school year , which eventually adversely affects the teaching/learning process. In addition to this, the scope and sequencing of education (from elementary to secondary level) have also been identified as design defects where there are content and skills gaps as well as overlaps and duplications. The overlap and duplication further aggravate the curriculum overload, and the gaps contribute to the production of half-baked elementary school graduates who are not entirely ready for secondary school, and of high school graduates who are half –baked for college education. Moreover, national examinations are focused on only five subject areas: English, Filipino, science, mathematics and social studies. Very few concepts are included from the other subject areas.

Effective Implementation of the Curriculum design
There has been massive training of schoolteachers and orientation of school heads and supervisors for the nationwide implementation of the curriculum; however, the training programme was not sustained at the regional and division levels; thus the poor school implementation . There was also lack of instructional materials like students’ textbooks, and teachers’ manuals, science and vocational subject facilities, equipment/apparatus and supplementary teaching/learning materials, and computer laboratories. Too large classes , teacher availability (for the specialized secondary subject areas) and quality of instructional supervision further hindered curriculum implementation.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Curriculum Implementation
The monitoring and evaluation of curriculum implementation is not effectively done due to the great number of elementary schools .On the other hand, the secondary schools are rarely visited because supervisors are unable to provide technical assistance on specialized subject matter. At the regional level , supervisors are subject specialists, while those at the division level are mostly generalists.

Establishment of Evaluation Procedures and Needs
Qualified evaluators who are capable of using multiple techniques in assessing the process of evaluation and the learners are needed. This will determine the success of the evaluation procedures used.

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