Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches educ. and comm. courses and holds an MA in Education. She currently pursues a PhD in Eng. Lit.
The Foundations of Curriculum
Considering educational policies and programs in the context of an interdisciplinary effort encompassing philosophical, psychological, sociological, and historical understandings is what is meant by the term "curriculum foundations."
The foundations of curriculum determine what constitutes valid sources from which to draw the theories, concepts, and ideas of the area. They also specify the external limits of the knowledge of curriculum. The following list of philosophical, psychological, sociological, and historical subfields serves as the curriculum's generally acknowledged foundations:
1. Philosophical Underpinnings of Education
Curriculum decisions entail many educational concerns. These include the aim of learning, subject matter sources, teaching/learning procedure, and learner characteristics (Ekanem, & Ekefre, 2014). These decisions stem from one's educational philosophy. This made philosophy a curriculum cornerstone. Idealism, Realism, Existentialism, Pragmatism, Essentialism, Perennialism, and Deconstructionism impact curriculum.
Alistair (2000) contends that no curriculum ignores these philosophical traditions. Philosophy helps us manage our personal system of beliefs and values, or how we perceive the world and what we value. Since philosophical questions have always affected society and our learning institutions, studying and comprehending philosophy of education in curriculum building is crucial.
Philosophy of education influences and shapes our educational choices. Those who make curricular decisions must be clear about their beliefs. This is because unclear beliefs lead to unclear curriculum (Ekanem, 2013). Understanding the options others have built over time is crucial to building a personal education philosophy.
2. Social Underpinnings of Education
Schools serve society and are an integral component of it. The curriculum of a society affects that society. Schools have the power to influence society by the curriculum they teach, and society has the power to influence the curriculum. Rarely is a curriculum created without taking society into consideration. Therefore, we must comprehend the link between education and other institutions in society in order to comprehend how the content of schooling is shaped in any community. In other words, we need to look at the social factors that form the curriculum in order to understand what is taught, how it is taught, and why it is taught.
Making judgments over what curriculum to use requires understanding its social basis. should eventually be included into the curriculum and classroom activities. A Both the present and the future should be addressed in the curriculum. In additionIn other words, a curriculum should adjust to local, national, and international socioeconomic situations in order to meet the requirements and desires of learners.
3. Historical Underpinnings of Education
History is the product of human activity as it results through involvement in various events. One must look back on the events of the past in order to predict the future with certainty. As a result, the historical basis of the curriculum tackles the many stages of human growth. Students understand that both cultural and personal events are ongoing. Sometimes the amount of events and problems we deal with is so overwhelming that we frequently lack the ability to make sense of what is happening.
Students can get perspective on current events and problems by studying history. A crucial component of critical thinking is the capacity to dissect and examine situations. In order to be certain about the past and predict the future for the benefit of society, a study of politics, economics, geography, agriculture, religion, and sociocultural activities is expanded from the historical basis of the curriculum. When creating curriculum, curriculum designers always make sure the historical viewpoint is accurately portrayed in order to capture both the regional flavor and the historical perspectives from across the world.
4. Psychological Underpinnings of Curriculum
Educational psychology studies how individuals learn (Ornstein and Hunkins, 1998). Psychologists study human behavior patterns to understand and predict it (Shiundu and Omulando, 1992). Educational Psychology develops teaching and learning ideas that impact teacher-student behavior. Psychology unifies learning. John Dewey, a prominent educator, says psychology is the study of how individuals interact with their surroundings. Interaction quality impacts learning amount and kind.
Psychology and educational psychology contribute to curriculum decisions on objectives, learning experiences, and evaluation techniques, as well as curricular scope. Psychology drives many curricular decisions, say Ornstein and Hunkins (1998). Learning theories explain curriculum's psychological impacts. These learning theories fall into three categories: Humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral learning theories.
5. Economical Underpinnings of Education
The curriculum's economic underpinning emphasizes vocational education. The economic situation of a nation or society guides the country's curriculum, because education stakeholders want to adopt a curriculum that helps them grow their economy and gives graduates better jobs. In such cases, curriculum is job- or market-oriented. In this program, the creator emphasizes current skills needs. Undeveloped nations equip skilled workers for careers abroad.
• Job/market-oriented curriculum
These economic factors affect curriculum development.
Without sufficient finance, a solid curriculum can't be implemented. Activity-based or learner-centered curricula need more money to execute than subject-matter curricula, hence a country's finances determine which type of curriculum to choose.
Because activity-based and learner-centered curricula need more space and money, Pakistan selected subject-based curricula because we lack schools, classrooms, and trained instructors. In economically stable countries, curriculums are implemented based on school and societal needs. Without sufficient finance, a decent curriculum can't be implemented and its advantages realized.
Finances affect curriculum development and planning. Which curriculum needs sufficient funding? Curriculum development, planning, and implementation need financial assistance, e.g.
Schools lack buildings, classrooms, furniture, a hostel, play areas, mats, and even blackboards, chalk, and charts. All of these affect or contribute to the whole idea of curriculum.
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