Considerations in Organizing Curriculum

Considerations in Organizing Curriculum

Written by Herri Mulyono


Process of designing curriculum has involved many parties that each of them has different interest, intention and orientation of the future on what a curriculum should be. Curriculum design that covers overall educational plan has to be well organized systematically in order to achieve its primary goals. This article will discuss some considerations that shall be responded by curriculum organizer in order to construct efficient and effective curriculum. The understanding of curriculum, organizing curriculum and its considerations would be discussed earlier to provide equivalent perspective of some terms used in this article. In addition, some considerations would be discussed briefly to show its significances on curriculum organization. Finally, conclusion would be made to summarize all ideas that will have been discussed in early sections.

Defining Curriculum, Organizing Curriculum and its Considerations

Curriculum could simply be seen as master plan by which teaching and learning activities would undergo. This plan in curriculum notices some primary objectives to achieve, contents and methods of teaching and learning as well. Anwar views curriculum as “… seperangkat rencana dan pengaturan mengenai isi dan bahan pelajaran, serta cara yang digunakan sebagai pedoman penyelenggaraan kegiatan belajar-mengajar[1] In such view, Anwar puts the fundamental function of curriculum as basis of practice as curriculum itself covers teaching and learning plan, rules of contents, and method of delivery that all of these items are gathered within “dimensions and structures of the learning experience.”[2] In further discussion, terms dimensions and structures of the learning experience would be carried out in what is called as curriculum design.

In addition, wide understanding toward term of curriculum could also be specified merely as target materials to be taught (Zais: 1976 and Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education 1982).[3] This curriculum notification might be reflected in lesson plan or other teaching and learning classroom activities.

It becomes so important secondly to discuss what is being referred to the term organizing curriculum. Although it is apparent that literately terms designing and organizing curriculum are two different things, in certain condition organizing curriculum might be misinterpreted as effort of designing curriculum. Within such misinterpretation, concepts of further curriculum development might have been affected and terminal objectives would be misleading.

According to Hunkins; term curriculum design is reflected to efforts of elaborating plan(s) which connect theoretical view points to the practice.[4] Hunkins intentionally shows that design of curriculum might emerge overall program which is intended to implement into real contextual teaching and learning process. In relation with English curriculum design, some view points might relate to concept of proficiency in a second language, pragmatics of language use and field of discourse analysis.[5]

Design of certain curriculum would exist as sequence of long range analysis and is influenced by number of parties involved in its discussion by then those parties would affect one another. This long run is reflected in following diagram[6]:

From the above diagram, it is clear that involvement of stakeholders play important role in determining aim, planning, need analysis and evaluation of certain practices. Stakeholders in this discussion are seen as those who have some intention, interest or other concern in design and further sequence of curriculum practices such as teachers, students, parents, society, and in wide extent government. In addition, feedback from prior curriculum, some studies, surrounding communities, reflection of some experiences as well as political environment also contributes to the basis of need analysis which then is used formulate present-and-future oriented practices.

Term consideration is used to understand certain thought, fact, ideas or even environments which are used as basis of decision making. Hunkins (1980) sees this consideration as certain elements that involve in curriculum.[7] In some conditions, such elements become key point that provides general construction to overall plans and other curriculum documents. Elements involved in curriculum are shown within goals, philosophical consideration, the objectives, the contents, the experiences, the environments, the instructional strategies, and evaluation strategies.

Considerations in Organizing Curriculum

In previous discussion, consideration has been shown as thought or ideas which involve in curriculum documents. According to Hunkins (1980), there are about three considerations that should be reacted in designing curriculum; they are 1) recognition of fundamentals of curriculum, 2) characterizing the interrelationship among those fundamentals, and finally 3) predict and control the educational behaviors of learner.[8]

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