Tuesday, February 7, 2012

P B L Scenario 2 for PRACTICUM II

How Do Philosophies Influence Curriculum Reforms and How Do Stake Holders React to It?
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Started in the middle of nineties with the Learner- Centered Approach, the Kerala school curriculum has embraced various dimensions including Activity-Oriented Approach, Constructivist Approach, Social Constructivism, Critical Pedagogy and Issues-Based Pedagogy, ICT based approach etc. Different stake holders like teachers, parents, media, and students’ organizations responded to these reform attempts in a variety of ways. What really prompted these changes? To what extent educational philosophy influenced these reforms? How do people look at these changes? How do these reform efforts point to the future trends in school education?


  1. Philosophy is the beginning point in curriculum decision making and is the basis for all subsequent decisions regarding curriculum. Let us see how philosophy influence curriculums.

    It gives meaning to the decisions and actions of curriculum workers.

    1. The philosophy of the curriculum worker is reflected in his/her work.

    2. Their life experiences, common sense, social and economic background, education and general beliefs about people are brought into and reflected through their work.

    3. The philosophy advocated or reflected by a particular school or business and its officials influence its goals and content as well as the organization of its curriculum.

    Philosophy gives meaning to our decisions and actions. We should recognize the pervasiveness of philosophy in determining our views of reality, what values and knowledge are worthwhile, and decisions in education in general and curriculum development in particular. No single philosophy should serve as the exclusive in general and curriculum development in particular. No single philosophy should serve as the exclusive guide for making decisions about education or the curriculum. The kind of society or company into which we evolve is in part reflected in our educational/training systems which is influenced by the philosophies adhered to by their leaders. Leaders need to scrutinize their curriculum in regard to their mission and philosophy.

    Philosophers can help curriculum developers

    a) Be more emplicity about assumptions

    b) Be more willing to challenge assumptions

    c) Understand more consequences of choice

    d) Expand sense of possibilities and alternatives. Curriculum development is the creation of a better future. It forms learner’s values, dispositions, habits and selves. The viewpoints of curriculum development vary along a number of dimensions.

    a) Ultimate goal.

    b) Nature of child.

    c) Definition of learning.

    d) Selection of texts for study.

    e) Relative importance of Knowledge and skills.

    f) Value of student interest and choice.

    The Government made several attempts to improve the quality of education in government schools, decided to use the opportunity to revise the primary school curriculum drastically. The new curriculum was introduced in all DPEP and non-DPEP districts. New culture of teaching and learning was introduced. The new curriculum is child-centered, activity-oriented and it was prepared after careful consideration of the standards of pupils at each level. Each pupil was to get individual attention from the teacher, depending on the child’s interests and pace and style of learning. The new method of teaching encourages teachers to be less assertive and afford children greater freedom. Textbooks have undergone a transformation. They are now thinner and are designed to be refreshingly child-friendly. Teacher’s handbooks are bigger and better than earlier ones and have become essential for activity-oriented teaching. Textbooks do not tell them all they have to know; they only suggest activities through which children could arrive at conclusions. Most of what the children ought to learn is explained only in the teachers’ hand books, which encourage teachers themselves to learn more and more, in order to teach

    Yet, as some exciting instances of teacher motivation and student learning in DPEP schools and a sprinkling of elite private institutions that follow similar child-centered, activity-based syllabus indicate, in the end, the new curriculum may fail to deliver not because of the academic concerns that it has raised but because of the sheer weight of the demands that it places on the teaching community and the over-burdened educational infrastructure in the state

  2. Philosophy is the beginning point in curriculum decision making and is the basis for all subsequent decisions regarding curriculum. Let us see how philosophy influence curriculums.
    Some educators misguidedly think of curriculum in terms of syllabus documents. It is more than this. Curriculum refers to ‘all the planned learning opportunities offered to learners by an educational institution and the experiences learners have when the plans are implemented’ (Print 1993:9). The materials that come from the Curriculum Development Division (CDD) guide the planning of learning experiences. Consequently CDD materials are of paramount importance in developing people’s understanding of changes that are being promoted under the reform. While lecturers and teachers do their best to work from CDD curriculum materials, their interpretation may be different from what is intended. Curriculum developers do not begin their task like empty buckets. Their beliefs, values, theories, conceptions, points of view, preferences and experiences have a profound effect on the curriculum that they will produce. They have their opinions of societal and organisational needs, the nature of learners, cultural factors and available resources. What is critical for those who implement curriculum is to gain a shared understanding of the forces that shaped the CDD curriculum materials to be like they are. This is an issue. the curriculum reforms have impacted on teacher education programs.

  3. Problem based Learning Approach is not a new model of instruction.Plato&Socrates required that their students think,retrieve information for themselves ,search for new ideas and debate them in a scholarly environment.
    In Learner Centered approach ,putting the students at the center of their own learning.Hence the responsibility of learning is placed on the students.Activity Based Approach conceives learning as the result of pupils activity.Constructivism is a phyloisophy that views learning as an active process in which learner construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through action and reflection.
    The major theme of Vygotsky's theory is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition.Critical pedagogy is a teaching approach grounded in critical theory.In the above explanation about the different curriculum approaches we can understand the different curriculum approaches we can understand the role of the teacher and the students in the school curriculum.