WHAT IS A RELEVANT CURRICULUM?

We define a relevant curriculum as one that imbues (imparts, instils, endows) its participants (clients, students, learners) with appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to harness resources in their environments in order to remain competitive in the communities of nations and bring about improvement in the qualities of life and the environment. It is not a “bookish” curriculum that stuffs its learners with “cold and expired facts” that are presented using obsolete teaching methods and during which learners remain passive receivers of knowledge which they are expected to regurgitate in exams.

A relevant curriculum is not a certificate-focused  one in which her clients take delight in brandishing first class honours certificates but are incapable of applying the knowledge and skills acquired to solve problems in their society. To refurbish a curriculum, we present Dike’s (2012) Macro – Micro Needs Analysis model for Curriculum Improvement.

Application of Dike’s Macro – Micro Needs Analysis model for Curriculum Improvement.

The macro component of this model occurs in 2 stages. The first stage involves harnessing the challenges. This can be achieved through the following steps:

  1. Select an area of interest e.g. Poultry farming, Animal husbandry, Solar Energy, Health, Community Development, Water resources
  2. Select significant stakeholders such as:
    • Subject matter experts
    • Learners
    • Significant other members of the society (State the number of participants in each group).
  1. Develop an instrument to harness the challenges in the area/field.
  2. Validate and translate the instrument into local language for illiterate stakeholders.
  3. Administer the instrument.
  4. Tally the responses (challenges) provided by the different stakeholders.
  5. Prioritize the challenges.
  6. Use the topmost challenge for the second stage.

The second stage of the Macro Needs Analysis entails to:

  1. Determine the ideals for the top prioritized challenge in the areas of:
    1. Content (for instance, what are the ideal contents for modern diary technology, poultry farming, etc.),
    2. Facilities/infrastructure,
    3. Staff (teaching administrative and technical),
    4. Teaching methods including ICT integration.
    5. Research methods,
    6. Formative and summative evaluation techniques including quality assurance strategies.

This is equivalent to developing an ideal benchmark for the area/field.

The Micro component entails;

  1. Identify existing agencies – all levels of education – primary, secondary, tertiary responsible to tackle the challenge, other agencies.
  2. Determine the status quo in the areas of:
    1. Content,
    2. Facilities/infrastructure,
    3. Staff (Teaching, administrative and technical),
    4. Teaching methods including ICT integration,
    5. Research methods,
    6. Formative and summative evaluation techniques including quality assurance strategies.
  3. Compare the ideals with the status quo that is, compare the ideals and the status quo (observed) in the areas of:
    1. Contents,
    2. Facilities/infrastructure,
    3. Staff (Teaching, administrative and technical),
    4. Teaching methods including ICT integration,
    5. Research methods,
    6. Formative and summative evaluation techniques including quality assurance strategies.
  4. Develop a refurbished curriculum that addresses the top priority challenge.
  5. Plan for implementation by regarding the refurbished curriculum as an innovation.

Pertinent questions

  1. What are the theoretical underpinning of this refurbished curriculum?
  2. How do you take care of scope, sequencing, and continuity, integration.
  3. Which pattern of curriculum design do we prefer and why?
  4. What roles do the philosophical, Historical, Psychological and sociological foundations play in this application of the model.

 

 

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