This article is about the principles of curriculum development. While you are studying curriculum development and its need and importance you should be aware of the principles of curriculum development. This is because these principles help you when you yourself are up to the task of curriculum development. From B.Ed. point of view this topic comes in the study of pedagogy of various subjects and under subject Knowledge and curriculum. You might also consider visiting the article on Bases of curriculum.
- In curriculum development, we think about the type of learning experiences to be given to a child at various age and grade levels.
- It needs systematic and sequential planning to widen the sphere of the learning experience at each level by keeping in view the principles of integration and correlation.
- The curriculum is usually concerned with two questions
- What should we teach? What should be the content of education?
- How should we organize it and how should we teach?
To answer these questions we should now discuss the principles of curriculum development.
(a) Suitability to the age and mental level of the children
- What is to be given to the children in the form of learning experiences at a particular age and grade level should suit their age and mental development
- The capacity for understanding, how children grow with age. The content of the study in any subject should be formed to suit their mental ability.
(b) According to the specific interests of students
- Children will be able to learn better in fields where they have special tastes and inclination of the mind.
- It is also found that at different stages of age groups, children have different interest patterns.
- Interests of children also change according to circumstances and situations.
- Therefore learning experiences should be designed to suit the interests and tastes of the age group of students.
(c) The curriculum should be environmentally centered
- The content of the learning experiences for children should be linked with the needs of the environment in which they live.
- For example, children from rural areas can understand and grasp easily the information which is directly concerned with their experiences in their own rural environment.
- The same thing applies to children in a various environments like urban areas, hilly areas, etc.
(d) The principle of the comprehensive curriculum
- The curriculum must have the necessary details. List of topics to be covered does not solve the purpose.
- Both teachers and students should know clearly what is expected of them, what is the beginning and what is the end of the topic for the particular class.
- Material, aids, activities, life situations etc. should be listed in the curriculum.
(e) Principle of co-relation
- The curriculum should be such that all the subjects are correlated with each other.
- While designing the curriculum, it must be kept in mind that the subject matter of various subjects has some relation to each other so that they help the child eventually.
(f) The principle of practical work
- Children are very active by nature.
- They like new things and can learn more by doing or by activity method.
- Therefore curriculum should be designed in such a way that it provides maximum opportunity to the child for practical work with the help of concrete things.
(g) Principle of flexibility
- Instead of being rigid curriculum should show the sign of flexibility.
- The organization of the curriculum should be on the basis of individual differences as every child is different from the other.
- Apart from these conditions of society go on changing, therefore, the curriculum must be flexible enough to address the needs as aspirations of the society.
(h) Principle of forward-looking
- This principle asks for the inclusion of those topics, content and learning experiences that may prove helpful to the students in leading their future life in a proper way.
(i) The principle of consultation with teachers
- Teachers play a key role in the implementation of the school curriculum of any grade or stage.
- It is therefore quite essential to seek the proper involvement of the teachers in the construction and development of the school curriculum.
(j) The principle of the joint venture
It is necessarily a joint venture where various experts are involved like educational psychologists, educational technologists, curriculum specialists, evaluation specialists, teachers, subject matter experts etc.
(k) The principle of availability of time and other resources
Curriculum is the means to realize the outcomes of the educational objectives of the school. Implementation of the curriculum is equally important as curriculum construction. While developing curriculum experts should also keep its implementation in mind. They should be aware of the conditions of the schools and possible availability of time and resources available.