curriculum can be conceptualized in a number of ways, the notions
of “intended” and “implemented” curriculum
are useful for curriculum developers.
The intended (or “official”) school curriculum
is expressed in policy documents, curriculum frameworks or guidelines,
frameworks of standards and assessment, syllabi, textbooks and other
instructional materials and clearly defines the structure, content
and methods of intended learning experiences. This “intended”
curriculum is then put into practice through real teachers interacting
with real students in real schools. It is the “real”
or “implemented” curriculum that shapes students’
learning experiences and determined their learning outcomes.
This module offers opportunities for curriculum professionals
to develop their understanding of central issues related to capacity
building for curriculum implementation by exploring:
- Approaches to encouraging discourse about curriculum philosophy,
concepts, change and the implications for education systems;
- Strategies for promoting new approaches to teaching and learning,
information and communications technology;
- Issues in school based training and teacher education;
- Whole school issues.
This module is organized around three activities:
- Approaches to capacity building. Discusses
needs for training in a framework of continuous capacity building.
- Capacity building of curriculum professionals as a
requisite for reform. Analyzes the needs for technical
training of curriculum specialists.
- Teacher involvement in capacity building. Helps
in revising the different attitudes that can enable or block the
capacity building processes.
Following these activities is a “Resources”
section which contains a list of discussion papers and additional
resources referred to in the activities.
Curriculum change is a dynamic and challenging process, and its
success depends on all stakeholders having the capacity to develop
or adopt a shared vision, positive attitudes and commitment. Moreover,
they need to develop the necessary professional competencies in
the various aspects of curriculum change.
Capacity building is defined here as “the process
of assisting an individual or group to gain insights, knowledge
and experiences needed to solve problems and implement change”.
As well as developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes
of individuals and groups engaged in curriculum reform, it is important
to empower them in such areas as policy formulation, curriculum
design, textbook development and evaluation, piloting and innovation,
implementation and curriculum monitoring and evaluation.
Capacity building for curriculum implementation has
three important dimensions:
- Improving competence and positive attitudes;
- Developing innovative pedagogical approaches and models;
- Attracting community participation and resources.
A range of capacities is required to facilitate curriculum
- Understanding core concepts (such as: frameworks; local curricula;
flexibility; learner-centred approaches).
- Understanding the “curriculum implementation cycle”.
- Monitoring and supervising (for district personnel, teachers,
inspectors, principals, etc.), which includes:
- Assessment of teaching and learning;
- Monitoring and evaluation of curriculum implementation.
Capacity building is not only about developing the
competence of those responsible for curriculum implementation but
involves changing the attitudes and behaviours of those who might
Those engaged in curriculum implementation must be
exposed to a variety of capacity building activities. Training workshops,
follow-up activities and school-based capacity building initiatives
should al be part of customized professional development programs.
The focus should be on building on strengths rather
than highlighting what people lack or need. This is a departure
from the deficit model of training which focuses on weaknesses rather
than what people are capable of doing. Individuals must be given
the opportunity to learn from one another and, in the process, increase
each others’ capacity. For teachers, the establishment of
a teachers’ support network in every school to provide collegial
assistance on a continuing basis will help reduce teacher isolation
and facilitate the process of adoption of or adaptation to curriculum
change. Furthermore, a network of colleagues learning from and supporting
each other is not only essential in building a community of practice,
but it will also help sustain the change process.
Capacity Building; Community of Practice; ICT Integration; In-service
Training; Multi-grade / Multi-class Teaching; Needs-based Training;
Pre-service Training, Professional Development; Teacher Support
Network; Teaching and Learning; Whole School Approach.