any given context, the process of curriculum change requires stakeholders
to develop shared visions and common understanding of educational
aims and curriculum objectives. These shared understandings should
serve the diverse learning needs of students as well as the broad
national goals of socio-economic and cultural development. Capacity
building is a central part of the development of these shared understandings.
Education systems are large and complex organizations
which require different competencies in their employees. Many capacity
building activities can be generic. However, the specific needs
of individuals and groups need to be addressed through targeted
activities based on relevant cases, evidence-based success stories,
and focussed experiential learning activities.
The main groups in which capacity building might
most often be required include national education policy-makers,
local education policy-makers, curriculum specialists, teachers
and teacher educators. These groups will often require assistance
to develop the capacity to perform the following functions:
Table 6.1. Capacity building
Local education policy-makers
- develop curriculum frameworks;
- define curriculum objectives;
- create a supportive policy environment;
- provide resources support and guide their strategic utilization;
- make and implement decisions;
- evaluate and monitor the quality of curricula.
- implement national curriculum standards in local contexts;
- develop locally relevant curriculum;
- provide technical assistance for curriculum change for
- provide guidance and professional support for school development.
Teachers and teacher educators
- design holistic curriculum content relevant to students’
development in cognitive, affective, moral/ethical, aesthetic
and physical dimensions;
- integrate cross-cutting themes and facilitate inter-disciplinary
- build on strengths of traditional curricula and be innovative;
- ensure relevance to culturally sensitive curriculum issues;
- engage in research-based and professional development
on a continuing basis.
- understand their changing roles as curriculum changes;
- comprehend curriculum objectives and national curriculum
- master subject matter and pedagogical skills to deliver
- have a positive attitude to curriculum change and be
an agent of change;
- break down isolation and develop team spirit;
- engage in continued professional learning and development.
In many contexts, the professional development of
teachers occurs in three phases:
- preparatory or pre-service training before they begin teaching
- induction, during the initial years of teaching, often the first
three years; and
- in-service training which will occur throughout a teaching career.
To be most effective, each of the three phases of
development should be aligned, building on the lessons of the previous
phase and the professional experience of the teacher. Professional
learning communities such as professional subject associations offer
opportunities for mutual support and mentoring.
Similarly, the capacity building should be an ongoing
process, not a one-off “injection” of training. Teachers
need to update their knowledge and skills as the school curriculum
and technologies change. Individuals develop in stages and mature
over time. Professional development of teachers must be accompanied
by organizational development in schools, training centres, and
universities. A recent trend in capacity building is toward school-based
training, making school/classroom practice the site for professional