Just as the world has become more sophisticated in other spheres; so has significant changes taken place in education management. Insufficient time to adapt to the changes confuses the educators. Sometimes they try to do the right things in a wrong way. Even educators who are open to change are uncertain about what kind of changes will be most effective and how best to go about making them. Frustration and despondency abound as well as the sense that “we’re already doing so much – how can we possibly do more”.
Curriculum improvement is an ongoing international trend that mirrors changes in the society and teaching methodology. I believe that a move to an ‘outcome-based education’ is imperative but it will present Nigerian educators with a challenging and significant ‘paradigm–shift’.
Some of the new curriculum introduced these days have become quite chaotic and too difficult for children and even teachers in schools. Just because some curriculum is applied in one school, the next school is quick to copy without understanding how it should used, when to use it and its relevance. The inconsistency of curriculum choices made by the school leaves the students more confused as they go. Today, it’s the British curriculum, tomorrow, its Nigerian and next it is the American….chaotic, isn’t it?. A holistic approach is ideal in designing curriculum but it MUST be generally consistent even when introducing modifications.
A good curriculum has many distinct features but if your curriculum embodies the following, then you are off to a good start!
- promotes interactive learning and encourage the construction of knowledge by students.
- encourages active learning – uses a lot of outdoor learning opportunities.
- fosters exploration and inquiry, rather than focusing on “right” answers or “right” ways to complete a task.
- encourages development of positive feelings and dispositions toward learning while leading to acquisition of knowledge and skills. A frustrated student is a result of a poorly designed curriculum….. period. If your school is operating on a solid curriculum document, students and teachers suffer and most times in silence.
- helps achieve social, emotional, physical, and cognitive goals and promotes sustainable relevance to our core cultural values through character development and social emotional learning programs.
- promotes and encourages proper social interaction.
- Has a structured in-built system for periodic curriculum evaluation and modification
If the above are not in place, you have so much more to consider. Build a curriculum that leaves room for modification because education is evolving in nature. Consistency should be a key element so that it does not lead to confusion among the learners. A confused learner can easily translate to a frustrated learner.