Different Levels of Curriculum Planning.
There are seven levels at which curriculum planning take place. These seven levels are:
- National level.
- State level.
- School System level.
- Building level.
- Teacher Team level.
- Individual teacher level.
- Classroom level with cooperative planning between students and teachers.
When curriculum planning takes place at national level, it involves subject experts and scholars of a particular discipline from various institutions across the country.
They go through following stages to determine if the existing program is absolute or inadequate or satisfactory to meet the existing and future needs.
- Identification of significant subject-matter, facts, laws, theories etc.
- Deciding about the sequence of subject-matter.
- Suggesting activities which helplessness to learn the subject most efficiently.
- Providing for supplementary study materials.
- Suggesting evaluation procedures to check the level of learning.
Also read | The Difference Between Education and Literacy.
It is assured that once curriculum passes these stages and is accepted it is expected to assure quality education.
Sometimes, we call it to be teacher-proof as it is assumed that the teachers just have to follow the curriculum developed by experts and they themselves don’t have to contribute to the content.
There are some issues related to curriculum planning at national level:
- Is national level curriculum planning able to understand the needs of local learners where program is to be implemented?
- Can we expect that subject area scholars have sufficient knowledge about learner characteristics to make a meaningful curriculum?
- Are not teachers more suitable for curriculum planning as they are more acquainted with learners needs?
- Can curriculum plans prepared by scholary, be successful when used by unskilled teachers.
At state level, a committee is formed which consists of teachers, principals, coordinators, scholars etc. Under State Education Department to suggest what should constitute the overall program across the state.
What will be included in the curriculum depends on the features of learners involved, broad goals and government policies.
After detailed discussions the committee reaches at a model which is sent to all the state institutions. There are some issues related to curriculum planning at state level.
- Should we give freedom to local authorities to modify the programs as per their needs?
- Will state level curriculum ensure quality of education across a state?
- Does state level curriculum affect the role of a teacher?
System Wide Level.
This level consists of team members including teachers at all levels, coordinators and some qualified citizens.
This team aims at modification and improvement of goals, studies what students are learning, recognizes loopholes and suggests steps for improvement.
Also read | Reconstructionism in Education.
It also arranges curriculum development projects and professional growth activities. The issues at district level curriculum planning are:
- Which specific problem of the district can be referred to curriculum planning committee?
- How can we involve more of teachers, citizens and administrators in curriculum planning?
- Which topics are irrelevant?
Building or Institution Level.
At this level, a team is formed which constitutes parents, teachers, administrators and students from a particular institution who together solve a new discipline policy for that particular institution.
Student’s experiences are result of not only academic activities but also his interaction with day-to-day situations.
Also read | Naturalism in Education.
Therefore, his personal and social experiences must also form a part of the curriculum. It is called hidden curriculum.
Hidden curriculum implies social interactions, methods of grading, grouping patterns, administrative structure, teacher’s behavior etc.
These factors do result in learning whether positive or negative. Therefore, they must be considered cautiously.
Issues at this level are:
- Do we need to involve students also in Building Level Curriculum Committee? If yes, how to select them and how to determine their authority?
- How much importance should be given to difficult aspects of Hidden Curriculum?
Also read | Realism Education and its Aim.
At this level, there is a group of teachers who have come together to develop a unit. It is also called inter-disciplinary approach because the teachers in the group belong to different subject-areas.
Issues at this level are:
- What benefits are expected from cooperative interdisciplinary planning?
- What are distractive factors that need to be taken care of?
- How can we co-relate different disciplines to each other?
Individual Teacher Level.
At this level, as the name suggests, one single teacher makes a decision regarding learning objectives and methodology of delivering the content.
Teacher needs to plan various activities, resources required, evaluation procedures to be used etc.
He need to take decisions about important facts, principles, concepts and learner’s outcomes.
Many time a teacher might have to search through various resources looking for ideas in which he can derive his best.
She should first of all decide about learning objectives. Then he can develop a set of plans, a daily or weekly or monthly basis.
Also read | The Educational Philosophy of Samkhya Yoga.
He must keep in mind that characteristics of the learners, sequencing of activities, suitable learning materials, total resources available in terms of time, funds etc.
He must ensure that daily lesson plans are inter-related in such a way that overall expected outcomes from a unit are achieved.
At this level, teacher might face following issues:
- Am I considering both long-run and short-run objectives?
- Which problems am I facing?
How much time do I have? Are my activities and teaching methods according to availability of time,and other resources?— Am I preparing plans with 100% dedication? — Am I deviating from my plan? and so on.
Cooperative Curriculum Planning Level.
At this level, the decisions regarding curriculum planning i.e. “what, how, who, where and when” are taken by a group of a teachers and number of students.
Teacher plays the role of a guide and discussion is held on how to teach any particular topic. It happens for some topics in every school.
Also read | Kothari Commission (1964-66).
You must also have experiment, it in your school life when a teacher gave you an opportunity to determine goals expected to be attained from a topic, teaching method to be used, evaluation procedure to be used etc.
At this level, the issues are:
- How to involve learners in curriculum planning?
- What benefits will learners get from such participation?
- How to decide on acceptance of learners opinion and how to ensure that if their ideas are not accepted, they are not discouraged?