AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8603 Spring 2020

AIOU Solved Assignments code B.ed 8603 Spring 2020 Assignment 2  Course: Curriculum Development  (8603) Spring 2020. AIOU past papers

Curriculum Development (8603) B.ed 1.5 Years
Spring, 2020

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8603 Spring 2020

Q.1   Evaluate various types of procedures for content selection. Differentiate between the concepts of content selection and curriculum organization.

The term curriculum is viewed in two different ways: the micro and the macro. The micro curriculum refers to subjects, while the macro curriculum refers to curricular programs. For example, the subject biology is a micro curriculum while BS in Civil Engineering is a macro curriculum.

What do the micro and the macro curriculum contain? The following criteria discusses the content of these two levels of the curriculum.

Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum

The 7 criteria below can be utilized in the selection of subject matter for micro curriculum, and for the content, subjects needed for the curricular program or course, of the macro curriculum.

1. Self-sufficiency

To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency at the most economical manner is the main guiding principle for subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al., (2008). Economy of learning refers to less teaching effort and less use of educational resources; but students gain more results. They are able to cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.

This means that students should be given chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This allows them to learn independently.

With this principle in mind, I suggest that for a high school curriculum or preparatory year, there should be a one day independent learning activity each week. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.

2. Significance

The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of learning activities, skills, processes, and attitude. It also develops the three domains of learning namely the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills, and considers the cultural aspects of the learners. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.

In short, select a content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.

3. Validity

Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete.

For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT).

Thus, there is a need to check regularly the subject matter or contents of the curriculum, and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another 5 years in order to change it.

Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, your school or country will be left behind.

4. Interest

This criterion is true to learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is meaningful to them. It becomes meaningful if they are interested in it. But if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and teach only what is in the book. This may somehow explain why many fail in the subject.

5. Utility

Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not important to them. They view it useless. As a result, they don’t study.

Here are the questions that students often ask: Will I need the subject in my job? Will it give meaning to my life? Will it develop my potentials? Will it solve my problem? Will it be part of the test? Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?

Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.

6. Learnability

The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories on psychology of learning in order to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize the learning capacity of the students.

7. Feasibility

It means that the subject matter can be fully implemented. It should consider the real situation of the school, the government, and the society, in general. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish.

For example, you have only one week to finish the unit but then, the activities may take a month for the students to complete it. This is not feasible.

Do not offer a computer subject if there is no even electricity in the area or there are no computers at all.

Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.

Also, there is a need to consider the nature of the learners. The organization and design of the subject matter or content must be appropriate to the nature of students.

So, it would be better if students in a subject-centered curriculum (with pacing schedule that must be religiously implemented every week) be grouped homogenously; otherwise, many will flunk in that subject.

In conclusion, teachers in elementary and high school are not directly involved in the selection of subject-matter because there are already lesson plans made by the Department of Education. All they have to do is to follow it. However, they can also customize the lessons if their department heads or principals will allow them.

As regards macro curriculum, the Commission on Higher Education sets guidelines and policies on what subjects should be offered as minimum requirements for the course. Then, the Curriculum Development Committee will take charge of the selection, organization and implementation of the curriculum with the approval of the Academic Council.

The Curriculum Development Committee headed by the Director of Curriculum Development sees to it that the selection of the subject-matter and the subjects for a curricular program be examined and scrutinized using the 7 criteria mentioned above.

But, this is not the end of the process yet! Selection of the subject matter or content of the micro and macro curriculum is only one of the considerations in designing the curriculum.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8603 Spring 2020

Q.2   Design strategies and methods for the evaluation of curriculum of secondary level of education in accordance with the need of the country.

Curriculum design can be equated with curriculum organization for it is defined as “the arrangement of the elements into a substantive whole.” This definition assumes that the curriculum developer has already thought of, or perhaps formulated, the curricular aims, goals, and objectives, and selected the appropriate curriculum content, learning experiences, and evaluation procedures. The organization of these components of a curriculum into a coherent, meaningful, curriculum plan is termed curriculum design. This curriculum design is influenced by the philosophical, psychological, sociological, and historical orientation of the curriculum developer and ideally, by the characteristics of a sound curriculum.

Furthermore, designing a curriculum takes into account horizontal and vertical organization. Vertical organization refers to the longitudinal arrangement of content as reflected in the presence of sequence, continuity, and vertical articulation in the curriculum. Horizontal organization refers to the arrangement of content, skills, and processes from the viewpoints of scope and horizontal integration.

People certainly don’t progress through the Stages of Change in the time it takes to work through this curriculum – or even attend a treatment program for that matter – since each stage can take months or even years to complete. You will have people in your group with the same Psychiatric or Substance Disorders who will be at different levels of readiness to change their behaviors. Even the same person can be in different stages of change for different behaviors. For instance, a person may be in the Action Stage of Change regarding cocaine abuse, yet in the Pre-Contemplation Stage of Change regarding alcohol abuse, and perhaps in the Contemplation Stage of Change regarding a Psychiatric Disorder, such as Major Depression. The possible scenarios are only limited by the number of people you have in your group and by how many disorders or behavior change goals each person has!

It’s still extremely important to organize the subjects of the curriculum so they correspond to the Stages of Change. This provides a foundation of program development that’s consistent with the way people progress through stages when changing a behavior. It also provides you with specific points of reference to identify the Stages of Change of each group and treatment participant. This knowledge will guide your individualized responses to specific group members, as well as provide the basis of their individualized treatment planning.


Whole-to-part, concrete-to-abstract, simple-to-complex, and similar other learning principles also guide the sequencing of the curriculum from the psychological viewpoint. Learners’ interests and needs, another basis for sequencing content, are actually anchored on the psychological growth stages of man. Young children are interested in play activities, storytelling, dancing, singing; and their needs (physiological, safety, and affiliation) are at the lowest hierarchy in Maslow’s motivation theory. As they grow older, their needs progress to the higher levels of the hierarchy (esteem, recognition, achievement, self-actualization). Their interests likewise shift to those of adults (such as hobbies and recreation; love, sex, and marriage; economic sufficiency). Information regarding these changes in the learners as they go through the different stages of their development can serve as a basis in making decisions concerning curriculum sequence. Lastly, sequence may be based on an analysis of the activities an adult goes through to successfully execute a performance or an activity (e.g., typing, dancing, accounting, playing musical instruments). The hierarchical order at which the required knowledge and skills are needed in the performance of such activities guides the sequencing of curriculum content.

Decisions concerning curriculum sequence are guided by one or more of the aforementioned bases. For example, while it is true that the content of history is based on the chronological occurrence of events, the offering of World History is usually preceded by Philippine History; and it is offered in high school or in college, not in the elementary grades, in view of the needs and interests of the young learners.

Treatment goals

Remember, our job is to help people work through their treatment goals – not identify people as resistant or unmotivated because they are not working toward our treatment goals for them. It’s also inconsistent to have a treatment philosophy of supporting a person’s self-efficacy (sense of capability to master challenges and achieve goals) and at the same time treat the person as if they have no say or understanding of what they need. For instance, throughout any given treatment experience, some people will remain in one Stage of Change (for instance, the Contemplation Stage of Change) during one treatment experience for either one behavior change or more or even all behavior changes regarding their Psychiatric or Substance Disorder.

By accurately matching each person’s level of readiness for change and supporting their self-efficacy in meeting the goals for that stage, each person is much more likely to move to the next stage of readiness to change. For instance, in Pre-Contemplation a person may simply want to complete treatment to make “them” happy, such as the legal system or a domestic partner. Mismatching the level of readiness for change, such as trying to push a “pre-contemplator” into an “action taker,” can produce a sense of hopelessness for the “treated” and the “treater.” It also makes a person much less likely to move ahead in the stages of behavior change.

The curriculum also contains different sections designed to educate group members about the Stages of Change. It includes ways they can identify their own levels of readiness to change specific behaviors.


Points of interest in the vertical organization of a curriculum include sequence, continuity, and integration. Sequence is the vertical arrangement of elements of content in which the next element is directly related to the first. Continuity, on the other hand, refers to the repetition of related elements of contents which do not directly follow one another (i.e., one element is temporarily separated from the first by one or more unrelated elements), Continuity allows for the recurrence of knowledge, skills, or processes, with increased depth, breadth, and competence. An example of continuity in the curriculum is knowledge of concepts and skills in manipulating numerical fractions in elementary mathematics and algebraic fractions in high school. The two courses do not successively follow one another, but the learning experiences in the latter are built on past experiences in the former, although to a greater complexity and abstraction.

Vertical integration or articulation is a third consideration in vertical organization. Vertical integration refers to the arrangement of the curriculum in such a way that relationships among topics or courses in a given field of study across grade/year levels are emphasized. lf vertical organization is present in the curriculum, unnecessary repetition of content and gaps in knowledge can be avoided.

Vertical integration

Vertical integration can be accomplished if teachers of different courses that belong to the same field of study plan together to map out the scope and sequence of their respective courses. For example, Grade I English teachers can confer with English teachers in the preparatory school and in Grade II to find out where English I should start and end. This activity will enable these three groups of teachers to know each other’s expectations as to pre-entry and terminal knowledge and skills of pupils of English on those educational levels. They will also know which content elements to repeat, reinforce, or review. Vertical integration across programs (pre-elementary, elementary, secondary, tertiary) is difficult, especially if a school offers only one of those programs. In the De La Salle University System, which consists of one pre-elementary- elementary-secondary school and four tertiary-level institutions, syllabi in the general education courses in freshman college programs are shared with feeder member schools. This arrangement enables the school offering secondary education to better prepare the graduates for college.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8603 Spring 2020

Q.3   Discuss the major problems faced by rural areas of Pakistan. Suggest their solution through curriculum.

1.Education and rural development.

Rural development implies both the economic betterment of people as well as greater social transformation. The continuous growth of the Indian economy forces the Indian government to accelerate the process of developing all the branches of the Indian education system. As more than half of the population in India lives in villages, therefore the education system in rural area also plays a significant contribution in the growth of the economy. The present system of education in India was introduced by the British in the 20th century. The system so given has a western style and content, ignoring traditional structures and so has declined. After independence, the Central Government has taken the responsibility of technical and higher education. The central government through the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of Education and the governments at the states formulated the education policy and planning.

Problems faced by Schools in Rural India

Though India is developing rapidly and many initiatives had been taken for the development of rural India, still much more have to be done. There are several problems being faced by the schools running in rural India. Some of these problems are stated below:

  1. Lack of Infrastructure: Many schools in villages lack proper infrastructure facilities. There are no proper facilities for sitting as sometimes children are even made to sit on the floor due to non-availability of furniture. The school building lacks doors and windows, and so the wind and animals enter unimpeded.
  2. Low Income: Teachers in the villages also get very less income in comparison to the teachers that teach in urban schools. As teachers are not satisfied with their income, they generally do not give proper attention to the students.
  3. Lack of Transportation Facilities: This is one of the biggest problems being faced by the children going to village schools. As there are no proper transport facilities available children don’t like to travel miles to come to school.
  4. Less in Number: In comparison to the number of schools present in urban area i.e., cities or towns, there are very few schools in villages or rural areas.
  5. Lack of Basic Amenities: Even the basic amenities like drinking water, clean toilets etc are also not available in many of the schools at villages.
  6. Lack of Extra-Curricular Activities: Apart from the course curriculum rural schools are not able to involve children in other activities like sports, co-curricular activities and competitions. Such events and activities tend help in the over all development of the children.
  7. Deficiency of Funds: One of the severe hurdles in the education system in rural India is the unavailability of funds. Some schools do not have funds even for purchasing benches, blackboards etc.

2.Productive skill development and curriculum.

In order to prepare students to enter the workforce or further their education, two-year college programs should provide experiences that go beyond chemistry knowledge alone to develop other critical skills necessary for effective and productive professionals. Strategies for helping students acquire skill sets needed for successful careers include offering courses dedicated to student skills, integrating student-skill-focused activities into regular curricular offerings, and engaging students in research and internship experiences. Regardless of the approaches used, programs should also assess student skills and adjust the curriculum as needed to maximize their development.

The curriculum should include the skills and knowledge of greatest importance to the program’s partners. Hands-on experience should be emphasized and employability skills, such as troubleshooting, searching and interpreting chemical literature, laboratory safety, communication, teamwork, and ethics should be integrated into the curriculum. Students should achieve a mastery of these and other skills required by employers prior to graduation.

Problem-solving and Critical Thinking Skills

Chemistry education should develop students’ ability to objectively analyze and evaluate information—identifying information of value, integrating new facts into their existing body of knowledge, and developing appropriate solutions to problems. Students should be able to define problems clearly, develop testable hypotheses, design and execute appropriate experiments, analyze data, and draw appropriate conclusions. Students should use appropriate laboratory skills and instrumentation to solve problems while understanding the fundamental uncertainties in experimental measurements.

3.Aims of curriculum evaluation.

Curriculum evaluation is crucial to measuring curriculum effectiveness in any educational setting. In this lesson, we’ll explore this process and examine several models that might be used for curriculum evaluation.

Is the New Curriculum Any Good?

Mrs. Brown is a math teacher at a local junior high school. Her school has recently adopted a new math curriculum, and Mrs. Brown has her doubts as to whether or not the choice of curriculum was a good one. Several of the parents have also expressed their concerns. Mrs. Brown is in need of a method for evaluating the effectiveness of this new curriculum. She is looking to conduct a curriculum evaluation.

What Is Curriculum Evaluation?

The purpose of curriculum evaluation is to determine whether or not the newly adopted curriculum is producing the intended results and meeting the objectives that it has set forth, and it is an essential component in the process of adopting and implementing any new curriculum in any educational setting. Another purpose of curriculum evaluation is to gather data that will help in identifying areas in need of improvement or change.

Why Is It Necessary?

There are several parties, or stakeholders, interested in the process and results of curriculum evaluation.

  • Parents are interested because they want to be assured that their children are being provided with a sound, effective education.
  • Teachers are interested because they want to know that what they are teaching in the classroom will effectively help them cover the standards and achieve the results they know parents and administration are expecting.
  • The general public is interested because they need to be sure that their local schools are doing their best to provide solid and effective educational programs for the children in the area.
  • Administrators are interested because they need feedback on the effectiveness of their curricular decisions.
  • Curriculum publishers are interested because they can use the data and feedback from a curriculum evaluation to drive changes and upgrades in the materials they provide.

In the end, the goal is always to make sure that students are being provided with the best education possible. Because the curriculum is a huge part of this, curriculum evaluation is a means of deciding whether or not the chosen curriculum is going to bring the school closer to that goal.

  1. Objectives movement in Pakistan

Following factors can be said to be the objectives of the 4. Objectives movement and establishment of Pakistan.

Enforcement of the sovereignty of the God Almighty: The Islamic State is built up on the concept of the sovereignty of the God Almighty. The prime objective of the demand of the Pakistan was the establishment of a State where Almighty God’s supremacy could be enforced and where a government based on the Islamic principles could be instituted,. The quaid- I-Azam said “we did not demand Pakistan to acquire a place of Land, but we wanted a homeland where we could introduce Islamic principles”.

Establishment of Islamic Democracy: Islam has given an ideal concept of democracy which is distinctively different from the western concept. In Islamic democratic system everyone is equal and no one enjoys a privileged position on the basis of the social status, colour or creed. The Khalifa, the ‘Naib’ of God on earth, strictly follows the principles of Islam and Sunnah in the administration of the state affairs. The Khalifa has dual accountability; on earth he is responsible to the people and in heaven to the God almighty.

 One of the main purposes of the freedom movement was that the Muslims of the sub-continent wanted a country where the Ideal system of Islamic democracy could be installed. The Muslims demanded Pakistan solely because they desired to live according to the principles of Islam. The “two nation theory” which became the basis of the freedom movement for Pakistan and also implies that the principle of sub-continent wanted to mould their lives according to the Islamic principles. It was because of this reason that the famous slogan, Pakistan ka matlab kia La ilaha ill allah, came on everybody’s tongue. The Quid—i-Azam said on 14th February, 1948 at Sibi, “It is my firm belief that our salvation lies in the following golden rules of conduct as given by our great law-giver, the Prophet of Islam.  Let us lay the foundation of our democratic system on Islamic Ideals and principles. The almighty has taught us that our decision in the state affairs shall be guided by mutual consultation”.

Revival of Muslim image and Identity: In the United India the Muslims were dominated by the Hindus in every social Field. The Muslims were not in position to compete with the Hindus because of their backwardness in education and politics. The Hindus had adopted a prejudicial attitude which blocked all channels to prosperity and progress for the Muslims. The national image and identity of the Muslims was in great jeopardy because of the Hindu hatred and antagonism. If the British would have left the country as a united India, the Muslims would have fallen a humble prey to the perpetual Hindu domination and caprice. The demand for Pakistan was aimed at protecting the Muslims from this Hindu domination and subjugation and also at the revival to the Muslim Identity and National Image which was in disastrous jeopardy in the united India.

Protection of Muslim culture and civilization: The Muslims were always a separate nation because of their distinctive cultural values and pattern. They were easily distinguishable from other nations on the basis of their social behavior. The Muslim culture, civilization and literature were the living and proud symbols of the Muslim identity as a separate and distinct nation. Although the Muslims lived with Hindus and other nations from centuries, yet they proudly maintained their separate image. The Muslims and other nations of the sub-continent remained distinct with an emphasis on their separateness.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8603 Spring 2020

Q.4 Compare and contrast the systems of curriculum development of China, Japan and Thiland.

Curriculum development in Japan

Specifically, the objective, goal, curricula, number of educational weeks and course subjects at each different stage of school are specified under the School Education Law, and furthermore, the objective and contents of each course are stipulated under the Courses of Study established pursuant to laws and ordinances. In accordance with this, each school has been organizing and implementing its own distinctive curricula, taking into consideration the conditions of the local community and school itself, the stages of mental and physical growth and the characters of children, pupils or students.

Elementary schools and lower secondary schools since April 2002 and upper secondary schools since April 2003 have been nationally using the Courses of Study, which aim for the education of children, pupils and students to acquire rudiments and basics firmly as well as the cultivation of a “the zest for living,” which means the ability to learn and think independently by and for oneself. For that purpose, the following improvements are intended by the new Courses of Study:

  • root the rudiments and basics surely by enriched and elaborate instruction responding to an individual as well as the careful and strict selection of educational content;
  • enrich education to develop personalities by widening the scope of selective courses;
  • enrich the experiential and problem-solving learning of each course subject to cultivate the ability to learn and think voluntarily;
  • create a “Period of Integrated Study” to cultivate ways of learning and thinking and an attitude of trying to solve or pursue problems independently and creatively; and
  • upgrade ethical education to strongly equip children with the judgment of good and evil and norm consciousness.

For the National Curriculum Standards for Kindergartens* see this link and this link.

* National Curriculum Standards for elementary and above have not appeared online on the MEXT site at the time of researching, but try out the link below to an article that illustrates the implementation of national curriculum standards in elementary schools, how teaching is carried out, and touches upon Kumon and Soroban afterschool classes.For details on Courses of study, see this page.

For the Course of study for foreign languages, click here.

What is the integrated period of study?

Under the previous administration, it was aimed to make the national curriculum standards more generalized and flexible so that each school would be able to shw ingenuity (creativity?) in making a distinctive timetable. The integrated study period is designed to cultivate ways of learning and thinking and an attittude of trying to solve or pursue problems independently and creatively.

What is MEXT’s initiative to improve the academic ability of students in schools?

Schools are making active efforts to provide the development of learning based on the needs of each student so as to deepen understanding further beyond the scope of the Courses of Study for those children who adequately understand the contents designated by the Courses of Study on the one hand, and on the other to repeat the instruction of the rudiments and basics for those children who do not adequately understand the contents designated by the Courses of Study through supplementary teaching or otherwise to utilize creativity and ingenuity while considering the conditions of the children’s mastery and full understanding.

As of now, MEXT has supported efforts in schools such as: an increase in the staffing number of teachers allowing a small group teaching in line with the degree of attainment; the “Frontier Project to Improve Scholastic Competence,” which is to designate a base school or more to research trial teaching practices for the improvement of the teaching in line with a child’s personality and to spread the results of the research to all other schools in Japan; and the announcement of “Exhortation toward Learning” in January 2002,and in April 2003 formed and has been implementing and promoting the “Action Plan for Improving Academic Ability,” a package of comprehensive measures aimed at securely improving academic ability, based on “the enhancement of individual oriented instruction,” “increasing the desire to learn and academic ability,” “the growth of character and ability,” and “the improvement of English and foreign language skills.”

Curriculum development in Thailand

The structure of lower and upper secondary school curricula includes 4 components

Core subjects: basic subjects that correspond to life and society in general and must be taken by all students. All of these subjects are prepared by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Development, Ministry of Education.

Prescribed Elective Subjects:

 basic subjects which are different according to local conditions and needs. The local authorities are given an opportunity to choose the subjects offered according to the number of credits, or the local authorities can prepare the subjects offered by themselves in addition to those prescribed by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Development.

Free Elective Subjects:

 are open for learners to choose according to their interests,aptitude and needs. Students can choose either the subjects prepared by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Development or those created by the local authorities.

Foreign Language (English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, etc.)

Activities: All schools are required to organize three types of activities for learners: those organized in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Education; guidance, remedial teaching or academic development activities; and independent activities of learners.

The school must provide all of eight groups of Learning essence for its students in each year but it is not necessary to study all at the first time.  Actually, the students must have to finish studying with all of eight Learning essence groups and fulfill with the standard knowledge and competence as the required curriculum at the end of the period.

Period 4 (Mattayom Suksa 4-6: Grade 10-12)

The school must not  provide all of eight groups of learning essence for the students in each semester and it is not necessary to study all at the first time.  Actually, the students must  finish studying with all of eight Learning essence groups and fulfill with the standard knowledge and competence as the required curriculum at the end of the period.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has agreed in principle to cover all costs under the 12-year free education scheme, and to extend free schooling to two years of kindergarten. A full free-education subsidy would amount to THB 1,700 per student at kindergarten level. The annual subsidy for primary school students would be raised from THB 1,499 to THB 1,900; for lower secondary school students from THB 2,649 to THB 3,500 and for upper secondary students from THB 3,249 to THB 3,800. Educational Loan Fund – provides funds for students who come from low-income families and are continuing non-formal education in lower secondary and for students at high school level through to undergraduate school (for both mainstream and vocational curriculum). Students must pay back the loan with 1% interest per year after graduating.

Curriculum development in China

the first decade after the foundation of New China in 1949 witnessed the introduction of a national curriculum and teaching materials based on the Soviet model (first wave: 1949–1952; second wave: 1953–1957). With the weakening of the Soviet link in the early 1960s, there was a short “renaissance” in education (third wave: 1958–1962; fourth wave: 1963–1965) with many innovations and new thinking blossoming, including one major attempt to promote socialist and agrarian education (Tan, 2012). All these were swept aside when the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966. The educational system was rebuilt after 1976 with the introduction of a national college entrance exam in 1977 (fifth wave: 1977–1980; sixth wave: 1981–1984). Many argued that modern education reforms began in 1985 (seventh wave: 1985–1998), with several milestones being decentralization in the administration and financing of basic education; implementation of nine years’ compulsory education; structural change in secondary education and the development of vocational education; reform in student admission and graduate placement in higher education; and a move to encourage local production of textbooks (Cheng, 2010; Li, 2012; Tsang, 1991; Zhong and Cui, 2003).

3Yang (1991) classified the curriculum changes of the 1980s into two phases (restoration of the social order vs. structural adaption and reorientation) and pointed out the problems that remained after each phase. In particular, the restoration phase faced challenges related to an imbalanced curriculum in favor of intellectual elites, the devaluation of elective courses, curriculum segmentations, discouragement of creative arts and recreation, and overburdened teachers and students, whereas the reorientation phase had problems related to lack of financial support, an inflexible curriculum for diverse populations, an abstract and segmented curriculum, exclusion of electives and vocational training, lack of diverse instructional media, and no provision for independent learning.

Progress and impacts

The new curriculum reform has been in place for nearly 14 years in China. It has achieved a series of conceptual innovations and gained a breakthrough in practice (Guan and Meng, 2007). Feng, (2006) summarized the progress in four points:

The administrative style of government has more or less changed from demand-style moving to a new style of servant administration. One typical example involves a website entitled “New Century Curriculum Network” (established by MOE’s Center of Curriculum for Basic Education), which collected related information about nationwide curriculum reform to pool quality human resources for consultation through official channels.

The ratios of local and school curricula have been increased from 7 percent up to 16 percent or more.

Innovative approaches in teacher development have been developed, such as the “Big Name Teacher Studio” program (hosted by local experienced and excellent teachers, who are selected and named by the district), in which the host-teacher shares his or her knowledge of the craft by mentoring a group of promising young teachers in the same subject from neighboring schools, and giving online presentations and online question-answer sessions for all teachers in the district.

A positive tendency has emerged from the learning and teaching process, including many teachers having learned to reflect upon their classroom behaviors after teaching, instructor-teacher relationships in the classroom becoming more harmonious, and an obvious decrease in the dropout rate.

Problems and challenges

7It is believed that “anxiety, difficulties, and uncertainty are intrinsic to all successful change” (Hanson, 2003). A number of explicit and implicit problems gradually emerged with the new reform (Feng, 2006):

The curriculum standards are not flexible enough. While many qualified and experienced teachers choose to move to schools in big cities, those in small towns and rural areas have more difficulties in successfully implementing the new curriculum due to their insufficient ability.

Teacher workloads have increased, with the requirements and expectations of a teacher in the new curriculum now including the roles of educator, learner, innovator, facilitator, researcher, etc.

Student interests and parents’ voices are still somewhat ignored, though the situation has improved.

School leaders experience cultural dilemmas with the introduction of new leadership and managerial approaches based on Western culture (e.g. distributed leadership and total quality management).

It is not clear whether the curriculum reform should proceed rapidly or gradually, while the new reform is under pressure to provide visible and exciting results in limited time. As a matter of fact, most of the research projects on basic education funded by the MOE were slated to last only one to three years, which somehow mirrors the country’s impatience with educational reform.

The Shanghai curriculum reform is usually called the Shanghai Curriculum and Textbook Reform, which started in May 1988 when the Shanghai Education Committee set up a statutory organization known as the Shanghai Committee of Curriculum and Textbook Reform (Li, 2001). The reform consists of two waves, with its essence being to overcome examination-orientated school practices so as to build quality-oriented education (Ding, 2010). The first wave (1988–1998), centering on improving students’ overall quality by integrating societal needs, student development and a school’s disciplinary system, introduced a three-block curriculum: compulsory subjects, elective subjects, and extracurricular subjects. Accordingly, diversity of textbooks and teaching materials were implemented and phased in (Xu, 2012).

Since 1998, Shanghai has stepped into the second wave, aiming to transform students from passive receivers of knowledge to active learners with an emphasis on ethics, innovation, practical skills, information and technology skills, experiential learning, and the personal development of each student. The second wave proposes a revision of the difficult, obscure and less innovative traditional curriculum to offer a basic curriculum, enriched curriculum, and inquiry-based curriculum as three separate components of the new curriculum (Wen, 2007). While schools are encouraged to adapt the government’s curriculum framework to meet their students’ needs, teachers are encouraged to remember to “return class time to students” and that “to every question there should be more than a single answer”.

he reform has several significant impacts on school education in Shanghai (see Xu, 2012). Firstly, it strengthens the concept of focusing on students’ development. Secondly, classroom teaching activities become more varied with improved awareness and teaching capacity. Thirdly, students’ academic quality, innovative spirit and practical skills see overall improvement. Fourthly, a mechanism of sustainable development and protection of various types of expert teams has been formed. Fifthly, the guidance of the research team has been significantly enhanced.

While much progress has been made in Shanghai, problems exist and challenges remain that call for more attention and actions for solution. Li (2001) argued the major problem was that most reform measures were largely politically motivated. In particular, the Shanghai Education Commission and its delegation, Shanghai Committee of Curriculum and Textbook Reform, fully controlled the development of curriculum and textbook development for Shanghai schools. According to Li, the devolution of curriculum development from the central government to the local Shanghai authority formulated a new centralization at the city-level system by the Shanghai education authority. In this sense, the changes in student learning were brought about mainly by organized and structured top-down reform (implemented either through examinations or policy shifts). In fact, students were not provided much autonomy in their learning (Cheng, 2010). Another great challenge faced by Shanghai is the large gaps between urban and suburban, native Shanghai and recent migrant students, as well as variances between schools caused by historical traditions and teachers’ professional quality (Xu, 2012).

Q.5   Write short notes on the following:

a)     Contribution of Imam Ghazali and Ibn-e-Khuldun

IbnKhaldun’s chief contribution lies in developing a method of explaining the dynamics of historical changing and analyzing society as expounded in the Muqaddimah. The Muqaddimah was originally conceived, apparently, as a brief introduction, to be tacked on to a history of the Arabs and Berbers. The full title of the entire Kittabu al Ibar means “”Book of Evidence, Record of Beginnings and Events from the Days of the Arabs, Persians and Berbers and their Powerful Contemporaries.”

Information should be given to students gradually in stages, lower to higher, which they may understand. If teaching methods are gradually applied to students, the education will prove more effective for them. Initially, the main principles of information and sciences should be taught, and taking into consideration the learning capacity of the students these matters should be explained briefly. The subjects to be taught should be provided with this method until completion. Such a method will result in the students showing more aptitude to the given information. However, the students’ aptitude will remain weak and insufficient. The students during this period will have learnt to absorb the given information. Pursuant to this, the teacher should revise the subjects with a little more elaboration and continue to provide the information in a wider aspect until completion. Then the students’ knowledge and adjustments shall be enhanced accordingly. The teacher shall then revise the subject three times over from the beginning. During this period, the teacher shall be able to explain more difficult and deeper aspects of the subject. This will result in the students reaching their utmost aptitude. The subject needs revision three times over and then students become well familiar with the subject. This is the correct method of teaching according to Ibn Khaldun.1 
Students should not be Forced to Memorize 

    Teachers usually explain the difficult and deeper aspects of subjects which students are learning for the first time, therefore, forcing the students to memorize the subject. They accept this as the correct form of teaching. However, the students’ brains are not capable of understanding this. It’s difficult enough for them to learn a lesson. This results in the students becoming lazy, their mind rejects the information and the period of learning is prolonged. This is subsequently a result of poor teaching methods. The teacher should not impose upon the students whether they are new or accustomed to the subject. He should not overload the students with lessons beyond their capabilities and capacities, or should not intrude beyond the textbook under study or begin a new textbook before the current one is completed. Otherwise, the issues will be scrambled and subjects will become complex. When teaching, one must provide thought and revision. Memorization should be avoided.
Subjects should not be taught in a Broken Sequence 

    To teach subjects in a broken sequence is to prolong the term of study for knowledge or the sciences. For breaking up lessons or pausing results in a further period to learn that subject. The connection of issues within a subject will lose its significance. If issues within the subjects of information are applied in an organized manner until completion, these subjects will become more profound and their impression more permanent and students will therefore gain more. The information shall be connected with relative subjects and concretely formed within the brain and the mind. 

Two Subjects should not be Taught Together

    Two subjects should not be taught at one and the same time or be mixed with another subject. One should not pass on to another subject while the first remains incomplete. For this separates the heart from the mind. Concentration on learning both subjects at the same time unfortunately leads to an incomplete knowledge of both the subjects; the student absorbs neither information correctly. 
Appropriate Length of Subjects Taught 

    According to IbnKhaldun, an over-summarized text on certain information as well as an over-extended text will create difficulty in learning the actual information. Furthermore, he separates the sciences into two categories of science-means and science-purposes. He explains the drawbacks of over-emphasizing on science-means. He believes that the wise men of recent times and their emphasis on science-means have led to negative results in the learning of these subjects.
It is Harmful to be very Strict on the Student

    During education and teaching, it is harmful to be very strict on the student especially if the student is of young age. This sort of aggressiveness negatively influences the child. It may affect the psychology of the child and create unhappiness as well as corrupt his desire to work and study. This will drive the child to misbehaviour and to lie out of fear. He will learn to display actions contrary to those really within his heart. In time, this will become his nature and part of his character. It will corrupt the enhancements of social activities, modernization and the whole meaning of humanity consisting of self-esteem and family values. Therefore, teachers, mothers and fathers should not be aggressive towards children in order to teach them obedience and manners.
Travelling and Conferencing with Scholars is Useful for Education

    People sometimes learn knowledge, ethics, occupation, views and virtues from teachers and also from persons who are masters of their fields or simply others whom they accept as role models. Practical experience usually influences more concrete ideas on certain subjects. The more knowledgeable the teacher from whom information is gained, the more solid the knowledge is acquired by the student. Terminology of subjects usually complicates the learning process. Due to this, some assume that these terminologies are just part of the subject. This incorrect attitude may only be rectified by various means and teaching performed accordingly. Hearing the information from various masters shall strengthen his knowledge and assist him to differentiate between terminologies. 
Education should be Practical

    IbnKhaldunalso emphasizes the teaching of arts and crafts. He states the importance of practical application such as to observe, to feel and to apply the knowledge gained as much as possible. He places emphasis on the fact that these sort of subjects cannot specially be taught only in theory. He states that theoretical study must be accompanied by practical study.

b)     Taxonomies of Educational Objectives

One of the most widely used ways of organizing levels of expertise is according to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Bloom’s Taxonomy (Tables 1-3) uses a multi-tiered scale to express the level of expertise required to achieve each measurable student outcome. Organizing measurable student outcomes in this way will allow us to select appropriate classroom assessment techniques for the course.

There are three taxonomies. Which of the three to use for a given measurable student outcome depends upon the original goal to which the measurable student outcome is connected. There are knowledge-based goals, skills-based goals, and affective goals (affective: values, attitudes, and interests); accordingly, there is a taxonomy for each. Within each taxonomy, levels of expertise are listed in order of increasing complexity. Measurable student outcomes that require the higher levels of expertise will require more sophisticated classroom assessment techniques.

knowledge-based goal

student understands proper dental hygiene”–is an example of a knowledge-based goal. It is knowledge-based because it requires that the student learn certain facts and concepts. An example of a skills-based goal for this course might be “student flosses teeth properly.” This is a skills-based goal because it requires that the student learn how to do something. Finally, an affective goal for this course might be “student cares about proper oral hygiene.” This is an affective goal because it requires that the student’s values, attitudes, or interests be affected by the course.

To determine the level of expertise required for each measurable student outcome, first decide which of these three broad categories (knowledge-based, skills-based, and affective) the corresponding course goal belongs to. Then, using the appropriate Bloom’s Taxonomy, look over the descriptions of the various levels of expertise. Determine which description most closely matches that measurable student outcome. As can be seen from the examples given in the three Tables, there are different ways of representing measurable student outcomes, e.g., as statements about students (Figure 2), as questions to be asked of students, or as statements from the student’s perspective (Table 3). You may find additional ways of representing measurable student outcomes; those listed in Figure 2 and in Tables 1-3 are just examples.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a convenient way to describe the degree to which we want our students to understand and use concepts, to demonstrate particular skills, and to have their values, attitudes, and interests affected. It is critical that we determine the levels of student expertise that we are expecting our students to achieve because this will determine which classroom assessment techniques are most appropriate for the course. Though the most common form of classroom assessment used in introductory college courses–multiple choice tests–might be quite adequate for assessing knowledge and comprehension (levels 1 and 2,, this type of assessment often falls short when we want to assess our students knowledge at the higher levels of synthesis and evaluation (levels 5 and 6).4 Multiple-choice tests also rarely provide information about achievement of skills-based goals. Similarly, traditional course evaluations, a technique commonly used for affective assessment, do not generally provide useful information about changes in student values, attitudes, and interests.

Assessment techniques

Thus, commonly used assessment techniques, while perhaps providing a means for assigning grades, often do not provide us (or our students) with useful feedback for determining whether students are attaining our course goals. Usually, this is due to a combination of not having formalized goals to begin with, not having translated those goals into outcomes that are measurable, and not using assessment techniques capable of measuring expected student outcomes given the levels of expertise required to achieve them. Using the CIA model of course development, we can ensure that our curriculum, instructional methods, and classroom assessment techniques are properly aligned with course goals.

Note that Bloom’s Taxonomy need not be applied exclusively after course goals have been defined. Indeed, Bloom’s Taxonomy and the words associated with its different categories can help in the goals-defining process itself. Thus, Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used in an iterative fashion to first state and then refine course goals. Bloom’s Taxonomy can finally be used to identify which classroom assessment techniques are most appropriate for measuring these goals.

c)     Curriculum and Community Development

The assessment tasks and other work that students produce in the course of their study is a valuable source of information about your teaching and curriculum design. There are many ways to use students’ work in both self- and peer-evaluation, for purposes such as developing teaching skills, refining curriculum, diagnosing problem areas and providing evidence of effective teaching.

Conceptual framework

Curriculum evaluation is a necessary and important aspect of any national education system. It provides the basis for curriculum policy decisions, for feedback on continuous curriculum adjustments and processes of curriculum implementation.

The fundamental concerns of curriculum evaluation relate to:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency of translating government education policy into educational practice;
  • Status of curriculum contents and practices in the contexts of global, national and local concerns;
  • The achievement of the goals and aims of educational programmes.

Student assessment is an important aspect of curriculum evaluation which helps to facilitate the understanding of the impact and outcome of education programmes. A fundamental measure of the success of any curriculum is the quality of student learning. Knowing the extent to which students have achieved the outcomes specified in the curriculum is fundamental to both improving teaching and evaluating the curriculum.

Curriculum evaluation

The term “evaluation” generally applies to the process of making a value judgment. In education, the term “evaluation” is used in reference to operations associated with curricula, programs, interventions, methods of teaching and organizational factors. Curriculum evaluation aims to examine the impact of implemented curriculum on student (learning) achievement so that the official curriculum can be revised if necessary and to review teaching and learning processes in the classroom. Curriculum evaluation establishes:

  • Specific strengths and weaknesses of a curriculum and its implementation;
  • Critical information for strategic changes and policy decisions;
  • Inputs needed for improved learning and teaching;

d)     Critical Thinking and Curriculum

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