Things to Consider When Evaluating School Curriculum

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A curriculum is a compilation of study materials that are used at all grade levels, classroom and homework assignments and a set of teacher guides. It could also include a list of prescribed methodology and guidelines of teaching and some material for the parents etc. It is generally determined by an external governing body. However, there are some cases where it may be developed by the schools and teachers themselves. Educational institutions today are increasing their emphasis on high standards as a crucial factor in improving the quality of education imparted to their students. They are, therefore, looking at new and better ways to develop such a curriculum that meets all the pre-decided standards. This calls for a change in the way schools are run and the methods of teaching in order to design, implement and evaluate curriculum effectively. Before understanding how to evaluate curriculum we must first know why we should evaluate any curriculum. The reasons are: • Students could be dissatisfied with the current curriculum and methods of teaching. • Students are not achieving the desired goals set in the curriculum. • There is a change in the student market. • The professional expectations could be changing, which in turn call for a change in the curriculum. • There could also be changes in the time and staff resources. The need to evaluate curriculum arises because it is necessary for both teachers and students to determine the extent to which their current curricular program and its implementation have produced positive and curricularly suitable outcomes for students. To evaluate curricular effectiveness we must identify and describe the curriculum and its objectives first and then check its contents for accuracy, comprehensiveness, depth, timeliness, depth and quality. A curriculum can be evaluated by the results that it claims to achieve and the teachings that it inculcates in the students. You can look at the following factors while evaluating a curriculum: • Does the curriculum encourage students to use their own reasoning and thinking to find solutions to real-world problems in a more productive and realistic way? • Does it give them a practical knowledge about the topic being taught? • Does it help students to adopt lateral thinking and form their opinions about a particular topic or concept? • Does the curriculum groom their personality? In order to conduct a thorough curriculum evaluation you must: • Focus on one particular curriculum program or compare two or three programs at once. • Use a recognized methodology for evaluation. • Study a large portion of the curriculum that is being evaluated. Now, in order to evaluate curriculum we need to focus on the evidence gathering and the decisions that must be made for proper evaluation.

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