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6.4 APPROACHES OF CURRICULUM ORGANIZATION

A curricular approach is defined as a pattern of organization used in making decisions about the various aspects of a teaching learning situation. The selection of an approach reflects and influences the organizing center for the teaching learning situation, the selection of objectives, and the use of subject matter or content.

1. Subject area approach:

One way to organize curriculum plans is around separate subject areas or disciplines of knowledge. For example, the program of the school might be divided into areas of English language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, art, music and so on.

When this is done, learning objectives involves mastering subject matter and skills within a given subject. Subject matter is drawn from within the subject. This approach is most popular method of curriculum organization.

Because this approach defines important learning in terms of subject matter from existing disciplines of knowledge, it is particularly favored by proponents of the philosophy of realism.

2. Broad fields approach:

A second method of organizing the curriculum involves combining two or more subject areas into a broader field. For example, a unit may be developed in art history in which learners study art as it relates to specific historical periods. Literature, art, history, and music may be combined to form a humanities program.

This approach recognizes and uses individual subject areas, but it also attempts to show learners the correlation between various disciplines of knowledge. The emphasis on broad ideas and concepts from subject fields makes this approach popular among those who favor the philosophy of idealism.

3.Social problems approach:

A third way of organizing curriculum plans is around major problems in society. For example, units may be developed regarding environmental problems, technology, the future, racism, global interdependence, and w on.

In this approach, learning objectives involve analyzing the problen or issue, and the subject matter is drawn from any source pertinent to problem. The major purpose of this approach is to help learners develop awareness of crucial social issues and the skills that they might use in the future to help solve them. For this reason, this is particularly popular among proponents of reconstructionist philosophy of education.

4.Emerging needs approach:

A fourth way to organize curriculum plans focuses on the personal and social needs that are emerging in learners’ lives at the present time. For example, units for use with transcendent may center on topics such as getting along with others, developing personal values, and understanding peer status.

The major purpose behind this approach is to help learners come to grips with issues in their present lives so as to be prepared for the present rather than the future. This approach has support from those who adhere to the pragmatic and existential philosophies of education.

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