Issues in the curriculum at elementary level 11-15

11. Access to up-to-date information

Up-to-date information on trends and developments in curriculum reform in other countries are very helpful for improving national curriculum. There is a need with the help of information and communication technologies, to keep up-to-date with the latest research and trends in curriculum development.

12. Unsuitability of instructional materials

Pakistan is also facing the issue of preparing quality teaching materials. Without suitable materials, teachers are all the more likely to continue with their traditional methods, particularly where they are overly dependent on textbooks in carrying out their teaching.Such an approach, particularly in the design of textbooks should be adopted that successfully merge both new areas of content and new teaching/learning strategies. Such an approach can motivate children and give a greater meaning to school learning.

13.Science teaching at elementary level

When discussing the teaching of science at school level, it is recognized that core content is fundamental to the understanding of new ideas and developments in science. Core elements of the curriculum and current developments in science should not be considered as separate issues but as complementary.

Rather than seeking to prepare all students to become scientists, the basic scie e curriculum should focus on teaching them the fundamentals of science enabling them to interpret their environment and to function effectively in society. Students leaving school should be able to make informed decisions about issues related to science which affect their daily lives.

Science experiments should be considered not simply as the ‘hands on’ approach to learning, but as an integral part of the relevant course. Experimental activities must be adapted to the available resources and may take place in a number of settings, not only in the traditional laboratory environment, but, for example, through play and outdoor activities.

14. Competency-based programs

Efforts to develop curricula that will more effectively prepare young people to live in contemporary society are reflected in the growing trend to introduce competency-based programs at both elementary and secondary levels.

Under existing systems of schooling, large numbers of children fail to acquire the education that would equip them to lead productive and self- sufficient lives once they leave school. This situation becomes all the more critical in countries where vast numbers of children are at best only able to complete the years of primary schooling.

These curricula focus on the attainment by pupils of a stated the global number of clearly defined skills or competencies at the end of each stage and level of school education.

This demonstrates a concern to change curricula that previously focused on academic achievement, based primarily on the coverage of specified content. With a competency based approach, methods of assessment change significantly, with continuous and varied evaluation of student progress taking into account many previously ignored areas of competence.

Teachers become more accountable for student outcomes, but also have a clearer idea of what pupils are expected to achieve in each subject area.

15. Student-centered instructional approaches

In line with world trends giving the pupil more autonomy in the learning process was felt to foster greater motivation, creativity and self-sufficiency in the child, developing skills of inquiry, research and problem-solving. Present teacher centered traditions do not encourage these skills. However, a number of countries indicated that, in practice, these new approaches are difficult to implement due to resistance and incomprehension on the part of teachers.

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