This presentation is tasked to explain how teacher in-service, effective use of time, use of appropriate teaching and leaning resources and supervision can help to bridge the gap between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum.
The term curriculum is defined in various ways. For the sake of this presentation, curriculum will be defined as the sum total of the experiences a pupil undergoes (Bishop, 1985). According to Mulenga (2008), the intended curriculum is what organizations develop for the learners in their educational system and what should be taught by the teachers in that system. In Zambia the organization mandated to develop the school curriculum is the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC). Meanwhile the intended curriculum also refers to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that curriculum developers would like students to learn in school.
On the other hand, Mulenga (2008) defined the achieved curriculum as what learners actually learn as a result of their interaction with the implemented curriculum. The implemented curriculum is what is actually taught by teachers in their classrooms as they and their learners interact with the intended and available curricular (Mulenga, 2008).
The definition of the achieved curriculum brings into picture the implemented curriculum which depicts the role of a teacher in the execution of the curriculum. In other words the implemented curriculum is a form of link between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum, and therefore, a teacher plays an important part.
As stated by GRZ (1977) in the document entitled Educational Reforms, Teacher in-service implies according an opportunity to serving teachers so that they can under take post-training programmes. Such programmes include upgrading of professional qualifications and short courses whose purpose is to equip serving teachers with advanced professional skills. The document also revealed that in-service programmes for teachers are essential in orienting teachers to new responsibilities, giving specific information, demonstrating new techniques as well as improving professional competences of teachers.
Therefore, teachers are key to bridging the gap between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum in the sense that teachers serve as a medium through which the content is communicated or transmitted to the learners. It is also important to observe that curriculum is dynamic, thus bound to change with time. This is so because new concepts arise. Hence, there is constant need to expose serving teachers to in-service programmes so that they can be up to date with the intended curriculum.
Peters (1983) once commented, “those working in the subject must be more sensitive to contributions coming from outside.” By interpretation this statement could imply that society from time to time has its own new challenges in areas such as politics and economics. To overcome such challenges society might suggest that such challenges and their solutions be included in the curriculum. It therefore, subsequently becomes necessary for teachers to be receptive to what society feels must be taught in school. By so doing there will be a connection between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum.
EFFECTIVE USE OF TIME
Effective use of time is essential in the execution of the curriculum. Both the teachers and the learners ought to observe time planned for different activities. In a normal school situation there is a school time-table which gives guidance as to what should be the sequence of activities in a school. For instance, Kochhar, (1985) suggested that activities such as games may be arranged either within or outside school hours according to circumstances. This suggestion is valid in the sense that it gives guidance on the need to separate time for games in school and time to conduct lessons. It could be disastrous for teachers and learners to sacrifice time for lessons so frequently in order to accommodate games. This might affect the rate at which the syllabus is covered. Effectiveness in the use of time facilitates timely delivery of the syllabus in a particular discipline. In this way what is intended and what is achieved will tally.
Bauleni (2001) stressed that all time wasters such as phone calls, visitors, unnecessary repetitions and activities should be avoided if smooth teaching and learning is to be realized. By preparing lessons in time, marking pupils’ books in time and going to teach on time, a teacher accords the pupils a chance to receive the intended curriculum, and once the pupils have received the intended curriculum there is a link between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum. One the syllabus is delayed the learners will not be able to learn all that which they ought to learn especially in readiness for examinations.
USE OF APPROPRIATE TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES
It is the role of the teacher to select appropriate teaching and learning resources. As observed by Kochhar (1985) teaching and learning materials help the teacher to determine what teaching ,method to use when teaching a particular lesson or topic. And Burton (1962) suggested that teaching and learning materials should contain illustrations that will be interesting and stimulating to the learners. As earlier stated, through the use of appropriate resources the teacher is able to employ a good teaching method that helps the learners to understand and remember what they have learnt.
This also goes to show that when materials are used in teaching and learning, there must be a connection between such materials and the kind of knowledge that is being transmitted at a given time. If the two aspects go in opposite directions learning will not take place and it will be hard to bridge the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum. Burton (1962) identified text books, maps, charts, chemicals and apparatus as some of the regularly used teaching and learning materials. Such materials must depict what is intended for the learners such that once the learners have received the necessary information the intended curriculum will have been linked to the achieved curriculum.
Bauleni, (2001) referred supervision in learning institutions as an indispensible requirement. He urged school administrators to take keen interest in the activities of the school so as to take corrective measures where there is breach of set standards by both teachers and learners. The curriculum may be there but if there is no supervisory mechanism to ensure its smooth and effective execution the curriculum becomes meaningless. There should be supervision in order to ensure that both teachers and learners report for teaching and learning on time and also to ensure that correct knowledge is transmitted through the use of appropriate teaching and learning materials as well as teaching methods.
The educational Reforms of 1977 urged all those serving in a supervisory capacity to get involved in the delivery of the school curriculum. Therefore, supervision, more especially effective supervision, is necessary in bridging the gap between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum.
In conclusion, one would state that the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum can either be bridged closer or split far apart from each other depending on how the education system focuses on teacher in-service, effective use of time, use of appropriate teaching and learning resources as well as supervision.
Bauleni, A. (2001) Seminar Paper on the Effective Management of Schools. Lusaka: A and M
Bishop, G. (1985) Curriculum Development – A Text Book for Students. London: Macmillan
Burton, W. H. (1962) The Guidance of Learning Activities – Third Edition. New York: Appleton
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GRZ (1977) Educational Reforms. Lusaka: Government Printers.
Kochhar, S. K. (1985) Methods and Techniques of Teaching – Second Edition. New Delhi:
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Mulenga, I. M. (2008) Curriculum Studies – Student’s Study Material. Lusaka: up.
Peters, R. S. “Philosophy of Education,” Hurst, P. H. (ed) (1983) Education Theory and its Foundation Disciplines. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.