1.1 Meaning, Definition, Concept and Principles of Curriculum

Curriculum is the heart and soul of any educational process. It is the sum total of all that is rendered by an educational institution in bringing out the required changes in the child. The activities range from classroom to playground, and beyond. As you may have experienced, every society tries to socialise her child through the process of adjustment with the environment in which s/he lives. The curriculum is an instrument to fulfil such an objective. We shall discuss more in this unit about the meaning of curriculum, need and bases of curriculum, curriculum process, and the different types of curriculum.

Concept of curriculum
Curriculum has been viewed by different people in different ways. These can be summarised under following points:

·         Curriculum as 'content' or 'subject matter' taught to the students.

·         Curriculum as written 'courses of study'. The curriculum is always pre-planned. It is documented for reference by the teachers and students.

·         Curriculum as 'courses' offered in a school. Sometimes courses offered at a particular level are treated as curriculum.

·         Curriculum as intended 'learning outcomes'. Curriculum is always purposive, i.e. to achieve certain objectives set by the society. The objectives are reflected in terms of learning outcomes.

·         Curriculum as 'cultural presentation' and 'cultural reproduction'. We know that curriculum is based on social forces. The society frames curriculum in such a way that the needs of future generations are met.

·         Curriculum as 'experience'. Curriculum prescribes a set of learning experiences for the students at a particular level, say for example curriculum for disabled children at the secondary school level. These learning experiences vary from one class to another.

·         Curriculum as 'social reconstruction'. As mentioned above, curriculum is intended to bring desirable change in social order. Intended knowledge is transacted to young generation to improve social life.

·         Curriculum as 'planned learning experiences' offered to students in a school. The curriculum is not an ad hoc arrangement. The learning experiences to be imparted to the students are planned/designed in advance. The objectives and intended outcomes are specifically stated in the curriculum.


Courses of study : This includes the subject mater/syllabus that is taught within the school, and also includes the co-curricular activities.
Social context : Human beings live in a society and a community, and interact with the community members and also outside the community. While interacting within the family, community and outside, one learns many things which are not possible within the classroom. The social context or situations include one's thinking and contribute to one's learning. This is more important for children who grow up through the process of socialisation.
Learning experiences : As noted above, one learns within and outside the class. Everytime one interacts with the social environment, one learns from each encounter. Activity-based teaching-learning leads to generation of more experiences; so also problem-based learning, especially if problems are related to real-life situations. In case of experiental learning, the present learning is based on previous experiences, and also leads/contributes to the repository of experiences within the individual child.
Learning outcomes : This is the most important aspect of the curriculum, i.e. specification of what is to be achieved - may be after one activity or one class period, or even after one year of learning. Learning outcomes are expressed in terms of achievements (and changes in the child due to education) in knowledge, comprehension, skills, attitude, values, etc. Learning outcomes may be specified in broad terms which can be achieved after certain period of time (say, primary, elementary, secondary, etc.), or year-wise for each grade, or for each subject area per semester, etc.

Definitions of Curriculum
Curriculum has been defined in many ways by educationists. Some definitions are very specific and others are very wider in their meaning. Some of the important definitions are given below. You should read these definitions carefully and try to comprehend the underlying meaning of curriculum in each of the definitions.

1.     "A Curriculum is a structured series of intended learning outcomes" (Johnson, 1967).

2.     "Curriculum includes the totality of experiences that a pupil receives through the manifold activities that go on in the school - in the classroom, library, laboratory, workshop, playgrounds and in the numerous informal contacts between teachers and pupils. In this case the whole life of the school becomes the curriculum which can tough the life of the students of all points and help in the evolution of balanced personality" (Secondary Education Commission, 1952-53).

3.     "Curriculum is the sum total of student objectives which the school sponsors for the purpose of achieving its objectives" Alberty and Alberty, 1959).

4.     "A Curriculum is the formulation and implementation of an educational proposal, to be taught and learnt within schools or other institutions and for which that institution accepts responsibility at three levels: its rationale, its actual implementation and its effects" (Jenkin and Shipman, 1975).

5.     "Curriculum can refer to the total structure of ideas and activities, developed by an educational institution to meet the needs of students and to achieve desired educational aims" (Derek Rowntree in A Dictionary of Education, 1981).

6.     "A curriculum is all of the experiences that individual learners have in programme of education whose purpose is to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives, which is planned in terms of framework of theory and research or past and present Professional Practice" (Glen Hass, 1987).

Principles Of Curriculum Development
A good curriculum should aim at bringing out the maximum possible potentials of a child – may him be retarded or non-retarded. It has to take into consideration certain basic principles to arrive at a curriculum with achievable, practical goals.

Basic considerations and steps in curriculum development
A good curriculum influences the thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions of the learner in the given context. A good curriculum developed on sound learning theory principles will consider the environmental influences on the teaching learning situations. This includes,

1.     Government policies: Disabilities is an area of responsibility for more than one Government department. Health, Education, Welfare and Labour departments have their specific role to play in disability rehabilitation. In education, in India for instance, special education is the responsibility of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment whereas integrated education is under Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. The curricular decisions are influenced by the respective departments. It comes under as it is governed by the rules and regulations of the respective department. The National Policy on Education (1986) has specific mention on special education which has brought about changes in special education and integrated education. Similarly the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) has certain mandates for education of the disabled persons, which is yet to be implemented. This is likely to have effect on teacher preparation, curriculum and instructions and other related areas.

2.     The school administrative policies: Many schools have their own policies and philosophy though they follow a prescribed syllabus of CBSE, ICSE, State Board and so on. The curriculum for special education should take into account the schools policies. For instance, admission decisions on age restriction or type or severity level of disability will influence the content of special education curriculum.

3.     Support systems available: Many children with disabilities require therapeutic, medical or counseling support. Not all schools are equipped with these facilities. Depending on the availability or non-availability of such facilities, the curriculum needs to include/make referral arrangements to ensure a wholistic curricular provision for the students who require these facilities.

4.     Family support: Every special education programme needs an extension of school training at home for successful transfer of training. A good curriculum should include activities for home training, which the teacher transfers to the caretaker for training at home. Suitable alternative should be sought for residential schools.

5.     Community resources: Normalization through integration and inclusion is the ultimate aim of special education, which cannot be accomplished without community participation. While developing the curriculum, the educational milieu should include the available community resources specific to each community for successful community participation and thus the spontaneous integration.

6.     Available teacher competencies: While regular school teachers are sensitized to special education in recent years, certain areas in disabilities require specific teacher competencies which a trained teacher can offer. The curriculum should focus on objective judgement of the competencies of the teacher and alternatives for filling gaps.

7.     Student profile: The disabilities vary in their nature and therefore, children with different disabilities require different content and process for transaction, yet maintaining the general curricular demands to the extent possible. Education of children with hearing impairment, visually impairment or locomotor disabilities have the prescribed school curriculum with certain modifications – deletion of certain content (such as second language for hearing impaired children) and addition of disability specific educational requirement called the `plus curriculum’ (such as Braille skills for visually impaired children). Functional curriculum is developed for children with mental retardation, which is, totally function oriented leading to personal adequacy, social competency and vocational preparation.

8.     Financial availability: While the basic requirements are to be met, the extent of success in any curriculum development depends on how practical and feasible it is. The financial implications play a major role in the decision making of `how much’ and `how far’ regarding content and process decision.
Whether one follows the child centered or activity centered or wholistic approach, the above considerations are of utmost importance. The above eight factors are inter-related among themselves and they interact with the teaching learning situation between the teacher and the learner. Thus if anyone of them has a change, it will affect the total, learning environment and its other components.

1.2 Types and Approaches of Curriculum Designing

Types of Curriculum
Following are some of the important types of curriculum :

1.     Subject-Centred Curriculum

2.     Activity-Centred Curriculum

3.     Learner-Centred Curriculum

4.     Integrated Curriculum

5.     Core Pattern Curriculum

Let us discuss all the five types in brief.

Subject-Centred Curriculum
As the title indicates, this type of curriculum is subject-based. It is a traditional curriculum and most of the schools still follow such curriculum. This curriculum includes different branches of knowledge, such as, Language, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science, etc. Subjects are included according to the learning levels of the learners. Subjects are presented in suitable units or branches. The teacher focuses his/her effort/attention on making students learn the items in the subjects and courses of study without adding or subtracting anything from his/her side. Though the teacher makes efforts to effectively teach the subject concerned, based on whatever is already given.

Activity-Centred Curriculum
Some experts view curriculum "as various forms of activity that are grand expression of the human spirit and that are of the greatest and most permanent significance to the wide world". According activity-centred curriculum students, should learn by engaging themselves in various activities which is desirable and purposeful. It stresses the practical aspects of life. Emphasis is given on "learning by doing" and "learning by relating to life". Laboratory work and field work are given more importance. Activity-centred curriculum may consist of activities such as making a dress, constructing a box, building a miniature house, etc. The activities become the focus (rather than the fixed content), which are intended to achieve the pre-stipulated objectives.

Learner Centred Curriculum
In learner-centred curriculum, the learner occupies the central position in the teaching-learning exercise. Stress is given on the all-round development of the learner. Provision is made for the varying abilities and interests of learners. They have choices and options to fulfil their needs and interests. The learner-centred curriculum is based on the psychological foundations of education. Subject-matter and objectives are identified with the cooperation of or in collaboration with thelearner. Importance is given to the 'process' of acquiring knowledge or facts, rather than simple acquisition of knowledge. Attempt is made to orient selection of content and teaching-learning towards every individual child, based on his/her abilities, interest, aptitude and learning styles.

Integrated Curriculum
Integrated curriculum involves judicious mix of subject-centred, learner-centred and activity-centred curriculum. It enables the students to get a comprehensive view of the concepts to be learnt. For example, a course like "History of Civilization" may be an integrated curriculum representing history, literature, art, music, and sociology.
The traditional curriculum is too much formal, fragmented and isolated. As a result it fails to give a comprehensive view of life. It does not lead to unity of knowledge. Introduction of integrated curriculum overcomes such barriers.

Core Pattern Curriculum
The core-pattern curriculum is a problem-centred curriculum. It gives importance to preparation for living in a democratic society. So, emphasis is laid on the all round development - physical, mental, moral, emotional and spiritual - development of the learner. According to the core-pattern of curriculum, a long block of two of three periods at a time is desirable. A long block of two to three periods allows time for field-trips and short excursions without disturbing other classes.
It gives importance to guidance and counselling. The National Policy on Education (1986) has given an important place to core curriculum. It observed, "The National System of Education will be based on a national curriculum framework which contains a common core along with other components that are flexible". While the core curriculum may become common to all classes, teachers and students in a state or a nation, the schools are free to design and implement the non-core aspects based on the needs of students or the community or regional needs.

Approaches to Curriculum Development

Approach to curriculum is a design for deciding the various aspects of curriculum development and transaction. It is a planned or pattern of organization that the teachers follow in providing learning experiences to the learners.
There are various approaches to curriculum development. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU, 1997) has grouped them into in four categories:

Approaches to Curriculum Development

Subject-centred approach : According to the subject-centred approach, curriculum is organized around separate subject areas of knowledge. This is one of the most widely used approaches in curriculum development. The main responsibility of curriculum planner is to determine the different subject areas to be offered and different learning experiences from each subject to be offered. The programme of studies may be divided into different subjects like, language, mathematics, science, social studies, etc.
Broadfields approach : In this approach, curriculum is organized by combining two or more subject areas into a single broad field. Two or more closely related subjects/ disciplines are integrated to form a broad field. For example, a broad subject Biology is developed by combining the knowledge of subjects like, botany, zoology, physiology, anactomy, etc.
Social problems approach : In this approach, we organize curriculum around major problems found in the society. The curriculum developed through this approach creates an awareness among the learners regarding the social problems, and enables them to solve these problems. Through this approach, courses such as environmental problems, religion, population, communication, technology, etc. can be developed.
Learner-centred approach : This approach focuses on the personal and social needs of the learners in the course content. This approach prepares the children to face the present, rather than future. Psychologically sound and purposeful learning experiences should be planed to meet the learners needs. The learning experiences should be related to the developmental stages of the learners like, peer group interaction, developing personal values, developmental changes during puberty, adolescents, etc.

1.3 Curriculum Domains - Personal, Social, Academics, Recreational and Community living  

Personal Domain: The purpose of the personal management strand is to enable students to develop skills conducive to keeping a job and being a productive member of society. Any career development program designed to educate and prepare students for work has personal management skills as its foundation. These personal management skills provide a bridge between behaviours in the classroom, the community, and on-the-job that are conducive to being a productive member of society.

The importance of social relationships, friendships, school community and work to a person’s quality of life cannot be overemphasized. To deny students these essential components is, in essence, to deny them the opportunity to live a rich, full life. It is critical that educators address these issues as part of the curriculum. It is particularly important that educators focusing on career education build meaningful, collaborative relationships with parents, families and community members.

Personal Management includes themes such as managing behaviour and conduct, social skills, sensory awareness and management, self-awareness, self-esteem, personal safety, time management, building relationships, citizenship, self-advocacy, organization and personal hygiene.

Social Domain: The Social and Emotional Behavior Domain focuses on working in groups and developing interpersonal relationships. Functioning effectively in formal and informal group situations requires that individuals understand the implicit and explicit rules and expectations. Using effective interpersonal skills is the key to success in this area. Social Skills Social skills can be broadly defined as any responses that are interactive with another person. Many of the personal care, home living, community and employment skills are interactive. Some social skills are more specifically related to influencing others and developing friendships. There are four primary social interactions that should be addressed:

       social initiation

       social responsiveness to others

       turn taking

       duration of social interaction

Communication Domain: Communication skills are among the top priorities for students with developmental disabilities. Effective communication skills enable students to express their thoughts and needs and respond to interactions with others. To be able to communicate with peers facilitates social interactions in all settings. Without an effective means of communication, individuals with moderate and severe disabilities are not able to make choices and therefore relinquish control of their daily lives. Knowing how to participate in discussions and conversations with others will enable students to make effective use of communication.

Independent Living Domain: Gaining independence at home, at school, in the community and/or in the workplace is central to the development of self-reliance, confidence and daily functioning in society. Independence provides opportunities to interact and participate in daily activities that would otherwise be quite limited. Promoting independence starts in the pre-school years and continues throughout life. The focus of curriculum in relation to independent living will change as the student matures and reflects level of cognitive and physical functioning. It is important for students to be able to meet their potential and not be restricted by dependence on others in whatever choices they make throughout their lives. The transfer of independent living skills to everyday functioning is vital in order to become a self-sufficient and contributing member of society.


1.4. Steps in developing curriculum, challenges of developing curriculum for inclusion

Process of Curriculum Development

        Curriculum development is a systematic activity which involves selection of objectives, learning experiences, content, preparation of learning materials, evaluation, and so on. So, while developing the curriculum, we need to follow certain steps in order to ascertain that all the relevant issues are taken into consideration. In order to produce a dynamic and need-based curriculum, we follow the following steps :

These steps can be represented in a hierarchical order


Assessment of Educational Needs

India is a nation of multi-culture. Since the background of students differs from culture to culture, place to place, time to time, even student to student in a classroom, it is important to assess the needs of the students. We should identify the target group for whom curriculum is to be developed, as also their needs.
As a first step, the curriculum planners should make a job analysis of different categories of learners. The job analysis involves a detailed description of activities and the requirements of a job. Here, job involves the learning experiences. It provides details of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by students/individuals to perform the tasks involved in a job.
After the job analysis of different categories of students has been undertaken, an assessment of their educational needs is undertaken. A need is a discrepancy or deficiency between what is and what ought to be (Wilson, 1987). Educational needs are felt when a student lacks requisite knowledge, skills or attitudes. Fig. 2.5 illustrates the concept of need.

Concept of need

The following techniques can be used for the assessment of educational needs of the learners.

·        Diagnostic tests.

·        Questionnaires.

·        Focus group discussion.

·        Observation of learners’ classroom behavior.

·        Staff assessment.

·        Analysis of pupils’ answer scripts.

·        Periodic assessment report

Formulation of Objectives

We have to transform the complete information and needs of the learners into objectives, which can be short-term, mediatory and long-term objectives. While formulating objectives, we should take the following factors into consideration:

·        The objectives should be grouped in terms of three domains – cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Proper grouping of objectives will help us in planning and developing a meaningful curriculum in terms of the suitability and relevance of its content and evaluation.

·        For each need of the learner, there should be corresponding objectives. Hence, there can be as many educational objectives as the educational needs are. Each educational objective will suggest a series (and a variety) of learning experiences.

·        Objectives will be most functional if they are stated in terms of behavioral changes in the students after going through teaching/instruction/schooling.

·        Attainment of objectives should lead the learners to attain the overall goal(s) of education.

·        Objectives should be modified, changed, updated or eliminated according to the changing needs of the society. This would help maintain the quality of education.

·        The statement of objectives should be worded properly so that the learner is able to understand the intended outcomes. Vagueness or ambiguity, if any, should be avoided.

Selection of Learning experiences

Learning experiences include physical, mental and emotional experiences or their integration. These experiences bring desirable changes in behaviour of the learners. And, change in the learners’ behaviour leads to the attainment of curricular objectives.
Wood (1963) stated ten criteria of selection of learning experiences. They are as follows:

·        A learning experience should satisfy a recognized need of the learner.

·        It should be appropriate to the maturity and understanding of the learner.

·        It should build toward consistent, continuing and dynamic goals.

·        It should be based on social values.

·        It preferably should be positive.

·        It should be realistic.

·        It should be efficient.

·        It should not be limited by artificial barriers such as the four walls of the classroom, subject-matter, class bells and other impediments.

·        A learning experience should involve total behaviour.

·        It should be feasible for accomplishment.

Determination of the Content

'Contents' refer to the subject matter or the compendium of facts, concepts, generalizations, principles, and theories. The subject-matter to a large extent, contributes to the growth and development of a democratic, secular and socialist society. So, the content is considered one of the most important components of curriculum development. The following can be considered while selecting the content.

·        Is the subject-matter significant to an organized field of knowledge?

·        Does the subject-matter stand the test of survival?

·        Is it useful?

·        Is it interesting enough to the learner?

·        Does the subject-matter contribute to the growth and development of a democratic society?

Apart from the above, content should have the following characteristics :

·        The content should help the learner become self-reliant and self-sufficient.

·        It should be significant in contributing basic ideas, concepts, etc.

·        The selected content should be valid such that it should fulfil the objectives and goals of education.

·        It should suit to the personality and intellectual capabilities of the students.

·        It should be useful in the job situation of the learners.

·        It should be feasible in terms of time, costs, and contemporary social climate.

Preparation of Learning Materials/Activities

By now, you have studied about assessment of educational needs of the learners, statement of objectives, and identification of the content. Now, at this stage, we have to sequence educational activities based on learning experiences and contents. This is done by preparing learning materials/activities. Learning materials organize and integrate learning experiences and contents in printed or recorded form. The principles of organizing, integrating and sequencing of materials and activities depend on the availability of learning situations in the schools and classrooms, infrastructural availability, developmental levels of learners, principles of learning and the cultural contexts of students and teachers. Learning materials include textbooks, supplementary readers, workbooks, teacher guides, audio and video programmes, etc.
Preparation of learning materials is a complex task. It demands a thorough understanding of the teaching – learning process. As you have already studied in this course, Bruner talks about three modes of learning. They are: enactive mode (activity-based learning), iconic mode (learning by use of images and diagrams), and symbolic mode (learning by use of symbols/languages).
There are various criteria of selection of learning materials. Wood (1963) has suggested six criteria of selection of learning materials. They are as follows:

·        All learning materials should make a definite contribution to the satisfaction of a recognized need on the part of the learner.

·        There should be a variety of learning materials to provide for the individual differences, usually found in a group of students.

·        Learning materials should be as authentic as possible. This will tend to increase the objectivity of analysis and the accuracy of conclusions drawn.

·        Learning materials should be adopted to the maturity level of the pupils who are to use them.

·        Learning materials should be selected on the basis of efficiency. Those materials that result in the greatest amount of learning in the least amount of time should be given preference.

·        Economy is always a factor. If there is a choice between two types of materials of equal learning value, the less expensive one should be chosen. Even when the learning values are not quite equal, practical factors may demand the choice for the less expensive one.


After the preparation of learning materials/activities, the next step is the implementation of the curriculum in the classroom. This is the stage of actual teaching-learning or transaction of curriculum. Teachers, principals, supervisors and members of school management are given training in the proper implementation of the curriculum. Aggarwal (1990) suggested the following major factors leading to the efficient implementation of the curriculum.

·        Adequate preparation of the teachers by the boards and State Departments of Education for meeting the changed requirements of the new curriculum.

·        Sufficient supply of the teaching aids and equipment needed for the implementation of the curriculum.

·        Receptivity of the community to the new curriculum.

·        Adequate preparedness of the students to accept the new curriculum with its additional requirements of energy, money and time.

·        Adequate supervisory and guidance facilities for teachers needed for effective implementation of the curriculum.


An essential aspect of good curriculum is the evaluation of curriculum, which should be continuous. The primary purpose of evaluation of curriculum is to ensure quality control and for suitable modification in the curriculum. Evaluation may be 'qualitative' or 'quantitative'. It may be done both at 'macro' level as well as 'micro' level. It also may be done both at 'formative' and 'summative' stage. Curriculum evaluation determines the worth of curriculum. It determines, whether curriculum fulfils its purposes for which it is planned.
There are two types of evaluations, given as follows :

·        Pupil evaluation: The aim of student evaluation is to know the extent to which educational objectives are achieved by the students. There are various techniques of pupil evaluation.
*    Oral evaluation.
*    Extent of participation in the classroom teaching-learning, extra-curricular activities.
*    Written evaluation of various kinds such as project report, class notes, assignment responses, continues class tests, term-end-examination, etc.

·        Curriculum evaluation: Curriculum evaluation refers to evaluation of the different components of curriculum, viz., objectives, contents, learning materials, teaching strategies, students evaluation procedure, etc. The purpose of curriculum evaluation is to get feedback for further modification and refinement in the curriculum.

Considerations for Curriculum Design
While designing the curriculum, we, the curriculum teachers/designers, should consider the following factors :


Developmental needs of the learners : According to Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory, a child moves from a sensory-motor stage to a pre-operational stage. This is followed by a stage of concrete operations, and finally reaches the fourth stage, i.e. formal operations. On the other hand, Bruner recognizes three stages: enactive, iconic and symbolic which roughly correspond to action, imagery and symbolic thinking.
Apart from Piaget and Bruner, other psychologists have also structured the cognitive development of children. They have concluded that developmental needs play an important role in the cognitive development of the children. So, we should take the developmental needs of the learners into consideration while developing curriculum for a particular group of learners. Physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of learners should be analysed and reviewed for this purpose.
Societal needs : We live in a world which is larger than the school in which we teach. Education is imparted to the students so that they adjust in society. So, we should take into account the characteristics of the present society as well as the characteristics of the future society in which we live or the future generations will live. We should be aware of what knowledge, skills, attitudes and values are needed by a child to become a good citizen. We should have thorough understanding of those social forces which influence the educational system directly or indirectly. To sum up, we can say that the existing and emerging needs of the society should be reflected in the curriculum.
Economic needs : Educating a child requires certain basic inputs, such as physical facilities, learning materials and teachers. Such basic inputs are provided by the government, private bodies, communities and other institutions. We, as teachers and curriculum designers, must analyse the cost of education to be imparted to the children. We should ascertain the availability of the educational resources in providing these basic inputs. The costs involved in arranging necessary facilities to transact curriculum should be considered while designing the curriculum.
Background characteristics of teachers : You, as a teacher, play the pivotal role in transacting the curriculum in the classroom. Your functions cannot be ignored in an educational system. So while planning curriculum, the characteristics of teachers would be kept in mind. Every curriculum demands a group of teachers, equipped with certain educational qualification, professional competencies and of teaching behavior to further transact it. We should decide/ensure whether for dealing a particular curriculum, teachers are available. Or else, there is a need for training the teacher to transact the curriculum.

Challenges of developing curriculum for inclusion

Inclusive education can be defined as ‘the disabled and non-disabled young people learning together in colleges and universities, with appropriate networks of support’. Here, inclusion means enabling students to participate in the life and work of mainstream institutions to the best of their abilities in accordance to their needs. At the same time, accessible Curricula refers to the designing of programmes/courses and educational materials barrier-free (fully accessible for all) without affecting the content and standard. If course content is well designed, disabled students will be able to gain access to it. It will enable them to receive the same learning experience as their classmates get.

Following are some barriers of developing curriculum for inclusion:

·        The inefficiency of teachers to develop and use instructional materials for inclusion students. 

       Attitudes towards inclusion and disability among teachers, administrators and policy planners.

       Attitudes of parents of children without disabilities.

       Lack of awareness about children with disabilities among general teachers.

       Improper curriculum adaptation.

       School environment.

       School management.

       Support services.

       Family collaboration.

       Insufficient and improper pre-service teacher education.

       Negative self-perceptions of children with disabilities.

       Negative attitudes of normal peers.

       ICT availability and related competencies.

       Improper policy planning and lack-luster implementation.

       Difficulties in physical access.

       Expenses involved.

1.5. Curriculum evaluation, Implementation in inclusion

In order to see the effectiveness of a curriculum, it is important to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Curriculum is evaluated from various aspects, viz.

·        assessment of students to see as to what extent the objectives of the curriculum have been achieved;

·        what happens in the classroom during curricular transaction;

·        evaluation of curricular materials, etc.; and

·        curriculum evaluation determines the worth or value of curriculum, i.e. whether the curriculum is fulfilling its purposes for which it was formulated.

A defective curriculum may cause serious problems. The curriculum design based on wrong assumptions may not be suited to the needs of society. To know whether curriculum is serving the very purpose for which it was designed, it needs to be evaluated periodically.
Broadly, curriculum can be evaluated form two aspects:

·        Assessment of students to find out how much of the instructional objectives are achieved.

·        What actually happens in the classroom when the students are engaged in learning activities, for acquiring learning experiences. These learning experiences are not confined to four walls of the classroom within stipulated time period. It also includes other activities like, wearing school uniform, activities of the students in the school exhibition, participation in the school prayer, field trips, study tour, debate, etc.

Curriculum evaluation is a continuous process. Getting feedback from the evaluation, the curriculum is modified or changed.

Need and Importance of Curriculum Evaluation

Our society is changing very rapidly. Beginning from an agrarian society, now we have entered into the information age. Curriculum development is not a one-time process. It is a continuous process; and on the basis of evaluation, we modify or change the curriculum according to the present demands of the society.
New developments are taking place in any given content areas. If the current changes are not incorporated in the present curriculum, students would be unable to cope with the society. In order to incorporate the changes or developments in the curriculum, there should be a definite provision of evaluation and renewal of present curriculum.
You might agree that there are certain concepts and practices which are outdated and have no use in the present content. Such concepts or practices need to be detected from the curriculum. This is possible only when curriculum is evaluated periodically.
There could be differences between the intended curriculum and the operational curriculum. Intended curriculum refers to what has been written in the curriculum document, including its operation and evaluation procedures. The operational curriculum refers to the actual processes in a classroom through which the intended curriculum is transacted by the teacher. To minimize the gap between the intended curriculum and the operational curriculum, curriculum evaluation assumes greater importance.
To improve the efficiency of the curriculum, there is a need to analyse all the components i.e. inputs, processes and outputs, of an educational system so that further modification can be possible. This is possible only through evaluation of the curriculum.
Curricular materials is should be effective, meaningful and need-based. These should contribute to desirable changes in the learners’ behaviour, and be acceptable to both the teachers and the learners. The curriculum should be of practical use to the learners in particular and the society in general, and fit well into the existing curricular setting. This can be assured through systematic evaluation of curriculum.
Evaluation of the existing curriculum is also necessary to make an objective decision on the development of the new curriculum. Suppose we want to develop a new curriculum for computer education for the students at the secondary stage. For this we have to review the existing curriculum in the area at various school settings or at various regions. Curriculum evaluation will find out the new developments and requirements to be incorporated in the existing curriculum on computer education.

Sources of Curriculum Evaluation

Curriculum is evaluated by collecting information from various sources. These sources may be students, teachers, parents, community members, curriculum experts, educational technologists, subject-matter experts, policy makers, employers, etc. Some of these sources are discussed below.

Students: Students are the most important source of curriculum evaluation. Students of a particular course can be assessed to find out how much and how well the objectives of the existing curriculum is being achieved by the students. Again, the perception of the students who have undergoing a course or who are already completed a course, can give feedback for necessary modification or change in the curriculum. Those students who have dropped out from a particular course can be one of the best sources of evaluation. They can give their views regarding the curricular factors which are responsible for their withdrawal from the course.

Teachers : The teacher is another major source of curriculum evaluation. It is the teacher who transacts the curriculum in the classroom. S/he is the best person to state the difficulties faced by him/her in transacting the curriculum. S/he can give valuable comments on the strengths and limitations of curriculum. On the basis of his/her views, the effectiveness of the curriculum can also be assessed, and modifications ensured.

Parents: Curriculum needs to be developed in such a way that it is acceptable to the parents. Most of the time, the students remain with their parents. So, parents can easily observe whether necessary knowledge, skills, values are being reflected in the child’s personality after pursuing a course. Curriculum planners should ensure that the curriculum is accepted by parents. For this, the curriculum evaluator should be interested in obtaining information from the parents. Data, such as perception of the parents towards educational needs of the children, etc. can be of much value to the curriculum evaluator.

Community/Society : School is a sub-system of the society. Societal needs, social forces, social changes, are reflected in the curriculum that is transacted in the school. After completion of the course, how far it is being utilized by the learners in the community needs to be taken into account. The members of the community can give their opinion whether the course is community-based and/or need-based. In other words, the feedback collected from the community will reveal whether the curriculum is fulfilling the socio-cultural and educational needs of the people. Hence, their views are valuable for curriculum evaluation.

Curriculum experts : The opinion/views of curriculum experts is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of the curriculum. Curriculum experts have experience in framing the curriculum. They have theoretical experiences regarding the curriculum construction. They can provide the information on modern techniques of developing curriculum. They can easily find out the loopholes of the ongoing curriculum and can give feedback on necessary modification or change in the curriculum. Therefore, curriculum experts are an important source of curriculum evaluation.

Subject experts : Subject experts are another major source of curriculum evaluation. They can find out gaps in the presentation of content. They can give feedback on the quality and accuracy of the content being transacted. Whether the lessons are arranged in a logical and sequential order, whether the examples are illustrative, whether the topic is age-specific and grade-specific -- all these can be evaluated by the subject experts.

Policy makers : Policy makers can also play a major role in evaluating the curriculum. Experts/policy makers in apex bodies like, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), National Open School (NOS), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) are also important sources of curriculum evaluation. Being in the apex position, they are well aware of the recent changes and developments in the society, in various countries, in the government policies. They are also aware of the recent changes and developments in industry, business, economy, agriculture, etc. Changes and developments in these sectors have direct or indirect influence on the educational system of the country. Also there are instances where change in government has direct influence on the change in the curriculum. So, the opinion of the policy makers can be a major source for curriculum evaluation.

Employers : Employers are one of the stake-holders in the education system of the country. The government and private sectors, where the students are absorbed after completion of their course, can give information as to whether the existing curriculum is fulfilling their requirements; whether their needs are incorporated in the school curriculum. As users of the products of the education system, their opinion on the quality of curriculum will be very useful. Even those graduates who are self-employed can be the source of curriculum evaluation. They can give information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the present system of education and course contents suitable for development of skills required for self-employment.

Models of Curriculum Evaluation

Various models of curriculum evaluation have been developed by different experts. We shall discuss four important models of curriculum evaluation in this section.

1.     Tyler's Model
Probably the best known model of curriculum evaluation is proposed by Tyler (1950) who described education as a process in which three different foci should be distinguished. They are educational objectives, learning experiences, and examination of achievements. Tyler’s model is shown schematically in the following figure

In above, evaluation of this type is represented by the arrow marked with letter (c). This model is primarily used to evaluate the achievement level of either individual learners or of a group of learners. The evaluators working with this model are interested in the extent to which learners are developed in the desired way. Both cognitive and affective domains are given importance in this model.
In the Tyler’s model, the relationship between educational objectives and learner achievement constitutes only a portion of the model. The systematic study of the other relationship is also described in the model. The arrow (b) refers to the correspondence between the objectives and the learning experiences suggested in the curriculum and realized in the actual school situation. Arrow (L) refers to the examination of the relationship between the actual learning experiences and educational outcomes.

2.     Shake’s Countenance Model
Stake (1969) explained curriculum evaluation in terms of ‘antecedents’, ‘transactions’ and ‘outcomes’. Let us first understand these terms. The term ‘antecedents’ refers to those aspects in which curriculum is taught, such as: time available and the other sources provided. The term ‘transactions’ refers to what actually happens in lessons, including what is done by both the teachers and learners. The term ‘outcomes’ connotes learner’s achievements, the effects of the curriculum on the attitudes of the students, as well as teacher's feelings about teaching the curriculum.
This model is known as countenance model because different people look at the curriculum and appraise it accordingly.
Stake’s evaluation model is explained as below:


Kind on Information



* Organisational background
* Resources
* Attitudes of administrators and parents
* Examinations available
* Content in Curriculum
* Knowledge and skills of pupils

* Time table
* Syllabus and textbooks
* Interview

Transactions(in lessons)

Teachers :
* Roles adopted
* Use of time and resources
* Contact with pupils
Pupils :
* Cognitive processes
* Interest and involvement
* Use of Time

* Activity Records
* Observations of class
* Self-report by teachers
* Self-report by pupils


* Pupil’s achievements
* Pupil’s attitudes, interpretations
* Teachers’ attitudes, interpretation
* Effects on other parts of institutions

* Test and written work
* Questionnaires
* Interviews

3.     The CIPP Model
Stufflebeam (1971) proposed CIPP model stressing the need for attention to context (c), Input (i), Process (p), and Product (pr). The first three terms refer to formative evaluation, while the product refers to summative evaluation. Let us discuss each of the terms, used by Stufflebeam, below.
Content evaluation : Here the curriculum evaluator is engaged in studying the environment (context) in which the curriculum is transacted. It provides the rationale for selection of objectives. Content evaluation is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous process for furnishing baseline information for the operations of the total system.
Input evaluation : The purpose of input evaluation is to get information for how to utilize resources optimally to meet the objectives of the curriculum. It includes evaluation of some sort of physical and non-physical inputs such as availability of physical and human resources, time and budget. It also includes previous achievement, education and aspirations of pupils.
Process evaluation : This is the most critical component of the overall model. Quality of the product largely depends on this component. It addresses the curriculum implementation decisions. Stufflebeam presents the following three strategies for process evaluation:

1.     To detect or predict defects in the procedural design or its implementation during the diffusion stages: In dealing with plan or curriculum defects, we should identify and monitor continually the potential sources for the failure of the curriculum. The source may be logistical, financial, etc.

2.     To provide information for curriculum decisions: Here, we should make decisions regarding test development prior to the actual implementation of the curriculum. Some decisions may require that certain in-service activities be planned and carried out before the actual implementation of the curriculum.

3.     To maintain a record of procedures as they occur: It addresses the main features of the project design; for example: the particular content selected, the instructional strategies planned, or the time allotted to the planing for such activities.

4.     Hilda Taba Model
Hilda Taba’s Social Studies Model emphasizes on the cause and effect relationship in the curriculum process. The evaluation process is based on experimental control over the study materials and its effect on the achievement of the students. The researcher prepares different sets of study materials, each set having certain variations from the other. The materials are exposed to different groups of students. After exposition, the curriculum is evaluated. The outcomes of curriculum evaluation will determine the principles of developing the new programmes

Curriculum evaluation monitors and reports on the quality of education. Cronbach (1963) distinguishes three types of decisions for which evaluation is used.

1.     Course Improvement: deciding what instructional material and methods are satisfactory and where changes are needed.

2.     Decisions about individuals: Identifying the needs of the pupil for the sale of planning of instruction and grouping, acquainting the pupil with his own deficiencies.

3.     Administrative regulations: Judging how good the school system is, how good individual teachers are. The goal of evaluation must be to answer questions of selection, adoption, support and worth of educational materials and activities. It helps in identifying the necessary improvements to be made in content, teaching methods, learning experiences, educational facilities, staff-selection and development of educational objectives. It also serves the need of the policy makers, administrators and other members of the society for the information about the educational system.

Implementation in Inclusion

·        Valuing all students and staff equally by increasing the participation of students, reducing their exclusion from learning activities and by Restructuring the cultures policies and practices.

·        Planning the teaching and learning strategies which make the delivery of the programme as inclusive as is reasonably possible.

·        Viewing the difference between students as resources to support learning, rather than as problems to be overcome.

·        Developing a more student-centered approach to course/programmes, encouraging dialogue and collaboration amongst the students.

·        Facilities to get student’s feedback and incorporating them in further course

·        Improving facilities for staff as well as for students.

·        Inclusion of disability issues not only in the disability related trainings but also in all other training programs.

·        Emphasizing the role of institutions in building community and developing values, as well as in increasing academic achievements.

·        Fostering mutually sustaining relationships between institutions and communities.

·        Recognizing that inclusion in education as one aspect of inclusion in society.

Universal Design principles can be applied to make the courses/programmes more accessible for people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities, ethnic backgrounds, language skills and learning styles:

1.     Inclusiveness creates a classroom environment that respects and values diversity. The institutions should invite students to meet and discuss disability-related accommodations and other special learning needs. Segregating or stigmatizing any student should be avoided. The privacy of all students should be taken care off.

2.     Physical access assures the accessibility of classrooms, laboratory classes and field work to individuals with a wide range of physical abilities and disabilities. The safety of all students should be assured.

3.     Delivery methods use multiple modes to deliver content. Alternate delivery methods, including lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, Internet-based interaction and fieldwork each needs to be made accessible to students with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, interests, and previous experiences.

4.     Web pages provide printed materials in electronic formats. Printed and webbased materials in simple, intuitive, and consistent formats should be prepared. Text descriptions of graphics presented on Web pages and Arranging content in order of importance should be entertained.

5.     Interaction encourages different ways for students to interact with each other and with the institution. These methods may include in-class questions and discussion, group work, and Internet-based communications.

6.     Feedback provides effective input for further accessibility.

7.     Multiple ways for students to demonstrate knowledge For example, besides traditional tests and papers, group work, demonstrations, portfolios, and presentations as options for demonstrating knowledge should be provided.