As Hilda Taba has indicated, curriculum developers need to employ decision making procedures that rest on multiple criteria and take into consideration a multiplicity of factors. The multiplicity of factors is obviously a reference factor such as administrative conditions under which the curriculum is to operate and the skills and competencies of those who will implement the curriculum. Such factors are commonly referred to as contextual factors.
However, Taba’s reference to multiple criteria leads us to the identification of principles of curriculum development which might provide a sound basis for analyzing how well particular designs have been structured and how suitable they are for particular contexts.
In this regard, several curriculum theorists have constructed set of criteria that might he used for an analysis. Human. R.T. (1973, p.10) has indicated that: “curriculum workers must establish the criteria they will follow. They can accept a set of criteria proposed by someone else, formulate their own criteria independently, or accept parts of various sets of criteria combined with their own formulation”.
Here two sets of criteria are presented:
- Hilda Taba (1962)
- Hodgkinson (1975).
These should he studied carefully as they will be useful in your curriculum development principles.
Criteria Proposed by Taba (1962, pp.267-289)
The summary of the criteria is as under:
- Curriculum content is valid and significant to the extent that it reflects the contemporary scientific knowledge. Perhaps the more important question about validity of content is how fundamental the knowledge is.
- If the curriculum is to be a useful prescription for learning, its content and the outcomes, it pursues need to be in tune with the social and cultural realities of time. Applied to the selection of content, this criterion further selects from the scientifically valid and fundamental knowledge which is also significant.
- Curriculum should provide for the achievement of a wide range of objectives. An effective curriculum provides for acquisition of significant new knowledge and for the development of increasingly more effective ways of thinking, desirable attitudes, interests, and appropriate habits and skills.
- Curriculum content should he learn and adaptable to student’s experiences. One factor in learnability is the adjustment of the curriculum content and of the learners. The problem of making the curriculum learnable involves also the task of translating the social heritage into experiences which help each student.
- The curriculum should he appropriate to the needs and interests of the learners.
Criteria Proposed by Hodgkinson (1975)
- Curriculum design is a scheme for planning and providing learning experiences. The scheme is as under:
- It must contain strategies for dealing with curriculum inputs from the society, the individual, learning theory and knowledge.
- It should include the elements of design namely, objectives, learning experiences, content selection and evaluation.
- It should he based on the principles of design. such as balance, rationality, consistency, flexibility, diversity, practicality and responsibility.
However, in order to comprehend the idea of principles and elements of curriculum, problems and principles of organization, please read material written by Taba Hilda. Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice. Hilda Taba 1962