The term ‘curriculum’ has been derived from a Latin word ‘currere’ which means a ‘race course’ or a runway on which one runs to reach a goal. Accordingly, a curriculum is the instructional and the educative programme by following which the pupils achieved their goals, ideals and aspirations of life.
It is curriculum through which the general aims of a school education receive concrete expression.
Scope of Curriculum
Curriculum is very comprehensive in its scope. It touches all aspects of the life of the pupils- the need and interest of the pupils, environment which should be educationally congenial to them, ways and manners in which their interests can be handled and warmed-up, the procedures and approaches which cause effective learning among them, the social efficiency of the individuals and how they fit in with the community around. It is intimately related with the individual as a member of the society. It embodies the educational philosophy, the values which it aims to achieve, the purposed it wants philosophy, the values it aims to achieve purposes it wants to realise and the specific goals that it wants to achieve. The emphasis is on the child. In the total education of the child, all the subjects like history, geography, science and language are but tools. These are the means and therefore the children must not be made to fit in such study.
Need and Importance of Curriculum
The need of education determines the importance of curriculum. Thus the need of curriculum is evolved the concept of ‘curriculum development’. These needs of the curriculum have been merited as below:-
a. The human can acquire knowledge while other specis cannot acquire knowledge. It is an important aspect of human beings.
b. The mental aspects are trained and developed, thus mental facilities are trained by teaching various school subjects.
c. The vocational and technical educations prepare the students for different jobs. During British period, clerks were prepared through educational curriculum.
d. The interests and attitudes are developed according to the students’ potentialities. Curriculum is designed as child centred approach.
e. The good citizen are prepared by the developing democratic way of life. It also develops the abilities and capacities of the teachers.
f. The ability of the self-realisation is also developed by education and to make good man.
g. It also develops the feeling of appreciation and sound judgement.
h. Education is given always for future life so that he can earn his living.
i. It also prepare for scientific invention and technical development.
j. It brings performance in child. It helps in all-round development.
In other words, the following are the major areas of curriculum development-
i. Realisation of Educational Objectives:- An orgenisation of education is based on the curriculum. The curriculum development is done in view to realize the objectives of education. Thus the curriculum is the means for achieving the educational objectives.
ii. Proper use of Time and Energy:- It provides the guidelines to the teachers as well as to students, what a teacher has to learn.
Iii. Acquisition of Knowledge:- The curriculum is the means for the acquiring knowledge. Actually, human knowledge is one but is divided into subjects for the convenience and organisation point of view. Thus, the curriculum is designed for the different subjects.
iv. Determining Structure of Content:- Every subject’s content has its wide structure which is to be taught lower level to the higher level. Thus the main task to the higher level. Thus the main task of curriculum development is determining structure of content for a particular stage teaching. Thus the curriculum of different subjects is designed from primary level to university level.
v. Development of Personality:- The curriculum is also important and significant from personality development of student. The curriculum is designed which helps in development in good qualities in students. It helps in developing physical, social and moral qualities of learners.
vi. Preparation of Textbook:- The curriculum provides the guideline and bases for preparing textbook for the use of students and subject teacher. If the curriculum is changed or modified, the textbooks are also changed. A good textbook has wide coverage of curriculum content of subjects.
Vii. Conducting Examination:- Our education system is examination oriented. The students have forced to obtain good marks in the examination. Thus examination paper is prepared as per the curriculum of the subject and students also prepare the content for the examination. Thus, curriculum is the basis of teaching, learning and testing.
Viii. Organising Teaching and Learning Situation:- The teaching and learning situations are organised in view to the curriculum. Teaching work is also assigned with the help of curriculum.
ix. Decision about Instructional Method:- The instructional method is selected and used in view of the curriculum. The same content is taught from memory to reflective level. It may be teacher centred or learner centred.
x. Development of Knowledge, Skill and Attitude:- The nature of curriculum provides the basis for the developing knowledge, skills, attitude and creative ability. It also helps in development leadership qualities.