Curriculum development remains a sensitive enough topic. Policy makers, education specialists, curriculum developers, officials of official agencies responsible for promoting curriculum loading, teachers and all others concerned with "curriculum" issues, very often have difficulty agreeing on issues relating to both their content and their actual implementation. And yet, it is in everyone's interest. Not just of educational communities alone, but of the future of entire nations.
Aware of the importance of this aspect of education, UNESCO's International Bureau of Education (IBE) is making available to all stakeholders in the process of both designing, implementing and monitoring educational policies, a Resource Bank, with a view to strengthening their capacities and improving their skills in this field.
Initially designed in 2010 for countries in the Asia-Pacific region, this resource bank, revised and corrected in 2013, now incorporates resources useful to all countries in the world where UNESCO acts. A true reference document, it is based on no less than 180 case studies and resources from various countries, from Africa to Asia, including Latin America and Europe, and thus presents a range of essential elements for the development and/or improvement of a curriculum, which can be used in various contexts. All this, through its eight modules that address, through case studies and exercises in particular, each aspect of this theme. Thus:
- Module 1: Policy Dialogue and Policy Formulation, addresses the issue of actors and the context of change, organizing a consultation process, and supporting educational authorities.
- Module 2: Curriculum Change, looks at international trends in this area and identifies some reasons for promoting change to improve the quality of school programs.
- Module 3: Curriculum Design, meanwhile, focuses on the structure and components of a curriculum framework.
- Module 4: System Management and Governance emphasizes the notion of balancing national and local needs and interests, the challenges and opportunities of adapting a curriculum to the local context, and the role of supervision and inspection in monitoring a curriculum.
- Module 5: Developing Textbooks and Teaching and Learning Materials, addresses the issue of textbooks in their various uses and formats and further emphasizes the role of the teacher as a developer of curriculum materials.
- Module 6: Capacity Building for Curriculum Implementation addresses the critical issue of training teachers and other educators.
- Module 7: Curriculum Implementation Process presents models of testing, pilot study design, and integration of innovation particularly in curriculum implementation.
- Module 8: Curriculum and Student Assessment addresses the various dimensions of assessment, from individual knowledge assessment to institutional and national policy assessment.
A vital tool that, as UNESCO points out, aims to "strengthen the skills of a critical mass of stakeholders involved at various stages of curriculum development and reform processes, both nationally and within education systems." The authors of the book are well aware of the importance of this book for the development of the curriculum and for the development of the curriculum. They will certainly find keys for a better appropriation of this topic oh so important for the sustainability of our education systems through curricula in line with local realities, for a start.
A timely document for many African countries such as Cameroon, which for some time has been reforming some of its curricula (humanities) in order to increase the internal performance and efficiency of its education system.
- Training tool for curriculum development: resource bank. UNESCO-IBE; February 2014; 230 pages. Link: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002227/222796f.pdf - In French, English and Spanish
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