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Curriculum Theorists Dileep Kumar Dileep Kumar Post R.N BSc.N, CHN Ilmiya Institute of Nursing Karachi 1
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Curriculum

Theorists

Dileep KumarDileep KumarPost R.N BSc.N, CHN

Ilmiya Institute of Nursing

Karachi

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Curriculum theory Curriculum theory is a way of 

describing the educationalphilosophy of certain approaches to

the development and performance

of curriculum.

Within the broad field of curriculumstudies, it is both a historical

analysis of curriculum and a way of 

viewing current educational

curriculum and policy decisions.

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Ralph W. Tyler  (1902-1994)

Born on April 22, 1902, in Chicago

was an American educator who worked

in the field of assessment and evaluation

served on or advised a number of bodies

that set guidelines for the expenditureof federal funds and influenced the

underlying policy of the Elementary and

Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Tyler chaired the committee thateventually developed the National

 Assessment of Educational Progress

(NAEP).

Credited with coining term "evaluation,"

for aligning measurement and testingwith educational objectives.

Because his concept of evaluation

consisted of gathering comprehensive

evidence of learning rather than justpaper and pencil tests

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Ralph W. Tyler¶sBasic Principles of Curriculum and 

Instruction

Tyler formalized his thoughts on

viewing, analyzing and interpreting

the curriculum and instructionalprogram of an educational institution

in Basic Principles of Curriculum and 

Instruction in 1949

These 04 basic principles include:1. Defining appropriate learning objectives

2. Establishing useful learning experiences

3. Organizing experiences to maximize

their effect

4. Evaluating the curriculum and revising

those aspects that did not prove to be

effective.

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Hilda Taba (1902±1967)

born in Kooraste, in south-east Estonia,on 7 December 1902

Was Curriculum theorist, curriculum

reformer, and teacher educator 

contributed to the theoretical andpedagogical foundations of concept

development and critical thinking in social

studies curriculum

helped to lay the foundations of 

education for diverse student populations

Her theorizing & curriculum development

processes provided a blueprint for 

curriculum development in 20th century

She comprehended and articulated thecomplex connections between

1. culture, politics, and social change

2. cognition and learning

3. experience and evaluation in curriculum

development

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Important Activities in Curriculum

Design by Taba 

Taba's dissertations (Studies, Critiques)established a foundation for much of her 

subsequent work. Three key ideas in the

work are particularly important for 

curriculum history in the twentieth century.

She Argued that;1. Learning & study of learning should be

modeled after dynamic models derived

from contemporary physics. Rather than

relying on observation, prediction, and

measurement of static phenomena

2. Education for democracy was a critical

component of contemporary schooling and

curricula, and that it needed to be

experiential, where children learn to solveproblems and resolve conflicts together.

3. Educators had to provide conceptually

sound curriculum that was organized and

taught effectively, and that student

understanding had to be evaluated usingappropriate tools and processes.

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Taba¶s Principles of curriculum

theory & curriculum development

1. Social processes, including the

socialization of human beings, are not

linear, and they cannot be modeled through

linear planning. In other words, learning and

development of personality cannot be

considered as one-way processes of 

establishing educational aims and deriving

specific objectives from an ideal of 

education proclaimed or imagined by someauthority.

2. Social institutions, among them school

curricula and programmed, are more likely

to be effectively rearranged if, instead of the

common way of administrativereorganization ²from top to bottom²a well

founded & coordinated system of 

development from bottom to top can be

Used

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Taba¶s Principles of curriculum

theory & development

3. The development of new curricula

and programmes is more effective if it

is based on the principles of democratic guidance and on the well-

founded distribution of work. The

emphasis is on the partnership based

on competence, and not onadministration.

4. The renovation of curricula and

programmes is not a short-term effort

but a long process, lasting for years

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Burrhus Frederic (B.F)

Skinner (1904-90) American psychologist, educator, and

author, born in the small Pennsylvanian

town of Susquehanna in March 20, 1904.

B.F Skinner influenced education as wellas psychology.

He was quoted as saying "Teachers must

learn how to teach ... they need only to

be taught more effective ways of 

teaching."

He asserted that positive reinforcement is

more effective at changing and

establishing behavior than punishment,

with obvious implications for the thenwidespread practice of rote learning and

punitive discipline in education.

Skinner also suggests that the main thing

people learn from being punished is howto avoid punishment.9

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Cont «. The theory of B.F. Skinner is based upon

the idea that learning is a function of change in overt behavior.

Changes in behavior are the result of an

individual's response to events (stimuli)

that occur in the environment. A response produces a consequence

such as defining a word, hitting a ball, or 

solving a math problem.

When a particular Stimulus-Response

(S-R) pattern is reinforced (rewarded),

the individual is conditioned to respond

Reinforcement is the key element in

Skinner's S-R theory.

A reinforcer is anything that strengthensthe desired response.

 ± It could be positive such as verbal

praise, a good grade

 ± Also covers negative reinforcers such aspunishment etc 10

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Cont««

Skinner says that there are five main

obstacles to learning:

1. People have a fear of failure.

2. The task is not broken down into small

enough steps

3. There is a lack of directions.4. There is also a lack of clarity in the

directions

5. Positive reinforcement is lacking

Skinner suggests that any age-appropriate skill can be taught using five

principles to remedy the above problems;

1. Give the learner immediate feedback.

2. Break down the task into small steps.

3. Repeat the directions as many times as

possible.

4. Work from the most simple to the most

complex tasks.

5. Give positive reinforcement.

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Cont««..

Skinner Highlighted 07 Factors that ateacher should consider in integrating

faith and learning. They include internal

and external environmental influences

1. The physical setting of the school Naturalness, simplicity, neatness, etc.

2. Aesthetic Elements

learn through 5 senses

3. Social Atmosphere

4. Curricular design

Harmonious development of the physical,

spiritual, mental & social needs of 

humans

5. Content of subjects Reflect educational philosophy

6. Religious environment

7. Co-curricular activities

Exhibition, tours, religious activities, etc

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Carl Rogers (1902 - 1987)

born in January 8, 1902 in Oak Park,Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Best known for his contribution to client-

centered therapy and his role in the

development of counseling Also had much to say about education

and group work.

The strength of Rogers' approach lies in

part in his focus on relationship.

As he once wrote, µThe facilitation of 

significant learning rests upon certain

attitudinal qualities that exist in the

personal relationship between facilitator 

and learner¶ Freedom to Learn(1969; 1983; 1993) is a

classic statement of educational

possibility in this respect.

Was gifted teacher 13

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Core conditionsCarl Rogers on the interpersonal 

relationship in the facilitation of learning 

Following are three qualities & attitudes,

that facilitate learning

1. Realness in the facilitator of learning 

It means facilitator coming into a direct

personal encounter with the learner,

meeting her/him on a person-to-person

basis. It means that she is being her/himself, not denying her/himself.

2. Prizing, acceptance, trust 

There is another attitude that stands out in

those who are successful in facilitatinglearning« I think of it as prizing the learner,

prizing her feelings, her opinions, her 

person. It is a caring for the learner, but a

non-possessive caring.14

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Cont«..

3. Emphatic (absolute) understanding 

1. A further element that establishes a

climate for self-initiated experiential

learning is an emphatic understanding

2. When the teacher has the ability to

understand the student¶s reactions from

the inside

3. Teacher has a sensitive awareness of 

the way the process of education andlearning seems to the student 

4. [Students feel deeply appreciative]

when they are simply understood  ± not

evaluated, not judged, simplyunderstood from their own point of view,

not the teacher¶s.

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Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

He had already begun to explore the notion

of 'student- centered¶ teaching and offered

several hypothesized general principles.These included:

We cannot teach another person directly;

we can only facilitate his learning.

The structure and organization of the self appears to become more rigid under 

threat; to relax its boundaries when

completely free from threat...

The educational situation which most

effectively promotes significant learning is

1) threat to the self of the learner is

reduced a minimum

2) differentiated perception of the field of 

experience is facilitated.

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Robert M. Gagné(1916 - 2002)

Born in August 21, 1916

was an American educational

psychologist best known for his

"Conditions of Learning³

Gagné pioneered the science of 

instruction during WWII for the air force

with pilot training

Later he went on to develop a series of studies and works that helped codify what

is now considered to be 'good

instruction.¶

He also was involved in applyingconcepts of instructional theory to the

design of computer based training

and multimedia based learning

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Categories of learning

Gagne identifies 05 categories of learning:

1. Ver bal information

Stating previously learned materials such as

facts, concepts, principles, and procedures,

e.g., listing the 7 major symptoms of cancer 

2. Intellectual Skills:

Discriminations, concrete concepts,

Defined concepts, rules, higher order rules

3. Cognitive Str ategies

Employing personal ways to guide learning,

thinking, acting, and feeling

4. AttitudesChoosing personal actions based on

internal states of understanding and feeling,

5. Motor Skills

Executing performances involving the usemuscles,

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Gagne¶s 09 Events of Instruction

1. Gaining AttentionStimuli activates receptors

2. Informing the Learner of the Objective

Creates level of expectation for learning

3. Stimulating Recall of Prior LearningRetrieval and activation of short-term memory

4. Presenting the Stimulus

Selective perception of content

5. Providing Learner Guidance

Semantic encoding for storage long-term memory

6. Eliciting Performance

Responds to questions, enhance encoding & verification

7. Giving Feedback

Reinforcement & assessment of correct performance

8. Assessing Performance

Retrieval & reinforcement of content as final evaluation

9. Enhancing Retention and Tr ansfer 

Retrieval and generalization of learned skill to newsituation 19

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Gagne's Hier archy of 

LearningGagne also argues that learning tasks for 

intellectual skills can be organized in

a hier archy according to complexity:

1. Stimulus Recognition

2. Response Generation

3. Procedure Following

4. Use Of Terminology

5. Discriminations

6. Concept Formation

7. Rule Application

8. Problem Solving

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Phases of Learning by Gagneµs

Phases of learning noted by Gagne asfollow;

1. Motivation Phase: involves striving to

attain some end. e.g. identification of 

student¶s motives, activities that

accomplish educational goals

2. Apprehending Phase: Attention andselective perception. Attention means

teacher¶s specific task by which learning

ready to receive, while selective meansteacher arrange those stimuli by which

learner store appropriate information in

short term memory

3. Acquisition Phase: coding and storageentry characteristics

4. Retention phase: means memory

storage, in this instructions are designed

to ensure retention such as practice,

tests, and feedback21

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Continue«..

Phases of Learning by Gagneµs

5. Recall phase: means retrieval is the

appropriate internal process for this

phase

6. Gener alization phase: transfer of 

learning is the objective of this phase

7. Performance phase: means the eliciting

of an appropriate performance, reflecting

newly required capability

8. Feedback phase: the learner is madeaware of the degree by which his/her 

performance approaches required

standard, act as a reinforcement,

strengthening newly learned associationsand their recall.

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David Paul Ausubel (1918 ± 2008)

American psychologist, born in October 25, 1918 in New York, and follower of 

Jean Piaget.

Most significant contributions to the fields

of educational psychology, cognitive

science and science education

In Ausubel's view, to learn meaningfully,

student¶s must relate new knowledge

(concepts and propositions) to what they

already know. He proposed the notion of an advanced

organizer as a way to help students link

their ideas with new material or concepts

Ausubel's theory of learning claims thatnew concepts to be learned can be

incorporated into more inclusive concepts

or ideas

These more inclusive concepts or ideas

are advance organizers.23

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Subsumption Theory

Ausubel's theory is concerned with how

individuals learn large amounts of 

meaningful material from verbal/textual

presentations in a school setting

According to Ausubel, learning is basedupon the kinds of superordinate,

representational, and combinatorial

processes that occur during the reception

of information

A primary process in learning

is subsumption in which new material is

related to relevant ideas in the existing

cognitive structure on a substantive, non-

verbatim basis. Cognitive structuresrepresent the residue of all learning

experiences; forgetting occurs because

certain details get integrated and lose

their individual identity.

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Advance Organizers

Advance Organizer entails the use of 

introductory materials with a high level of 

generality that introduce new material

and facilitate learning by providing an

"anchoring idea" to which the new ideacan be attached.

Cognitive theorists believe that it is

essential to relate new knowledge to

existing information learned. Teachers can facilitate learning by

organizing information presented so that

new concepts are easily relatable to

concepts already learned.

Examples of devices that may be used

include: pictures, titles of stories, reviews

of previously learned concepts, short

video segments, a paradigm, a grammar 

rule, etc25

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Principles

1. "Before we can present new

material effectively, we must

increase the stability and clarity of 

our student's structures.³

2. "The sequence of the curriculum is

organized so that each successive

learning is carefully related to whathas been learned before.³

3. Ausubel describes advance

organizers as "introductory

material presented ahead of thelearning task and at a higher level

of abstraction and inclusiveness

than the learning task itself³

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Cont«4. Examples of Advance organizers

 ± Expositorysimply describes the new content

 ± Narr ative

presents new information in a story

format ± Skimming

skimming material before reading can be

a powerful organizer 

 ± Gr aphic organizerseffective with all types of organizers:

pictographs, descriptive patterns,

concept patterns, etc.

Ausubel broke down the process of 

learning to three steps:

1. what will the person learn?

2. what the person wants to learn,?3. what did the person learn? 27

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Gertrude Torres

A nurse educator & provides description

about curriculum development as a

process

According to Torres curriculumdevelopment does not take place in

isolation but requires involvement of 

many persons

Described 4 didactic (educational) stages

of curriculum development;

1. Directive stage

2. Formative stage3. Functional stage

4. Evaluative stage

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S f h C i l P

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Stages of the Curriculum Process

Stages

Directive: gives guidance & authority to the entirecurriculum components:

1. Philosophy

2. Glossary of Terms

3. Characteristics of the Graduate

4. Theoretical framework

F ormative: utilizes broad, generalized concepts to

identify specifics. Components are:

1. Curriculum design & requirement

2. Level & course objectives3. Content Map

F unctional: represent the activities affecting the

operational components of curriculum. Component

1. Approaches to content

2. Teaching methodology & learning experiences3. Validation of learning

Evaluative: Involves comprehensive, formative, &

summative curriculum evaluation.

Components: 1. Input

2. Throughput

3. Output 29

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1. Directive stage

Provides the foundation for the

development of all subsequent stages &gives direction to total curriculum.

Tells to the public, faculty, students &

their family, and employers what the

school is about and why In this stage following 4 important

documents are produced

1. Curriculum philosophy

2. Glossary of terms3. Char acteristics of the gr aduate

4. Theoretical fr ame work

In this important curriculum influences of 

the government, profession of nursingand the institution in which the program

is offered are given careful consideration

in developing these early documents

This stage can lasts from six to twelve

months

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2 Formative stage

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2. Formative stage Requires the ability to develop more

specificity & it gives meaning and form to

directive stage

This stage has 3 components;

1. Curriculum design or outline is formed

and the requirements are stated

2. Level and course objectives; they arenatural points at which student

performance is examined to determine

their progress towards final goal

3. A content map: It identifies that whereeach specific unit of content is

developed vertically & horizontally for 

following reasons

i. Serve as the document that where certain

information is taught

ii. Assist faculty to identify where repetition or 

unnecessary duplication occurs in

curriculum

iii. Serves as basic document for planningtests & exams throughout curriculum

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3. Functional stage

It represents the activities affecting

the operational component of the

curriculum

In this stage three activities occurs;1. The approaches to content are

identified and implemented

2. Teaching methods and learning

experiences are identified and

implemented

3. Validation of learning occurs

through testing & measurement;tests arte constructed and

implemented

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4. Evaluative stage

It involves comprehensive formative(ongoing) and summative (total/ final)

curriculum evaluation

Three area of evaluation are planed,

implemented and documented1. Input

the quality of the faculty, the student,

resources, building and its equipments

2. Throughput Anything happen during program such as,

quality of tests, instructional methods,

faculty- students interaction, administrative

style and leadership3. Output

The quality of graduates and the response

of their employers, performance on external

Professional exams, etc.

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Emily Bevis

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Emily Bevis(System & subsystems of curriculum

building in nursing) She was a nurse educator & She has

provided us another description of 

curriculum development activities.

She explained that process of curriculumbuilding in nursing has been pragmatically

organized into a system, which has been

invented to provide goal orientation & a

natural logical sequence of tasks to

achieve this goal Following are sequential arrangement of 

task suggested as appropriate to nursing

A. Processes and Sub processes

Objective of the systemB. Contributing Subsystems

1. Conceptual Fr amework (Philosophy,

Setting, Students, and Knowledge/subject matter)

2. Course vivification (conceptual framework, Aims, Content, Evaluation)

1 Conceptual Framework

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1. Conceptual Fr amework

 A. Philosophy 

Develop a statement of belief based on

the philosophy of the sponsoring agency

and the philosophical agreements of the

faculty.

B. Setting 

1. Prognosticate (predict) the working

environment of the graduate for the 15 to

20 years of expected active nursing.

This means where nurses might beworking; e.g. specialties, community,

hospitals, day care surgery units etc.

2. Describe the current community, the

environment in which health is provided.3. Describe the educational environment of 

the school of nursing.

4. Describe the current and projected major 

health problems of the area and of the

country

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Conceptual Framework

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Conceptual Fr amework

C. Students1. Survey the demographic characteristics

of the students who are currently enrolled

in the school(s) of nursing.

2. Assess the personality and personalpreferences of the students

3. Assess the educational and nursing

attainments and needs of the students.

4. Determine what if any differences aredesired in the following:

a. type of students accepted into the program

b. characteristics desired on exit from program.

5. Formulate a list of concepts, postulates,

propositions, principles and theories of 

learning that are congruent with student

and faculty characteristics

6. Assess and describe the faculty of the

school of nursing

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Conceptual Fr amework

D. Knowledge or subject 

matter 

1. List the concepts deemed (think)important to the faculty, students,

and university that are applicable to

the practice of nursing.

2.Survey the literature for constructs& theories that useful to nursing.

3.Select or devise a conceptual

constructs or theory of nursing thatcan be used in nursing practice

and/or education

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2 C I l t ti ( i ifi ti )

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2. Course Implementation (vivification)

 A. Conceptual F ramework 

1. List definitive curriculum commitments explicitor implicit in theoretical & philosophical statements

as an implementation or functional checklist

B. Aims

1. Describe essential nursing behaviors (graduate).

2. Establish program objectives.

C.Content 

1. Pattern course configur ation.

2. Select content based on the following:a. the processes inherent in nursing

b. the information of nursing

3. Arr  ange the content in a pattern considering

the following:

a. natural groupings b. level of complexity

4. Devise course as follows:

a. establish course objectives

b. Select the learning activities that will provide the

content necessary to accomplish the objectives.

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Continue

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Continue«

D. Evaluation

1. Establish minimal competencies or 

mastery criteria directly from objectives.

2. Make grading decisions and establish

grading policies consistent with

institutional guidelines, facultyphilosophy, and selected learning

theories

Bevis stresses that curriculum

development is not a sequential activity. Activities are often being 

carried out at same time and affecting 

one another. The important part of 

successful curriculum development is

openness of communication and 

involvement of each faculty member in

the curriculum process.

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References

Bevis, E. O. (1988). ³Curriculum

building in Nursing A Process´ 3rd

Edition

Curzon, L.B., Teaching in Further 

Education". An Outline of Principles

and Practice". Third Edition Holt,

Rinchart and Winston, 1985

Torres, G., Stanton, M.,

"Curriculum Process in Nursing".

Prentice-Halt, Inc., 1982.

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