A curriculum can be loosely defined as the sum total of all the experiences that a student will have as a result of going through an educational process. It may refer to a planned sequence of instruction specifically, or to the experiences of a student with respect to the instructional goals of either the school or the educator. A curriculum might incorporate the interaction of pupils with the content in an interactive way with the help of resources and processes for the evaluation of the achievement of those educational objectives. They may be set and governed by a government body or by an autonomous institution.
Why Curricula Need Regular Updates
Even though a curriculum results from the combined efforts of both teachers and administrators and reaches students after several revisions, it is extremely important to update the curriculum after regular intervals of time. Given below are 5 reasons why.
An Outdated Curriculum
This should be the most obvious red flag when it comes to determining whether or not the curriculum requires updating. While it is the responsibility of the teacher to adapt the curriculum into a classroom setting, it is vital to have the curriculum up to date with all the relevant information so that the students are not taught subjects or concepts that are no longer relevant. For example, in 2006, the planet Pluto was declared to be not a recognized planet. If the curriculum had not been updated at the time, it would have been continued to be taught that Pluto was a planet.
Obviously, some subjects do not require updating as much as others do. For example, science subjects will require much more updating than social studies, because there is a lot more innovation taking place in the former field when compared to the latter. Another example would be mathematical concepts. Mathematical concepts hardly ever change because they have been reviewed several times over before making their way to the curriculum. In addition, any advancements made in the field of mathematics will be at more complex levels in comparison to science where even basic concepts can change on the basis of new discoveries. Yet another example would be in the case of classical literature.
Less Strain on the Teacher
When something significant takes place (like in the example of Pluto given above), the curriculum needs to be changed the following year because otherwise, the onus of teaching something outdated falls on the teacher. If the teacher wants to teach the students the actual fact of the matter rather than what is present in the syllabus, it would be strenuous for the teacher because the teacher will have to do all the research and explanatory heavy lifting. If the curriculum is duly updated, a major part of the time and effort the teacher would otherwise need to put in to teach the students will be taken care of by the curriculum designers.
Advancement in Technology
This is another very valid reason to update the curriculum. Technology around us is changing regularly, whether it is with respect to teaching or with respect to the real world. For example, today when it comes to teaching something, the scope of the subject will be considered on a global context in addition to being considered locally. This drastically shifts the way we process information because there is a constant influx of knowledge about other cultures and countries when compared to even a decade ago. Compared to the past century, when people learned about other countries and cultures, today we are able to experience and see them firsthand because of books, television, the internet, magazines, and social media, to say the very least. It has gone to such an extent that it has even influenced our education.
Additionally, we also think with respect to modern technology nowadays. We use phones to do various things every day. They allow us to connect with each other as well as with more information and education than anybody in history has ever had access to. So, in short, as technology changes, so should education, and consequently, the curriculum.
Adaptation to Online Schooling
As it is, maintaining the attention of students is difficult - it can be a bit more difficult to keep them focused on online classes. As times change, the curriculum needs to adapt to those changes in such a way that it makes learning much easier on the online education front. This can only be done if both the teachers and the curriculum together change with the system. The thing that has happened now is that online education has kicked off and the teachers have become accustomed to the new online learning space, but the curriculum is yet to be made online friendly. It is increasingly becoming so, fortunately, which is definitely a good sign.
So as can be seen, updating the curriculum is beneficial to the overall development of not just the individual but also education as a whole. Everyone involved, right from the administrators all the way down to the students benefits from it, which gives enough reason to promote more of it. Updating the curriculum is the need of the hour and so it is quintessential to understand the importance of the same, which is hopefully made clear in this blog.
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