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Question 1

Discuss the importance of knowing various definitions of the term curriculum for teachers.
Provide examples to support your view. (30 marks)
1. The way we define curriculum reflects our approach to it (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009)
2. Different definitions and interpretation of the curriculum held by the school would
require different approach of teachers to ensure its success. Teachers need to work on
the set curriculum to ensure the aim is achieved, that is why its important for them to
know the definition so they could adjust their approach in teaching to achieve the aim.
3. Give various definitions of curriculum.
1. Definition 1: A plan for achieving goals
- Involves a sequence of steps as according to Tyler model the Four basic
Steps in building curriculum.
- Subscribed by behavioural and managerial philosophers
- The curriculum workers (teacher, school admin, principal) want the plans
intent to be realized as fully as possible.
- Example: If the school sees that academic is the goal of the curriculum,
teacher needs to hold up to this and focus on students academic, to ensure the
goal is achieved and the school will surely be an exam-oriented school
because the goal is academic. So, activities that teachers do need to have an
impact on students academic performance

2. Definition of curriculum: Almost anything planned in or outside of school is part
of curriculum.
- The curriculum conveys the meaning of all the experiences children have
under the guidance of teachers.
- Subscribed by the humanistic philosophers/those who believe in humanistic
- Curriculum consists of the ongoing experiences of children under the guidance
of the school
- To achieve self-realization through active participation in school
- Teachers who see curriculum under this definition, would play roles as
- They involve students experiences in learning. Activities carried out in the
classroom would open up opportunity to students to build up knowledge based
on their experiences and surroundings

3. Definition 3: Curriculum is defined in terms of subject-matter (Maths, Science,
English) or content (the way we organized & assimilate info)
- We can talk about content or subject matter in terms of grade level.
- Most US schools subscribed to this definition, those who do not satisfy the
requirement of to pass a grade, they are detained from proceeding to the next
grade. Malaysian schools once had that system, those who did not pass SRP
(PMR at that time), cannot proceed to form 4, because they did not acquire the
content for the 3 previous years (form 1-3), so they need to repeat until they
- We can also see this definition being subscribed in terms of religious school
which focuses only on religious education as the subject-matter.-
- University courses in elementary and secondary school curriculum emphasize
generic principles of curriculum - which cut across and encompass most, if not
all, subjects.
Reference From PAGE 9-11 ornstein & hunkins 2009

Question 2
It is often assumed that a curriculum should be assessed through public and school
examinations (Kellagham, 2004). As a teacher, discuss two other techniques of assessing a
curriculum at the implementation level.
The best way to demonstrate the progress of the curriculum is to let the curriculum
developments speak for itself- to be self-advocating. The words of those directly involved,
particularly learners, are often the most powerful evidence of the impact of change. Does the
learning experience have a built-in mechanism for reporting progress? This could come
through by using instrumental evaluation techniques such as surveys and questionnaires. A
range of other stakeholders, including governments, parents, teachers could also be involved
in this process of evaluation.
Example of evaluation techniques:
. lnterviews/ questionnaires
. Diaries and Logs
. Evaluation portfolio
. Reports
In Malaysian context, evaluation of curriculum is important to ensure that the effectiveness of
the curriculum in meeting the needs of our nation.
1. Evaluate ETeMS- using interview/questionnaires to obtain information about students
progress and obstacles in using English to learn Maths and Science.
2. Evaluate ETeMS- study teachers diaries and logs to look into their challenges in
implementing the curriculum effectively
** the same techniques can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of KSSR
In conclusion, all curricula require periodic review and institutions must
have a permanent mechanism for identifying the curriculum requirements based
on national needs and international trend.
Question 3
The hidden curriculum' refers to outcomes of education which are not explicitly
Discuss this statement and elaborate with examples on the role and implications of
the hidden curriculum.

The actions and inaction of teachers and administrators have an impact on acquired
learning which is not planned. These behaviours result in positive effects in terms of students
acquiring certain behaviours, attitudes, values and norms. These could be examined at the
classroom and/or school level.
The activities, programmes, rules (rituals, protocol, regulations, assemblies, arrangement
for co-curricular activities etc) of a school have positive impacts on learning in terms
Inculcating positive values and attitudes
love for school, nations
respect for teachers, elders
sense of justice; right and wrong
autonomy, democracy
Inculcating negative values and attitudes
Acceptable social behaviour - cleanliness, tidiness, punctuality, obedience, discipline
Acceptable speech -" politically" correct answer/speech

Question 5
A teacher plays an important role as an agent of curriculum change. Discuss with
examples how this is achieved in the Malaysian ELT Context.
Define curriculum change: The purpose of curriculum change is to make a difference, to
enable the students to attain the schools, the societys, and perhaps most importantly their
own aims and goals.
In order for curriculum development to happen, teachers play a major role in initiating,
implementing, and maintaining these changes. Doll believes that teachers should be
involved in every phase of curriculum making, including the planning of specific goals,
materials, content, and methods. Similar to that, Taba states in her Grassroots model that
curriculum making should take on a bottom-up approach, where feedback from students,
parents, and teachers should be the main source of information in designing a new
In the Malaysian education system however, we employ a top-down approach in curriculum
implementation, where the curriculum is initiated by a central authoritative board, the
Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), and is then implemented in schools by teachers.
In becoming an agent of curriculum change, the teacher plays three different roles; as an
analyst, a classroom decision maker, and a classroom practitioner. With the new curriculum
set for them, take for example the KSSR, the teacher must first analyse the needs of the
students in the classroom before planning his/her lesson. The learning standards provided in
the syllabus enable teachers to select which standard the particular students are in, and from
that, make decisions on which behavioural objectives students must achieve.
The teacher then plays the role of a decision maker by selecting the activities, materials,
teaching approaches, and the organizing the lesson. As globalisation makes an impact on the
need to be proficient in English, the KSSR English syllabus is geared towards helping
Malaysian students acquire the language for their daily lives, to further their studies, and for
work purposes later on. This gives room for the English teacher to select his/her teaching
approach, for instance, employing the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach
in the classroom to encourage students to communicate in English.
The role of the teacher as a classroom practitioner is crucial, where the teacher may play
multiple roles as the controller, facilitator, resource, prompter, participant, or tutor, based on
the activity being carried out in the classroom, and the needs of the students. To exemplify,
teachers of the KBSR and KSSR era are no longer just the knowledge giver, as these
curriculums have shifted into being learner-centred. If the CLT approach is employed in a
English classroom, teachers will then play the role of a facilitator as students communicate
with each other, and by doing so, we are allowing students the opportunity to develop their
proficiency through practice.
Teachers can be major agents of change if they take on their roles as curriculum analysts,
decision makers, and practitioners effectively, as they bring out the best of the curriculum by
catering to the needs of Malaysian students today.