Facebook Twitter RSS Reset

Curriculum development planning- characteristics, Models

Curriculum Development Planning

Curriculum refers to running; a course; race-chariot and is derived from the Latin word currere which means to run for attaining the goals of education. (Billings & Halstead, 1998:70-71; Brown, 1993:574).

Within the educational context, curriculum refers to a course of study at a school, university; the subjects making up a course; an educational journey that the learner embarks upon (Brown, 1993:574; Lovat & Smith, 1995:8-9; 18-19).

Curriculum Development Planning

The curriculum is what happens, what actually takes place among teachers and students, students and students so that learning occurs. Even though curriculum cannot be entirely preplanned and prescribed, to a great extent a curriculum that satisfies the need of the students as well as the society can be developed. The construction of nursing curriculum is the responsibility of the faculty of the nursing institute, but the minimum requirements which are prescribed by statutory bodies like nursing council or university in the name of syllabus has to be followed by all institutes.

  • A process in which participants at many levels make decisions about the purposes of learning, teaching- learning situation.
  • It is process of gathering, sorting, selecting, balancing and synthesizing relevant information from many sources in order to design those experiences that will assist learners in attaining the goals of curriculum.
  • It is the orderly study and improvement of schooling in light of stated objectives.


  • It is a continuous process.
  • It takes place at many levels.
  • It involves many groups, decisions about a variety of planning and issues.
  • It is ultimately concerned with the experiences of the learners.

Steps in Curriculum Construction

  • Planning
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Curriculum Development MODEL

Print (1993:23) defines curriculum development as, “… the process of planning, implementing and evaluating learning opportunities intended to produce desired changes in learners”. A model is a representation of the interactions among and between concepts that shows the patterns of these interactions (George, 1995:387). A curriculum development model is used to study the components of a curriculum and the relationships between these components (Print, 1993:61-62).

Within the context of the study, a curriculum development model is a symbolic representation of the relationships between specified curriculum development phases, steps and tasks that constitute a curriculum development process.

Curriculum Development Models that traditionally influence NURSING EDUCATION

In the past, curriculum development in nursing has been influenced by various classical curriculum development models that reflect different curriculum development paradigms. These models contributed towards progress in nursing education. Models of curriculum help to understand the nature of curriculum. Some of the useful curriculum models are discussed below in a very brief manner.

  1. Linear, Prescriptive curriculum development models

Linear, prescriptive curriculum development models are normative models because they provide a sequence of steps that writers say, should be used in any curriculum development initiative (Lovat & Smith, 1995:106).

Tyler’s curriculum development model is an example of linear, prescriptive curriculum development models. This model represents technical, objectives driven approach whereby educators specify the desired product of an educational programme and use this as a point of departure for curriculum development (Lovat & Smith, 1995:107).

Tyler’s model states the involvement of three curriculum components in curriculum development, namely goals, content …

  1. Behavioural Objective and product model

This model was developed by RALPH TYLER (1950) He was one of the most influential of the early curriculum theorist and has arguably developed a considerable and lasting influence on present day thinking about the nature and function of the curriculum. His theories reflect very much need to organize and the utility of purpose and concerned for an end product of quality and practical. He views objectively and in the terms of its function and clearly includes teacher and learning as integral part of it for him. The function of the curriculum is to set forth order and scope of what has to be taught so that learning may be enhanced. He identifies four fundamental questions to be answered in the process of developing curriculum, such as

  1. What educational purposes should the school to seek to attain i.e. objectives?
  2. How can learning experiences be selected that are likely to be useful in attaining these objectives ,
  3. How can learning experiences be organized for effective instructions?
  4. How can the effectiveness of the learning experiences be evaluated?

This notion of rational curriculum planning let to the development of generic model of curriculum which consists of four main components namely:

  1. Objectives
  2. Content
  3. Method
  4. Evaluation

Hence this model gives importance to the achievement of the objective by the student. This is an output model, TALYER stressed the importance of stating objective in terms of student behaviour. By the beginning of 1980, behavioral objectives were almost universally implemented in both class room and clinical setting by the nurse educators.