Facebook Twitter RSS Reset

Process of curriculum change- Definition, need, factors influencing

Curriculum is a runway for attaining goals of education. It is considered as a blueprint of an educational programme. The basis for any major curriculum change is significantly to improve the existing curriculum. The Process of Curriculum change helps in the assessment of future needs of the existing curriculum along with a determination of what needs to be changed and the selection of possible solutions to problems and the means by which the necessary changes can be achieved.

Curriculum- Definition

Curriculum is a systematic arrangement of the sum total of selected experiences planned by a school for a defined group of students to attain the aims of a particular educational programme — Florence Nightingale.

Nursing curriculum is the learning opportunities (subject matter) and the learning activities (clinical experiences and practices) that the faculty plans and implement in various settings for a particular group of students, for a specified period of time in order to attain the objectives.

Curriculum change or Revision

Curriculum revision means making the curriculum different in some way, to give it a new position or direction. This often means alteration to its philosophy by way of its aims and objectives, reviewing the content included, revising its methods and re-thinking its evaluatory procedures.

Dimensions of Curriculum change

Curriculum change may be classified on a number of dimensions of change (Hoyle, 1972):

  Rate Rapid or slow
  Scale Large or small
  Degree Fundamental or superficial
  Continuity Revolutionary or evolutionary
  Direction Linear or cyclical


The following are the broad categories of curriculum change

  • Introduction of a whole new degree program or specialised stream at the undergraduate level.
  • Introduction of a whole new (course-work) degree program at the postgraduate level.
  • Introduction of a new subject, or deletion of an existing subject.
  • Change to or within a first-year or other core subject, such as a change to the first language taught to undergraduate students.
  • Change to or within an elective subject, such as a change in the choice of AI language used in a third-year subject.

Factors influencing the Change in Curriculum

General Factors

  • Population growth
  • Population pattern
  • Move towards urbanization
  • Consumption of natural resources

Health Care Changes

  • Increasing in Government control in health care
  • Increasing need for health professional to work with other professionals as well as the client system
  • Increasing the professionalization of health workers
  • Increasing socialization of health field
  • Increasing supply of the health workers perhaps resulting in more supply
  • Rapid obsolescence of practice, skills and knowledge level

The following are the general factors affecting curriculum change

  • Influential or outspoken individuals.
  • Financial pressures, including resource availability.
  • Staff availability or workload.
  • Employer or industry viewpoints.
  • Current or prospective student viewpoints.
  • Student abilities or limitations, or intake considerations.
  • Pedagogical argument, or academic merit.
  • University or Government requirement or regulation.
  • Professional accreditation needs, or syllabi set by professional bodies.
  • Academic “fashion”, including the desire to remain in step with other institutions.

Need to Change the Curriculum

  • To restructure the curriculum according to the needs, interests or abilities of the learner.
  • To eliminate unnecessary units, teaching methods and contents.
  • To introduce latest and update methods of teaching and content, new knowledge and practices.
  • To add or delete number of clinical hours of instruction.
  • To correlate between the student’s theory courses and clinical learning practices.
  • To select clinical learning experiences base on the objectives rather than on the service needs of the hospital.
  • The students themselves receive little or no experience in assuming responsibilities or in making choices, everything is decided for them by the teacher or the administrator.