Bringing Creativity in Curriculum
Curriculum is the form of academic disciplines wherein each of the disciplines are unearthed in a defined manner.
Reviewing the formation of a curriculum over a period of time will help understand how the curriculum was perceived, what it is and how it was subjected to changes to give new dimensions to learning.
The curriculum evolution theories have changed over eras and these changes have led to the change of the facet of global education.
Curriculum serves as the reference point for dissemination of knowledge from the basic to higher and advanced levels of education. Ideas, beliefs, value systems, thinking patterns and knowledge of subjects are imparted to learners via curriculum.
Ann Parker said ” Effective teachers don’t cover the curriculum, they uncover it”
The curriculum landscape is enormous and all encompassing. The principles for the development of curricula have been shared by various pioneers which have acted as the foundation stones on which the present day academic structures are assembled.
Although the development and content of curriculums have evolved and changed with time. However, the core structure has remained the same.
Some of the famous curriculum landscapes are:
⇒ Saber-tooth Curriculum (Benjamin, 1939)
⇒ The Child & the Curriculum (Dewey, 1956)
⇒ Realms of Curriculum Meaning (Phenix,1964)
⇒ Concept & Aims of Education (Peters & Hirst, 1970)
⇒ Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, 1970)
⇒ Classic & Romantic Curriculum Landscape (Jenkins, 1972)
⇒ School & Cultural Development (Skilbeck, 1973)
⇒ Curricula as Socially Organized Knowledge (Young, 1973)
⇒ Ideology & the Curriculum (Inglis, 1974)
⇒ Relevance of Educational Practice & Piaget’s Theory (Kamii & Constance, 1974)
These landscapes provide rich and diverse viewpoints for grasping the curriculum drafting process which is in fancy, in the current scenario.
Few things to be considered while drafting the curriculum are:
⇒ The Learnings to be Imparted
⇒ Logical Structure/ Flow of the Curriculum
⇒ Priorities to be addressed in terms of Principles & Interests of Education
⇒ Ensuring the Balancing of the Curriculum Objectives
⇒ Tenure in which the Curriculum Completion is Intended
⇒ Adaptability of the Curriculum to Formative/Summative Assessments
How can Curriculum be made Creative
A curriculum composed of enriching content which has been developed after a thorough scientific research on the foundations of inquiry, exploration and discovery: one which uses innovation to enhance the academic and learning outcomes manifolds is called an effectively Creative Curriculum.
Creative Curriculum not only ignites interest in students towards classroom-based learning but also leads to the overall development of their skills and personality.
The gap in clear definition and understanding of the learning objectives as well as the expected learning outcomes that would lead to the upliftment of academic standards at an institution is bridged by the Creative Curriculum.
Historically, the need for the development of a creative curriculum can be attributed to a lot of popular theories, such as:
⇒ Socio-Cultural Theory (Vygotsky, 1934)
⇒ Cognitive Development Theory (Piaget,1936)
⇒ Human Needs Theory (Maslow, 1943)
⇒ Psycho-Social Development Theory (Erikson, 1950)
⇒ Emotional Development Theory (Greenspan, 1979)
⇒ Child Development Theory (Brazelton, 1992)
Development of the Creative Curriculum
The guiding principles for the development of a creative curriculum for the learners which also help us understand the need for such an innovation are listed below. These help learners to have:
⇒ Meaningful Interactions & Good Rapport Building with peers and seniors.
⇒ Socio-Emotional Competence
⇒ Purposeful and Constructive Actions
⇒ Caring Attitude towards the Environment
⇒ Form Effective Collaborations for their overall development and learning.
Several educational institutions have evolved their offered academic programmes by following the creative curriculum principles as conceived by The Fisher Early Learning Center in 2020. These principles are:
⇒ Developing & Maintaining a Trusting Relationship with each child, Implementing Nurturing and Trust Building routines.
⇒ Providing Responsive Care to meet the needs of the children.
⇒ Providing Learning Experiences to help children feel competent by offering them choices and challenges.
⇒ Helping children Express their Emotions aptly and providing them opportunities for pretend play.
The curriculum designing needs a paradigm shift, away from rote subject knowledge and towards the development of cognitive and critical thinking skills. (Bharucha, 2021)
The set of skills and qualities required in learners to excel in the present era which should be focused on by the educators during the curriculum development are:
⇒ Analytical Ability
⇒ Logical Thinking
⇒ Scientific Evidence Evaluation
⇒ Constructive Feedback Giving
⇒ Avoiding Bias
⇒ Root Cause Analysis
⇒ Questioning Preconceptions (even our own )
⇒ Verifying Credibility of Sources
⇒ Accepting Contrary Views
⇒ Civil Debates
⇒ Quick Thinking
⇒ Solution Focused Thinking
An innovative curriculum should help today’s learners develop all the above abilities.
Qualities of a Creative Curriculum Educator
⇒ Observant and Decisive
⇒ Provides Formative Feedback
⇒ Qualitative in Progress Evaluation
⇒ Promotes Continuous Learning
⇒ Meaningfully Interprets Pedagogical Knowledge
⇒ Uses Real Life and Relatable Examples
⇒ Develops Problem Solving Attitude
⇒ Promotes Interaction over Monologues
⇒ Promotes Critical Thinking & Lifelong Learning
The Creative Curriculum will be the much needed disruption in the field of modern day education that is now evolving greatly and is set to evolve even further.
Various regulatory bodies will now need to promote creativity in curriculum to meet and cater to the diverse and growing developmental needs of today’s learners.
Use of creativity in curriculum designing right from the primary school level to the higher education level will go a long way in altering the existing traditional curriculums which focus on ancient and static knowledge to newer ones which lead to the overall development of the learners while keeping them abreast and ready for the challenges of the present day and the future that lie ahead.