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Every society has it own domestic cultural heritage, social values and norms, which is expected by individual to acquire through certain actions. These values and norms are perpetuated through various course of study. This course of study can be referred to as curriculum. The word curriculum is derived from a Latin word “curere” meaning a running course, race course that is a course that eventually leads to a specified goal. It is a course which the student pursue and complete for targets defined in term of high grades passes, certificates or other forms of academic awards. Curriculum is seen as an intention, a plan or a prescription. It is a plan for or a report of actual educational events.

The curriculum of any school consist of all the situations that the school may select and it is entirely organize for the purpose of bringing out changes in the behaviour of the pupils as a means of developing the personality of the individuals. This is made up of all the experiences both curricular and extra curricular, which the children have under the admission of the school. At it pertain to education the definition of curriculum has defied consensus among educators. There is specific definition of curriculum. scholars has given definitions of curriculum according their own perspectives.

Curriculum as a process embraces the total experiences by means of which the school educate the young and inexperience members of the society. This conception of curriculum emphasizes that school life is a continuation of the life in the society it serves. Willgoose (1974) defines curriculum as all the learning which is planned and guided by the school whether it is carried out either in groups or individual. inside or outside the school system. Curriculum may be viewed from four angles namely curriculum objectives, knowledge, learning experience and curriculum evaluation. Kerr (1968) defines the curriculum as “all the learning planned and guided by the school.” This definition takes care of all the learning that takes place in the school but also outside the school provided it is planned and guided by the school. According to Wheeler 1967) curriculum is the planned experience offered to the learner under the guidance of the school. Taba (1962) on the other hand, defines the term as “a way of preparing young people to participate as productive members of our culture. The curriculum in every society must be a reflection of what the people feel, believe and do. It must be seen as the deliberate, systematic and planned attempts not only to change the behaviours of the leamer, but to enable them to gain the social insight and power to build a better society

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Professor A.B. Fafunwa gave a broad definition of curriculum as “the whole of the education process: that is the total environment in which education takes place. To him a good curriculum is the total in which education take place; that which constitute the child, the teacher, the subject, the contact, the method.

The physical and psychological environment. In addition Onwuka (1981) says, it consists of all the situations that the school may select and consistently organize for the pupils as a means of developing the perity of the individual. Curriculum then is seen as the process adopted by the schools to determine and pursue set objectives and goals of the society. This curriculum embraces purposely experiences provided and directed by educational institution to achievers predetermined goals.

In conclusion, a complete definition of curriculum must be embraced, the four-step process given by Ralph Tyier which must embrace objectives, selected tools in the form of subject matter or learning experiences, the method adopted to realized the objectives and means of evaluating the process.

Components of Curriculum

In an attempt to specify what constitutes the School Curriculum Oliver (1965) supplies a definition in a clear term viz “Curriculum is the school educational programmes, i.e.. all educational programmes planned by the school for the learners. With this, he listed three elements of the educational programmes as programme of studies, programme of activities and programme of guidance.

Programme of Studies

This is the programme which recorded human experiences having been carefully sorted and systematically organized in convenient components called subject or areas of study. Each subject or area of study is a segment or aspect of mans past experience. The programme of studies as reflected in syllabus represents only a segment of the curriculum.


Programme of Activities This is the programme which embraces all the activities capable of enhancing the academic experience of student. They are lening experiences which the student learning outside the classroom setting through participation in extra curriculum activities, e.g., sport, games, clubs. It also includes practical activities exhibition, excursion. Programme of activities consists of all activities that deal with the actual “pupil” experience and the present day life of the society. These activities can be organized and incorporated into the daily programme in variety of ways. The importance of Programme of Activities in a way is to vitalize the curriculum. It also provides means by which concept and ideas are translated and made practically real.

Programme of Guidance

This will be used to assist the student to realize what he/she can achieve, and how it can be achieved. It is to help student acquire the capability for self direction from Programme of Activities and programme of studies. A Programme Guidance is an organized effort on the part of the school to help students understand themselves so that they may become increasingly more capable of wise decision in making and carrying out educational plans. The Programme of Guidance draws valuable information from a learner past and present experiences which will be used to guide the learner into the future.

Misconception of Curriculum

There are some terminologies associated with curriculum studies, these terminologies are sometime refer to as curriculum such as scope & sequence, syllabus, scheme of work, lesson note, text books, etc.

Scope & Sequencer is a document listing the intending learning outcomes in each grade level, thereby given the sequence of the curriculum. The outcome are grouped according to the topics, theme or dimension. thereby giving the scope of the curriculum.


Syllabus: Is a plan for an entire course or a document containing suggestions on programme or topic to be learnt, occasionally, syllabus might include learning objectives, learning activities and study questions. These topics must be designed in a way suitable to the age
and interest of the learner. It is also a broad outline of what pupils are expected to learn during a school year.

Scheme of Work: It is the content of instruction, the

breaking down of syllabus into sub-divisions or unit of instruction which teacher made use of either weekly or daily. Scheme of work serves as a guide to teacher in presenting his content to the learner. A good scheme of work expose the teacher to previous experience of the learner. It breaks the general topic up into lesson unit, according to the number of lesson provided for the topic in the school timetable.

Lesson Note: Lesson note is drawn from the scheme of work, this is what the teacher uses to teach during a period. It guides the teacher in the process of his teaching because it indicates steps to be followed when teaching. It is also a written procedure of a particular topic, which are arrange sequentially and logically to assist the teacher in presenting his lesson effectively.

Textbook: The textbook serves as a day to day guide it is a fined to both ends and means of instruction. Text book present the content, without much guidance as to what is important to learn or how to teach.

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