Oct 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Oct 24, 2018 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments


In his curriculum theory, John Kerr (2004) defines curriculum as all the learning activities planned and controlled by the school. He explains that this can be done individually or in a group both in school and outside the school. Another theory defines curriculum as the entirety of learning experiences offered to students to provide them with knowledge and general skills (Walker, 1994). Besides, another curriculum theory attributes curriculum to the permanent subjects such as reading, writing, grammar and mathematics that provide the learners with knowledge (Guilfoyle, 2006). Considering the above definitions, curriculum refers to all learning activities that embody the learner with essential knowledge. This entails reading and writing, games and sports, and guiding and counseling.

Instruction refers to the criteria used by the teacher to deliver the curriculum to the learners. It differs from the curriculum in many ways. In the first place, curriculum comes first before instruction since the teacher can only deliver an already developed aspect of curriculum such as syllabus. Moreover, the curriculum is a guide for learning to take place while instruction is how learning will take place. This implies that after the curriculum has been planned, instructions are used to carry it out. Curriculum sets out the when, what and why in learning while instruction only addresses how in the learning process.

According to Eisner and Vallance (2004), the fundamental concepts of curriculum entail self-actualization whereby a student discovers and develop his or her identity. This can include talents and his or her ability in various fields. Moreover, cognitive process orientation concept provides the learner with cognitive skills which applies to solving many intellectual problems. Knowledge centered curriculum concept provides the learner with the knowledge that enhances the learner’s ability to make correct decisions at many different levels.

The society based curriculum concept helps in serving the society that is the main role of learning (Longstreet and Shane, 1993). The knowledge acquired by the learners are relayed back to the society in that as the learners get experience in fields such as medicine, engineering, and education, they use the experience acquired to serve humanity and hence the society at large. Besides, Social Reconstructionist concept where schools are expected to champion social change is vital in promoting power among the learners. Schools bring people from different backgrounds, tribes, religion and races together. This helps water down the myths and misconceptions that exists among various groups and hence promotes unity among the learners. The learners get to understand each other better and shun social vices such as segregation, tribalism, and religious discrimination. Lastly, rationalist academic concept enables the learners to use, apply and appreciate the ideas acquired from different disciplines. This can help the learner to come up with a more comprehensive idea that can be useful when implemented.

From the essay, it is evident that there are numerous theories that try to define curriculum. Most of the definitions stem from the fact that curriculum refers to a learning process. A teacher acts as the intermediary between the curriculum and the learner. He or she is responsible for passing the information entailed in the curriculum to the learner through instructions. Therefore, the teachers play an important role in administering the curriculum and thus there is a need to incorporate them in developing the curriculum. Lastly, various concepts of curriculum aim at improving the social power of the students as they advocate for the unity of the students and their relationship with the teachers.


Kerr, J. F. (2004). Changing the curriculum. London: University of London P.

Walker, M., & University of the Western Cape. (1994). Curriculum development: Issues and cases. Bellville, Cape Town: Academic Development Centre, University of the Western Cape.

Guilfoyle, C. (November 01, 2006). NCLB: Is There Life beyond Testing?. Educational Leadership, 64, 3, 8-13.

Eisner, E. W., & Vallance, E. (1974). Conflicting conceptions of curriculum. Berkeley, Calif: McCutchan Pub. Corp.

Longstreet, W. S., & Shane, H. G. (1992). Curriculum for a new millennium. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.