Significance of curriculum in educational paradigms

Significance of curriculum in educational paradigms
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Significance of curriculum in educational paradigms

Highlights

Education must emphasise the holistic development of children and make them competent to face the demands and challenges of life in the 21st century.

Education must emphasise the holistic development of children and make them competent to face the demands and challenges of life in the 21st century. The curricular enhancements must be undertaken to make the academics more amenable to the development of 21st-century skills and school education should go beyond the academic curriculum and help engender critical inquiry and innovativeness in children. This calls for an adaptable or dynamic curriculum. A dynamic curriculum includes value-added courses that focus on developing a competitive edge, thinking skills, creativity, and practical application of concepts.

Let's take a look at how curriculum anchors and directs education and what constitutes its value.

Significance of curriculum in educational paradigms

The curriculum has a clear statement of learning outcomes in the backdrop, and it provides the framework to align those learning outcomes to the academic activities. Efficient curricula are dynamic i.e., they grow with the improvements in the body of knowledge and advancements in various fields.

The curriculum is a well-structured and well-researched document that embodies the objectives of education and decides the optimal pace of learning, it is not only crucial in achieving the objectives of education but is also a blueprint of the academic plans of the schools and also includes the performance improvement measures drawing from the experiences of the learners.

The curriculum provides pedagogical guidelines and a roadmap for teachers and students and is informed by the culture, values, and aspirations of society.

Curriculum designs are broadly classified into subject-centric, learner-centric, and problem-centric designs, and with these, curriculum enhancements, co-curricular activities, and guided career paths are created to make it effective in charting the academic trajectory of the students.

Curriculum enhancement

The curricula in the 21st century are internationally informed and they are directed at creating an efficient and innovative workforce, and leadership for the 21st-century industry and society. The curricula must be aligned to expected levels of workforce competencies and must accommodate student participation in experiential learning opportunities.

Co-curricular activities

The co-curricular spectrum focuses on the development of the aspects of personality and augments the scholastic outcomes of the curriculum. It includes sports, cultural and community activities, hobby clubs and other participation and leadership enhancing activities.

Guided career pathways

The modern curricula have come to encompass career development and lay down a direction for the development of technical and professional acumen along with the academic credentials.

These guided career pathways inbuilt into a curriculum go a long way in helping the students realize their aptitude and go on to lead them towards the right professional course.

It is a very competitive world out there. Competitive exams like JEE and NEET have captured the imagination of students and they seek courses that guarantee them competitive edge. In case of the undergraduate entrance exams like JEE, NEET, CET etc, students compete for a limited number of seats only a small fraction of applicants get what they originally desire in terms of college and course. For students to excel in the area of their interests and to be at their competitive best, it's vital that they are exposed to integrated studies i.e., the one that prepares them for both the school certificate (Board) and competitive exams.

The need for the simultaneity of preparations gave rise to the concept of the integrated curriculum. This not only enhances the success rate of students in both competitive and board exams by improving the effectiveness and precision of the academic program.

Role of institutions

The students begin to think about their career options after passing their secondary school exams. The Competitive exams for various undergraduate courses in Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Design, and Pure Sciences are among the top picks of exceptional achievers. To get into these fields, the students write exams like JEE, NEET, CET, entrance exams for NIFT, IISC, and IISER, etc.

For an institute to enable these aspirations, it is important that it offers students clarity of approach, a well-crafted curriculum, expert guidance, personalised mentorship, and assessments. The role of the institution is to identify the aptitude of the students and nurture it with the best guidance.

Institutions are turning towards newer educational methodologies like STEM Education that develops scientific and technical aptitude in students by offering them opportunities for hands-on learning and practical application of knowledge through Project Based learning modules.

In conclusion, it can be said that the need for a goal-oriented curricular design and curricular enhancements that meet the competitive demands cannot be overstated.

An institution that offers competitive advantage and streamlines the preparation for various entrance exams for various professional courses will clearly be the choice of the students today.

There is also the need to recognise that institutions must move beyond the traditional curriculum and move towards more career-oriented, skill-based and globally informed curricula that, combined with inspired pedagogies like STEM, transform students into excellent learners and ultimately good professionals.

(The author is the Founder, Deeksha)

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