Relation of Curriculum, Syllabi, Instruction and Teaching

By Sultan Muhammad Khan

The word syllabus in used to indicate courses of studies based upon text books or text material. It is a part of curriculum. Those who consider curriculum as courses of studies are giving limited meaning to it. To limit our definition to syllabus or courses of study would restrict our thinking. An adequate definition of curriculum should encompass subject matter/courses of study or syllabi and all the learning experiences. Because the definition of curriculum needs to be broad enough to cover learners, learning and environment of learning, hence the course of study or syllabus of any subject forms only a part of the curriculum. Instead of including only the academic subjects, it includes the total experiences that a pupil receives in the school.
What is instruction?
            Curriculum has been defined as a plan for providing sets of learning opportunities for persons to be educated in an institution. Plans have no impact until they are set in motion, thus learning opportunities remain only opportunities until learners become engaged with the opportunities.
            Instruction is defined, then, as the actual engagements of learners with planned learning opportunities in the class-room.
            Instruction is a comprehensive and pedagogical term which includes the objectives, the teacher, the taught, the leaning process and the curriculum itself, including evaluation or assessment procedures.
            Some times the word teaching is used instead of instruction thought it gives the same meaning but teaching is a limited term. There can be no learning. The innovative term which should be used is instruction.
What is teaching?
            According to Risk 1947, there can be on learning-teaching situation without a teacher, a learner and a classroom. A classroom situation can be a teaching situation if the teachers become so absorb in teaching subject matter that they lose sight of the learner as a developing personality.
            John Dewy pertinently remarked, “One may as well say that he has sold when no one has bought as to say that he has taught when no one has learned.” The statement suggests that teaching may very well be defined as the direction or guidance of learning. A study of methods of teaching then should e concerned as much with learning activates as with ways of directing such learning.
            It can also be concluded that there is no consistent, necessary connection between teachings and learning. Since learning often occurs independently in circumstances unrelated to formal teaching. Learning is a private affair, learning is what a student dose, and teaching is what a teacher dose. Instruction then becomes a comprehensive term which occurs only when both the parties are willing, active and busy in various types of activities (can be written activities).  

What is Curriculum?
                    A document or plan that exists in a   school or school system  that defines the work of teachers, at least to the extent of identifying the content to be taught to students and the method to be used in the  process. (English, 2000)
The word Curriculum is taken from the latin word  which mean race or race-course.
Oxford Dictionary defined it as a course of study
“Curriculum is a disciplining technology that directs how the individual is to act, feel, talk, and ‘see’ the world and the ‘self.’  As such, curriculum is a form of social regulation.”
The Traditional concept;
“it is a body of subjects or subject matter prepared by the teachers for the students to learn”
static view point
Initially  the curriculum was  consider the course of study which gives importance only to text book teaching in educational institutions, the objective was to help students to memorize the content  of the subject.
Dynamic view point
After 19th century  the old concept of the curriculum was replaced, it include now all the activities which are practiced inside or outside school for the well being of the students. It is the totality of learning; classroom
Experiences, lab work, play ground and interaction with the community

Instructional Development Contrasted with Curriculum Development
            Some professionals do not view the development of instruction as a subset of the development of the curriculum. They view instruction and the curriculum as discrete but related processes. Differences do exist between the two processes. These differences characterize the discreetness of the processes, but do not determine the relationships between them. The determination of the relationships is a matter of philosophy and perhaps the interests of the professional.
            The differences between the processes of instructional and curriculum development were described in an article by Dean Supitzer and Kerry Kennedy. The given table is based upon the ideas in their article.

Curriculum                                                                 Instructional
Development                                                               Development

Based on broad goals and objectives. Intended group is large and defined in collective, generalizable terms. Presented as a gestalt, wholelistic model stressing a whole to part approach. Based on generalizable needs and wants of a population. Possession of information and information processing viewed as goal. A long range process. Based on date and models which are quantitative and qualitative. Attitude of learner tends to be determiner in decision making. Evaluation focused on both process and product.

Based on specific performance, behavioral objectives. Intended group’s small and defined in specific, precise terms. Presented as a linear model stressing a part of whole approach. Based on an assessment of the specific needs and wants of a sample of a population. Possession of skill learning is emphasized; information load reduces to minimum. A short range process. Based on data and models which are quantitative and empirical. Attitude of learner is significant but no critical in decision making. Evolution focused on product only.

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