(a) principles of the curriculum guide
The importance of a curriculum guide is to enable students and teachers implement institutional programs easily as a better strategy of learning in schools. The guide provides the management with techniques that offer curriculum guidelines including resources to facilitate a generalized freedom in learning.
(b) The major goal of this guide is
(i) To teach the students how to learn which is made possible by provision of the required learning tools.
(ii) Allow institutions of basic learning to function independently,
(iii) To enhance a generalized application of strategies to a number of situations and expectations.
In this case, the teachers function as learning specialists and the same time serves as a curriculum content’s instructor. The instruction s provided by the learning strategy are designed to provide the student with a set of self instructional steps that helps them in acquiring, expressing and organizing the contents of the general education curriculum.
According to Wiles & Bondi (1979), a strategy is a personal approach to undertake a given task. A strategy provides a set of instructions on how a learner is expected to think and act while doing a particular task and after it has been done. However, a strategy should be differentiated from study skills. Skills are set of procedures that a person learns such as those learned in school, while a strategy is composed of guidelines relating to how a person plans to attack a given task in applying the skills and procedures. The knowledge of a person consists of skills, content and strategies with each playing a crucial role in the success of a task.
The education sector is beginning the initiative to view the current work to new responsibilities. The initiative consists of university investment in development of the educational curriculum. Every institution must have articulated a set of guiding principles and goals that should motivate discussion and growth of the curriculum. The principal objectives should include the following:
(i) Teaching specific strategies using a specified instructional methodology.
(ii) Creating a strategic environment that promotes independent thinking in the mind of the student.
(iii) Facilitating personal functioning and generalization by learners.
(iv) Enable a cooperative planning process that will enhance responsibility in the content with the teachers.
(v) All institutions should keep complete and accurate records of student’s progress and charts for each taught strategy.
In the process of attaining these goals, the responsibilities of a student is to understand the relationship that exist between application of strategies and the academic progress and the role he/she has to play in the process. It is necessary to clearly define to the student what is important to them according to this hierarchy.
(a) Participate in selective learning objectives and goals setting
(b) Learn and master the strategies
(c) Apply what they learn in class to other settings including the general educational requirements.
The study skills approach
Many students may have the motivation to learn some new basic skills that have never been taught in class before most importantly by using materials. The skills may not be relevant enough to current studies, so the student need to make enough progress in whatever they do. Typically, students receive instructions immediately as needed, and then they apply it to different areas of content as addressed in the taught content.
This is a teaching and planning approach that provides a way of making decision about how and what to teach. Content enhancement procedures equips the teacher with the knowledge to select critical content outcomes as well as making use of of instructional devices and routines to highlight important elements of content.
All students regardless of their literacy level and development, engage in the process of studying more and more of curricular activities. It is the duty of a teacher to promote content mastery through the use of content enhancement tools, thus adjusting the routines appropriately to suit different students at different levels.
For instance, when a teacher is introducing the topic, “ the American revolution”, he/she has to work with the students to develop a unit organizer that covers the basic contents to be covered. Both the student and the teacher refers to the organizer as the source from which the unit provides content for learned concepts and reinforces previously learned materials.
This assists in the implementation of the instructions geared towards the learning strategy. Many curriculum development and support firms provide a network of consultancy and training programs on regular basis based on the needs of teachers. Through decades of research and practice wit the trainee teachers Strategic Intervention Model has developed from the two sets of strategies to make up this curriculum.
Special skills course
The course provides important instructions to students with disabilities with instructions to enable them acquire and apply strategies to empower their independence as learners in community and institutional settings. The curriculum content should include the following but not limited to it:
(a) Strategies to acquire knowledge and store it
(b) Strategies to solve problems
(c) Strategies to link the new set of information to the previous one
(d) Strategies participate actively in reading, listening and expressing personal views
(e) Strategies for planning skills.
Various students who have disability may be n motivated to take up a high school diploma in such a course in order to live and function independently with occasional assistance. The three levels of independent functioning and supported participatory are designed to provide a way to differentiate benchmarks and course requirements for students who have diverse abilities. Students may personally function at one level across al areas or at different levels depending on the needs and requirements of the situation.
(d) Student assessment
This is one of the key issues in education. The main question is, How do we know if the student have understood what we are trying hard to teach them? There are various forms of assessment available in any given academic curriculum some of which include the following;
(i) Assessing student performance
This is often done online in a similar manner to class assessment. Frequent assessment enables the students to keep the pace the requirements of their content as set in the curriculum guide. Assessment can be done through writing an individual paper, group presentation, attendance, class participation, homework set problems exams and many other methods. When a student performs a task instead of taking a test, it is called performance assessment. Such assessments include demonstrating a skill, doing a project, compiling a portfolio of work or conducting an experiment and writing the report.
(ii) Grading and evaluation criteria
Grading provides a feedback to the learner indicating to them whether they are on the right track. Feedback is the return of information on the results of a process or activity as an evaluative response. Measurement and assessment strategies provide feedback to both the tutor and the student. The students learn more effectively if they are provided with meaningful, frequent and rapid feedback (Menges & Mathis, 1988). Evaluation may be done by the instructor directly, assignments and assessments or from other students.
Grading and evaluation can also be made easy through the use of technology. Modern methods of assessment provide an instant right or wrong feedback and also grade the performance in order of their merits. Technology also helps in gathering and organizing student performance but the advantage is that human participation is the most important part of the feedback.