First, if we take a look at the definition that we have on “What is Curriculum?” that, we can find it original and online. We also know about those Curriculum definitions still can be derived into much more detailed components. For instance, we know Curriculum originally comes from New Latin words with means “a course of study”. Additionally, we also can see the expansion of the Curriculum definition from Merriam-Webster (2021), which is “the courses that are taught by a school, college, etc”, like the High School Curriculum. On the other hand, Curriculum can also be mean “as a set of courses constituting an area of specialization”, like the mathematics curriculum, the physics curriculum, etc, based on 2nd definition from Meriam-Webster, and this definition is called as “course curriculum” according to Claus Nygaard (2020). However, those Curriculum definitions need to be continuously updated for being more effective and efficient in the human learning process. For that reason, I think Bri Stauffer on Jan 7th, 2020 wrote about curriculum is “a collection of lessons, assessments, and other academic content that’s taught in a school, program, or class by a teacher.” With those definitions that I have taken, we do know now about this theory of Curriculum enable us to have some path on what and how we want to achieve our target in education.
On the other hand, this term of Curriculum in education by the historical process has been experiencing more than enough demolition and construction. Those uncounted demolitions and construction of Curriculum term in education, brought us as evidence about our humanity always want to have a better in education, especially on sharing our knowledge. For instance, in history, we know Popkewitz (1987) argued the problem of the study is to subject the traditions and customs of everyday life to scrutiny. And that can be supported by Stauffer (2020) write, a standard curriculum typically consists of eight parts, as she defined it from purpose statement to outcome statement, essential resources, strategy framework, verification method, standard alignment, course syllabus, and a capstone project. Those are a result of the research by educators in the field to bring a better education either in the systems and/or a curriculum. Moreover, once we talked about demolition and construction, then this always come to me to analogize it by LEGO Bricks that friendly to be demolished and nearly free to reconstructing. Even though we know defining a curriculum is not as easy as constructing the LEGO Bricks. Nevertheless, the principality to let us have a beautiful LEGO model that fits with the system can be challenging, to which a similar challenge that we have on constructing the most efficient and effective curriculum in education that have equal quality and quantity to all. Eventuality, the point for us to take a look at this historical event on how curriculum got defined in the process is to emphasize that perceptions have led to a different position, description, and hence understanding of how curriculum came to be (Bernadete, 1996), likeness to help us with a beautiful LEGO model that fits with the system we will need to narrow it on what brick we do want to attach it each other throughout the process and differential trial and error, and hence the understanding of each brick component to create that model, this also comparison to curriculum like Eisner (2001) said, “to become much better and better also have a consequence, and that, “the curriculum gets narrowed as school district policies make it clear that what is to be tested is what is to be taught.” (Eisner, 2001).
Logically, like any other thing in the universe, nothing is perfect, and the existence of the curriculum process comes with some issues in practice. The practice like weirdly called as Western and Asian educations curriculum which we know have differences in culture. Based on my experience in teaching, in most Asian cultures, the education system is quietly taking a long hour and has a heavy content, once we compare with the Western education system for the same age and level. On the other hand, their methods of teaching and learning are also one of the issues for distributing effective and efficient knowledge. In Asia, for example, I found learners are taught to memorize to get the better in ranks and “face” rather than to learn, which I often called a “living photocopy machine”. Even though some Western teaching methods required memorizing, I found, the learners in Western teaching methods often must write their own essays, and serious consequences if they come up doing plagiarism. Furthermore, the issue I face in the Curriculum is the purpose of learning. Thanks to the 21st-century model, this purpose of learning gradually become narrow either in the Western or in Asian education curriculum, unlike in the past for most of the Asian curriculum tends for memorizing and solving paper problems in literature, science, and mathematics, that later become something they will forget after the exam. While in the Western curriculum tends for gaining a skill even though with no offensive, they may not know many things as many as Asian students, but they do have a skill on solving real-life problem-solving abilities. Because there are these issues, educating young learners nowadays become much more challenging, and as educators, we need to improvise our curriculums and systems.
Correspondingly with the issue, let’s identify their reason of existence in curriculum education. The possibility of the issue that comes because of the current education doesn’t give too much progress in real-life connection. Like during my teaching and learning at the high school level around the world, often I met a singular subject as their own independent subject, in terms if I only using the block LEGO bricks, then I won’t use any circular LEGO bricks on my building.
Another reason, the lack of understanding of the application of curriculum and the evaluation after it. By means, educational curriculum like for most of us after we taught our learners about a new topic then we will give them with some homework, which later we only give them the right answer for this homework without discussing it and guiding on how to apply it in real life. In addition, the most effective in my milieu is often people just pretend like they were super busy. Like, during my teaching, often in my workplace, I found a teacher at the school during the teaching period only, or even though they let their teacher at the same office but they will prefer for us not to discuss too many things but do our own self-work. Therefore, this educational curriculum should also be improvised on the milieu of working than just an idea, Pratt (1994) stated that “actual teaching and learning is not a curriculum, for curriculum refers to a plan for instructional acts, not the acts of instruction themselves.” Because “curriculum” is an interactive process developed among learners, teachers, materials, and the environment (Chen, 2007).
In Conclusion, as long as humans are alive then the issue will always exist, but we could learn about it, discuss it, and find a better solution. For us to be able to learn about it, then we need to be collecting some correlative data, analogically like for us to build a LEGO house, then we need to know which bricks we have to use. In practice, like how I often visit my other colleague’s office during our free time to discuss and talk about some certain students, also to share about how our methods have been applied. Considering we have learned about our LEGO house, then we need to discuss the effectiveness with quality to the system. In terms, once we can put the information into a paper from just visiting their office during the free time, now, we go with a big meeting on sharing the whole data. The discussion will lead us to a better solution, on which size of LEGO house that we want to design based upon the data we have learned, discuss, and fit with the curriculum system. This analogy by no means, open it up to all the stakeholders about our curriculum adjustment that we have discussed according to the data, like how we experienced in 2014 October, and giving us a better result for learner achievement, parents happiness, educators accomplishment, and school administration prosperity throughout our realization about these methods does effective, efficient on finding the quality curriculum education that can be fit. Because we want to have a better education that can bring joy, happiness, peace, and love to education, therefore, this kind of solution can be applied, in order for us to finally can have a beautiful LEGO house that fit with the systems and is accepted by stakeholders, like been mentioned by Philip Stabback in IBE (2016), “Curriculum that will provide the learner with life opportunities.”
Bernadette Baker. (1996). The History of Curriculum or Curriculum History? What is the Field and Who Gets to Play on it?. Curriculum Studies, 4:1, 105-117, DOI: 10.1080/0965975960040106
Eisner, Elliot W. (2001). What Does It Mean to Say a School is Doing Well? Retrieved November 15, 2021 from: https://chrisdavidcampbell.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/eisener-2001.pdf
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of curriculum. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from https://www.etymonline.com/word/curriculum
LiHE. (2020). What is Curriculum. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from: What is curriculum? | Institute for Learning in Higher Education (LiHE)
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Curriculum. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved November 13, 2021, from: Curriculum Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster
Popkewitz, T. (Ed.) (1987). The Formation of the School Subjects: the struggle for creating an American Institution. Published by New York: Falmer Press.
Stabback, P. (2016). What makes a quality curriculum? UNESCO International Bureau of Education (UNESCO-IBE). Retrieved November 13, 2021 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002439/243975e.pdf
Stauffer, Bri. (2020). What’s a Curriculum & How Do you Make One?. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from: What Is a Curriculum and How Do You Make One? (aeseducation.com)
Su, S-W. (2012). The Various Concepts of Curriculum and the Factors Involved in Curricula-Making. Journal of Language, Teaching, and Research. Retrieved November 17, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268348184_The_Various_Concepts_of_Curriculum_and_the_Factors_Involved_in_Curricula-making