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Title: The curriculum
Other Titles: Inside secondary schools : a Maltese reader
Authors: Borg, Carmel
Mayo, Peter
Keywords: Education -- Malta
Education -- Curricula -- Malta
Curriculum planning -- Malta
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Indigo Books
Citation: Borg, C., & Mayo, P. (2002). The curriculum. In C. Bezzina, A. Camilleri Grima, D. Purchase & R. Sultana (Eds.), Inside secondary schools : a Maltese reader (pp. 85-95).Msida: Indigo Books.
Abstract: Most of the debate on education, in Malta and Gozo, throughout the last few years, has centred around the concept of Curriculum. The reason for this is that we have been witnessing, during this period, a long process of consultation with respect to the development of a new National Minimum Curriculum (henceforth NMC). Curriculum is one of the key concepts in educational debates, a very basic concept which is not easy to define. Definitions reflect their proponent’s values. People define the curriculum according to their belief as to what education should be and, often, according to the educational experience to which they have been exposed. It is extremely difficult to reach agreement on a definition regarding what is a curriculum in the same way that it is extremely difficult to reach an agreement on what education is and should be. Among the most common definitions, listed by Colin Marsh (1997, p.3), we discover the following: Curriculum is that which is taught in school”, “Curriculum is a set of subjects’, ‘Curriculum is a set of performance objectives’. To these we can add ‘Curriculum is a set of principles governing life within schools and other educational settings’, ‘the Curriculum provides an educational vision’ for schools (adapted from the preamble to the NMC, Ministry of Education, 2000, p. 13). The idea of a vision, based on principles, general aims and educational strategies, can provide the basis for a working definition of the concept of curriculum. It would be, however, a working definition and nothing more. No definition of curriculum can be complete, given the complexity of the concept. The definitions provided above and elsewhere, in the vast literature in the area, have their merits but are also limited. Our working definition is no exception. One can easily notice, when reading the various definitions, that the concept of curriculum is broad in scope, encompassing a broad range of areas that contribute to the learner’s education. If one takes Malta’s new NMC document as an example, one comes across such areas as ‘assessment,’ ‘language,’ ‘the physical and social environment,’ ‘teacher competence and effectiveness,’ ‘subject areas,’ ‘principles of learning,’ ‘inclusive education’ and ‘holistic education,’ to mention just a few examples. In this respect, a curriculum is to be distinguished from a syllabus. The curriculum might, for example, identify a number of languages that are to be taught, including, in Malta’s case, the two official languages, Maltese and English. It does not indicate, however, the specific tasks and content that have to be mastered for each of the languages, often, as in the case of Malta, in connection with an exam or test. The content for a specific subject area constitutes the syllabus.
ISBN: 9993246042
Appears in Collections:Inside secondary schools : a Maltese reader
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