The term curriculum is used in schools to refer to the content and set of courses offered in a particular school. In some schools, the curriculum is school-based while in others it is determined by the state for example, the curriculum of England is the same throughout the country. In the United States of America, the curriculum varies from one school district to another. School curriculum is very vital because it determines academic performance of the students. School administration should be very careful during establishment of the curriculum to prevent it from having negative effects on the students. A curriculum artifact is the outlined procedure which school institution follows to carryout their academic activities. The main goal of schools is academic excellence and this calls for the need to come up with a curriculum artifact that will improve the performance of the school (Diamond, 2009).
According to Diamond (2009), physical activities are very important and should be incorporated in a curriculum artifact. Exercises will help students in refreshing their minds after tedious classworks that indeed will improve their concentration when they get back to their classes. If necessary, students should be allowed to go for their physical exercises in the morning hours. Physical exercises are also healthy because they prevent occurrence of diseases like obesity that arise because of lack of exercises. Bearing in mind that children grow at a very high, they should be allowed to do exercises.
Diamond (2007), assert that putting into practice the courses outlined for study, subjects and syllabus is what is called curriculum implementation. Implementing curriculum involves the process of helping students to get equipped with skills, knowledge and experience so that they move out as useful society members. The learner is the most important figure in the curriculum and therefore without them, the curriculum cannot be implemented. The curriculum becomes successful once the learner has got himself the knowledge, ideas, skills and attitudes that make them productive members in the society. The act of putting into practice the program of education is in itself curriculum implementation. In order to implement curriculum program, there should be an agent through which, it is to be implemented. Teachers are the main implementation agents of educational curriculum programs. The teacher plays a major role of selecting and mixing different issues found in the program. The success of a teacher is observed when students are comfortable with their personality, materials used and the environment in which students are taught.
Posner (1995) argues that implementation of curriculum program is influenced by various factors. First, teachers play a major role as they decide what to teach and what to avoid. The teacher should have adequate knowledge concerning the curriculum to be in a position to implement it well. It is therefore important to involve teachers in the process of planning and developing the program to make any necessary changes and implement it for the benefit of the children. Bearing in mind that success in performance of children is all that is needed; teachers should ensure that students understand what is being taught. Teachers should not rush, as this will make students not to understand. Students should be encouraged to work hard to achieve high academic goals.
According to Posner (1995), schools should be supplied with enough materials and facilities to facilitate the process of learning.Teaching cannot be smooth if materials are not adequate. Schools should be supplied with adequate teaching aids, stationery and textbooks by the ministry of education or the government. Physical facilities like workshops, laboratories, libraries and playing grounds also enhance education. Social amenities like hospitals and latrines should be available within the school compound to cater for healthy and social needs of the children. Availability of resources ensures that the curriculum of a school is well implemented.
Curriculum implementation is influenced by other bodies existing is schools like the parents and teachers associations, parents, local authorities, religious denominations among other groups. One way is through funding the school so that it can purchase materials like books needed in schools or propose for inclusion of subjects they think will better help the students. It is important for such groups to be included in planning for the curriculum. The environment in which a school is found determines implementation of the curriculum. For example, schools found in good socio-economic environments usually have adequate resources and therefore they are in a position to implement their curriculum better than schools in poor socio-economic backgrounds. Differences in cultural backgrounds affect curriculum implementation in the sense that some groups may not agree with some of the issues posed in the curriculum for they go against their culture (Marsh, 1997).
Finally, the head has to be in control of the institution for implementation to be successful. The head should supervise and make sure that teachers perform their duties, allocate enough time for each subject, provide students and staff with adequate materials and ensure that the environment is fit for teaching and learning. If the above factors are put into consideration during planning, it goes without saying that implementation of the curriculum will be successful. This will improve academic performance of many schools (Marsh, 1997).
- Diamond R. (2009). Designing and assessing courses and curricula: A practical guide. London: John Wiley & Sons.
- Marsh C. (1997). Key concepts for understanding curriculum: Planning, management, and ideology. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Posner G. (1995). Analyzing the Curriculum. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.