Philosophical And Psychological Foundations Education Essay

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1.0 Abstract

This assignment aim to identify the importance of considering philosophical and psychological foundations in developing a curriculum, in which how do the philosophical and psychological aspect influence the construction of a learning curriculum. This assignment will discuss in detail on the definition of curriculum, four components contain in a curriculum, such as the four curricular of school, the explicit and implicit curricula and finally null curriculum.

This assignment also will be discussing on the meaning of philosophical in brief and why it is important to consider the philosophical factor in order to construct the curriculum and how the psychology factor can be relevant in playing the role to the philosophical aspect in constructing the curriculum.

Nevertheless, this assignment aims to identify the impact of instilling the philosophical and psychological aspect in constructing a curriculum in developing human capital.

2.0 Literature Review

According to the Wikipedia, the word curriculum comes from the Latin word meaning "a course for racing". However, in formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. Referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard. Curriculum has numerous definitions, which can be slightly confusing. In its broadest sense a curriculum may refer to all courses offered at a school. This is particularly true of schools at the university level, where the diversity of a curriculum might be an attractive point to a potential student.

Meanwhile according to the New International Dictionary it can be define as the whole body of a course in an educational institution or by a department, while The Oxford English Dictionary defines curriculum as courses taught in schools or universities. Curriculum means different things to different people. Most people, including educators equate curriculum with the syllabus.

While a few regard curriculums as all the teaching-learning experiences a student encounters while in school. Various theoreticians and practitioners have proposed definitions of curriculum for example, as the planned and guided learning experiences and intended outcomes, formulated through the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experiences under the auspices of the school, for the learners' continuous and willful growth in personal social competence (Tanner, 1980).

Curriculum can also be define as the contents of a subject, concepts and tasks to be acquired, planned activities, the desired learning outcomes and experiences, product of culture and an agenda to reform society (Schubert, 1987) or as a written document that systematically describes goals planned, objectives, content, learning activities, evaluation procedures and so forth(Pratt, 1980).

Finally, curriculum also can be define as a plan that consists of learning opportunities for a specific timeframe and place, a tool that aims to bring about behavioural changes in students as a result of planned activities and includes all learning experiences received by students with the guidance of the school (Goodlad and Su, 1992).

3.0 Components of a Curriculum

When people use the word curriculum, they are generally referring to the content chosen to be taught as the official curriculum. In schools that have adopted standards, the official curriculum reflects the content of those standards. The curriculum had been develop in order to cater the needs of the society, mainly the purpose of the curriculum is to produce citizen equip with the knowledge and skill aspect necessary in order for the citizen to accommodate themselves to the needs of the society and also their own needs in life.

Nevertheless, the other aspect in which also important in the implementation of a curriculum is the non-academic aspect. This can be refer as the moral value factor in which can be consider a part from the basic aspect of curriculum element which is to provide the target with knowledge and skills. This non-academic aspect however crucial in developing citizen that are bound to rules necessary in maintaining the peace and harmony of the society.

Therefore, the component crucial in constructing the curriculum can be discussed into four components.

4.0 The Four Curricula of Schools

According to Cuban, L. (1995) there is at least four different curricula in use in our schools. The curriculums are the official curriculum, the taught curriculum, the learned curriculum and finally the tested curriculum. The official curriculum is referring to what state and district officials set forth in curricular frameworks and courses of study. They expect teachers to teach it and they assume students will learn it.

The taught curriculum is what teachers without exterior factor or influence actually choose to teach. Their choices derive from their knowledge of the subject, their experiences in teaching the content, their affection or dislike for topics, and their attitudes toward the students they face daily.

The learned curriculum consist of beyond what test scores reveal about content learning, referring to unspecified lessons embedded in the environment of the classroom. Depending on what the teacher models, the student will learn to process information in particular ways and not in others. They will learn when and when not to ask questions and how to act attentive. They may imitate their teacher's attitudes. They learn about respect for others from the teacher's own demonstration of respect or lack thereof. The learned curriculum is much more inclusive than the overtly taught curriculum.

The tested curriculum is referring to what is tested is a limited part of what is intended by policy makers, taught by teachers, and learned by students. The farther removed teachers are from the actual construction of the tests, the worse the fit between the other curriculums and what is tested. Standardized tests often represent the poorest assessment of the other curriculums.

4.1 Explicit and Implicit Curricula

The explicit curriculum according to Eisner, E. (1994) is similar to Cuban's official and taught curricula, is a small part of what schools actually teach. Revising the content of this explicit curriculum does nothing to address the implicit curriculum because the implicit curriculum of the school is what it teaches because of the kind of place it is. And the school is that kind of place with various approaches to teaching. It consist of what kind of reward system that it uses, the organizational structure it employs to sustain its existence, the physical characteristics of the school plant and finally the furniture it uses and the surroundings it creates. These characteristics constitute some of the dominant components of the school's implicit curriculum. These features are intuitively recognized by parents, students, and teachers because they are salient and pervasive features of schooling.

Eisner describes one of those lessons where most school rooms are designed as cubicles along corridors and have a kind of antiseptic quality to them. They tend to be repetitive and monotonous in the same way that some hospitals and factories are. They speak of efficiency more than they do of comfort. Most of the furniture is designed for easy maintenance, is uncomfortable, and is visually sterile. The point here is not so much to chastise school architects but to point out that the buildings that we build do at least two things: they express the values we cherish, and, once built, they reinforce those values. Schools are educational churches, and our gods, judging from the altars we build, are economy and efficiency. Hardly a nod is given to the spirit.

Many caring teachers resist this sterile, impersonal environment, finding it as uncomfortable as do the students. These teachers do what they can to create an appealing environment. They do what they can to personalize their classrooms and their relationships with students. They do this in spite of the ever-present bells that trigger automatic movement from one class to the other much like the salivating of Pavlov's dogs. Despite the efforts of these teachers, the kind of place school is heavily influences the behavior of both teacher and student.

Teachers learned that their pupils' interest is in a subject is less important than keeping to the class schedule or lesson plan. They learn that social interaction is less important than the efficient functioning of passing periods. And they learn that a consistent set of rules applied to everyone is more important than helping an individual student understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Fundamentally, they learn that, as individuals, they are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things.

4.2 The Null Curriculum

What curriculum designers and teachers choose to leave out of the curriculum is no less important than what they choose to include. Those choices are based on a number of different factors.

Educators have personal beliefs about the importance of various parts of the official curriculum. Given that they do not have time to teach everything, they automatically choose those concepts they consider more important or with which they feel more comfortable. Often, teachers choose topics simply because they find them more enjoyable or believe that the students will find them interesting.

The same criteria for inclusion may apply for those who write the curriculum. However, in many cases, there is a more pervasive and unexamined motive. That is the current mindset, worldview, or paradigm of the culture or the individual. Because the Newtonian or mechanistic worldview still permeates traditional education, the universe of knowledge is consistently broken into parts. The goals of the curriculum are stated in broad terms, but the actual content tends to be specific bits of information and skills to be learned.

The paradigm shift that produced the Renaissance or the multitude of factors that converged to trigger the Civil War, are occasionally mentioned at the beginning of each content section. However, the "small chunk" mentality is so deeply ingrained that these big ideas merely become handy titles for lists of specific facts to be learned. Little time is spent exploring these big ideas because there is no easy way to test students on them. Big ideas become part of the null curriculum.

The null curriculum supports the implicit curriculum. With economy and efficiency as the underlying societal values, big ideas are to be avoided. If big ideas became the reigning paradigm, curriculum developers and standards writers would find it difficult to identify specific concepts that everyone must know. There are simply too many perspectives when it comes to thinking of big ideas, because there are too many connections and interactions, any and all of which might be correct.

In most schools, the prevailing worldview, such as mechanism or scientism, is taught. People in Western nations have adopted a relatively unquestioned worldview that the only valid way of solving problems of nature and man is science. This worldview is the one that prevails in westerns schools. Stepwise and objective problem solving is specifically taught. Intuitive knowledge is ignored and sometimes actively discouraged. It is part of the null curriculum.

This is done covertly rather than overtly. That is, by the teacher talk about the subject both presupposes the truth of these views and uses them to explain the subject matter. This is compounded by the fact that most popular textbooks also presuppose these views, presenting concepts in those frameworks without ever mentioning that there are other ways to explain them.

The lists of laws, rules, principles, definitions, and steps that make up so much of the official curriculum convey the implicit message that such knowledge is absolute. There is little or no discussion about how and why they came into being and what problems made them necessary. When the process becomes separated from the product, the human element disappears. Knowledge, such as the rules of grammar or the laws of motion, takes on the aura of the sacrosanct, immutable and true in some absolute sense. And that is what students are taught.

4.3 Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word philosophy comes from the Greek philosophia which literally means "love of wisdom".

Definition of philosophy according to the oxford dictionary can be defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline, a particular system of philosophical thought and the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience. Oftentimes, the result of philosophy is not so much putting forward new philosophies or propositions but making existing philosophies or propositions clearer. Philosophers study the works of other philosophers and state anew what others have put forward as well as proposing new philosophies. A philosopher can be a person who knows philosophy even though he or she engages in little or no philosophising. Philosophy also refers to the collective works of other philosophers. It can mean the academic exploration of various questions raised by philosophers. For centuries, philosophers have been interested with such concepts as morality, goodness, knowledge, truth, beauty and our very existence.

Education and philosophy, the two disciplines, are very closely related and in some areas they overlap each other. It is quite often said that, philosophy and education are two sides of the same coin in which the education is the dynamic side of philosophy. To elaborate further, philosophy and education are the two flowers of one stem, the two sides of one coin. One can never be thought of without the other. The presence of one is incomplete without the other.

The art of education cannot be completed without philosophy and philosophy cannot convert others to its aims and values without education. There is a close interaction between the two. Education is practical in nature and philosophy is theory. It is not vague to say that theory and practical are identical. The educator, who has to deal with the real facts of life, is different from the arm chair theorist who is busy in speculation.

But a close observation of the various interpretations of philosophy will prove that these two are nothing but the one and same thing seen from different angles. Philosophy is the study of the realities, the pursuit of wisdom. It is not mere theorizing but something which comes naturally to every individual. A person who goes deep into the reason and nature of things and tries to arrive at certain general principles with a view to apply them in his daily life, is a philosopher.

Philosophy is a way of life. In a wider sense philosophy is a way of looking at life, nature and truth. It sets up the ideals for an individual to achieve them in his life time. Education on the other hand is the dynamic side of philosophy. It is the active aspect and the practical means of realizing the ideals of life. Education is a sacred necessity of life, both from the biological and sociological point of view.

It is true that education works like a catalyst for a better life, a social desirable life. As a pot is made out of clay and a finished product comes out of raw material, so also from the immature child comes out the civilized man through education. Education renews and re-builds the social structure in the pattern of philosophical ideals. Human being, who is born and grows up with inherited propensities, determines the basic trails of man, but education paves a long way for his success in life.

Education according to Indian tradition is not merely a means to earn living, nor is it only a nursery of thought or a school for a citizenship. Rather, it is the initiation into the life of spirit, a training of human souls in pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue. The basic relationship between philosophy and education can be analyzed as follows. It is philosophy, that provides the purpose or the aim and it is education which makes it practical.

Philosophy shows the way and education moves on in that direction. When we define education as the modification or behaviour, the direction in which, modification to be carried out is determined by philosophy. Thus philosophy deals with the end and education with the means. In fact, we can observe that the great philosophers of all times have been also great educators. For example, Socrates and Plato, the great philosophers, were also famous educators.

A teacher is not a teacher, in true sense of the term, if the teacher is not able to discover the relationship between philosophy and education. Every teacher should realize the importance of philosophy in education.

Good philosophy thus would not only conceive the type of society which is needed in the society. It is philosophy which would give to the teachers a sense of adventure.

A true teacher should have knowledge of the subject he/she teaches the pupils and the society. He or she should also have the moralistic sense which comes from philosophy.

The choice of students must cater to the principles and purposes of philosophy. Choice of curriculum needs philosophers or leaders of thought. With the change of time and circumstances, the curricula also changes and this change can be brought out by philosophers alone.

The necessary conditions should be fulfilled so that the child is allowed to go in a free atmosphere with the ultimate aim of becoming a happy and a rightly adjusted person of the society.

The learning process is an active way of doing things; hence the curriculum for the child should concern itself with the realities of life.

As far as the methods of teaching are concerned, it can be said that the child is influenced; to give a particular shape to his life by the way he is taught.

The philosophy of the teacher is reflected in the child by his method of teaching. So the course of life of the child is definitely influenced by philosophy. Here comes the utility of philosophy.

The Education- philosophy relationship may be further pointed out as given below:

According to Alfred Weber (1955) the philosophy is a search for comprehensive view of nature, an attempt at a universal explanation of the nature of things a person who searches into the reason and nature of things, who tries to arrive at a general principle, and who attempts to apply those principles to daily conduct of life, acts like a true philosopher. According to Dewey, J. (1952), philosophy is critical reviewing of just those familiar things.

The Major Branches of Philosophy are, metaphysics or the discussion about the nature of ultimate reality and the cosmos, epistomology or the theory of knowledge, ethics, the theory of morality, aesthetics or the discussion of beauty, and logic or the study of ideal method of thought and reasoning. Philosophy influences even the daily life of every individual.

An educator not only holds certain beliefs and ideals of life, he also tries to convert his pupils to his own views and his own way of life.

The influence of a person, holding a vital belief, brought to bear upon another person with the object of making him also to hold that belief, is education. Thus education means to lead out, through the modification of the native behaviour of the child.

Education is a laboratory where philosophic theories and speculations are tested and made concrete. Education may, therefore, be rightly called applied philosophy.

Philosophy is wisdom; education transmits that wisdom from one generation to the other.

Philosophy is in reality the theory of education. In other words, education is the dynamic side of philosophy, or application of the fundamental principles of philosophy.

Philosophy formulates the method, education its process. Philosophy gives ideals, values and principles, those ideals, values and principles.

A philosopher tries to live in accordance with those aims and values and also wants others to be converted to his beliefs and live according to them. This he can achieve through education which is the best means for the propagation of his philosophy.

Neo-Darwinism gave rise to the Prominence of the principles of struggle for existence, cut-throat competition, gradually process of adaptation of the purpose of life, intellectualism and man's faith in reason.

Humanism, faith in higher principles and values of life, character development and emotional integration gained greater impetus.

4.4 Psychology

Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors. Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist, and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors.

While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in many different spheres of human activity. The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings.

There are several types of study related to psychology which is often used as guide in the teaching strategy. This used of psychology theory in teaching and learning method is often referred as pedagogy in the world of education. These types of study psychology are behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism and humanism.

4.4.1 Behaviourism

Behaviourism views human learning as the association between a stimulus and the accompanying response. Behaviorism, also known as behavioral psychology, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believe that our responses to environmental stimuli shape our behaviors.

According to behaviorism, behavior can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. This school of thought suggests that only observable behaviors should be studied, since internal states such as cognitions, emotions and moods are too subjective.

There are two major types of conditioning, the first one is known as classical conditioning where it is a technique used in behavioral training in which a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response (Pavlov, I. P. 1927). Next, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually, the previously neutral stimulus comes to evoke the response without the presence of the naturally occurring stimulus. The two elements are then known as the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response.

Meanwhile, the operant conditioning which sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning where it is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior.(B.F. Skinner, 1953)

Operant conditioning argues that the connection between a stimulus and a response can be strengthened by reinforcement. Social learning occurs when a person attends, retains and reproduces the modeled behaviour and is motivated to do so because it is of value.

4.4.2 Cognitivism

Cognitivism involves the study of the mental activities or events that takes place when a person learns, solves a problem or makes decisions. Meaningful learning is making connections between prior learning and the new information learned. Jean Piaget (1955), explains cognitivism is where the information that is attended to is absorbed by the senses and the human mind goes to work to organise it and to impose personal understanding by relating it to what it already knows. When the new information is assimilated through existing ideas and beliefs, it is usually combined with existing knowledge and reinforces the existing views.

Cognitivism is a proses of thinking development of a human beginning with the sensorimotor stage which occur since birth to age 2. In the early stage, the child's reactions are based on reflex operations and progresses towards being able to differentiate self from objects. By the end of this stage the child achieves object permanence and realises that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen or felt.

At the age of 2 until 7 is the preoperational stage is where the child learns to use language and able to represent objects symbolically. For example, a chair is used for sitting. Thinking is egocentric in which the child finds it difficult to consider the viewpoints of others. He or she is able to classify objects by a single feature. For example, the child groups together all the red objects regardless of shape or all the square objects regardless of colour.

Then at the age of 7 until 11, is the concrete operational where the child can think logically about objects and events. The child can classify objects according to several features and can order them in series along a single dimension such as size.

Finally, the formal operations beginning at the age of 11 years and onwards, the young person can think logically about abstract ideas, evaluate data and test hypotheses systematically. He or she is able to analyse ideas and comprehend spatial and temporal relationships. At this stage, there are few or no limitations on what the young person can learn depending on his intellectual potential and environmental experiences.

Piaget's view on how children think and develop has had a significant impact on educational practice and curriculum development. His ideas have been the basis for designing kindergarten and primary school curriculum. For example, learning materials and activities are designed to meet the appropriate level of cognitive development and to avoid asking students to perform tasks that are beyond their cognitive capabilities. Metacognition

Metacognition is the knowledge one has about one's thinking. They learn for understanding by paying attention to their learning, monitoring what they are learning and using the feedback from this self-monitoring to make adjustments, adaptations and even major changes to what they hold as understanding (Brown, 1978). The question of how individuals coordinate their knowledge about cognitive structures has received little attention from researchers (King and Kitchener, 1994; Kitchener, 1983; Kuhn, 1989). We propose that individuals construct metacognitive theories for two reasons which are the first one is to systematize their metacognitive knowledge, and second is to understand and plan their own cognitive activities within a formalized framework.

4.4.3 Constructivism

Constructivism argues that learning is not passive but involves the construction of knowledge by the learner. Constructivism also suggests that learning is a social activity in which is a reaction to didactic approaches such as behaviorism and programmed instruction in which constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process. The learner is not a blank slate (tabula rasa) but brings past experiences and cultural factors to a situation. (Vygotsky, 1978).

4.4.4 Humanism

According to the humanist approach, learning should take into consideration the emotions and feeling of students. Humanism argues that the role of the teacher is that of a facilitator to help in the learning development. Humanistic psychologists believe that an individual's behavior is connected to their inner feelings and self concept.

The humanistic approach in psychology developed as a rebellion against what some psychologists saw as limitations of the behaviorist and psychodynamic psychology. The humanistic approach is thus often called the "third force" in psychology after psychoanalysis and behaviorism (Maslow, 1968). 

Humanism rejected the assumption of the behaviorist approach which is characterized as deterministic, focused on reinforcement of stimulus-response behavior and heavily dependent on animal research.

5.0 The importance of considering philosophical and psychological foundations in developing a curriculum

Malaysian curriculum was made as base for the guidance in developing the ideal Malaysian citizen in order to meet with the year 2020 aspiration and inspiration. In order to fulfill this aim, it is crucial to reinsure all the element necessary is well organize to be implemented in order to produce citizen well equip with all the knowledge and skills necessary, nevertheless the moral values aspect is not neglected as to reinsure the peace and harmony can co-exist together with the development dreamed.

Therefore, it is importance to considering philosophical and psychology foundation in developing a curriculum as to produce a citizen that is well suited either intellectually, emotionally and ethically. This is parallel to the National Education Philosophy that is stated at the beginning of every standard curriculum document that is to produce an education that is an on-going efforts towards further developing the individuals in the holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and the nation at large. (Ministry of Education, 2010)

With the statement itself shows how important the element of philosophy and psychology in constructing the curriculum. The philosophy serves for moral development of a person meanwhile the psychology factors serve the purpose in both physical and intellectual development.

Both psychologists and philosophers have long been fascinated by the ways we conceive of the separation between our minds and bodies in which refer as a distinction between the mental world of forms and the physical world of images (Plato, 424 BC). Philosophy and psychology also are concerned with associating scientific truths with the body and religious truths with the mind (Descartes R., 1644). Contemporary interest in the mind or body problem shows how psychology attempts to address age-old philosophical queries.

Ethics is considered a philosophical field, but it certainly is an integral part of psychology. How to treat individuals who are participating in psychological experiments or studies has been an issue of debate for several decades. Cognitive developmental psychology attempts to explain how we are capable of understanding language and how we develop into social beings. The philosophical field of post-structuralism, headed by thinkers such as looks at the extent to which language is can be understood. Questions about how the brain structures language and infers meaning from social interactions at an early age straddle the line between philosophy and psychology. (Derrida and Foucault, 1963)

Both of these elements complement each other in producing the person well equip and well manner in his or her knowledge, people skill and working ethics. Therefore, it is useless if a citizen who is imbalance either intellectually, skills, manner or emotionally because the prosperity, peace and the development of a nation will be in jeopardy if even one of these crucial elements is imbalance and for the learners' continuous and willful growth in personal social competence (Tanner, 1980).

6.0 Conclusion

The importance of considering philosophical and psychological foundations in developing a curriculum, the philosophical and psychological aspects influence the construction of a learning curriculum in order to meet with the year 2020 aspiration and aspiration. In order to fulfill this aim, it is crucial to reinsure all the element necessary is well organize to be implemented in order to produce citizen well equip with all the knowledge and skills necessary, nevertheless the moral values aspect is not neglected as to reinsure the peace and harmony can co-exist together with the development dreamed.

The philosophy serves for moral development of a person or ethics, meanwhile the psychology factors serve the purpose in both physical and intellectual development in which is referring as cognitive developmental. Ethics is considered a philosophical field, but it certainly is an integral part of psychology. How to treat individuals who are participating in psychological experiments or studies has been an issue of debate for several decades. Cognitive developmental psychology attempts to explain how we are capable of understanding language and how we develop into social beings. The philosophical field of post-structuralism, headed by thinkers such as looks at the extent to which language is can be understood. Questions about how the brain structures language and infers meaning from social interactions at an early age straddle the line between philosophy and psychology (Derrida and Foucault, 1963).

In conclusion, both philosophy and psychology foundations are crucial and important in constructing the curriculum as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and the nation at large. (Ministry of Education, 2010)

7.0 References

Cuban, L. (1995). The Hidden Variable: How Organizations Influence Teacher Responses to Secondary Science Curriculum Reform. Theory Into Practice, Vol. 34, No. 1, 4-11.

Derrida, Jacques, 1978. "Cogito and the History of Madness" from Writing and Difference trans. Alan Bass. London & New York: Routeledge. pp. 36-76

Descartes, René (1983) [1644, with additional material from the French translation of 1647]. Principia philosophiae (Principles of Philosophy). Translation with explanatory notes by Valentine Rodger and Reese P. Miller (Reprint ed.). Dordrecht: Reidel. ISBN 90-277-1451-7

Eisner, E. (1994). The Educational Imagination: On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs, 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan College Publishing.

Ibid., 96-97

Proper, H., Wideen, M. F., & Ivany, G (1988) World View Projected by Science Teachers: A Study of Classroom Dialogue. Science Education, Vol.. 72, No. 5, 547-560

Schraw and Moshman: Educational Psychology Review 7 (1995). Educational Psychology Papers and Publications

Unknown (2012), retrieved on 18 October 2012, from

Unknown (2012), retrieved on October, 2012 from

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Part B

Article reviews on the key aspect of Stufflebeam's CIPP Model.

1.0 Introduction.

CIPP is referring to an acronym for Context, Input, Process and Product. This evaluation model requires the evaluation of context, input, process and product in judging a programme executed value. CIPP is a decision-focused approach to evaluate and emphasize on the systematic provision of information for programme management and operation though it was not specifically designed for evaluating learning approaches or strategies. Yet, it is a very versatile evaluation model across a wide range of applications.

It is being used in most case studies, as it takes into consideration the observable stages of learning development. Information is seen as most important when it helps programme managers to make better decisions, so evaluation activities should be planned to coordinate with the decision needs of programme staff. Data collection and reports are taken in order to promote more effective programme management. Due to changes in programmes they are implemented, evaluators' needs will change so the evaluation activities have to adapt to meet these changing needs as well as ensuring continuity of focus where appropriate in order to trace development and performance over time.

This evaluation aims in determining the advantage, value, or implication of a curriculum. It is also assert that all evaluation models share at least one common factor that is to conduct a rigourous evaluation and for reliable and systematic evidence to support any conclusions (Robinson; 2002). In addition, evaluations are therefore a process of quality improvement (Stufflebeam and Shinkfield; 2007).

The CIPP framework was developed as a means of linking evaluation with programme decision making. It aims to provide an analytic and rational basis for programme decision-making, based on a cycle of planning, structuring, implementing and reviewing and revising decisions, each examined through a different aspect of evaluation as in context, input, process and product evaluation. In other word, evaluation in terms as types of decisions it served and categorised it according to its functional role within a system of planned social change. The CIPP model is an attempt to make evaluation directly relevant to the needs of decision-makers during the different phases and activities of a programme.

In the CIPP approach, in order for an evaluation to be useful, it must address those questions which key decision-makers are asking, and must address the questions in ways and language that decision-makers will easily understand. The approach aims to involve the decision-makers in the evaluation planning process as a way of increasing the likelihood of the evaluation findings having relevance and being used. Moreover, evaluation should be a process of delineating, obtaining and providing useful information to decision-makers, with the overall goal of programme or project improvement.

There are many different definitions of evaluation, but one which reflects the CIPP approach is the definition on the programme evaluation is the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcome of programmes for use by specific people to reduce doubts, improve effectiveness, and make decisions with regard to what those curriculum are doing and affecting' (Patton, 1986:14). Stufflebeam sees evaluation's purpose as to establishing and providing useful information for judging decision alternatives and assisting an audience to judge and improve the worth of some educational programme or object and also as to assisting the improvement of policies and programmes.

2.0 Content

The CIPP model focuses on providing the foundation for deriving and validating particular evaluative criteria through an interactive relationship between evaluator and client. CIPP was founded through constructivist approach that involves evaluators to operate on a foundation of trust, showing respect to all stakeholders, apart from power, gender, and cultural backgrounds (Stufflebeam and Shinkfield 2007). In particular, it provides a framework for detecting unexpected defects and strengths (Stufflebeam 2003a). CIPP focuses on improvement of designs, where priority is given to planning and implementation of development efforts. When undertaking a evaluation study using CIPP, evaluators must take into consideration the feasibility of the project scope, safety for all users, significance of impact that the evaluation has on the project as well as project outcomes, and equity for stakeholders and decision makers. Communication between evaluator and stakeholders is kept open, to allow for gathering of data, as well as further analysis and synthesis.

The four aspects of CIPP evaluation that are context, input, process and outputs are being listed out to assist an evaluator to answer four basic questions such as the first thing is; what should be done in which this involves collecting and analysing needs assessment data to determine goals, priorities and objectives. For example, a context evaluation of a literacy program might involve an analysis of the existing objectives of the literacy programme, literacy achievement test scores, the staff concerns which consist on general and particular, literacy policies and plans and community concerns, perceptions or attitudes and needs.

The second is; how should it be done in which this involves the steps and resources needed to meet the new goals and objectives and might include identifying successful external programs and materials as well as gathering information.

The third is either it is done according to plan where this provides decision-makers with information about how well the programme is being implemented. By continuously monitoring the program, decision-makers learn such things as how well it is following the plans and guidelines, conflicts arising, staff support and morale, strengths and weaknesses of materials, delivery and budgeting problems.

And finally to identify whether the programme work or not by measuring the actual outcomes and comparing them to the anticipated outcomes, decision makers are better able to decide if the program should be continued, modified, or dropped altogether. This is the essence of product evaluation.

Context Evaluation helps decision makers to assess the needs, problems, assets and opportunities while identifying the goals and actions. The planning decisions and context information are two key concepts addressed during context evaluations (Randall, 1969). Evaluators need to consider the selection of problem components and put down their priorities in terms of importance. They need to verify the strategy or strategies that will be used to carry out or overcome these problem components. The main methods for data collection during context evaluations are research surveys, literature reviews and also expert opinions. Meanwhile, input evaluation helps decision makers to assess plans for their possibility and cost‐effectiveness for achieving the planning of the curriculums' objectives. It includes the structuring decisions and action plans that depend on design information. This stage of evaluation normally sees evaluators setting up and confirming plans and budgets before taking any actions. This may include comparing competing plans, funding proposals, allocating resources, scheduling work and assigning human resources.

Process Evaluation suggested evaluators to assess actions and implementations of plans that are being achieved. At this stage of an evaluation, the design has been structured and put on experiment. Evaluations fall into one of two categories, either formative or summative. Formative evaluations are generally interim reports which sent at various stages of an evaluation study to inform stakeholders and clients. These reports offer guidance to evaluators by assessing and assisting with goals and priorities. Summative evaluations are generally retrospective project assessment of completed project.

Evidence is collected to determine the effectiveness of the objectives, and to help designers and evaluators to gauge the success of the process. Main methods for data collection are such as baseline observations, and test results that can be compared against time frame sequence and comparing stated objectives with observed effects (Randall, 1969). Product Evaluation helps in identifying and assessing outcomes, those proposed and unintended, either short‐term or long‐term. It also provides a suggestion for clients to stay focused on their goals and to measure the effort's success in meeting targeted needs. The product information gathered from testing the completed designs contain evidence of the effectiveness in attaining short and long range goals, and also used to compare with another program or design (Randall, 1969).

The medium of evaluation is wide and there are numbers of different approaches to evaluation and theories. While the different approaches are all challenge to answer similar questions such as about the worth of programmes and elements of them, the weight is on various aspects such as purpose, focus and evaluator's role are varies. However, all share at least one feature: a concern for firmness in the accomplishment of the evaluation and a distress for reliable and systematic evidence to support any conclusions.

In implementing the evaluation, an evaluator could apply different approaches such as the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry from the social sciences for examples by using questionnaires, interviews, content analysis of documents and learning materials, focus group discussions, analysis of report and databases, observation and processes, literature search and analysis. Through its focus on decision-making, CIPP target to guarantee that its findings are used by the evaluators in a project. A holistic approach is used in CIPP to evaluate, aiming to paint a broad picture of understanding of a project and its context and the processes at work. It has the potential to act in a formative or summative way, helping to figure improvements while the curriculum is in process and also providing a summative or final evaluation overall. The formative aspect of it should also, in theory, be able to provide a well-established archive of data for a final or summative evaluation. The framework is flexible enough to allow the evaluator to inspect different cases or situations within the whole curriculum.

Critics of CIPP have said that it holds an idealized notion of what the process should be rather than its actuality and is too top-down or managerial in approach, depending on an ideal of rational management rather than recognizing its disorganized reality. The informative relationship between evaluation and decision-making has proved difficult to achieve and maybe does not take into account adequately the politics of evaluating within organizations.

As a way of overcoming the top-down approaches to evaluation, those of stakeholder and participative approaches have developed. These argue that all stakeholders have a right to be consulted about concerns and issues and to receive reports which respond to their information needs, however in practice, it can be difficult to serve or prioritize the needs of a wide range of stakeholders. In stakeholder and participative approaches, evaluation is seen as a service to all involved in contrast to the administrative approach such as CIPP model, where the focus is on rational management and the linkage is between researchers and managers or decision-makers. In the stakeholder approach, decisions emerge through a process of accommodation or democracy based on pluralism and the diffusion of power.

So the shift in this type of approach is from decision-maker to audience as the evaluator's mission is to 'facilitate a democratic, pluralist process by enlightening all the participants (Cronbach; 1982). However, some of the commissioning agencies who receive the reports from participative evaluations say they do not always find them helpful in decision-making, because of the nature of the reports produced and lack of clear indications for decision-making or conflicting conclusions.


As conclusion CIPP offer us with a multitalented framework. In combination with rigorous instructions, it allows an evaluator to adapt it according to a project's particular purposes. Notably, it aims to improve, rather than prove, any aspect of a study. Although it was not designed for any specific program or solution (Guerra‐López, 2008), nonetheless it strength is CIPP is adaptable, lending itself to use in unreliable situations as in other word comprehensive framework for guiding formative and summative evaluations of projects, programs, personnel, products, institutions, and systems (Stufflebeam 2003b). CIPP allows for evaluations to occur from the planning to outcome stages of an evaluation and allowing for literacy development during the design and build. This holistic approach shows evaluators that they need not wait until the completion to evaluate (Guerra-Lopez, 2008; Robinson, 2002).

CIPP's holistic approach is not only manifest in what it evaluates, but also who it involves in the evaluation. The role of stakeholder representatives in CIPP evaluations is as active participants helping to gain and provide information, not simply as passive sources from which evaluators gain their information. Moreover, it states that while evaluators manage and drive the evaluation to ensure integrity, stakeholders are used to help affirm foundational values define evaluation, questions clarify evaluative criteria, contribute needed information and assess valuation reports. (Stufflebeam, 2003)

Relevant stakeholders must be sought from all levels of influence, as not only is their involvement crucial to providing a thorough and sound evaluation, it is also an ethical responsibility. It empowers those who may not be represented in other forms evaluation (Stufflebeam, 2003b). Even before the first context evaluation begins, Stufflebeam suggests the use of checklists for contractual agreements between the evaluator and stakeholder, followed by further activities for both parties and concluding with a checklist for the final report (Stufflebeam, 2003b).

The thoroughness of the CIPP model is also one of its major limitations. From a theoretical perspective the model is complete, robust and egalitarian, though it is also idealistic and dependent on unique situations. Its critics contend that a number of situations exist in practice which prevent evaluations from running smoothly, most notably the politics occuring within and between departments and organizations and therefore often present in the creation and consequently the evaluation of a learning space (Robinson, 2002). Furthermore, the equity provided to all stakeholder groups, together with the requirement of input from them, means that the process of evaluation can be slow, costly and complex (Angelova and Weas, 2008). Finally, it is in practice still a top‐down, managerial model dependent on rational decisions made at a management level, although some collaboration is required (Robinson, 2002).

In the end, CIPP is not an infallible system, but rather a model to be used by an evaluator. The responsibility and accuracy of any evaluation is determined by the decisions of the organization conducting it, not the model itself. CIPP provides a way to gain evidence‐based data with which to validate findings and develop a clearer understanding of the process and problems encountered when creating learning spaces.

Evaluations may sometimes not be planned to assist in improving an entity, but aim instead to serve as a public relations exercise for promoting that entity's agenda. This kind of pseudo‐evaluation can be pursued in a number of ways. Firstly, the questions asked in the evaluation can be specifically chosen to provide only a positive outcome for the entity. Secondly, a genuine evaluation can be conducted, but only selected information of the results will be released. In either case, pseudo‐evaluations allow for what refer to as "public relations‐inspired" evaluations. (Stufflebeam and Webster, 1983)

In spite of the type of evaluation model chosen, all valid evaluations have a range of goals. They aim to assist in dissemination and foster enlightenment, to help decision makers make effective decisions and to reveal the potential strengths and weaknesses of projects. It is our belief that physical spaces for learning in higher education can improve and stand up to public scrutiny only if they are regularly subjected to a rigorous evaluative process shown to be sound through effective and reviewed method. CIPP is the framework by which we intend to ensure that this process occurs successfully.


Angelova, I & Weas, L 2008.

Cronbach, L. J. (1982). Designing evaluations of educational and social programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Guerra‐López, IJ 2008, 'The CIPP Model', in Performance Evaluation: Proven Approaches for Improving Program and Organizational Performance, Jossey‐Bass, San Francisco, pp. 10.

Randall, RS 1969, 'An operational application of the Stufflebeam‐Guba CIPP model for evaluation,' The American Educational Research Association Convention,

Robinson, B 2002, The CIPP approach to evaluation, COLLIT Project.

Stufflebeam, D.L. & Webster, W.J. (1983). Alternative Approaches to Evaluation. In G.F. Madaus, M. Scriven & D.L. Stufflebeam (Eds.). Evaluation Models: Viewpoints on Educational and Human Services Evaluation. Boston: Kluwer Nijhoff

Stufflebeam, DL & Shinkfield, AJ 2007, 'Evaluation theory, models, and applications', in, Jossey‐Bass, California, USA

Part C

Curriculum review based on the CIPP model.

Topic :

A review on the English Curriculum for primary school based on the Primary School Integrated Curriculum (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah) by using the Context, Input, Process and Product Evaluation (CIPP) Model.


This essay review focuses on the implementation of the English Curriculum for primary school (Primary 3 - 6) in Malaysia which based on the Primary School Integrated Curriculum (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah(KBSR)). This review applied the CIPP Evaluation Model comprises the content, input, process and product. The content of the curriculum will reviewing the objectives of the curriculum by defining the context and identifying the population apart from the assessment needed. The inputs components conclude the English language curriculum itself, the resources that are available, the implementation design and the structuring decisions as a whole. The evaluation on the process is reviewed through the implementation of the curriculum and the provision of the periodic feedback while the curriculum is being implemented. As for the fourth key element which is the product evaluation, the outcomes of the initiative will be reviewed to determine whether the curriculum managed to accomplish what has been set out to be achieved. Finally, this essay will conclude on the effectiveness on the curriculum based on the author' opinion of the current situation.

1.0 Introduction

The English Curriculum for primary school (Primary 1 - 6) in Malaysia based on the Integrated Primary School Curriculum (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah(KBSR) has been implemented since 1993 and it is mainly a change of name of previous curriculum which is the New Primary School Curriculum (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah (KBSR)). The implementation of the KBSR was based on the change in the Cabinet Committee Report on the Review of the Implementation of the Educational Policy (Laporan Jawatankuasa Kabinet Mengenai Perlaksanaan Dasar Pelajaran) in 1979. Based on the report, the teaching of English is to enable learners to use English in everyday situations and work situations as well as pursue higher education ( Sukatan Pelajaran Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah, Bahasa Inggeris (2001)).

At this time of review, the KBSR English language curriculum is still applied to the Primary 3 to Primary 6 pupils meanwhile the Year 1 to Year 2 are based on the Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) or the Standard Primary School Curriculum of English language curriculum which had been implemented since the year 2011.

Realizing the importance of the use of English language in higher education and the workplace, the English Language is also considered as the language of Information Communications Technology (ICT) and also as a language in establishing international relations in a borderless world and as a result, the English curriculum for primary school was designed to provide learners with strong foundations in the English language.

It is hope through the implementation of the English language curriculum, the learners will be able to build upon this foundation and use the language for various purposes. In addition, the development of the learners' linguistics ability should be in line with the development of the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical potential of all students based on National Educational Philosophy and the Education Act of 1996.

Apart from that, the English curriculum does acknowledge the students differences in individual strengths, abilities and learning styles and preferences and suggest that the teachers should take all the differences into account towards meeting the aims and the aspirations of the curriculum are fulfilled and the students' potential of the child is maximized. The curriculum was designed for both the national primary schools (SK) and also the national type primary schools (SJK) and to help the teachers teach the English language subject, a supporting documents known as syllabus specifications or Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran is made available.

Apart from the aims, objectives and the organizational of the curriculum which will be explained in detail in the next part, this essay review is done mainly because of my experience in teaching the English language for 5 years in the current school. The curriculum design for the English language is specifically designed for all learners in Malaysia by discriminating the geographical factors such as urban areas and the rural areas. Though the content of the curriculum was made in general comprising the basic skills needed in curriculum, the students still face the same difficulties in learning the language. Another interesting fact that should be taken into consideration is the status and the relevance of the English language in Malaysia which strongly suggested as the 'second language' by the policy (Dr. Mohd Sofi Ali, 2003). For example, the policy declares;

"English is taught in all primary and secondary schools in the country in keeping with its status as a second language in the country". (KPM, 2001 p1)

From my point of view, the declaration of the English language as the second language affecting the design of curriculum as a whole in the context of its implementation in Malaysia. Hence, this essay will look into the KBSR English curriculum for primary school to evaluate the curriculum based on the CIPP Model.

2.0 The Stufflebeam's CIPP Model

Based on John Arul Philip (2011), the CIPP Model was introduced by Daniel L. Stufflebeam (1971) and it was introduced a widely cited model of evaluation known as the CIPP Model (context, input, process and product). This approach is applied in the review of the KBSR English language curriculum and aim to determine to examine the result of the curriculum's implementation. Hence, in this review, the Stufflebeam's Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP) evaluation model is used as a framework to systematically guide the conception, the design, implementation and the assessment of the KBSR English language curriculum.

3.0 Context evaluation of the KBSR English language curriculum

3.1 The English language curriculum environment

The implementation of the curriculum in primary schools in Malaysia was far more lacking than the planning of the curriculum. The English language is taught to the learners (primary 4 - 6) of 7 periods a week which accumulated to 3 ½ hours a week and 8 periods a week (4 hours) for primary 3 pupils in national schools. Based on the time distribution for teaching English language in schools, the opportunity for the pupils to use the language was very limited as the language was mainly used during the English period and with the assumptions if the instruction was totally done in the language. This is a major issues since the other subjects is being taught in Malay language (Bahasa [email protected] Melayu) since the implementation of the PPSMI (Teaching Science and Mathematics in English language) will end fully in 2014.

Yet, the curriculum aims to equip the learners with basic skills and knowledge of the English language apart from enable the learners to communicate orally and also in their writing, either in or out of the school (KPM, 2001). Unfortunately, apart from the time period for English language in the classroom, it is far more lacking for the learners to use the language outside the classroom or at home. Dr. Mohd Sofi Ali (2003) clarifies that the English language, as a means of interaction amongst the pupils, was considered as non-existent. The English language in school who responsible in carrying the English language activities seems failed to implement the task due to the lacking of potential English teacher in school. It is a well-known to us that Malaysia is an inter-racial country in which the learners comes from different races background and most students prefers to converse in Malay language or they are more comfortably using their mother tongue languages. In addition, this scenario is not only happened in urban areas but are worse in the rural areas especially schools in Sabah and Sarawak states. Thus, the English language was not widely use either within the school compound or at home due to the inability of the parents to converse in English with the students as an extent aim by the curriculum.

3.2 Inadequate numbers of English teachers in schools

The curriculum comprises the four basics skills of the English language and addition of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) content as an integration through a programme namely as ICT Learning. Apart from all the skills, the curriculum also stresses out the language content (grammar and word list) as part of the curriculum and emphasizing the moral education, citizenship education, patriotism and thinking skills in order to build a modern and progressive