The Impact Of Subject And Learner Centred Designs Education Essay

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Daniel Tanner (1980) defined curriculum as "the planned and guided learning experiences and intended learning outcomes. The curriculum is formulated under the auspices of the school through the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experiences, for the learner' to continuous and willful growth in personal social competence. Basically, there are three types of curriculum designs; which are subject-centred designs, learner-centred designs and problem-centred designs.

Subject-centred curriculum focuses on the content of the curriculum. The curriculum design corresponds mostly to the textbook written for the specific subject, for instance languages, mathematics, science, history, arts and many others.

However, learner-centred curriculum focuses on certain aspects of the learners themselves. It may explore the learner's surrounding environment. The main idea behind the practice is that learning is most meaningful when topic are relevant to the students themselves.

The problem-centred designs placed students in the social setting to address the problems. The model focuses on the problem faced by society. The objective is to prepare students with relevant knowledge and skills for them to fir the society when they leave their school.

The essay in part A discusses the impact of subject and learner-centred designs in teaching and learning in two sections. The first section focuses on the type of subject-centred designs and the impact of subject-centred designs in teaching and learning. The second section focuses on the type of learner-centred designs and the impact of learner-centred designs in teaching and learning. We will discuss the impact of each design from teachers, students, society and material aspect.

What is Subject-centred Designs?

In 1949, Ralph Tyler lay out the subject-centred designs in his book Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. His book becomes the foundation for the subject-centred on learning and still using in many countries. Subject-centred designs focus on one subject a time, helping learners building on the knowledge gained.

Type of Subject-centred Designs

Five different approaches have been proposed in the subject-centred designs; they are academic subjects design, discipline based design, broad fields design, correlation design and process design (Phillips, 2007).

Academic subjects design

This is the oldest and best known design. Students have no right to choose what is meaningful for them to study. There are a variety of books and sources to support this design. Teachers find it easier to transmit ideas and knowledge thru textbooks.

Discipline based design

In discipline design, the teaching of the disciplines in its pure form is emphasized. That is, a student who studies physics would approach the subject as a physicist while those who study music will study it as musicians. This approach will narrow the view and knowledge of students.

Broad fields design

This design is also known as the interdisciplinary design. The design combines two or more related subjects into a one logical subject. For example, Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology and Physics were composed to form General Science. Students may achieve a greater integration of learning experiences but the knowledge will be superficial.

Correlation design

This design model lies between the academic design model and the broad field design. This design attempts to relate a subject to the others while maintaining their identity as subjects. For example, students read a novel that relates to the same time period while studying a period in history.

Process design

Thinking processes such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving are taught under this design mode. The aim of the curriculum is to enhance process skills applicable to all disciplines. Under a major project, i-THINK, the Ministry of Education Malaysia is now developing thinking skills in all Malaysian schools.

The Impact of Subject-centred Designs in Teaching and Learning

In a subject-centred classroom, it is acceptable that the teacher who is an expert in a subject be the person who impacts that knowledge to the students. Teachers are in control of the whole learning process, planned instructional design and teaching techniques. Every instruction is from top-down, wherein knowledge is passed from teachers to students via sharing, leaning contents, transmits values, attitudes and ideas. These make a teacher very professional. Teachers attend a university to receive a degree in their chosen field and then become an expert in that subject in school. In this situation, students will not get wrong information from the teacher.

However, the situation isn't that anticipate in our country. Some university students attended a post graduate teacher training course, KPLI (Kursus Perguruan Lepasan Ijazah) or DPLI (Diploma Perguruan Lepas Ijazah) to become a teacher after graduate. They might be graduated with degree of arts but end up become a language teacher after the course. These teachers might be less expertise compare to those who attend a university to receive a degree in their chosen field. This is happening not only due to the teacher shortage issue but also because of the curriculum design. Since there are bundle of teaching aids and references to support subject-centred design, it can easily allow teachers to teach with existing material. With the knowledge of a degree holder, a university student can easily transform as a teacher.

Subject-centred design lends itself to mass production. This traditional approach has many resources for learners and teachers. Teachers communicate the ideas and knowledge of certain subjects in verbal form in textbooks because it is easy to interpret in textbooks and those textbooks are commercially available support materials. The curriculum reduces the content into small components that are clearly definable and measurable. Students and teachers can find many workbooks that breakdown reading or math into sub skills and processes. This makes pros and cons to both students and teachers. As I mentioned earlier, some of the teachers nowadays are not really expert on what he or she is teaching. This expertise insufficient may cause students cut classes or even skip school, especially in secondary school because the student can attend tuition class from an expertise teacher rather than a teacher without professional knowledge. Resources or books may also lend to hastily of teachers in teaching. However, the advantage of the mass production is learners and teachers can engage in self study or self improvement.

Subject-centred design is beneficial for dedicated teacher. The teacher will be able to guide the teaching and learning process in the class with a good teaching plan. Teachers will determine all teaching content. On the other side, students can acquire new knowledge adequately during the whole learning process. Teachers can also prepare their own teaching aids according to students' background and thus make the lesson more effectiveness and interesting. For example, a second language teacher plans to teach family members. The teacher can teach students how to address own family members before teaching them how to address relatives. This kind of step-by-step teaching and learning is helpful and not confusing.

However, there also challenges for teachers to teach under correlation design. Teachers must at least know the relationship about the material and content and ways to relate each other while teaching. Teachers involve must find time to plan lesson cooperatively.

Most of us were educated under subject centred design. This format of education is more familiar and acceptable compare to other curriculum designs. Teachers will know well at which stage students are in their learning at all times in the end of the course when testing and evaluation of learning were executed. Every course that is taught will have to be evaluated. Standardized, multiple choice, true-false, and comprehension tests are used for evaluation (Ahara, 1995). If the learning is subject-centred design, the rate of learning is apparent, thus testing can be executed at the appropriate time. By using test score, a teacher can easily quantify and justify the students' achievements. Scores are also motivating students to achieve better in the future evaluation.

If the scores achieved weren't as good as anticipated, a teacher might do some adjustments and alterations before the final evaluation. The teacher can also provide tutorial classes for those who are weak in the subject. Special guidance might be given for slow learners in order for them to catch up with the others.

However, testes in this curriculum design are based solely on regurgitating material. The tests given might not an overall comprehension or understanding of students in the subjects. Students can simply memorize what they need to know in order to pass the test. At last, they might learn or remember nothing after the test. Therefore, it is difficult to test the knowledge in practical use of the materials in everyday life to solve problems. Hence, teachers should test students over comprehension but not memorize skills.

Even there are some arguments about the ways of teachers tested students in this curriculum design; we can't admit that subject-centred design is easier for students to remember information for future use. Students can easily realize the important knowledge that they have to learn during the lesson. Results have shown that many successful students have come from this design through the years (Silvestri, 1997).

Just because the subject-centred designs corresponds mostly to the textbooks written for specific subjects and the commercial production of books and sources, tutors without much training can easily teach from an existing curriculum. This circumstance is well known as tuition classes in our country. The ramp of tuition classes in our country has gone beyond control. Parents who expect high scores will send their children to several tuition classes. Initially, tuition classes exist to help students which need more help than others, but nowadays, even smart students are attending tuition classes. Parents today are mostly working; they treat tuition classes as day care center to take care of their children while learning. This kind of action seems killing two birds with one stone but it indirectly obliterate children's childhood with studying. As a result, students do not like to study and learn new things.

By using the subject-centred design, teachers will have better control in class where students will not have a chance to disrupt a classroom. According to Karen Silvestri (1997), a disciplined classroom imparts a sense of self-discipline. Experience has shown in the last generation that children who are raised in a disciplined framework in school do indeed learn better throughout their school life as well as having a balanced approach to life in general.

However, this sense of self-discipline and subject-centred design might omit the importance of learner experiences (Scheidies, 1994). Subject-centred design requires a learner to accept the information being transmitted rather than challenge. Students are passive in a subject-centred design classroom, there are seldom learning noise. Students will only believe in books and afraid to ask questions beyond the frame. This subject-centred curriculum will only foster passivity about learning and knowledge. Finally, students with lack critical and creative thinking skills are well produced. Sadly, the workplace nowadays does not require individuals who are "walking encyclopedias". Employees are complaining about our graduates, particularly lack of analytical skill, life management skills, cooperation skills, interpersonal skills and so forth.

Furthers, the subject-centred designs depends upon a system of authority (Scheidies, 1994). Students' needs are considered only in conjunction with type and difficulty level of the material (Scheidies, 1994). Subject-centred learning does not take family situation, ethnic background or other wide range of options into account that will impact learning. Students have no right to choose the content they are most meaningful for them. They are expected to absorb whatever material taught in the time allotted. Learning material will not change regardless of students' needs and must be covered on time. The pro is, students can learn the knowledge in adequate time but the con is slow learners might have no choice but follow accordingly.

On the other hands, subject-centred curriculum prevents students from understanding the wider context of what they are learning. Separate lesson on languages, mathematics, sciences, history, arts and music is taught without regard how one subject impacts another subject. Students may learn about history but they do not know how history is influencing our country and culture. That is why we can often hear the question "Why are we studying history?" This kind of separation of subject-centred curriculum make students feel bored and difficult to understand when studying.

Differ with academic subject design, broad fields design provide interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary studies. Students study a subject combined from different subjects which have linkages between each others. Even the syllabus might not as depth as a pure subject, this will indirectly help students to determine their own interest. For instance, a student study General Science which was composed from Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology and Physics find his interest in Biology and thus further his study in that field as his expert. Furthermore, breadth views about different subjects will at least wider a student's visual field.

As a conclusion, subject-centred curriculum designs had created many pros and cons to learners. There are still many countries using this curriculum design, this department in charge should monitor the progress of the curriculum from time to time and make advisably modify to keep pace with the society needs.

What is Learner-centred Designs?

According to Collins & O'Brien (2003), learner-centred instruction is an instructional approach in which students influence the content, activities, materials, and pace of learning. This learning model places the student (learner) in the center of the learning process. The instructor provides students with opportunities to learn independently and from one another and coach them with the skills they need to do so effectively. The learner-centred instruction approach includes such techniques as substituting active learning experiences for lectures, assigning open-ended problems and problems requiring critical or creative thinking that cannot be solved by following text examples, involving students in simulations and role plays, and using self-paced and/or cooperative (team-based) learning. Properly implemented of this design can lead to increased motivation to learn, greater retention of knowledge, deeper understanding, and more positive attitudes towards the subject being taught. (Ibid.)

Type of Learner-centred Designs

Learner-centre designs include three types of design identified as child-centre design, radical design and humanistic design.

Child-Centred design

Learners are actively participating in the teaching-learning process. The design emphasizes on the needs and interests of learners. Teachers and learners negotiate the interest and content to be included in the curriculum.

Radical design

Schools indoctrination learners into a particular cultural view rather than educate and emancipate them. This design greater emphasize on reform society. Students need to gain awareness, competencies and attitudes to take control of their lives.

Humanistic design

The curriculum should be designed to empower learners to be involved in the process of becoming. Abraham Maslow and his theoretical concept of self-actualization is one of the key influences of this particular curriculum design.

The Impact of Learner-centred Designs in Teaching and Learning

Learner-centred designs are emphasizing the needs of learners rather than the needs of the teacher or the institution. The curriculum gives students flexibility on what, where, when and how to learn. By using this curriculum design, learners become more active on participants in their own learning. They learn to construct knowledge by interacting with teachers and peers. Thus, students can improve their communication skills via activities. A good communicator has better chances of success. This is something learners might not learn from subject-centred curriculum, where one way communicating is given.

In traditional approaches, learners receive the knowledge passively and shaping as well as being shaped by experiences. However, learner-centred designs encourage learners to seek for knowledge. They are allowed to explore, experiment and discover on their own. Learners have the autonomy to direct their learning. Learners are responsible for the success of a lesson. Therefore, they tend to feel more responsible for their learning through trial and error. They began to accept failure bravely and dare to take challenges.

Learners are highly motivated in learner-centred curriculum. They feel they have a real stake in their own learning when they have a chance to decide what is the most meaningful to learn for them. Motivation and confidence are gained by learning what they need to know. Further, they can create higher achievement with the motivation and confidence when they attribute success to their abilities and not to luck or help. These will train learners as competent problem-solvers, which will impact not only in school life but also working life.

The active nature of the learner-centred approach helps students work and seek for information rather than listen and stored. Their brain can work and store them for a longer period of time by working with the information. Activities can increase actual learning and performance. During a language class for example, a student can remember better how to use a sentence in real group practice than just listen to teacher's examples.

Learners also work in collaboration with the other learners in learner-centred curriculum. Learners think of creating and different ways to accomplish tasks. They learn to collaborate with the other learners during the whole process. We can also see fast learner is helped or leading slow learners. This isn't only enhancing academic achievement but also promote the development of other personal learning skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, management skills and communicating skills. By working together with peers, learners also share ideas and learn from the others.

Leo Jones (2007) said that a student-centered classroom isn't a place where the students decide what they want to learn and what they want to do. It's a place where we consider the needs of the students, as a group and as individuals, and encourage them to participate in the learning process all the time. Students may be working alone, in pairs or in groups at different time. Students are preparing ideas or making plans when working alone. This will encourage them to involve in learning and give opinions. Some learners feel more secure and less anxiety when working in groups; therefore, group activities are a good place for them to voice out their suggestions or views.

Learner-centred teaching is adaptable to meet the needs of every student. In order to design a lesson, a teacher must think of the students, rather than the content. Teachers must design activities that let students take initiative to discover the meaningful information for their own lives. Teachers must also understand the students' individual basis so that they can better respond to the individual needs and interests of the students. However, there isn't much training provided for teachers in these fields. Teachers nowadays are lack experiences in practice learner-centred teaching. They do not know how to conduct knowledge in other ways than subject-centred curriculum. They are overwhelmed by the rigor as a teacher. Some teachers tend to feel vulnerable using learner-centred approach, so they retreat to the more familiar form of lecture at the end.

Teachers work as facilitator in learner-centred curriculum. But this does not take away the overall responsibility of the teacher but require the teacher to negotiate with learner about the goals, content and methodology adopted for learning. Teachers have to provide guidance and support for learners from time to time, especially elementary students so that they can meet specific learning goals in a learner-centred environment. The impact, teachers will feel over work load working with each and every process of learner-centred curriculum.

The other great impact on learner-centred curriculum is class management. A class of students might have different abilities, different experience and different needs. Teachers have to design a lesson based to learners' needs. In a crowded classroom, it seems to be difficult to have group activities. A thirty minute lesson might end up busying divided students into groups and giving instructions. Teachers might not have a chance to listen and guide every group. And therefore, the learning objective of the lesson cannot be achieved. However, this type of problem can be solved after several activities. Students who used to the curriculum designs can easily group up and work together to complete a task.

For the mix-ability classes, the weak students might refuse to try or talk during group activities. In this situation, teachers should pair students with different ability. This will encourage stronger students to teach or lead weak students while will motivate weaker students share their suggestions and develop confidence. Sometimes, teachers can design different task for students with different ability. Simple and straight forward task for weak groups; while multiple or critical task for strong groups. The pro is weak students able to cope with the lesson but the con is the gaps of students' abilities and talents might be wider.

A noisy classroom is another concern for most of the teachers to undergo learner-centred approaches. Teachers have to accept learning noise while using learner-centred curriculum designs. Learners free to discuss and talk with peers making the classroom losing its control. But what worst is learners might discuss something out of the topic. Therefore, teachers must monitor the learning process all the time and guide learners to the correct information during discussion. The seating of group members can be closer so that they can talk softly during discussion.

As a facilitator, the teacher might spend times to interact with every group. Consequently, timing is very important. If a teacher fails to control the timing for an activity, the planning for the whole material might be interrupted. A teacher should well prepare and plan before running a learner-centred activity. Prudent with time but still be flexible to prolong an activity when students enjoy it or cut it short when the activity isn't going well is also a way to emerge a teacher's profession.

The learner-centred curriculum will increase teachers work load by preparing for the class and evaluate students' works. Elementary students need help and monitor in access and process information. They do not know how to seek for knowledge. The knowledge provided will at last transmitted to learners by the traditional teaching and learning method. At the end, parents are doing the task for their children and teachers are evaluating parents' assignment.

Parents and even society today needs quantitative results. They want to know how well a child can score to decide how intelligent a child is. At last, teachers and schools might back to the subject-centred curriculum design to fulfill society needs. This is all because the society still couldn't fully accept learner-subject curriculum. However, I suggest teachers to integrate learner activities with teaching to attract attention while students get used to the curriculum design. These will also bring advantages to the process of teaching and learning.

Student-centred curriculum implicates the whole syllabus design. The process of learning is very important. For this reason, continuous and professional development in this area is paramount. Good practice should be identified. Nevertheless, the training for teacher in teaching with student-centred is precious little. The government might need to spend for training and sources to carry out the whole curricula.

As we can see, the education ministry is trying to integrate subject-learner curriculum into the syllabus nowadays. The whole process might take up to several years, and the result is still an uncertain. But as a teacher, this design should be at the centre of our preoccupations as educators where we discuss, learn and grow together with our students.


Finally, both subject-centred and learner-centred curriculums have their own advantage and disadvantages. The curriculum used will impact the whole society anyway. But there isn't necessarily mutually exclusive. Rather, subject-centred and learner-centred curriculums can be constituted a continuum. Teachers can give lectures while making students interact more actively with ideas and information, beyond lecture. In this sense, task or problem-based workshops and seminar which encourages students to engage actively with one another with a variety of information are encouraged.


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What is CIPP?

The CIPP model of evaluation was developed by Daniel Stufflebeam and his colleagues in the 1960s. CIPP is an acronym for Context, Input, Process and Product. The CIPP model is a comprehensive framework for guiding formative and summative evaluation of projects, programs, personnel, products, institutions and systems (Stufflebeam, 2003).

The model is configured for use in internal evaluations conducted by an organization's evaluator; self-evaluations conducted by project teams or individual service provider; and contracted or mandated external evaluations (McLemore, 2009). Stufflebeam (2003) claimed that the model has been employed throughout the United States and around the world in short-term and long-term investigations both small and large.

CIPP focuses on providing the foundations for validating and deriving particular criteria through an interactive relationship between the evaluator and client. The CIPP model requires evaluators to operate on a foundation of trust, showing respect to all stakeholders, regardless of power, gender and cultural backgrounds. (Tan, Lee & Hall, 2010)

According to Tan (2010), CIPP focuses on improvement of designs. The priority is given to the planning and implementation of development efforts. Evaluators must take into consideration the feasibility of the project scope, safety for all users, the significance of the impact that the evaluation has on the project as well as project outcomes, and equity for stakeholders and decision makers when undertaking the evaluation study using CIPP. The communication between evaluator and stakeholders is kept open, to allow for the gathering of data, as well as further analysis and synthesis. (Ibid)

Below we will discuss a summary of the key aspects of the CIPP model after review of four articles on Stufflebeam's CIPP model (as Appendix).

The Four Component of CIPP

Context evaluation, input evaluation, process evaluation and product evaluation are used to guide evaluation of CIPP model. For each of the components, CIPP asks specific questions pertaining to the current stage of development within the evaluated process (Tan et al, 2010).

Context Evaluation

Context evaluation is the stage for planning decisions. It determines what needs are addressed by a program and what the program already exist helps in defining objectives for the program. The aims of context evaluation are to diagnose problems and assess needs. Decision makers need to define the planning decisions and context information during context evaluation. It is important to determine goals, priorities and objectives.

The selection of problem components is also considered. For example, a context evaluation of a sport program might involve an analysis of the existing objectives of the sport program, achievement test scores, community and staff concerns, perceptions and needs.

Methods are used for data collections during context evaluation. According to Stufflebeam (2003), the methods use to undergo context evaluation include survey, literature review, stakeholder interviews, secondary data analysis, synthesis and many others.

The representative questions for context evaluation include:

Should the program be offered?

What content will be included in the program?

What is the background of the program?

What are the program aims?

Is there a need for the program?

Input Evaluation

During input evaluation, structuring decisions that decide how we should do are made. Structuring decisions are important to find where there is the most support for change, to find out which solutions are most feasible and cost-effectiveness for achieving planning objectives. Decision makers considered the steps and resources needed to meet the new goals and objectives.

The first orientation of input evaluation is to search and critically examining potentially relevant approaches. Then, is to inform potential or interested parties about the final approach chosen.

Generally, decision makers setting up and confirming plans and budget at this stage. This evaluation also helps the broad group of users to judge the program performance and interpret the outcomes. The aim of input evaluation should support the choosing of resources.

The method uses in this evaluation are such as task reports, feedback meeting, literature review, visit to other programs, advocate teams, comparative or experimental design studies.

Sample of questions regardless of input evaluation is:

Are the objectives suitable?

How to implement the instruction?

Which material should we use?

What resources are available?

What is the motivation of the target?

What regulations relate to the program?

Relevant criteria such as cost, potential effectiveness, administrative feasibility, responsiveness to assessed needs and potential impacts are used to assess whether potentially acceptable solution strategies exist.

Process Evaluation

Process evaluation assesses the implementation of plans to help staff carry activities. The design has been structured and put on trial at this stage. It is an ongoing check on the plan's implementation and documentation of the process. Based upon the results of the pilot test or evaluation, decision-makers will know how well the program is being implemented.

According to Tseng (2010), process evaluation provides information for decisions, to assure the procedure of plans and to forecast the mistake of designing. Staffs are guided to improve the procedures and budgetary plan appropriately in this stage. Evidences and feedback are collected while monitoring. This evaluation provides important data which can be used to interpret the impact of change.

Stufflebeam (2003) laid out that, a process evaluation contrast activity and expenditures with the plan and budget. In this stage, decision-makers learn can understand the process of the plans, strengths and weaknesses of materials, conflicts, change of plans and achievement. The evaluation also describes implementation problems while monitoring staff in addressing problems. It is documented and analyze the efforts' cost before reporting to the observers and participants.

For process evaluation, results are obtained from surveys, document literature, on-site observer, stakeholder interviews, photographic record or final report.

The evaluator will ask questions such as during the evaluation process:

How well are the clients performing?

What are the cost associated with the program?

Are the budget cost well implemented?

What is the problems meeting when implements the program?

Are there any problems when client applying the plan?

How is disciplined maintained?

What is the weakness of the program?

Product Evaluation

The aim of product evaluation is to find out whether the instructional program or idea actually made a difference. It identifies and asses intended and unintended outcomes. The data short term and long term help stakeholders keep an enterprise focused on achieving important outcomes. The process evaluation will help the broader group of users gauge the effort's success in meeting target needs (Stufflebeam, 1999).

For example in evaluating students' change in a curriculum. Product evaluation measure changes in performance compared with the old curriculum. The range of evaluation included the improvement of students from knowledge and personal skills, compare outcomes, side effects and needs.

In product evaluation, decision maker should decide whether the changes should be continued, terminated or modified. It also could evaluate the output of the program. Based upon the information gathered from every evaluation stage, it refers to comparing the difference between the outcomes and predetermined standard or absolute standard.

There are several methods used in executing process evaluation, such as visits to other program, survey, database, interviews, feedback meetings, document review or whatever methods necessary and useful.

Example of questions asked when running process evaluation is listed as below:

How satisfied are the client with the program?

Is the program helpful for client?

Is the program effective?

Should the program be continued?

What is the merit of the program?


With the combination of rigorous instructions, CIPP provides evaluator to adapt it according to program purpose with a versatile framework. The aims of CIPP model is to improve instead of proving a study.

However, there are strengths and limitation of CIPP model. Formative and summative reports can be used in an evaluation study. Formative evaluations are interim reports sent at different stage of an evaluation study to inform clients and stakeholders while summative evaluation is retrospective comparison and sum up of the program's merit. Formative reports are important for improvements and revisions. Summative reports are used to determine the accountability for success and failures.

Input and process evaluations tend to provide formative evaluation and product evaluation is helpful in the summative evaluation. According to Stufflebeam (2003), there is not necessary to conduct all four components of a CIPP model, as the model treats evaluation design as a cyclical process of continually identifying and employing the appropriate means.

Evaluators are advised to regularly inform and seek consultation from stakeholders in order to improve the planned activities throughout the study. Stakeholders' representative in CIPP model evaluation is as active participants helping to gain and provide information.

Critics of the CIPP model said that the top-down and managerial model practice in the model required some collaboration. The process of evaluation can be slow, costly and complex to gather information and evidence provided for all stakeholder groups. The politics occurred within and between departments and organizations also affecting the evaluation to run smoothly.

Finally, CIPP model is a simple but not infallible system model applied to program evaluation. The responsibility and accuracy is determined by the decisions of the organization conducting. However, CIPP helps to provide a way to gain evidence-based data to develop a clearer understanding of the process and the problems occurred to improve the plan.


Cronbach, L. J. 1982. Designing Evaluations of Educational and Social Programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McLemore, A. (2009). The CIPP Model

Robinson, B. (2002). COLLIT project: A background note from Bernadette Robinson.

Stufflebeam, D. (1999). Foundational models for 21st century program evaluation.

Stufflebeam, D. (2003). The CIPP Model for Evaluation: An update, a review of the model´s development, a checklist to guide implementation. Paper read at Oregon Program Evaluators Network Conference, at Portland, OR. 

Tan, S., Lee, N., Hall, D., Andrews, T., Dixon, J., Tout, D., & du Toit, L. (2010). CIPP as a model for evaluating learning spaces. Unpublished manuscript. Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. www. swinburne. edu. au/spl/learningspacesproject.

Tseng, K. et al. (2010). Using the Context, Input, Process and Product model to assess an engineering curriculum. World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, Vol.8 (No.3).


Using the Context, Input, Process and Product Model to Assess Primary School Standard Curicculum (KSSR)


Essentially, curriculum evaluation is a process of finding the value of a curriculum. Thus, the evaluation has to be objective-based and continuous. The essay below discusses about the Primary School Standard Curriculum (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah, KSSR) based on the CIPP model. We advocate that CIPP model evaluation is not only useful in providing a framework conducting and reporting evaluations but also the assessment of different aspects of the curriculum as it is planned and implemented.

This essay expands on the above claims in four sections. The first section focuses on the background, aims and intent of Primary School Standard Curriculum (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah, KSSR). The second section analysis the curriculum based on the components of the CIPP model. The third section discusses about the strength of the curriculum. Finally, the last section suggests possible areas of improvement of the curriculum.

What is KSSR?

In 2011, a new primary school curriculum, Primary School Standard Curriculum (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah, KSSR) was introduced under review of the national curriculum. According to National Philosophy of Education, "Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmony, 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 a high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large". The review of national curriculum is to ensure a holistic curriculum which provides knowledge, skills and values that relevant to a balanced human capital to enable students to handle current and challenges of the 21st century.

The concept of KSSR was based on the National Philosophy Of Education Malaysia and the KBSR. The Integrated Primary School Curriculum (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah, KBSR) was implemented in primary school since 1983. The transformation is no only focus on the skills of writing, reading and arithmetic but also reasoning skills, creativity and innovation, entrepreneurial, information and communication technology. KSSR aims to produce students with a balanced, creative thinking, critical and innovative through-spinal cord communication, science and technology, physical and aesthetic development, humanity and spirituality, attitudes and values and personal skills.

Beside maintaining all the principles of KBSR, KSSR also focus on an integrated approach. It ensures that every subject catering to the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and social element for development of a comprehensive individual. KSSR also provides broad and fair opportunity for all students to obtain knowledge and skills that are comprehensive and balanced. This equitable education concept gives chances and time for the slow learners to explore. Lifelong education in KSSR provides the knowledge and skills needed by all students as a basis for take challenges of daily life and lifelong learning.

Six interrelated and integrated key areas were identified under this Primary School Standard Curriculum. There are communication, science and technology, physical development and aesthetic, spiritual, attitude and values, humanitarian and personal skills. Communication enables students to use oral language skills in verbal and non-verbal form during in interacting. Science and technology emphasis on scientific knowledge, skills and scientific attitudes, knowledge, skills and values in mathematics and knowledge and technology based skills. Physical development and aesthetic focus on physical and health to well-being while fostering imagination, creativity, talent and appreciation. Spirituality, attitudes and values foster students to appreciate religious practices, beliefs, attitudes and values. Humanitarian encourages students to share knowledge and practices of the local community and the environment, national and global. The humanitarian in KSSR also focus on foster patriotism and unity. Finally, students are trained in leadership and personal development through curricular and extra-curricular activities in personal skills.

Elements Cross Curriculum (EMK) was introduced via Primary School Standard Curriculum. These elements have to apply in teaching and learning process. Beside the original elements, the creativity and innovation, entrepreneurs, and information and communication technology are identified as complementary efforts to enhance the quality of implementation of the new curriculum.

In Primary School Standard Curriculum, subjects were organized in two different levels. There are three modules in the first level and two modules in the second level. Basic core module, themes core module and elective module are included in Level One (Year One to Three). Basic core module compulsory students to cover the basic learning module consisting of English, Mathematics, Physical Education and Health Education. Muslim students must study Islamic education while non-Muslim students must study Moral Education. The core thematic module consists World of Visual Art, World of Music and World of Science and Technology. The elective module is offered to help students to master other languages. The school must choose either Arabic, Mandarin SK, Tamil SK, Bahasa Iban or Kadazan language to implement in Elective Module by school readiness in terms of teacher supply, demand from students and school infrastructure. In Level Two (Years Four to Six), the subjects will be based communication, science and technology, physical and aesthetics, spiritual attitude and values and humanitarianism.

The Application of CIPP Model In Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR)

Context Evaluation

Stufflebeam(2007) said that context evaluation assesses needs, assets, and problem within a defined environment. The purpose of context evaluation is to identify the appropriate of the environment in order to achieve the focus, goals and curriculum objective. The aim of Primary School Standard Curriculum is to to produce students with a balanced, creative thinking, critical and innovative communication, science and technology, physical and aesthetic development, personal skills, humanity and spirituality, attitudes and values â€‹â€‹based on the National Philosophy Of Education Malaysia.

The previous curriculum, New Primary School Curriculum (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah, KBSR) was reviewed in order to produce students which is able to meet current and future challenges. The new curriculum is student-centred which emphasis on fun learning, critical and creative thinking, reasoning skills, communication and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy.

In the 21st century, people are compelled to become better at absorbing, processing and combining information. Innovative thinking skills, higher-order cognitive skills, cultural awareness, sophisticated communication and collaboration skills are demanded in the future working environment. The four pillars of education in the 21st century were becoming learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. Thus, a change of curriculum in our country is a great urgency.

The Education Ministry's Curriculum Development Division (BPK) had benchmarked against the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Scandinavian countries before launching Primary School Standard Curriculum in our country.

According to the deputy director of The Education Ministry's Curriculum Development Division, Dr. Lee Boon Hua, a pilot test involving 500 schools was carried out throughout the country and they receive positive feedback from the teachers, pupils and parents involved. This less-exam oriented curriculum makes learning more fun and interactive.

The Education Ministry's Curriculum Development Division (BPK) had identified and investigate Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) as a model for the contemplated program. Three new Cross Curriculum Elements (EMK) were added followed by English, Science and Technology, Environmental Education, Values â€‹â€‹and Patriotism. The new elements are Creativity and Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Information and Communication Technology.

Besides, special education is also highlighted under this new curriculum. Students with learning disabilities, hearing problem and vision problem are going to obtain knowledge under special care.

Input Evaluation

Input evaluation assesses competing strategies and the work plan and budgets of the new curriculum in this essay. Therefore, the teacher skill and knowledge, Cross Curriculum Elements (EMK), workshops, equipment, time schedule, principal financial allocation are emphasized.

Assessment, teacher training, monitoring and teaching and learning approaches were changed under the new curriculum. In order to prepare teacher about the curriculum, training and camp motivation were planned. With the change of the new curriculum, teachers should always alert to the new requirement and teaching techniques. Therefore, trainings are necessary from time to time.

The teacher training in the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) is based on the cascade model. Master trainers for all subjects have been trained before training teachers in the respective states. During the training session, background and introduction about Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) were also given followed by interrupting Cross Curriculum Elements (EMK) in every subject.

Since knowledge and teacher skill is an important factor in input dimension, trainings are also given to lecturers from teachers college to ensure that the Cross Curriculum Elements (EMK) are conducted for new teachers. Talks are given to teachers in the school about Cross Curriculum Elements (EMK) and ways to integrate into teaching and learning effectively. Programs operated aims to increase the teachers' ability in order to fulfil teachers with skills and good values knowledge in keeping the curriculum requirement.

To support the syllabus and curricula of Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR), new textbooks have been distributed to the school. Creativity handbooks and supported materials are also provided to teachers so that they enhance their teaching knowledge. Besides that, courses and talks about Primary School Standard Curriculum were also given to the board of management and teachers in order for them to comprehend the curriculum activities, plans, budget, management and filing procedures.

Under the new curriculum design, students spend 1380 minutes a week in school. Subject are redesigned either by combining two or more disciplines of knowledge into one subject. Therefore, there are new subjects replacing Living Skills, Civics and Citizenship Education and Local Studies. The new subjects introduced in the new curriculum included Design and Technology/Information and Communication Technology, Visual Arts and Music and History/Malaysia Negaraku.

Media such as news, press releases, public transports, talks, carnivals and exhibitions are also carried out around the country in promoting the strategies and work plans of Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) for the public in order for them to have a better understanding about the new curriculum.

The Administration Senior Assistant in every school is in charge of the filing of Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR). All the manual about the filing system has been given and monitoring is conducted from the Education Ministry's Curriculum Development Division (BPK). Officers from the division will visit the school to ensure that the school achieve the new curriculum requirements while solving problems met.

Furthermore, schools and teachers are encouraged to utilize the infrastructure available in schools, such as computer lab, laptops and LCD projectors during World of Science and Technology. Administrators should also ensure that all the facilities are in good condition can access during school hours.

Process Evaluation

Process evaluation relates to the implementation of teaching, ways to evaluate students and courses that teachers attended. The process evaluation is important to describe the student's need in order to reconstruct the program.

In Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR), teachers need to begin the basic literacy skills in order to build a strong foundation of language skills. As a way to strengthen the command of Bahasa Malaysia and English among primary school students, the Bahasa Malaysia and English periods have increased. Students are also guided in the right way to hold a pencil properly under penmanship.

The Ministry of Education had run the course spread about the new curriculum. The teachers were trained according to the subject they teach. Teachers were found very well educated and trained, they able to relate their experiences and knowledge to be open-minded to students' needs. This is coherent with the student-centred concept of the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR). The training for teacher in every subject is carrying on a phrase by phrase until 2015, where the first badge of Year 6 students in the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) are in 2016.

In schools, panels from every subject undergo meeting. During the meeting, committees will plan and decide the allocation of the budget provided. Basically, the budget are plans in purchase teaching materials, stationery and learning tools. Material bought will distribute to teachers accordingly for uses in classroom activities.

Other than that, a group of committee from every school will record the internal training for teachers regarding to the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) for respective subjects and report to the District Education Department. After collecting reports and feedback from schools, the State Educational Department will then report and feedback to the ministry. The community members, including the educators and parents will comprehend the progress of the curriculum.

In order to practice the learner-centred approach, contextualized and purposeful activities are promoted to allow students learning by doing in fun-filled activities. Besides recording the reflection of every lesson, teachers may also discuss their problems with their committee members during division meetings. Teaching techniques and experiences are shared to improve the concept of the curriculum.

Teachers have to teach according to the content standard while students learn based on the standards of learning. Content standard specific about what students should know and can do in a period of time covers the knowledge, skills and values. Standard of learning is a set of criteria or indicators where the quality of learning and achievement can be measured for each content standard.

Since the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) implemented in 2011, there are some changes of plan. For instance, the changes and improvements of description of the School Based Assessment in certain subjects. These are necessary to follow the needs of students and society in developing critical, creative and innovative thinking skills. Besides, the redesigning also includes benchmarking its learning and content standards against other country such as Finland. Changes are important to ensure the curriculum is aligned and effective with the breadth and depth content covered.

Product Evaluation

Product evaluation focus to the result of the program that provide a reasonable explanation and consultation for decision-making. For this study, product evaluation is the assessment of teaching outcomes. The product evaluation could determine whether the curriculum should be modified, upgraded or terminated. Product evaluation also evaluates the output of the curriculum activities. Product evaluation compares the difference between the outcomes and a predetermined standard or absolute standard based on the feedback and information gathered from different stages.

However, there aren't any studies about the effectiveness of Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) towards students from the aspect of the application of knowledge and skills achieved or gain in daily life up until now. The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) allows students to communicate and learn in fun ways. Students showed more interested in classroom compare with last time. The policy which aims to uphold Bahasa Malaysia and strengthen English language also ensure the new curriculum in line with the Government Transformation Program. Therefore, the results of the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) are eminent.

Students become more creative and innovative. Opportunities to explore and test students' hypotheses and ideas to help students identify their needs and interests. The formative assessment from school-based assessment will inform teachers on suitable remedial or enhancement treatments for pupils. It will also help teachers to identify and plan salient and effective classroom strategies.

To systematic and validate student performance, the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) proposes the implementation of schools-based assessments. The teachers have to do internal school based assessment (PBS) to evaluate students' achievement and gauge students' potential. The School Based Assessment (PBS) is holistic and evaluate students with cognitive (intellectual), affective (emotional and spirituality) and phsycomotor (health) concurrent with the National Philosophy of Education.

The assessment evaluates both academic and non-academic area. This provides a fair platform for every student to emerge themselves in their intelligent area. Teachers able to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process in the classroom through school-based assessment. For certain schools, there is also a final exam at the end or several exams during the whole year. This uses for the school for convergence. However, schools are not encouraged to converge under the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR).

The formative result from school-based assessment is well suited for guiding curriculum-framing. Teachers can determine whether students learn a particular concept or knowledge skills from the descriptors. During the end of every year, the school will have a speech day for parents to understand their children's performance in schools. Summative result from the school-based assessment allows parents and teachers to overview the quality of the curriculum produced.

A student's performance is benchmarked in six levels in the school-based assessment. Students were acknowledged to achieve each standard with respective evidences as described on descriptions. The Ministry Of Education claimed that this School Based Assessment (PBS) is holistic, integrated, balance and flexibility. There is no longer exam-oriented under the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR). The internal assessment evaluation system encourages slow-learners to gain knowledge according to their capability.

The Strength of Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR)

The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) emphasis on holistic development of the students. Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) encompasses new elements such as grooming of creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship, and integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The transformation of the curriculum is important to ensure a holistic curriculum and is relevant for a balanced human capital that can handle current and future challenges. The whole process involves changing the form, organization, content, pedagogy, assessment methods, time allocation, material and curriculum management in schools. The lifelong learning process ensures students have basic skills for everyday life. At the end of the primary education, students will master the reading, writing and arithmetic skills. They will also expert in reasoning skills, creative and innovative in daily life. The Health and Physical Education practiced will also create generations that awareness of well-being, no matter in the physical or mental field. The generation from the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) will also practice good values, honor, trust God, full with self-esteem and patriotism. They can also understand and appreciate the national culture.

Compared with KBSR, Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) focuses on six key aspects, which are communication, spiritual attitude and values, humanitarianism, literacy in science and technology, physical and personal development to produce holistic individuals pander to the National Philosophy of Education.

Under the new curriculum design, students will not get bored with learning languages. The Language Arts Module emphasizes on fun learning. Interesting and effective learning is conducted through singing, choral speaking, drama, jazz chants, music and others.

The less exam-oriented curriculum encourages students to learn and gain knowledge in a fun and interesting environment. Students were given opportunities to explore and communicate with others during the lesson. The cord skills in the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) ensure students are educated and guided to a leadership and personal development through the curriculum and co-curricular activities. Students are also taught about the basic ICT skills. These basic skills will enhance their usage in every subject.

The continuous following and monitoring of teachers implemented in the school based assessment ensure the students finally achieve the prescribed standard. School based assessments also allow teachers to understand the standard of their students and the effectiveness of teachers' teaching skills. The assessment is diverse and can be done through observation, verbal or written form. The reflection will indirectly enhance creativity and motivation of teachers to plan further reinforcement concerning students' achievement and the teaching process.

Every human has their own intelligence area. Through the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR), students will not feel stress in learning. They have opportunities to explore and find their own intelligence. The student-centred approach also encourages students to think creatively, work with group, communicate, collaborate and learn from mistakes.

History subject introduced under the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) will develop students' soul with the spirit of patriotism and nationalism. Furth