Another overarching aim of curriculum development includes the changing of already-created content and the focus of existing courses and grouping those courses into logical blocks (Phillips & Sattoon, 2008). The curriculum development process should begin with specifying goals, assessing needs, and determining demand, and then should continue through the planning for and implementation of the changes (Phillips & Sattoon, 2008).
How is curriculum influenced by changes in society? Oliva and Gordon (2013) suggest that curriculum development should be approached like that of a series of axioms that offer a frame of reference for workers seeking ways of operating and resolving problems (p.22). Most specifically, Oliva and Gordon, in considering societal influences, recommend the following curriculum development axioms:
- Change is inevitable and necessary
- School curriculum not only reflects but is a product of its time
- Early period curriculum changes can exist alongside newer curriculum changes
- Curriculum change results from changes in people
- Curriculum change is effected as a result of cooperative endeavor on the part of groups
- Curriculum development is a decision-making process
- Curriculum development is a never-ending process
- Curriculum development is a comprehensive process
- Systemic curriculum development is more effective than trial and error
- Curriculum planners start where curriculum is
(Oliva & Gordon, 2013)
An example of early influence of society on curriculum is that of Progressivism, and how the movement to pay attention to the whole child led to student-centered curriculum. A modern example of societal influence on curriculum includes the global economic crisis and competitiveness resulting in national standards and common core curriculum (Oliva & Gordon, 2013).
Oliva, P., & Gordon, W. R. (2013). Developing the curriculum (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Phillips, A. S., Settoon, R. P., & Phillips, C. R. (December 01, 2008). Enhancing a Curriculum: A Focus on the Development Process. College Student Journal, 42, 4, 1070-1074.