Curriculum content is a body of facts, ideas, concepts and skills that are presented, discussed and involved in the course. The content selected should reflect the pre-determined curriculum objectives and experiences needed by the learner.
Guidelines for selection
Prioritise: select what is basically needed in specific circumstances. It should therefore not be overcrowded.
Balance: Ensure that the content is properly balanced in terms of time and resources available
Completeness: It should properly cater for all the three domains psychomotor (hand skills), Cognitive (head-knowledge) and effective (heart-attitudes/values)
Sequence: it should be properly sequenced i.e. simple to complex, known to unknown and spiralled
Comprehensiveness: It should include all the necessary details needed by a specific learner.
Need for selection
Due to the ever changing society, both local and international, there is needed to select from the abundance of generated knowledge and skills.
There is need to remain current by replacing content that may be outdated
Quality: There is need to ensure quality
Quantity: There is need to gauge how much to cover on a particular course.
Scope: helps in demarcating or deciding on the breadth and depth of what to cover.
Criteria for selecting content
Selection of contents is always based on the following criteria:
Philosophical: The knowledge we select must be of established value to participants and the society they are going to serve after learning.
Psychological: This means that what is selected should meet the needs and interests of the learners. The psychology of adult learners should be learned and applied
Sociological/cultural: What society has achieved, its institutions, aspirations, traditions, beliefs etc should guide selection of content. This is because some of these will themselves form the content of courses. For example in Uganda today we have issues of gender, environment, self reliance, poverty alleviation, addiction, HIV/AIDS, small scale enterprises e.g. ICT cafes. These are social issues that should be considered when developing curricula.
Organisation, structuring or sequencing of content/learning experiences
Any curriculum content needs to be properly selected and organized. The following include the different ways of organizing content;
i. Chronological order: Selecting and sequencing content in order of how things happened e.g. what happened first, followed etc.
ii. Causes and effect: The underlying principles resulting into knowledge.
iii. Structural logic: This refers to the use of normal procedure to organize content e.g. wearing a vest before a shirt
iv. Problem centred: Basing on a problem to learn.
v. Spiral: Continuous re-introduction of the main ideas of a topic as you proceed to the next topic or level
vi. Psychological: organizing content basing it on the interest of the learners
All these are just some of the ways in which content can be organized. As one organizes the content you have to determine the learning experiences e.g. Knowledge experiences- (What will they learn?)
Skills experiences (What do we want them to be able to do?)
Attitudes/values-(What do we want them to feel)