The curriculum implications that are derived from school reforms cannot be ignored. It is important to note that school reforms are aimed at improving the quality of education (Upton, 2008). The conventional curriculum is deemed to change at greater lengths. These changes will be evidenced in the learning and teaching strategies employed by the teachers. Another implication is that there will be progress in the manner the learning assessment is conducted in schools. In a bid to improve the quality of education, the curriculum content across the levels of education in schools will be affected (Upton, 2008). However, the magnitude of changes in the curriculum will depend on the objectivity of school reforms. The standardization of the curriculum in a single level of education affects other levels of education. For example, reforms in a curriculum may fail to conform to the social, physical, and cognitive requirements of students. In this respect, the curriculum implication is that students with special needs are vulnerable to neglect. This will be evidenced by a high variance in grades scored by students in different subjects (Berends, Chun, Ikemoto, Stockly & Briggs, 2002).
Another curriculum implication is that students’ dropout rate rises. The probability of this implication to be evidenced is high, considering that stricter standards and regulations are part of the school reforms.
It is also important to note that school reforms have been integral in improving the quality of education. An example of such has been evidenced in the assignments given to students. The current school reforms have seen students given assignments that demonstrate their ability to contextualize class lessons in real-life situations.
Another curriculum implication as a result of the school reforms is the change in teachers’ education programs (Berends, Chun, Ikemoto, Stockly & Briggs, 2002). Such changes have entailed changes in terminologies used in teaching techniques and assessment tasks.
The school and curriculum reforms have been of great significance in promoting accountability in public schools. On the other hand, accountability has been a major determinant in assessing the effectiveness of the curriculum. It is a common belief that accountability has a positive impact on students’ achievement (Wei, 2008). Accountability helps students raise their scores in different subjects. Moreover, accountability has been of greater help in aiding the curriculum at any education level. Many of the American district schools have been able to improve on their curriculum as a result of accountability. Teachers who practice accountability can improve their instructional practices. The same can also be evidenced in the manner the teachers conduct their classroom assessments.
Many of the teachers and principals in the district schools believe that accountability has a positive impact (Wei, 2008). For example, accountability makes each education stakeholder focus on a student’s learning behavior and outcomes. The fact that accountability raises certain expectations from education is an example of a positive curriculum implication. The central focus for accountability is directed to the student, teacher, teaching practices, and assessment strategies.
In addition, accountability has become the core principle through which schools are now enacting curriculum policies effectively. Such curriculum policies revolve around how the teachers are supposed to plan their lessons and the expected achievements. Previous studies in district schools indicate that accountability has been integral in the improvement of the curriculum more than the students’ achievement.
On the other hand, a negative curriculum implication as a result of accountability pressures has been reported. This negative implication is evidenced in the reduced teachers’ morale. Accountability puts pressure on teachers and their performance on the curriculum may be affected negatively. Teachers are held accountable for the delivery of the curriculum. In most cases, this is stressful and overwhelming for teachers. Nevertheless, not all teachers feel overwhelmed by accountability. Some of the teachers become focused on delivering the curriculum to achieve the pre-determined goals.
The change in technology in modern times and its impact on the curriculum cannot be ignored. Technology is redefining the manner and ways of educating in classrooms (Brown, 2007). Technology has brought various tools and techniques for learning. It is through these tools that the availability of learning information has been made possible. The availability of such information has made it easier to deliver the curriculum at hand. This means that technology improves the curriculum. It is important to note that various learning skills like the analysis of information are integral in any curriculum. In this respect, technology provides various analytical tools and skills to make the analysis of information easier.
The significance of introducing technology in the education curriculum is to provide effectiveness in evaluating information (Brown, 2007). There is no exact measure of value showing how technological resources raise grades. However, technology has a way of impacting the curriculum by providing a new learning environment. This learning environment provides teachers with new techniques for teaching and communicating with students. Another important aspect of the curriculum that is deemed to be affected by technology is curriculum diversity. As indicated earlier, technology offers possibilities for new learning techniques and information. In this respect, technology influences the context of curriculum and how class assessments are conducted by both learners and teachers.
For the current technology and curriculum to be helpful to students, the current curriculum must be interpreted using a future context. However, the context must comply in helping the students to apply technology and education in the present and future real-life contexts.
Another significant curriculum implication of technology is the ability to create effective curriculum models by use of technology (Brown, 2007). For example, the curriculum dictates that effective education budgeting and allocation of resources are required. In this respect, technology can be an essential tool in ensuring the curriculum is delivered through effective budgeting models. Such has become easier when software is used for the budget and resource allocations.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that lifelong learning has become a developing education phenomenon in recent years. The need to progress with education even after completing school has been of vital importance to people who want to acquire more knowledge and skills (Klein & Osborne, 2007). Lifelong learning involves students and people who have already passed basic school at the elementary and high school levels. Sometimes, individuals who undergo lifelong learning have also gone through college and university levels of education. Most probably, people who are working prefer lifelong education (Klein & Osborne, 2007). In this respect, school systems require an adjustment to the existing curriculum. This means that the curriculum must change to suit the students’ needs and must conform to the current job market.
Lifelong learning requires the curriculum to be changed by ensuring that the curriculum provides skills and expertise to students. This means the curriculum will include programs that provide a real-life simulation of scenarios that provoke creativity among the students. A curriculum for lifelong learning provides students with problem-solving skills, effective communication skills, and mega-cognitive skills. A curriculum for lifelong learning requires personalized learning, where the needs of a student are given extra attention.
Impact on traditional educational aims
Education aims at ensuring that a student’s personality is developed. Moreover, developing creative intelligence in a learner is one of the core goals of education. School reforms are ensuring that such education goals are being integrated into the curriculum. However, the education goals are to ensure that a student remains relevant and competitive in a competitive job market. This means that the current education goals and changes transcend beyond basic skills and knowledge to learners. The current education goals advocate that the learner be multi-disciplined to survive in a highly competitive environment. This can be evidenced by the fact that accountability in education has become a fundamental issue in ensuring that quality curriculum is embraced by schools. Accountability has ensured that education is not just offered to eliminate illiteracy, but to arm learners with advanced skills and knowledge.
Technology has become another phenomenon that has elevated the level and quality of education. How education is delivered to learners through computers is an indication that creativity in education has been taken to a new level. The introduction of lifelong learning as a new education curriculum has changed the traditional education aims. This means that learners no longer get satisfied with basic education and skills. An environment that requires creativity cannot be supported by traditional education. Lifelong education is providing learners with new ways to further their skills and advance their knowledge.
Berends, M., Chun, J., Ikemoto, G., Stockly, S. & Briggs, R., J. (2002). Challenges of conflicting school reforms: Effects of new American in a high-poverty district. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
Brown, A., R. (2007). Curriculum consonance in technology education classrooms: The official, intended, implemented and experienced curricula. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.
Klein, M., B. & Osborne, M. (2007). The concepts and practices of lifelong learning. New York, NY: Routledge.
Upton, E., R. (2008). Educational curricula: Development and evaluation. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers.
Wei, X. (2008). Accountability stringency, incentives and student performance. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.