20 August 2008

K-12 Curriculum: A bird's eye view

From my experience in K-12 systems and education publishing, I think that the most important requirement to reach curricular objectives, in countries like India, where I come from, is to change the manner in which most textbooks are written, as textbooks are the most influential resource.

During my tenure in K-12 Publishing, whenever I explained as to what it meant to write a good textbook and how we could do this, within the constraints of the curriculum, the publishers' response in general was, "Your ideas are good, but do they help in increasing the number of pages?" or "Yes, we do understand, but innovations may not be welcome by parents and teachers". However, their concern is realistic and not difficult to understand if we can visit our school classrooms or take a closer look at textbooks. Ofcourse, there are exceptionally good schools and textbook publishers, but their number is rather too small, a few drops in the ocean.

Our K-12 curriculum should be more quality oriented than quantity driven. Syllabus boards, textbook publishers and practising teachers should come together and draft a curriculum that considers contextual aspects and evidence based education research. Once the curriculum draft is finanlized, every effort should be made to standardise it and then implement it in schools.

Well written pupil friendly textbooks and appropriate teacher development programmes are essential requirements for quality rich classroom processes that can lead to quality education for all children.

19 August 2008


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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.