New curriculum to fill gaps left by traditional approach to education
SEE ALSO :Kibwezi KNUT officials chargedEnd in itself In addition, the traditional approach does little to address equity in education. Slow learners, girls, the poor, pastoralists and those with disabilities usually tag along, and as years go by they drop off the education system into a world they may not be properly prepared to face. In this approach, teachers focus on the strong learners, who would do well anyway even without much attention, instead of meeting individual learners at their learning points. Traditional education approach is based on age and time; there is a set age when learners should be in a certain grade, and set time (or period) that they should engage in a learning area. But research has shown little or no relationship between time and learning. Individuals differ in how they learn, and the time or duration they require to learn. The traditional approach also tends to be an end in itself, and teachers usually instruct towards a test, and not toward a skill represented by the test. Yet whereas students may do well in a performance test, they are most likely to fail if they were called back to do the same test. These are some of the reasons many governments and education systems are exploring alternatives.
SEE ALSO :Let schools second term run smoothlyAn alternative is competency-based curriculum (CBC), which focuses on what learners can do after going through a subject or a learning period. Learning goes beyond knowledge and ability to remember content; learners are expected to demonstrate what they know. Competency-based education (CBE) focuses on the learner. In CBC and CBE, learning is not restricted to one place (such as a classroom); it is recognised that learning happens in several authentic places and situations. They encourage and support self-directed learning, that is, individuals are encouraged and facilitated to drive their own learning; self-assessment and self-reflection is also encouraged. Teachers are available to play their role as coaches, experts and mentors in a balanced manner. The goal is to prepare learners for further education, for employment and for life-long. The learner and the teacher are both involved in determining learning targets and learning outcomes before and during the learning experience. This motivates learners. The focus is to answer the question: “What can the learner do after going through the learning process?”, and for the learners to “show what they know”. Caution is advised in assessing learning. Research shows that assessments used to diagnose ability and performance (competitive assessments) reinforce existing stereotypes (gender, social economic status, ability, and so on). For example, such assessments lower performance among girls. But CBE approach encourages peer- and self-assessment because it removes competitiveness and encourages collaboration which is an important learning and life skill. As mentioned earlier, CBE supports self-directed learning. Advances in technology provide limitless opportunities for learning that all learners can access and use independently at any time, and at any place. Remote learning and interaction with teachers is possible, and so is teacher training and professional development. [email protected]