Critically examine 10 concept of the curriculum by different specialists

Critically examine 10 concept of the curriculum by different specialists
Critically examine 10 concept of the curriculum by different specialists


  1. Critically examine 10 concept of the curriculum by different specialists. And give your own concept of curriculum.
  2. Differentiate between official/hidden curriculum. Show the roles of the hidden curriculum in the all round development of the learners.


The curriculum word is of Latin language. It means ‘race course’. In education it means ‘work field of students’ or race course of the students. It consist of two words-race and course. The word ‘course’ mean curriculum and race refers student’s experiences and activities. A teacher performs his teaching activities in view of curriculum.

The new concept of curriculum is very broad based. It consists of the totality of experience that pupil receives through the manifold activities that go on in the school, in the classroom, library, laboratory, workshop and play-ground and in the numerous contacts between the teachers and pupils. It is neither dogmatic nor rigid in its form and structure. It is neither uniform nor standardised to conform to a prescribed pattern. It is characterised by variety and flexibility and it’s tailored to the needs of the students at different age levels. It gives the students an increasing awareness of the environment around them so that they may fit in more definitely in the milieu of community life. It thus secures more integrated group relations.

The secondary education commission has also pointed out clearly the nature and conception of the desired curriculum: “It must be clearly understood that, according to subject the best educational thought, “curriculum does not mean only the academic experience that a child receives at school. In this sense, the whole life of the school becomes the curriculum which can tough the life of the students at all points and help in the evolution of a balanced personality.”

Curriculum is, therefore, something which is related to the life and the needs of the pupils of different age levels. It includes both what they should learn and also Shaw they should learn it. It includes all the experiences interaction between and among many people; many influences affect its quality and may material conditions affect its functioning.


  • Offorma (2005) defined curriculum as the planned learning experiences offered to the learner in the school. In this study, it refers to vocational and technical subjects outlined in the National Curriculum for Secondary Schools manual as part of subjects for secondary education.
  • Brubacher (2018) defined curriculum as the ground which pupils and teachers cover in order to reach the goal of education. In other words, it can be regarded as a total experience with which the school deals with educating young people. That is all the experiences both curricular and co-curricular which children pass through to become what is known as an educated person. It has been noted that the definition of curriculum changes from time-to-time and it also changes due to social conditions, conception of knowledge, the learner and, indeed, education.
  • Wheeler (1969) defined it as the planned experiences offered to the learner under the guidance of the school.

  • Fafumera (2019) saw it as the whole of the educative process, that is, the total environment in which education takes place. In other words, the total environment in which education takes place; that is, the child, and the teacher the subject, the content, the method, the physical and psychological environment.
  • Hass (1980): The curriculum is all of the experiences that individual learners have in a program of education whose purpose is to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives, which is planned in terms of a framework of theory and research or past and present professional practice.
  • Hilda Taba (1962): “All curricula, no matter what their particular design, are composed of certain elements. A curriculum usually contains a statement of aims and of specific objectives; it indicates some selection and organization of content; it either implies or manifests certain patterns of learning and teaching, whether because the objectives demand them or because the content organization requires them.  Finally, it includes a program of evaluation of the outcomes.”

  • Izuagba (2009) defined curriculum as: The planned and guided learning experiences and intended learning outcomes, formulated through the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experience under the auspices of the school for the learner’s continous and willful growth and personal social competence.
  • According to Stotsky (2012), curriculum is a plan of action that is aimed at achieving desired goals and objectives. It is a set of learning activities meant to make the learner attain goals as prescribed by the educational system.
  • Adekole and Ajeyalemi (1994) in Ivowi (2009), defined curriculum as a systematic organization of a set of intentions about learning experiences for certain learners in certain justifiable arrangement of sequence and resources.
  • According to Obanya (2004), curriculum is the total package of what is to be taught or learnt. He describes it as a process of translating national educational objectives into ‘within-school do-ables’.

Mfon Aniefiok Edet conceptualize that, curriculum is a familiar word, which we come across in the context of school, college or university system. All of us also have some idea of curriculum; though it may not be exactly what a curriculum means. Therefore, curriculum comprises all those experiences a learner receives in a school or in a ‘ college. From the above statements, one can view curriculum both in a narrow way (list of contents) and in a broad way (all the experiences received by a learner). Let us examine our perceptions of curriculum in the light of some definitions given by professional educators.


Official curriculum gives the basic lesson plan to be followed, including objectives, sequence, and materials. This provides the basis for accountability. While, hidden curriculums are the lessons that are taught informally, and usually unintentionally, in a school system. These include behaviors, perspectives, and attitudes that students pick up while they’re at school. This is contrasted with the formal curriculum, such as the courses and activities students participate in.

Official curriculum takes place within educational institutions, whereas, hidden curriculum can take place inside or outside educational institutions.

Official curriculum gives the basic lesson plan to be followed, including objectives, sequence, and materials. This provides the basis for accountability. While, hidden curriculums are the lessons that are taught informally, and usually unintentionally, in a school system. These include behaviors, perspectives, and attitudes that students pick up while they’re at school.


Hidden curriculum is a concept that describes the often unarticulated and unacknowledged things that students are taught in school and is an important issue in the sociological study of how schools generate social inequality. The official curriculum provides a more holistic approach in ensuring that students’ cognitive, psychological and behavioural traits are taken into consideration when devising a curriculum. The hidden curriculum although unintended usually facilitates the transmission of beliefs with affect how students make decisions regarding their life. This curriculum provides students with a voice in the classroom and does not follow a systematic and deliberate approach to teaching and learning.

The hidden curriculum encompasses such an enquiry approach where students must create their own learning experiences rather than relying on the teacher for strict guidance. Such guidance is usually systematic and deliberate and falls within the formal curriculum and subsequently does not teach the value of independence or any other life skill. What usually happens is where student’s thoughts are merely those of the teacher.

The un-planned curriculum cannot be used in isolation from the formal curriculum.  Hidden curriculum “emphasized skills such as learning to wait quietly, patiently, exercising restraint, completing work, cooperating with others, being punctual and respecting peer differences”. These features clearly had nothing to do with educational goals. These educational goals were always covered in the planned curriculum and neglect the inculcation of life skills that would promote social change and conformity, preventing any state of anomie (normlessness) in schools and mainstream society.



In a nutshell, curriculum is the planned programme of objectives, content, learning experiences, resources and assessment offered by a school. This dimension of the formal curriculum is the most straightforward and easiest to take into account. In the course we saw that the formal curriculum encompasses a wide variety of potential educational and instructional practices, which we are able to implement in our classroom. To take the formal curriculum into account teachers will usually plan lessons encompassing as much of the formal curriculum as possible. In my experience this includes planning my own lessons and selecting teaching strategies and materials as well as activities that will help my students achieve the necessary learning experiences that are expected.


Nwiyi, G.U. (2009). Quality Assurance and Curriculum implementation in secondary schools in       Port Harcourt. Multidisciplinary Journal of Research Development,12 (2) 159-165.

Obanya, P. (2007). Thinking and talking education, Ibadan: Evans brothers Nigeria publishers Ltd.

Stenhouse, A. J. 2015). Issues in Curriculum Development. Lagos: T. Richard Nigeria Ltd.

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