ERC assists many Arab countries in curriculum evaluation and reform. Assistance extends from the development of appropriate curriculum framework and standards to the production of various learning materials and appropriate assessment and evaluation tools.
Recently, numerous countries have been engaged in educational reform, beginning with their curricula and progressing through their educational systems, their teacher training and professional development programmes. Curricula are being reformed in all foundational and practical aspects. The foundations of a curriculum are typically laid down in its framework, and deployed through its practical components which mainly include the respective programme of study and the methods and means of learning, instruction and assessment. Education is nowadays considered a major national investment in a world changing at an incredible pace in all respects. Numerous aspects of everyday life are governed by fast growing information and technology, from routine reasoning and communication to critical decision making and implementation in personal, social or professional life. In order to cope, and even survive, in such a world, people need to be empowered with complex literacy and skills, along with firmly articulated values and traditions. Such empowerment can only take place in formal schooling that is well beyond what traditional educational systems currently offer in most countries around the world.
A curriculum is usually about a given discipline or set of interconnected or integrated disciplines. A country may, for example, adopt separate curricula for separate scientific disciplines (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, geology), or a single interdisciplinary or integrated curriculum for all scientific disciplines put together. It may do the same for various languages, or it may even integrate science, language and other disciplines together, and thus go for a more generic and encompassing curriculum.
A curriculum framework consists of general educational tenets, guidelines and goals that embody the broad vision and aspirations of education in a given country, and that are typically formulated in the context of the country’s constitution and culture, and of the particular epistemology, methodology and pedagogy of the discipline(s) which the curriculum is about. The framework is reified through the general profile that students are desired to develop following the completion of their education at specific levels, along with general norms or standards for ascertaining the extent to which students have actually succeeded in developing the target profile.
The nature of the target profile varies from country to country, depending on the nature and scope of the curriculum, and also on how specific policymakers want the profile to be decreed. Typically, the profile is specified along three dimensions: conceptions or conceptual knowledge; processes, skills, or procedural knowledge; dispositions, or attitudes, values and affects that govern the learning process. At one end of the spectrum stand countries that specify the profile in terms of general qualifications which students are hoped to develop. At the other end of the spectrum are countries that spell out in detail measurable outcomes around which the curriculum and the entire educational system should be built. Most countries stand somewhere in between the two poles of the spectrum, including those countries opting for what is nowadays called standards-based education.
Following profile determination, or as an integral part of this profile, specific objectives and/or benchmarks for separate or integrated disciplines can be specified, and expected measurable outcomes subsequently derived in light of the appropriate pedagogy and epistemology. The programme of study will then be spelled out along with suitable methods and means of learning, instruction and assessment, including textbooks, e-learning and other supplementary materials.
Supporting elements are also needed to develop and implement any curriculum. These include, among others: (a) an appropriate educational system, (b) well-defined teacher profiles and respective norms/standards and programmes of teacher training and professional development, (c) a platform for interaction of various other stakeholders (parents, administrators, policymakers, etc.), and (d) a strategy for continuous curriculum evaluation and refinement.
ERC history in curriculum reform
ERC’s curriculum development team includes numerous experts with over 20-years of experience in the field throughout many countries in the world. ERC is already involved in many curriculum reforms taking place in the Arab world. It assists, often in collaboration with international partners, countries’ ministries of education in the development of curricula outlined below, along with corresponding textbooks and supplementary learning materials. It also conducts workshops and organises conferences for training concerned administrators, supervisors and teachers on the design and classroom implementation of curriculum and materials at all levels of the educational system.
Grades 4-12 English language.
K-12 English language, general and vocational education; mathematics and science for private schools.
Grades 3 and above, English language; K-12 mathematics and science.
K-12 English language, K-6 mathematics and science.
K-6 English language, mathematics and science.
K-6 English language, mathematics and science.
K-12 English language, mathematics, science, and social sciences for private schools.
Mathematics for elementary level (piloted in 2008-2009), social studies.
K-12 English language.
Mathematics for elementary level.
English language for elementary and middle school (piloted in 2007-2008).
K-12 English language, general and vocational education, mathematics, science, and social studies.