There are basically six types of data necessary for planning a curriculum:
(1) Data about Students:
These include data pertaining to the general student population, specific subgroups of student population, enrollment trends, extent of student- progress, drop-outs and stagnation rates, achievement of students in specific fields, students’ level of physical, emotional and social development.
Their psychological needs and personality traits, intellectual development, level of creativity, home background and environment, community environment and the conditions within it, employment prospects for students for ‘earning while learning’ and in future as well as economic forecasts and projections.
(2) Data on Social and Cultural Aspects:
These include the need to transmit or change the culture, orient and adjust the younger members to the culture through socialization the need to prepare students for being productive members to society, the need to make students aware of the prevailing values, expectation;., political culture, power structure, community issues and socio-economic and technical trends.
(3) Data about Learning:
This involves information concerning the nature of learning and learning styles, the importance of motivation in learning, the importance of readiness to learn and the nature of transfer of learning as well as problems associated with learning and self-concept.
(4) Data about the Subject-matter:
This incorporates knowledge about which new and old subject-matter is worth learning, criteria for selecting the subject-matter, nodes of subject-matter organization, criteria for selecting teaching aids and determining the relevance of subject-matter.
(5) Data about Objectives:
These data are obtained through an analysis of the contemporary society that identify or suggest the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills required to be a productive member of the society and to be a good citizen.
It also includes studies of the target groups for whom the curriculum is meant and reviewing and examining the various subject-matters that suggests resources to be used by students for attaining their goals.
(6) Data about Learning Experiences:
These include information about alternative, possible activities and materials that require a range of knowledge levels and skills to be used by students and the present levels of knowledge, skills and attitude, necessary for conducting those activities.
In short, the data required for curriculum management comprise of:
i. Political environment in terms of political ideology and support.
ii. Economic environment in terms of money available from the government and the society for equipment, books, space and salaries.
iii. Physical environment in terms of vicinity to places of educational interest and availability of such places.
iv. Time available of the principal and teachers along with the commitment to utilize that time for educational activities.
v. Staffs level of knowledge, attitudes, skills and energy.
vi. Students’ motivation, attitudes and interests.
vii. Societal environment and expectations.
However, these data alone do not determine the curriculum. In addition, there are several other determinants of curriculum is identified by Day, Whitaker and Johnston (1990) which are as follows:
(i) Traditional educational practice;
(ii) Assumptions about how children learn;
(iii) Received wisdom about what schools (institutions) should be like;
(iv) Public experiences of the education system;
(v) Informed opinion;
(vi) Public debate;
(vii) Teacher education;
(viii) Assumptions about what classrooms should be like and (be) Assumptions about how teachers teach.
In addition to these, curriculum planning will also depend on the design and size of the building, previous records of the institution and past curriculum, the patterns of organization and societal as well as teacher attitudes.
Of these factors which influence curriculum planning, let us now focus our attention to the factor of assumptions concerning the nature of students and their learning behaviour.
According to Carl Rogers, the traditional assumptions about learners are as follows:
(1) Pupils cannot be trusted.
(2) Education and evaluation are synonymous.
(3) The best criterion for judging a student’s potential and selecting him for a prize or further admissions is the marks obtained by him in the examination.
(4) Knowledge is equivalent to accumulated content and information.
(5) Students do not have individuality and therefore they can be manipulated.
(6) The truths about subjects are known and must be learnt.
(7) Passive learning can lead to development of creativity among students.
(8) The best way to produce exclusively well-educated people is to exclude the masses.
(9) The mode of learning is more important as compared to the content-matter.
Similarly, Postman and Weingartner (1971) have compile 1 a list of ‘good learners’ through a process of brain-storming as follows: