To prepare the curriculum, two main approaches can be identified, structured based on the actors involved in the process. The first of these uses an ‘expert with a linear function’, that is, it is the experts from the ministries, the planning departments, and the academic institutions who draw the guidelines and set the goals of the curriculum. In this case, students are considered as the bottom of the hierarchy and therefore do not fulfill any role in the process of preparing the curriculum.
A Different Approach
There is a different approach, that of the ‘original facilitator’, through which the editors of the curriculum become facilitators of a wide range of participants, including those who are responsible for executing the curriculum. In it, decision-making is shared, which is not limited to a few hands. This guide proposes this second approach in an expanded version, through the participatory development of curricula.
Preparation Of The Curriculum From The Expert
This approach, which is usually the most common, develops the curriculum without prior consultation or limited to a restricted group, often composed of experts in education. Of course, they are influenced by the context in which they live, as well as by their experiences and opinions about the education and training that circulate them. This is inevitable. It is likely that interested or influential third parties such as politicians, policymakers, education administrators, employees, financing agents, and, above all, other educators, exert their influence on them. However, they participate in the process as professionals, given that they consider this task as a matter for experts.
One of the main reasons for undertaking participatory curriculum development is to openly reveal the assumptions on which the process of preparing a curriculum centered around the expert is based, that is, education is somewhat separate from the rest of the society, which is an issue regarding which decisions should start from top to bottom, in a hierarchical manner, and from experts.
This approach has a clearly defined hierarchy. Those in the vertex make the decisions. In this approach, students, and even more, teachers or trainers are excluded from the development of the curriculum. Both groups become recipients of knowledge from others and are limited to carrying out the tasks assigned to them.