|Teacher Training: a Reference Manual (Peace Corps, 1986, 176 p.)|
|Chapter 2 what a teacher needs to know|
The first step in the design of any educational program is the needs assessment. The basic ideas presented in Chapter 1, Needs Assessment, are directly transferable, with appropriate adaptation of key questions to the teaching situation. Curriculum that is taught in the classroom is seldom created out of thin air. The curriculum developers, be they ministry personnel or teachers, should consider the needs of the student, the culture and society, and the knowledge base from which the subject is being taught.
An aim is defined as a general statement of intent which attempts to give direction to a curriculum effort designed to bring about some change. Statement of an aim is often based on a prior needs assessment. A curriculum aim is the foundation of any curriculum design. It defines the intentions of a curriculum in a single statement and, for this reason, it is stated in broad, general terms.
Educational goals are selected or screened from the stated aims. A goal, more specific than an aim, is a broad objective statement that describes desired outcomes of education which are meant to reflect both student and societal needs. In formulating goals, the curriculum planner considers the values, attitudes and needs of the society and balances this with the students' abilities, interests, needs and the subject knowledge base to determine useful and achievable goals.
From goals come Instructional objectives. These objectives are stated in terms of the students behavior and constructed with consideration to lesson planning, instructional materials and classroom implementation. General instructional objectives are not the end of the process, merely the beginning. This is the framework that a teacher may be given in a curriculum guide or from the Ministry of Education. It is the teacher's responsibility to screen and rewrite these objectives to fit the specific needs of his/her instructional situation.
The first pieces of the educational process puzzle are now ready to be put together. As this chapter develops, the puzzle will be constructed piece by piece to produce, by the end of the chapter, a complete picture of the educational process.
Complete picture of the educational process (puzzle 1)
The next three pieces of the puzzle will take the teacher from the general objectives (often supplied by the Ministry of Education) to the specific objectives they need for teaching. Understanding these sections (Approaches to Teaching, Child and Adolescent Learning, and Subject