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Curriculum adaptation as a strategy for curriculum development

Heathcote, Gabrielle

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Authors

Gabrielle Heathcote



Abstract

Curriculum adaptation is defined as the creation of curriculum resource materials to meet 'new' educational needs by changing, In some way, materials that have already been developed for other purposes. As a strategy for curriculum development, it offers many advantages and merits serious consideration particularly in relation to the curriculum development requirements and Institutional conditions prevailing In the Further Education sector. The study reported in this thesis was therefore designed to determine the Incidence of curriculum adaptation In Further Education and. importantly, to develop an understanding of the decision-making Issues, activities and procedures to be associated with this type of work.
Literature searches revealed that little had been written about curriculum adaptation and thus Indicated the need to ldentify, analyse and evaluate actual instances or adaptation work. However, in the absence of an appropriate model to define and guide an empirical investigation a theoretical 'framework' suitable for this task, was developed. This was predicated on the assumption that curriculum adaptation Is a rational activity involving a systematic approach to decision making and action, Information relating to the practice of curriculum adaptation In Further Education colleges was collected by questionnaire and structured Interview techniques. The Inquiry revealed a low Incidence of the use of curriculum adaptation, despite the considerable amount of curriculum development work that was being staged. The Investigation Into the defining characteristics of adaptation was organized through the development or detailed case-study material. The analysis of this material demonstrated that curriculum adaptation was being conducted in a largely pragmatic and intuitive manner, and that much of Its potential was being overlooked, The study therefore offers recommendations and guidelines which aim to facilitate a more systematic and purposive approach to curriculum adaptation as a strategy for curriculum development.

Publication Date Jan 1, 1987

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