Curriculum Change and Its Impact on the Teaching and Learning Process of History on Secondary School Students

Bachelor Thesis, 2020

72 Pages, Grade: 4.00











The teaching of history as a discipline has a long tradition in the world and it is instrument par excellence for national development according to National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) and forging international cooperation and integration. History as a subject falls within the General Arts, and has for a long time, enjoyed a place in many African school curriculum especially Nigeria (Boadu, 2016). The teaching of history in Nigeria could be traced informally to the pre-colonial days when parents and elderly persons recounted the past of their communities to the younger generation through folktales, music, and other art forms. These were chief means of conveying invaluable lessons and values that were highly cherished in traditional societies. The teaching of history took a formal turn in the colonial period when it was taught in the schools established by the missionaries and those established by the British colonial officials.

The long existence of history in the Nigerian school curriculum could be as a result of the numerous purposes that it serves. As a study of the past, history draws on significant events of the past to inform the present and to safeguard the future. In effect, history does not study the past in isolation from the present, but relates intricately, the successes, achievements and failures of antecedent generations to the contemporary case and sets the stage for a better living in the morrow (Boadu, 2016). With the seemingly importunate problems society is subjected to, especially in the 21st Century, the utility of history cannot be overlooked as most of the current problems facing society have deep-lying historical genesis.

Despite its overwhelming importance, history is gradually losing its grip on Nigeria’s education system as the subject has become increasingly unpopular among students especially in Nigeria (Cobbold & Oppong, 2010; Yilmaz, 2008). Historians, history educators and history students are still puzzled about what accounts for the current state of history in secondary schools within the country and yet are quick to point to a host of factors relating to pedagogy, availability of human and material resources, and the turn of attention towards the so-called economically viable subjects.

Though it might be difficult to hold a single factor as the cause, the problem certainly cannot be dissociated from how the subject is taught. For instance, Boadu, Awuah, Ababio & Eduaquah (2014) observe that for some time, history teachers have adopted the classical methods of teaching with little or no innovation. However, these approaches are more suited to university students than students of lower levels such as primary and secondary schools (Namamba & Rao 2017). Since interest in the subject is gained primarily through how the subject is taught and/or presented to learners, issues and conditions surrounding the teaching of the subject as it relates its curriculum might plausibly explain the current state of history especially at the senior secondary school level.

Nigeria, right after independence started to take measures on education developments through policy formulation, reviews, adjustments, and improvements, these measures included curriculum design and development for schools to meet national goals on education. Thus, there has been different improvements on curricular so as to solve the challenges and shortcomings of the former curricular in order to meet the needs of the present time in secondary schools (Alade, 2011). However, some of the changes done to the curricular do not go hand in hand with changes in teachers’ teaching and learning methodologies, as a result it seems that those changes have nothing to do with the improvement of history subjects’ performance because teachers are not capable of delivering instructional materials to students due to new needed strategies. This is because the changing nature of content requires constant revision to update development within the education system. Therefore, after curriculum changes, educators (teachers) are not clear of what they are doing and hence do hesitate when presenting the new knowledge due to the new innovation that they are not aware of and therefore their competency is questionable and could tell on the performance of students (Pastory, 2016). Therefore, this study seeks to explore the effect of curriculum change in the teaching and learning of history in senior secondary schools within Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.


History Curriculum as a policy document and academic programme was introduced to educational system in Nigeria with the aim of inculcating positive values and building of a better Nigeria. This could be possible only when there is effective implementation of History curriculum at all levels of education to equip students with the necessary knowledge, facts and ideas that can enhance positive values and attitudes for the survival of individuals and the society.

Despite the wide recognition and acceptance accorded the role of curriculum as a career of the national philosophy in Nigerian educational system, there seems to be problems in the implementation of this important educational blue-print. Many laudable goals of the curriculum have failed to pass the planning stage of the curriculum due to faulty implementation. Well-conceived curriculum ideas have remained virtually inert and dysfunctional. The outcome of this is the breed of graduates of secondary schools and higher institution who are found to be grossly deficient in practical and professional competences which has bedeviled the Nigerian society (Izuagba & Atuobi, 2009).

The challenges of curriculum change are inappropriate curriculum structures and inequalities and disparities in allocation of resources and capacity. Shortages of skilled history teachers, curriculum specialists, learning materials, adequate classrooms and technology are the main problem areas that hinder the success of current curriculum in teaching and learning subjects taught in secondary school within the country. This problem and other related issues should be a cause for concern to all patriotic and serious minded stakeholders of the educational sub-sector. It is against this background, this study was designed to investigate Curriculum Change and its Effect on Teaching and Learning History in Secondary Schools in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.


The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of the curriculum changes in teaching and learning history in secondary schools within Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State. Specifically the purpose of the study are;

1. To determine if curriculum change in history require changes in teaching methods?
2. To examine the effects of curriculum change on history teachers’ mastery of subject matter.
3. To assess the effect of curriculum change on the availability of teaching and learning materials.


With regard to purposes given, this study was guided by the following research questions:

1. Do curriculum changes in history require changes in teaching methods?
2. Do history teachers have mastery of subject matter required by changes in curriculum?
3. Do the changes in history curriculum go with availability of teaching and learning materials?


Since this study examined the effects of secondary school curriculum changes in teaching and learning of history, its findings are expected to be useful in providing the following details to educational policy makers, teachers, school administrators, researchers, curriculum planners, government and other relevant stakeholders.

It is hoped that it will serve as an insight to researchers who might consult it in process of carrying out similar research work in the near future. To school administrators, it is believed that they will further realize the important role history is expected to play on the life of the learners.

Government and policy makers will also find it useful because it will show the areas where it has to come in, such as training and retraining of teachers and provision of necessary structures, resources and materials that will aid effective teaching and learning process in the history curriculum as it is crucial for the attainment of the much needed values in order to attain national development.

In the same vein, it is believed that history curriculum planners will benefit from the study in such a way that when engaged in further review of the curriculum, other interest groups will be contacted and made to play their role. This study will help them understand the effects of frequent changes in history curriculum and hence take precaution before involving in those frequent changes. Thereby preparing training programmes to teachers on how to go about new inventions introduced in the new curriculum so as to make teachers more competent to teach the subject and helping students.

The research work is hoped to be significant to history teachers who are expected to implement policies formulated for history studies programme as it is believed that the teachers would be able to detect some of the problems militating against the achievements of some aims, goals and objectives of history studies programmes.

Finally the study will provide additional literature that would enrich the existing literatures in the area of history curriculum in secondary school.


This study is focused on exploring the effect of curriculum change in teaching and learning of history in secondary schools in Jos South L.G.A, Plateau State. Besides, the study involves only history teachers and school heads (principals) from secondary schools offering history within the study area. Finally, the study was set out to be completed within a short period of 2 weeks and only involved the use of resources including questionnaires and interview schedules to elicit responses with regards the topic under investigation.


The following terms were defined operationally within the context of this study;

Curriculum: curriculum can be defined as the planned and unplanned experiences, to which children are exposed to within and outside the school environment for individual and collective growth as contained in a policy statement, to indicate the way in which the policy is to be realized through a programme of action.

History: History can be defined as the analysis and interpretation of the human past enabling us to study continuity and changes that are taking place over time as it seeks to explain how people have changed over time, using all forms of evidence not just written documents, but also oral communication and objects such as buildings, artifacts, photographs, and paintings to examine, interpret, revisit, and reinterpret the past.

Learning: Learning is a process of experience that changes the individual. It entails change in a person as regards the individual’s insights, behaviour, perception or motivation and such change leads to added knowledge or the ability to perform tasks that learners could not do before.

Secondary School: It is an institution which provides six (6) years secondary education after primary school education in Nigeria.

Senior Secondary School: Refers to an institution that offers educational experiences to students for three years after the preceding three years of Junior Secondary School education.

Teaching: Teaching can be seen as creating opportunities for learning to take place, as well as the process of helping learners to learn.


This chapter focuses on the review of the related literature on curriculum change and its effect on teaching and learning history in schools. The review of related literature is inevitable in any research because it provides the researcher an insight into the source of data as well as valuable information on works that have been done relating to the problem under investigation.


In its very earliest known uses in human society, history was simply a narrative account of past events. As a word, it entered the English language from the French formulation of histoire, the Latin notion of historia, and the Greek construction of istoria, each of which represented the basic sense of a knowledge of the past (Yusuf & Goshit, 2017). In these early concepts, the sense of history encompassed both an imaginative story of events and a narrative or chronicle of past events. In its early English usage, history and story were generally applied equally to any account of the past, whether of imaginary events or of incidents which were held to be true. Such use of history for imagined or invented events is, of course, a practice which has persisted, at diminishing levels, up to the present (Nasson, 2009). From roughly the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries onwards, the meaning of history moved more emphatically towards an account of past real events, and the notion of story drifted towards a set of uses which included less documented accounts of past events, and accounts of purely imagined events or fantasy. History now began to take on the distinctive character or sense of an organized knowledge of the past (Yusuf & Goshit, 2017). The notion of some organization of knowledge of the past was a general extension of the earlier sense of a specific written or oral account.

Though the development of this sense of history emerged the distinctly modern meanings and role of historian, historical, and historic. Writers on historiography and culture confirm that in contemporary English, this has become the predominant and lasting general sense of history. At the same time, it is important to note the growth of a further significant conception of history which goes beyond the basic meaning of an organized knowledge of past life. It is difficult to date or to define its intellectual source exactly, but it is the sense of history as something continuous, as human or self-development (Nasson, 2009). This particular stage of thinking is increasingly evident in European thought from around the eighteenth century, and saw early expression in the emergence of new forms of universal histories or world histories, based on the imperial sense of a “discovery” or physical charting of the world. Adopting the argument of the cultural critic, Raymond Williams, the clearest way of projecting this newer post-eighteenth century sense of history is to say that past events are viewed not as specific or bounded histories, but as a continuous and connected process (Nasson, 2009). For historians, various modern systemizations and interpretations of this continuous and connected process then become history in a new general and increasingly abstract sense. Moreover, in view of the prevailing new stress on the workings of history as human self-development, history in many of its wider uses sheds its exclusive association with knowledge of the past, and becomes directly connected not only to the present, but also to the future (Nasson, 2009).

In turn, history encoded in this contemporary sense has drawn on several evolving versions of more recent intellectual systems. One has been the European Enlightenment awareness of the progress and development of civilization. Another has been rooted in an idealist sense, as reflected by the philosopher Hegel, of an ineluctable process of world-historical movement over time. A third sense of process is especially evident since the nineteenth century and it has been sharply political. Here, through a strong association with first, the French Revolution, and subsequently with Marxism and variants of socialist thought, history has been construed as a range of mass historical political forces (Nasson, 2009). In this systemic sense of history, its forces are products of the past which are not only active and influential in the present, but which will live on as imperatives, destined to shape the future in knowable or patterned ways.

Naturally, there has always been scholarly dispute between such varying understandings of history as a structured process. Furthermore, there has always been controversy between advocates of history as a systemic movement, and others who have continued to view history as an account, or a series of accounts, of actual but quite random past events. Lastly, we know that behind human ignorance of the present and uncertainty of the future, the historical forces which have shaped the world are continuing to operate. Equally, at present, it is probably no longer as easy as it once was to confirm which sense or meaning of history is dominant. “Historian” remains a fairly exact description, as in its earlier understanding. “Historical” relates generally to a recorded sense of the past. “Historic” is largely used to imply the dimension of a large or deep process or destiny. “History,” on the other hand, retains something of the variety of meanings and range of uses it has acquired across human time. Historical understanding turns on the movement of time and space, on the living tissue which provides us with a sense of the workings of cumulative forces, teaches us about the workings of cause and effect, and, most simply, enlightens us about the past. That provision of knowledge is of a particularly special kind, because it shows not only that history has brought humankind to a particular point, but how and why. While the sense of what history is may continue to differ among scholars, it is a primary analytical lens which can teach or show us most kinds of the knowable human past, and virtually every kind of imaginable if not predictable human future (Nasson, 2009).


Curriculum is defined by Indiana Department of Education (2010), as the planned interaction of pupils with instructional content, materials, resources, and processes for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives. Curriculum has also been defined as a policy statement about a piece of education as a way to indicate the way in which policy is to be realized through a programme of action (Baba, 2015). Yusuf (2012), viewed curriculum as the plan and unplanned experiences to which children are exposed to within and outside the school environment for individual and collective growth. According to Pastory, (2016), Curriculum refers to the existing contract between the society, the state and educational professional with regard to the educational experience that learners should undergo during a certain phase of their lives including why learning something, what to learn, when to learn, how to learn and with whom to learn. It defines the educational foundations, contents and their sequencing in relation to the learning experiences, characteristics of the teaching institutions, methods to be used, the sources for learning and teaching (for example textbooks), evaluation mode and teacher’s profiles.

Furthermore, curriculum has been defined as the formal academic programme provided by a school as reflected in subjects on the time table (Pastory, 2016). In this sense it might also refers to a particular course of instruction or a syllabus, means and material with which students interact for the purpose of achieving identified educational outcomes. It prescribes course of studies which students must fulfil in order to pass a certain level of education, for example primary or secondary education.

On the other hand, curriculum has been described as a single most important instrument of structure in a course which outlines the goals and objectives of a subject, prerequisites the grading or evaluation scheme, material to be used (textbooks, software), topics to be covered a schedule and a bibliography. Each of these components defines the nature of learning experience. Goals and objectives identify the expected outcomes and scope of the subject as determined by the teacher or subject designer restricting the domain of knowledge for the learner. The grading or evaluation scheme tells students what kind of learning activities are to be valued (example assignments, tests, papers); that is, the currency of learning in particular subject or topics to be covered specify the content that the teacher feels is important.

Generally, there is no agreed upon definition of curriculum but some influential definitions that combine various elements to describe curriculum refer to as the totality of student experiments that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to a view of the student's experiences in terms of the educator's or schools instructional goals. It is the set of learning goals articulated across grades that outline the intended mathematics content and process goals at particular points in time throughout the school programmes. Curriculum may incorporate the planned interaction of pupils with instructional content, materials, resources, and processes for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives; it is split into several categories including the hidden, the excluded and the extra-curricular.

Kelly (2009) prescribes that, curriculum has numerous definitions, which can be slightly confusing; however, in its broadest sense a curriculum may refer to all courses offered at a school (explicit); the intended curriculum, which the students learn through the culture of the school (implicit) and the extracurricular activities like sports, and clubs. This is particularly true of schools at the university level, where the diversity of a curriculum might be an attractive point to a potential student. Kelly also adds that curriculum may also refer to a defined and prescribed course of studies, which students must fulfil in order to pass a certain level of education.

For example, an elementary school might discuss how its curriculum, or its entire sum of lessons and teachings, is designed to improve national testing scores or help students learn the basics. An individual teacher might also refer to his or her curriculum, meaning all the subjects that will be taught during a school year. On the other hand, a high school might refer to a curriculum as the courses required in order to receive one’s diploma. They might also refer to curriculum in exactly the same way as the elementary school, and use curriculum to mean both individual courses needed to pass, and the overall offering of courses, which help prepare a student for life after high school.

According to Kim & Dopico (2014), curriculum can be envisaged from different perspectives. What societies envisage as important teaching and learning constitutes the "intended" curriculum. Since it is usually presented in official documents, it may be also called the "written" and/or "official" curriculum. However, at classroom level this intended curriculum may be altered through a range of complex classroom interactions, and what is actually delivered can be considered the "implemented" curriculum. What learners really learn (i.e. what can be assessed and can be demonstrated as learning outcomes/learner competencies) constitutes the "achieved" or "learned" curriculum. Additionally, Tomasa & Rodrigo (2008) point out to a "hidden" curriculum that is, the unintended development of personal values and beliefs of learners, teachers and communities; unexpected impact of a curriculum; unforeseen aspects of a learning process.

In some cases, people see the curriculum entirely in terms of the subjects that are taught, and as set out within the set of textbooks, and forget the wider goals of competencies and personal development. This is why a curriculum framework is important. It sets the subjects within this wider context, and shows how learning experiences within the subjects need to contribute to the attainment of the wider goals (Pastory, 2016).

There are many common misconceptions of what curriculum is and one of the most common is that curriculum only entails a syllabus. Pastory (2016) says that, a syllabus will not generally indicate the relative importance of its topics or the order in which they are to be studied. Where people still equate curriculum with a syllabus they are likely to limit their planning to a consideration of the content or the body of knowledge that they wish to transmit. Regardless of the definition of curriculum, one thing is certain. The quality of any educational experience will always depend to a large extent on the individual teacher responsible for it (Kelly, 2009).

Curriculum is almost always defined with relation to schooling. According to some, it is the major division between formal and informal education. However, under some circumstances it may also be applied to informal education or free-choice learning settings. For instance, a science museum may have a curriculum of what topics or exhibits it wishes to cover. Moreover, curriculum can serve a wide variety of functions that will support and challenge students as they engage in their educational activities (Pastory, 2016).

2.2.1 Types of Curriculum

Curriculum is of different types. Types of curriculum according to Yusuf (2012), are as follows:

Firstly, there is the explicit or written curriculum which is simply described as that which is written as part of formal instruction of the schooling experience and may refer to a curriculum document, text, or supportive materials that are chosen to support the instructional agenda of a school.

The intended curriculum also referred to as recommended, adopted or official curriculum, serves as a documented map of theories, beliefs, and intentions about schooling, teaching, learning, and knowledge evidence in the development of teacher proof curriculum.

There is yet another type of curriculum referred to as ‘Curriculum-in-use’. This curriculum comprises those things in textbooks, content and concepts in the distinct curriculum guides and is the actual curriculum that is delivered and presented by each teacher.

The received curriculum are those things that students actually take out of classroom; those concepts and content that are truly learned and remembered.

Rhetorical curriculum are comprised of ideas offered by policy makers, school officials, administrators, or politicians. This curriculum may also come from those professionals involved in concept formation and content changes; or from those educational initiatives resulting from decisions based on national and state reports, public speeches, or from texts critiquing outdated educational practices. The rhetorical curriculum may also come from the publicized works offering updates on pedagogical knowledge.

Societal curriculum is defined as the massive, ongoing, informal curriculum of family, peer groups, neighborhood, churches, organizations, occupations, mass media and other socializing forces that educate all of us throughout our lives.

Concomitant curriculum deals with what is taught, or emphasized at home, or those experiences that are part of a family‘s experiences, or related experiences sanctioned by the family. This type of curriculum may be received at churches, in the context of religious expression, lessons on values, ethics or morals, molded behaviours or social experiences based on a family‘s preferences.

Phantom curriculum is the messages prevalent in and through exposure to various types of media such as recorders, display screens, etc.

Hidden curriculum is described as the non-academic but educational significant component of schooling. It can also be referred to as the ‘collateral curriculum‘. The word hidden implies deliberately concealing some learning experiences from students. Since this is not written or officially recognized, its influence on learning can manifest itself in student’s attitudes and behavior, both during and after completing their studies. What is acquired or learned from hidden curriculum is usually remembered longer than information learned at school.

Finally, the null curriculum. The null curriculum is that which we do not teach, thus giving students the message that these elements are not important in their educational experiences or in our society (Yusuf, 2012). Schools have consequences not only by virtue of what they do not teach, but also by virtue of what they neglect to teach. What students cannot consider, what they don‘t process they are unable to use, and have consequences for the kinds of lives they lead (Yusuf, 2012).

2.2.2 Pattern Employed in the Design of History Curriculum

The design of a curriculum can be likened to the design or construction of a building. A building is usually designed according to the purpose it will serve. Likewise a curriculum designed to serve the purpose it meant for. So, in developing a curriculum, experts have to consider the purpose of the curriculum and how the activities of the teacher and the learner are to be organized to enable them achieve the purpose (Yusuf, 2012). According to Baba (2015), curriculum planners have identified at least four patterns of curriculum with major focus on the subject matter areas or fields. Inline of the above, below are some of the curriculum design:

Subject-Centered Curriculum: Is that pattern of curriculum organization in which curriculum content is structured into compartmentalized bodies of organized knowledge. It is about the oldest pattern of organization because its origin can be traced back to the organization of seven liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic-and the- arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music) constituted the curriculum. The emphasis on the seven liberal arts gave way to the modern subject design by the 1870s. From that time on, the emphasis shifted in favor of such modern subjects as physics chemistry, biology, literature, and many others (Baba, 2015).

Broad-Field Curriculum: According to Doggoh (2007), Broad-field curriculum is a type of curriculum designed to combat the compartmentalization problem created by subject curriculum. It is a curriculum that brings together related disciplines into a kind of fusion. The position held by the advocates of the broad-fields curriculum is that there is an unprecedented explosion of knowledge in recent times. This trend which results from research efforts of contemporary times will surely result in a situation in which too many subjects will be available to students for study without sufficient time in the time table for their study. This necessitated evolving integrated subjects that draw their content from across the older established disciplines. This alternative is the choice of the advocates of the broad-fields curriculum. They believe that the idea of subject autonomy or purity of disciplines is untenable in these days of knowledge explosion (Baba, 2015).

Activity-Based Curriculum: The main features of the activity curriculum is its interest in child growth through visible active experience. Element of this design are structured with the learner’s flit need and interests in mind. The rationale behind this design is both psychological and philosophical. Psychologically, the activity curriculum is based on the Gestalt, and other learning theories that highlight the importance of activities in learning. The philosophical bases of the design are progressivism and pragmatism, both of which stress the importance of the learner and activities in any learning engagement (Baba, 2015).

Core Curriculum: The core curriculum may be regarded as those learning experiences which are fundamental for all learners because they are drawn from the common individual and social needs as competent citizens of a democratic community (Baba, 2015). A true curriculum attacks the problems common to all youth. It is a functional approach to harmonizing the concerns of youth, on the one hand, with the demands of society on the other, without unduly emphasizing one or neglecting the other. Core curriculum is made up of those education experiences which are thought to be important for each citizen in our democracy. Students and teachers do not consider subject matter to be important in itself. It becomes meaningful only as it helps the group to solve the problems which have been selected for study (Baba, 2015).


History education and national development are inextricably interwoven. As history education is a continuous process by which an individual acquires basic skills that enable him to function effectively as member of society. While national development is the progressive unfolding of the potentials of society (Orobosa, 2010). It entails establishing “a free and democratic society; a just and egalitarian society; a united, strong and self-reliant nation; a great and dynamic economy; a land, full of bright opportunities for all citizens” (Emeh & Agba 2010). National development includes engendering in members of society the disposition for personal autonomy, responsibilities as well unfolding man’s potentialities in a total sense. It entails making man the focus of development drive. It involves total transformation of society, reduction of poverty, enhancing social services and security, housing, wealth creating and equitable distribution of wealth (Orobosa, 2010; Emeh & Agba, 2010).

The aspiration and drive for national development informed the philosophy and objective of education in Nigeria (Ajibola, 2008). The curriculum was expanded and modified, to place education as agent of social change as well as reflect the dynamics process of nation-building (Marinho, 2009). Education was meant to foster the frontier of knowledge, formulate ideas for national development, train and develop manpower to man various institutions of society and to inculcate national Values, morals and character necessary for national unity and development (Emeh & Agba, 2010). Despite government intention to use education as vital instrument for national transformation, there remain systemic short comings that bedevil the realization of development plan of Nigeria (Marinho, 2009).

Consequently, the country is still trapped in the vicious cycle of underdevelopment. Social mayhem such as poverty, food insecurity, health crisis, dead infrastructure, high crime rate and poor sanitation characterized the Nigerian federation (Emeh, Isangadighi, Asuquo & Agba, 2011). Others are unemployment, ethno-religious crisis, political thuggery (Agba, Coker & Agba 2010). These social upheaval threatened national unity and could extinct the Nigerian federation even at 50 years of nationhood. Although the causes of these social mayhem are multidimensional, effective and functional education could serve as remedy (Emeh & Agba 2010); since such education stimulates other sectors of society and trained social thinkers who would proffer solution to societal problems (Emeh, 2010).

Effective design and implementation of curriculum is therefore vital for functional education and nation building (Marinho 2009). When curriculum is inadequate to propel the wheels of effective education it should be modernized or reviewed to meet the demands and dynamics of society.


Hancock, Dyk, & Jones (2012) define curriculum change as the transformation of the curriculum schemes for example its design, goals and content. That is, it refers to the linkages or close working relationship between developers of syllabi, assessors of the syllabi (Examination bodies), implementers of the syllabi (Teachers), consumers of the syllabi (students), evaluators of implementation of the syllabi (school inspectors), consumers of the graduates (employers), and supporting education stakeholders (parents and community members). It means making the curriculum different in some way, to give it a new position or direction. This often means alteration to its philosophy by way of its aims and objectives, reviewing the content included, revising its methods and re-thinking its evaluation procedures. Curriculum change should have clear and definitive goals that can be easily understood to the targeted group and the society as a whole. For example, curriculum change that is multicultural should espoused democratic equality, by seeking to provide all children with the skills and knowledge they will need in a global and diverse society.

According to Dziwa (2013), curriculum change is not a matter of supply of appropriate technical information rather it involves changing attitudes, values, skills and relationship. It requires expert itself with motivated force to introduce and direct change, this means that the basic conditioning for change is the existence of school structures which can accommodate and accelerate change; thus, it is important to note that there must be readiness to accept these changes in the curriculum. Curriculum change has far reaching implications, it means changing some of the fundamental elements of the curriculum which are aims, content (what to be taught), methodology (how it is going to be taught) and evaluation. This means or implies change of the internal organization of the school relationship, change of relationship between schools and government agents which control education.

Since independence, Nigeria’s education system has gone through a number of significant changes but main changes in education curriculum have been observed at primary and secondary education level. Nyirenda (2012) argues that, there has been a dramatic change in the education system which affected syllabus, textbooks and many more, however these changes have not been due to changing of various socioeconomic policies but due to the wishes of the prevailing political leaders. He further argues that, the changes should aim at improving the content and activities of the syllabi to be competent-based and that if this is effectively implemented then students would acquire adequate skills to be competent indeed. Changes that centred on learners’ improvement would enable them to explain phenomena, applying their knowledge in daily life, use and maintain domestic appliances, use sustainable energy conversion system for environmental conservation and use of I.C.T tools in accessing information.

Changes in curriculum should be societal- related; that is, it should involve needs from the society and their real-life situation. Curriculum changes should be the one that involve the multiplicity of reforms in schools that build relations around relevant cultural requirements. This implies that the curriculum in schools has to be about more than the academics. It must bring into the school conceptual understandings of student’s daily life to enhance relational meaning for students. The curriculum that is real-life cannot be disconnected from practical everyday knowledge of students. Integrating the curriculum of a real-life school involves a shared cultural understanding of the school curriculum reform with the community of the school. This is emancipator curriculum reform. It is curriculum as praxis because it allows teacher and student to have a more committed action toward learning.

Furthermore, Jackson (2006) maintains that, curriculum changes should involve society, teachers, students and other educational institutes, organizations and stakeholders in the whole process of reformation. There is a clear lack of inter-linkage between various bodies which are under the same ministry; this means that there is no linkage or close working relationship between curriculum developers, assessors, implementers, consumers and evaluators. Lack of close working relationship hinders progress of implementation of the new changes in the curriculum and hence failure to meet the intended objectives. Jackson adds that, students want interesting classes as they get older they want to deal with things they feel are relevant to their future, classes that teach them major problems of their life for example poverty, health and the likes. Also, they need to learn things that help them to develop relationship with others and address deeply felt concern about their identity and value of living. Some simply want any kind of curriculum that allows them to pursue their own private agendas. They want the school to teach them what they believe prepares them for future and most of them prefer this to be done in an atmosphere of interest and congeniality.

Curriculum changes should be done in discretion that it does not affect teaching and learning development so as to maintain the status of education. Changing the way teachers and students learn requires specific approaches, in-service training of teachers is not enough, if curriculum reform aims at changing the ways students learn and teachers teach, more sophisticated implementation and in-service trainings to teachers should be emphasized; that is, teachers should be well equipped with the knowledge they should give to the learners and should have variety of teaching and learning methodologies to teach all the new concepts included in the developed curriculum.


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Curriculum Change and Its Impact on the Teaching and Learning Process of History on Secondary School Students
University of Jos
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Abubakar Nyamida (Author), 2020, Curriculum Change and Its Impact on the Teaching and Learning Process of History on Secondary School Students, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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