Curriculum Models

Curriculum Models are learning models that are used in different parts of the world to enable learners to acquire relevant skills that will help them in their careers. Two main models are used in curriculum development include the product model and the process model. A curriculum is an academic content that is taught in schools for specific programs in order to equip the learners with the skills and knowledge that are taught to them. Curriculums are developed with the desire to ensure that the quality of education is maintained during the training of the students. Curriculum-based models provide the objectives of the curriculum are achieved.

Among the models used in curriculum development include the product model that focuses on the results of the learning. The results include passing in examinations. Passing examinations does not necessarily mean that the person is knowledgeable in the areas that they have passed their examinations in. The product model began to be used in the early 1960s when many countries adopted the model in order to produce students that were required by the job market (STUTT, 2018). The model relies on different assessment techniques for accessing the students in order to find out the mental capacity of the student to solve various challenges. The methods of obtaining the learners include using examinations to determine what the learners have retained after being taught.

The learners are taught different lessons; therefore, they need to be examined the subjects that they have strengths on. The assessment through tests also enable the students to identify areas where they have weakness in and formulate strategies of improving the areas (STUTT, 2018). The characteristics of the product model include the setting of objectives that include the learners passing in their examinations. The teachers focus on the passing of examinations of the students. Evaluation is done in a timely manner to determine whether the students will pass in their final examinations. The teachers emphasize on students concentrating on passing their examinations.

The figure below represents the product model of curriculum

The product model is primarily concerned with the success of the students, the behavior of the students is also monitored; hence the students are made to behave in a particular manner.The materials that the students are taught depends on what the country want their learners to acquire from the learning institutions (Finch, 2017). The product model, however, has been valuable in developing and communicating clear outcomes to the student population and has moved the emphasis away from lists of content. Recent literature in this area suggests that in using this model, care should be taken not to be overly prescriptive when writing learning outcomes.

The product model is the model used in Kenya where it focuses on the grades that the students get for them to be allowed to proceed within their education(Finch, 2017). The Kenyan curriculum is designed in such a manner that the students who pass in their examinations are the only ones that are allowed to proceed with their education such as joining colleges while the ones that fail don’t continue with their education. The product model does not emphasize on the students having skills and expertise in their areas of study.

The other model used in the curriculum is the process-based model that focuses on the activities that take place while the child is learning. The model encourages the student to identify their strengths and focus on how they could build them. The figure below represents the process-based model.

The students are encouraged to engage in various activities and assume that in the process of living, children face challenges. In order to be able to deal with the challenges, the child needs to be equipped with the problem-solving skills that will help the children in solving their challenges. The learners acquire skills that help them deal with challenges later in their lives when they face challenges(Finch, 2017). The model aims at ensuring the learners are capable of directing and guiding themselves when it comes to making decisions that aimed at solving the challenges that they are facing, and the learners become independent in terms of being able to make the right decision on addressing the challenges that they go through.

The model makes the learners understand that it’s their responsibility to engage in activities that will help in solving the challenges that they are going in life. The student takes responsibility while at a young age; hence when they grow up, they don’t get challenges in solving challenges that they face (Finch, 2017). The models create a curriculum where the learners recognize that it’s their responsibility to change the environment and the world that they live in in a manner that they would like it to be like. The learners become problem solvers.

The problem centered model of a curriculum is not used much in Kenya although there are private learning institutions that use the model. Majority of the learning institutions in Kenya are publicly owned; therefore some fewer students join the private learning institution that incorporates the problem centered model as part of their curriculum(Farooq, 2018). The model that is used in the country that focuses on the students passing their examination has been affecting the country because the students lack the problem-solving skills that they need to address various challenges that they go through when they leave school.

The problem-based model of curriculum equips the learners with problem-solving skills and the strategies that are appropriate in solving challenges that come up. The students are taught to be innovative in order to find the best solution to the challenges that they go through (Farooq, 2018). The curriculum makes the students flexible when deciding on how they need to do in order to solve the challenges that they are going through. The model supports the learning process by empowering the instructors on how they need to handle students. The model addresses the need to promote lifelong learning through the process of inquiry and constructivist learning.

The other model used in determining the type of curriculum being used in any learning institution includes the subject centered model. The curriculum divides the learning materials into different subjects depending on the level of education they are in (Kridel, 2017). The subjects might include math’s, English, arts and social studies. In a subject-centered approach to curriculum, each content area contains its own set of skills and concepts for mastering that content. For example, in science, students learn about the scientific method and science-related vocabulary. This knowledge is then used when students conduct experiments and investigations. In English, students are taught grammatical rules which they will need to produce appropriate written products. Teachers in these subject areas are specialists in their content.

The central objective for any subject-centered approach to curriculum is student mastery of content knowledge. The teacher presents content and skills to students in a logical sequence. This step-by-step approach ensures that students gain all the information and skills needed to master this content area. There is little or no emphasis on the overlap of various subjects (Kridel, 2017). Teachers only present the subject matter from their subject and are only accountable for student mastery of their content area. Schools that maintain a subject-centered approach categorize subjects into three different types. “Common content” represents subjects all students must study. In elementary schools, this consists of arithmetic, reading, and writing (the three R’s) (Kridel, 2017). In secondary schools, these subjects include math, science, social studies/history, and English/language arts. “Special content” describes classes that prepare students for specific professions. These might include vocational and technical education courses. “Elective content” refers to optional classes students can take to further their knowledge and skills. These might include college courses taken while still in high school, advanced auto mechanics courses, or special interest courses, such as photography or aeronautics.


Farooq, U. (2018). Problem-centered approach. Retrieved from

Kridel, C. (2017). What is Subject-Centered Curriculum? – Edupedia. Retrieved from

STUTT, A. (2018). Curriculum Development and The 3 Models Explained | Top Hat. Retrieved from

Finch, D. (2017). How to Develop Effective Curriculum Design. Retrieved from

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