Curriculum / Syllabus Development - Brief Description


At the heart of all education and training courses lies the curriculum. Curriculum development is much more than simply listing the content of a course. It takes into consideration the learning that the students achieve, the activities and experiences that bring the learning about, the process of planning and organising these activities and experiences and the piece of writing which embraces this planning.

The curriculum defines the training required for a particular profession / job position, for example, a foresters certificate course or land management course. On the other hand, the syllabus describes the objectives and contents of subjects that form part of a certificate course; e.g. the subject of land survey. Nevertheless, major shifts in education and training are difficult to achieve, they often take many years to complete. In comparison with other elements of formal education systems, training institutions and even universities seem particularly resistant to changes in organisational and educational strategies, processes and methodologies, even when functioning in dynamic external environments.

The training institution and university sector in many countries seems to maintain a safe distance from theorising about teaching and learning. Although changes are taking place in many training institutions and universities throughout the world, these are often structural rather than conceptual. It is likely that economic imperatives are responsible for the changes rather than a perception of the need to improve the effectiveness of learning. During the late 1980s and 1990s there has been an increasing interest by many training institutions and universities, often driven by pressure associated with greater external scrutiny, in developing a more systematic approach to change management.