Strengthening Leadership for Curriculum Design and Development
- By In Focus
- 18/10/ 2016
It is the end of August, 2015, at the Catholic University of Uruguay. Students lob questions, huddle together in project teams, identify what in their national curricula requires attention, exchange answers, debate multiple potential solutions, and then develop concrete plans of action.
This blend of thought-provoking discussions, personalized learning, and engaging group activities is the essence of the post-graduate diploma course in curriculum design and development. Among the students are policy makers, curriculum specialists, teacher supervisors, school principals, teacher trainers, and quality assurance officers.
This is the Latin America and the Caribbean branch of the program, hosted by the Catholic University of Uruguay (UCU) for its sixth consecutive year. The program has also been offered four times in Africa, hosted by the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), thanks to support from the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance.
The training combines two weeks of face-to-face sessions, led by international and national experts, and nine months of distance learning, supported by a multidisciplinary pool of tutors. Among other resources, it uses the IBE-produced Resource Pack, which covers a vast array of training activities and case studies from all UNESCO regions, along with cutting-edge knowledge on curriculum trends, issues, and practices from an international and comparative perspective. The Resource Pack, whose new edition was just published, is designed to serve as an “education GPS” that can help participants move confidently and successfully through curriculum renewal and development.
The students who converge here engage in innovative thinking, with specific goals of solving practical problems. At the end of the course, they hone an array of techniques they can use to spur innovation in their national curriculum development processes. Graduates often become major players in their countries, leading innovative curricula reforms. The program is certainly meeting its goal: to build technical leaders for curriculum design and development at national and regional levels and to spur professionalism and innovation in the field. And in 2016, the program’s remarkable development and success soon expand to the Arab region.
On its 10th anniversary in 2015, the program had reached 450 participants from 60 countries. As it grows, it also keeps reflecting on itself. In addition to its tangible achievements, what really matters is its innovative process, which drives positive transformation in curriculum design and development. The IBE remains resolute in maintaining its creative culture.