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Technology and the curriculum

Educational consumers are familiar with technology in the form of teaching tools like computer-based instruction, self-instructional modules, individualized learningsystems, and videos and audios cassettes. They are less aware that technology is also a process for analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating and managing solutions. Technology as acurriculum perspective aims at effectiveness of programs, methods and material in reaching prespecified ends of purposes. This perspective has been expressed in many forms-- needs assessments, systemsapproaches to educational design, programmed instruction, validated instructional sequences, mastering learning, and diagnostic-prescriptive teaching. Currently, the technological perspective hasreemerged in the competency testing movement and other responses to public demands for school accountability.
This chapter includes both a description of technology as applied in classrooms and ananalysis of the technology of curriculum development. The reader should become better able to understand the characteristics of and to discern the strengths and weaknesses in the technological conception ofcurriculum.

Technology is applied to curriculum in two ways. First, it comes as a plan for the systematic use of various devices and media, and as contrived sequence of instruction based onprinciples from behavioral science. Computed-assisted instruction, systems approached using objectives, programmed materials, tutors using predetermined learning sequences aimed at specific skill, andcriterion-referenced test applied in an organized way are examples of a technology. A defining element of technology is that its systems and products can be and the system itself is exportable -- useful inmany situations.
Second, technology is found in models and procedures for the construction or development and evaluation of curriculum materials and instructional systems. The developmental process...
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