REMINISCING THE TRANSFORMATION OF CURRICULUM DESIGN IN THE MALAYSIAN NATIONAL SCHOOL CURRICULUM FROM 1980s TO 2010s

DR. NG SOO BOON, DR. NOR ZIHAN HUSSIN, DR. KASHRY. AB. RANI, TAN HUEY NING, DAYANG NOR ASHIKIN HARUN

There are four important elements in a curriculum, these are learning objectives, content matter, organisation and delivery of the content matter to bring about most impactful learning and assessment of the learning. Curriculum designing is the process of conceptualising and organising these elements into a coherent system based on the aspiration of the nation, local and global community, as well as the discipline of knowledge itself. This complex process is influenced by multiple factors also known as sources of curriculum design including philosophical, societal, political, cultural, historical, developmental psychology, futuristic and disciplinary knowledge itself. The Malaysian national curriculum has evolved since independence of the country, various changes in the curriculum design have been formulated in accordance to the perceived current and future need. This paper attempts to capture these changes across 3 1/2 decades, analysing rationale of the changes and its effect onto the Malaysian education system. The experience and wisdom accumulated through the transformations from Integrated Curriculum Design (1980s) to the Discipline-cognitive Design (1990s) to the current Standard-based Design (2010s) has prepared the Ministry in its future exploration and deliberations of curriculum design to cater for the dynamic needs of the individual, nation and global world.