Compare and contrast between curriculum goals and objectives as applied in teaching and learning process

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The term Curriculum is normally used to refer in the broadest sense to what is learned in a particular course or program, it covers both learning that is planned and Intended and learning that is unplanned and incidental (Sharma,2009:164). Also, George, J. Posner (1992:5) defined curriculum as the “content, standards or objectives for which school holds the student accountable, it is a set of instructional strategies teachers plan to use”. In the context of education, where learning is the central activity, the most obvious interpretation of the word curriculum is then to view it as a course or plan for learning.

Curriculum goals can be defined as general statements which describe the end condition of an undertaking (instructional activity). It is aimed at the long term, is usually broadly stated and indicates the total extent of an educational undertaking in the broad terms (Carl, 2009:80)

Curriculum objectives is an exact, precise description of the relevant learners’ required behavior or achievement which must be realized at the end of a certain time. It is connected to the learners’ final behavior and indicates what level of achievement must be achieved and under what critical conditions it must be achieved (Carl, 2009:81). The following are the comparison between curriculum goals and objectives as applied in the teaching and learning process.

Both curriculum goals and objectives are all about promoting pupils’ all rounded personal development, intellectually, morally, socially, culturally and physically and to build pupil’s capacity of continued learning throughout life.(Sharma,2009:214). So in teaching and learning processes through goals and objectives, teachers prepare the lesson that will touch the learner’s needs of their culture, moral behavior as well as to ensure that students get knowledge in order to promote their development in specific contexts and enable societal positives changes.

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Also, both curriculum goals and objectives contribute to the sustainable social development through preparations of all pupils for learning or education at a higher level, for the world of work and for the responsible citizenship, in successful adopting, individually and collaboratively to economic, social and cultural changes at local, national and global levels. (Sharma:214). For example, nowadays, the curriculum is designed to state the goals and objectives of equipping students with the skills needed to adopt to rapid changes in the workplace and job market and to develop the ability and motivation to continue learning throughout life.

Another comparison is that both curriculum goals and objectives derived or originated from national education aims and compliment each other. Goals and objectives always are the specification of aims and should be independent to each other. For instance, the national aim of education is “all students should become scientifically literate” goals in this national aim can be “to engage students in practical works to determine the effect of an acid on carbonate. From that statement, the objective will be stated that” given a sample of acid and carbonate a student should be able to describe in less than fifty words the effect of acid on a carbonate effectively. (Carl, 2009:81).

Additional is that both curriculum goals and objectives reflecting what learners will be able to do at the end of an instructional sequence. They indicate what participants would learn and be able to do as a result of learning events. (Sharma, 2009:188). For an example of goals that reflect what learners will be able to do is “students to understand the concepts of colonial economy” and inside of objectives will be stated that “given written sources a student should be able to list down main features of colonial economy effectively”.

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Moreover both curriculum goals and objectives appear to be that they give direction and that they are determinative in the design of program and in the evaluation of design (they must be in the service of the particular needs of the learners), Carl (2009:79). In teaching and learning these goals and objectives help the instructors or teachers to select the appropriate content, methodologies and materials which are relevant to the needs of the learners. Therefore through this, the teacher can determine the good content which is relevant to a certain level of the learner and lastly teacher use different method of evaluation in order to know if the learners have achieved in a particular content as stated in goals and objectives.

After discussing the comparisons between curriculum goals and curriculum objectives as described by different scholars the following some different between curriculum goals and curriculum objectives,

Curriculum goal is an abstract and general umbrella statement under which specific objectives can be clustered while curriculum objective is a statement that describes in precise learner outcomes. It means that goals are stated so that learning objectives could be formulated in measurable terms (Sharma, 2009:188), for example, the goal can be stated as “To engage students in a formal poetic exercise that will encourage brevity, relevance and the use of words in fresh, new ways while objectives can be stated as “given with two poems a student should be able to analyze poetic devices appropriately.

Also, the curriculum goal normally states the desired learners’ outcome at the end of the program while objectives state the desired learners’ outcome within the learning process. This means that curriculum goals are stated in general terms to show what learners should perform after finishing the program while curriculum objectives are stated in more specific and measurable terms to show the expected learners’ performance within the learning process before completing the program.

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Not only that but also curriculum goals are described in terms of characteristics that are supposed to result from learning over the years and across the subject matters of schooling. They do not themselves express the desired learning but instead, they described the characteristics of the well-educated person. (George, 1992:76). While curriculum objectives become the criteria by which materials are selected, content is outlined, instructional procedures are developed and testes or examinations are prepared. (Tyler, 1949:3).

Generally, the curriculum goal and objective are prepared to ensure that they fulfill the needs of the learners in a particular nation or country.  Although they are used interchangeably sometimes they can confuse so it needs the teacher to be very careful in stating those terms during the implementation of the teaching and learning process so as to achieve the National Education aim.


Carl, A, E. (2009). Teacher Empowerment through Curriculum development: Theory into

                                    Practice  3rd Ed: Cape town, Junta& Company Ltd.

George,J.P,(1992). Analyzing the curriculum 3rd Ed. McGraw Hill: New York


Sharma, P (2009). Curriculum Development: Ansariroad, Darya Ganj: A.P.H Publishing


Tyler R.W. (1949), Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, Chicago: University

of Chicago Press.


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