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For this study, UNICEF Education Program Officers (EPOs) from nearly 60 countries answered questions about Life Skills, peace education, gender, reading and writing skills, and learning outcomes in national curricula. The responses consisted of official government information, information on UNICEF-related curriculum projects, and EPOs’ interpretations and impressions.
This paper engages critical curriculum issues. It identifies ‘principles’ for working with curriculum, which serve as an important framework for all practitioners. The perennial debate about the meaning of ‘curriculum’ is described in detail, making important distinctions between the official/intended and the actual/taught/learned curriculum. Equally important is the fact the writers show that curriculum goes beyond official statements of intention whether these be syllabuses or teachers guides. Curriculum is what happens to students (either as a result of direct or indirect school action) within the fluid context of schooling and for which schools can be held accountable. Curriculum development means changing behaviour. To that extent training, especially of teachers, for purposes of changing attitudes, skills and knowledge is key in curriculum change.