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Article
Constructive alignment and the curriculum: A call for improved pedagogical practices in higher education
Blue Ocean Research Journals – Journal of Business Management and Social Sciences Research (JBM&SSR) (2014)
  • Kerwin A. Livingstone, University of Guyana
Abstract

From the turn of the century, there have been fervent calls to reform the curriculum in such a way that all students benefit. In light of heated debates, ‘constructivism’ was embraced as the new learning theory that would cause an improvement in student learning outcomes. Much later, ‘constructive alignment’ emerged, which sought to revolutionise the curriculum, significantly modifying pedagogical practices. Consequently, this article seeks to address constructive alignment in the curriculum and the urgent need to improve didactic practices in higher education. To this end, a discussion ensues on the curriculum and its necessity in pedagogy. The different approaches to curriculum design are highlighted and briefly discussed. The theory of learning is discussed, with special emphasis on constructivism and its off-shoot, social constructivism. Outcomes-based education is discussed, paving the way for constructive alignment. The necessity of constructive alignment in pedagogical practices is highlighted, together with Biggs’ SOLO taxonomy. Information and Communication Technologies are presented as a prerequisite in a constructively-aligned curriculum. Further, educational leadership, pivotal to the entire process, is also considered, with special reference to pedagogic instructional leadership, as part of the management of change process. Conclusions are drawn from the information, establishing that a constructively-aligned curriculum has the power to maximise student learning outcomes. As an appendix, the design of one constructively-aligned lesson is presented, as an example, crystallising the relevance of constructivism in instructional practices.

Keywords
  • higher education,
  • curriculum,
  • constructive alignment,
  • curriculum planning,
  • curriculum design,
  • curriculum development,
  • constructivism,
  • intended learning outcome,
  • learning-teaching activity,
  • assessment task.
Publication Date
December 15, 2014
Citation Information
Kerwin A. Livingstone. "Constructive alignment and the curriculum: A call for improved pedagogical practices in higher education" Blue Ocean Research Journals – Journal of Business Management and Social Sciences Research (JBM&SSR) Vol. 3 Iss. 12 (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kerwin_livingstone/36/