Hilda Taba Model Of Curriculum Development

This article explores the Hilda Taba Model of Curriculum Development, focusing on the contributions of Hilda Taba, who was not only an architect but also a curriculum theorist, reformer, and teacher educator. Born on December 7, 1902, and passing away on July 6, 1967, Taba authored several influential books in education, such as “The Dynamic of Education” (1932), “Adolescent Character and Personality” (1949), and “Curriculum Development and Practice” (1962), among others.

Hilda Taba played a pivotal role in shaping the theoretical and pedagogical foundations of concept development and critical thinking within the social studies curriculum. One of her notable contributions was the creation of a multipurpose teaching model, incorporating various processes like listing, grouping, re-grouping, labeling, and synthesizing. This model, known as the “Grassroot approach,” stands as a modified version of Tyler’s curriculum development model.

Taba’s work emphasizes active participation and engagement in the learning process, aligning with the principles of critical thinking. Her significant influence on curriculum development has left a lasting impact on education, particularly in fostering a comprehensive and dynamic approach to teaching and learning.

Hilda Taba proposed an alternative approach to curriculum development known as the Taba Model, outlined in her book “Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice,” published in 1962. She hails from the small village of Kooraste, Estonia. In her model, she asserted that there is a specific order to creating a curriculum.

Taba advocated for a grass-roots approach, emphasizing that teachers, who are the ones implementing the curriculum, should actively participate in its development. This stands in contrast to the traditional deductive approach, rooted in Tyler’s model, where the process starts with a general design and moves towards specifics. Taba favored an inductive approach, starting with specifics and building towards a general design.

According to the Taba Model, teachers play a central role in designing the curriculum, allowing it to be developed and authored by those who will use it. Taba outlined seven major steps in her grass-roots model, emphasizing significant input from teachers. She believed that the Tyler model, in contrast, was more administrative in nature.

Hilda Taba Definition of Curriculum

Hilda Taba defines “curriculum” as more than just a set of educational objectives. According to Taba, the curriculum is a comprehensive document that outlines the overarching goals and specific objectives of an academic program. It goes beyond a mere listing of aims; it includes a thoughtful selection and organization of content, revealing specific patterns for both learning and teaching within the educational framework.

She defined curriculum as “a plan for learning.” She emphasized that curriculum design should be grounded in an understanding of the learning process and the development of individuals. Taba’s definition highlights the dynamic and intentional nature of curriculum, emphasizing its role in shaping students’ learning experiences.

Taba’s definition of curriculum has significantly influenced curriculum development practices in education. Her emphasis on learner-centered approaches, teacher involvement, and curriculum evaluation has contributed to the creation of more effective and meaningful learning experiences for students.

Steps of Hilda Taba Model of Curriculum Development

Hilda Taba’s model of curriculum development, known as the Taba Model, follows a logical and sequential order with a grassroots approach.

1. Diagnosis of Need

This is the first step in this model. Here, the teacher, who also serves as the curriculum designer, takes charge of identifying the specific needs of the students for whom the curriculum is being developed. For instance, the focus may be on addressing a common deficiency, such as a lack of critical thinking skills, among the majority of students. This step underscores Taba’s emphasis on tailoring the curriculum to address the unique requirements and challenges of the learners.

2. Formulation of Objectives:

In the second step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, termed the “Formulation of Objectives,” the teacher, also serving as the curriculum designer, proceeds to define specific objectives based on the identified needs. Once the teacher has diagnosed the educational requirements of the students, this step involves articulating clear and targeted goals that the curriculum aims to achieve. It marks a crucial stage where the teacher establishes a framework for what the students should accomplish, aligning the objectives with the identified educational needs.

3. Selection of the Content:

In the third step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, titled “Selection of the Content,” the process involves aligning the chosen or formulated objectives with the appropriate subject matter or curriculum content. Taba emphasizes that not only should the objectives and content be in harmony, but it is also crucial to assess the validity and significance of the selected content. This involves determining the relevance and importance of the chosen material to ensure that it effectively contributes to achieving the established objectives. 

4. Organization of Content

In the fourth step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, termed “Organization of Content,” the emphasis shifts from content selection to its systematic arrangement. Taba emphasizes that a teacher, acting as the curriculum designer, must not only choose content but also organize it in a meaningful sequence. This organization should factor in the maturity levels of the learners, their academic achievements, and their individual interests. The goal is to create a structured and coherent flow of content that considers the unique characteristics of the students, ensuring that the educational material is presented in a manner conducive to effective learning. 

5. Selection of Learning Experience:

In the fifth step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, titled “Selection of Learning Experience,” the focus shifts to the presentation of content to students and their active engagement with it. In this phase, the teacher, who serves as the curriculum designer, chooses an instructional method aimed at involving students with the content. The emphasis is on selecting a teaching approach that not only delivers the material but also encourages meaningful interaction and participation from the students.

6. Organization of Learning Activities

In the sixth step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, titled “Organization of Learning Activities,” the focus is on structuring and arranging learning activities in a logical sequence. Similar to the organization of content, the sequence of learning activities is often influenced by the content itself. However, Taba emphasizes that the teacher, taking into account the specific characteristics of the students, should play a crucial role in determining the sequence of learning activities.

7. Evaluation and Means Evaluation:

In the seventh and final step of Hilda Taba’s curriculum development model, titled “Evaluation and Means of Evaluation,” the curriculum planner takes on the task of assessing the achievement of objectives. This step involves designing evaluation procedures to gauge the learning outcomes. The emphasis is on determining the extent to which the educational objectives set in the curriculum have been accomplished.

Summary

The Taba Model of curriculum development, devised by Hilda Taba, is characterized by its inductive nature. Unlike deductive models that start with predefined objectives, Taba’s approach begins by acknowledging the importance of understanding the specific needs of students in a given context. Taba places a strong emphasis on the teacher’s role in this process, contending that teachers possess a nuanced understanding of their students’ needs. Consequently, she advocates for teachers to take the lead in both developing and implementing the curriculum in practice.

In Taba’s model, the rationale does not commence with predetermined objectives. Instead, it starts by studying the educational demands within a particular society. This approach aligns with her belief that education should be responsive to the unique needs and challenges present in a given educational context. Taba’s model reflects a comprehensive view of curriculum development, considering the broader societal context before delineating specific objectives.

Furthermore, Taba’s model prioritizes the selection and organization of content with the explicit goal of providing students with opportunities to learn with comprehension. The attention to content is not only in terms of relevance but also in how it is organized to facilitate meaningful learning experiences.

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