Is Curriculum Overloading Affecting Students?

Education News | Feb-28-2022

Is Curriculum Overloading  Affecting Students?

Overload has been defined as too great a load (Webster) or an excessive load (Collins). Curriculum overload hints at some imbalance or incongruity between our capacity to enact or activate a curriculum that itself is perceived as overloaded. The issue of curriculum overload affects not just teachers but also children. Curriculum overload, also known as “curriculum expansion” or “curriculum overcrowding”, occurs when society keeps adding new topics to the school’s curriculum, without removing others or changing the requirements. Teachers and students experience curriculum overload as unwanted because it affects the quality of teaching and learning and results in a superficial exposure to subjects.

Students may be cognitively competent in finishing assignments but have so much on their plate that they feel stuffed, get trapped, and end up finishing nothing. A new study has dropped some light on the grounds behind this feeling and shows that overfilling students causes not only academic stress, but also takes a charge on students' mental and physical health, which, predictably, hinders learning. The study, led by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College, shows that “although students who spend more time doing homework are sometimes more behaviourally engaged in school, they also tend to be more anxious, and report more physical symptoms due to stress.” One message of these circumstances is that both the teacher and the child have lost the sense of joy in an educational process. This kind of class size reasonably generates a feeling of powerlessness among teachers.

Learning for the sake of being examined in an emotionless manner takes away the joy of being young, and delinks school knowledge from everyday experience. Teachers and administrators and other agencies involved in the design of syllabi and textbooks and examination reform should make rational choices and decisions. There is a need to develop and implement innovative, locale-specific programs. There should be a major change in the designing of syllabi and textbooks which places stress on children to become aggressively competitive and exhibit precocity. To make teaching a means of harnessing the child’s creative nature it is recommended to bring a fundamental change in the matter of organizing the school curriculum, and also in the system of examination, which forces children to memorize information and to reproduce it. To conquer the challenge of finding extra time in the primary school curriculum for literacy and numeracy, a more imaginative, incorporated approach is required for the teaching of certain subjects. eg. educate aspects of numeracy through Geography and Science. Some aspects of subjects such as History, English, Health Education can be taught through the medium of Drama, which is a highly effective approach