Submitted to fulfill one of the requirements of Curriculum and Material Development
Lecturer: Yayan Suryana, Drs. M.Pd.
Written by :
Ditha Febrivania (III B)
ENGLISH EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT
TEACHING AND EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES FACULTY
SWADAYA GUNUNG JATI UNIVERSITY
Situational Analysis is an analysis of factors in the context of a planned or present curriculum project that is made in order to assess their potential impact on the project. These factors may be political, social, economic, or institutional. Situational Analysis complements the information gathered during needs analysis. It is sometimes considered as a dimension of needs analysis, and can also be regarded as an aspect of evaluation.
Procedures used in situation analysis are similar to those involved in needs analysis, namely, (a) consultation with representatives of as many relevant groups as possible, such as parents, students, teachers, administrators, and government officials; (b) study analysis of relevant documents, such as course appraisal documents, government reports, ministry of education guidelines, and policy papers, teaching materials, curriculum development; (c) observation of teachers and students in relevant learning settings; (d) surveys of opinions of relevant parties; (e) review of available literature related to the issue.
The position of foreign languages in the school curriculum is neither strong nor secure. More promotion of foreign language teaching is consequently needed, and there is a greater interest in novel teaching methods. In examining the impact of societal factors on language teaching, therefore, the aim is to determine the impact of groups in the community or society at large on the program. These groups include:
· Policy makers in government
· Educational and other government officials
· The business community
· Tertiary education specialists
· Educational organizations
Curriculum projects are typically produce by a team of people. Members of the team may be specialist who are hired specifically for the purpose, they may be classroom teachers who are seconded to the project for a fixed period of time, or the project may be carried out by teachers and other staff of teaching institution as apart of their reguler duties. Project are completed under different constraints of time, resources, and personnel, and each of these variables can have a significant impact on a project.
Some project factors need to be considered :
- Who consitutes the project group and how are they selected ?
- What are the management and other responsibilities of the term ?
- How are goals and procedures determined ?
- Who reviews the progress of the project and the performance of its members ?
- What experience do members of the team have ?
- How do members of the team regard each other ?
- What resources do they have available and what budget to acquire needed resources?
- What is the time frame of the project ? is it realistic, or is more or less time needed?
The following examples illustrate how these kinds of factors can affect curriculum planing :
Example : A private institute decides to develop a set of course materials for some of its major courses. A group o teachers is assigned to the task and given release time to work on the project as materials writers. One of the senior teachers is put in charge. However, the team members cannot agree on the goals of the project or the best approach to take in writing the materials. There is constant tension within the team and a rapid turnover of writers. Consequently, the project takes much longer to accomplish than planed.
Comment : A person who is a good teacher may not make a good materials developer or project leader. Better direction of the project was needed through recruitment of simeone with appropriate qualifications and experience in addition, better communisation was needed so that different preception of the project could be aired and differences resolved before they became problems. Clearer spesification of roles might also have led to fewer problems.
A language teaching program is typically delivered in an institution such as a university, school, or language institute. Different types of institutions create their own “culture”, that is, settings where people interact and where patterns emerge for communication, decision, making, role relations, and conduct.
A teaching institution is a collection of teachers, groups, and departments, sometimes functioning in unison, sometimes with different components functioning independently, or sometimes with components in a confrontational relationship. Within an institution there may be a strong and positive climate to support innovation, one where there is effective and positive leadership and where change is received positively.
Institutions also have their own ways of doing things. In some institutions, textbooks are the core of the curriculum and all teachers must use the prescribed texts. In other situations, teachers work from course guidelines and supplement them as they see fit. Institutions also differ greatly in their level professionalism. In some institutions, there is a strong sense of professional commitment and a culture of quality that influences every aspect of the institution’s operations.
Example: a new director is appointed to a private language institute. The owners of the institute are concerned at falling student enrollments and fell that the institute’s programs need to be reviewed to make them more competitive and attractive to potential clients. The director prepares an excellent rationale for revamping existing courses, for replacing the textbooks currently in use with more up-to-date texts, and develops a plan for marketing new courses. However, she meets a wall of resistance from teachers who feel that they are undervalued, underpaid, and that proposed changes will not bring any benefits to them.
Comment: Perhaps the teachers could have been involved in rethinking the institute’s program from the start and ways found to build in some incentives for the teachers themselves. This might involve negotiating with the school’s owners for better service conditions for teachers as part of the overall curriculum renewal plan. In addition, some of the teachers may have to be replaced with teachers who are more open to the kinds of changes the director is proposing.
Teachers are a key factor in the successful implementation of curriculum changes. But inadequately trained teachers may not be able to make effective use of teaching materials no matter how well they are designed. In any institution, teachers may vary according to the following dimensions:
· Language proficiency
· Teaching experience
· Skill and motivation
· Morale and motivation
· Teaching style
· Beliefs and principles
Some teachers have mentoring or leadership roles within their schools and assist in orienting new teachers to the school or leading groups of teachers in materials development and other activities. Other teachers have time for little more than teaching. They may have very heavy teaching loads or teach in several different institutions in order to make ends meet. Some teachers may welcome the chance to try out a new syllabus or materials. Others may resent it because they see it as disrupting their routine and not offering them any financial or other kind of advantage.
The following example illustrates the potential impact of some of these issues.
Example: a program director in a private institute believes that teachers in his school should not use commercial textbook but should prepare their own teaching materials. Most teachers are untrained and on short-term contracts so they feel that they cannot contest his ruling and pay lip service to the policy. However, most teachers ignore the policy. They teach from photocopied sections taken from commercial materials or type out sections from textbooks and pass these off as teacher-made materials.
Comment: the program director’s policy serves no obvious purpose. If the director wants teachers to prepare their own materials, he will need to consider hiring better-qualified teachers or provide materials writing workshops for teachers. In addition, a set of goals related to materials writing needs to be agreed on to give some purpose to the requirement.
Learners are the key participants in curriculum development projects and it is essential to collect as much information as possible about them before the project begins. Here the focus is on other potentially relevant factors such as the learners’ backgrounds, expectations, beliefs, and preferred learning styles. The project designers may be operating from a set of assumptions about education, schools, teachers, and students that is culturally bound and at odds with the beliefs and assumptions of the learners.
Learners may affect the outcomes of a project in unexpected ways. For example, a textbook or set of materials may be engaging, at a suitable level, and provide a lot of useful practice but not be appreciated by students because they fail to see any links between the book and an examination they are working toward.
Example: A private institute in an EFL country offers an intermediate level conversation course. Teachers in the course make extensive use of fluency activities, including pair and group activities, role plays, songs and games, and discussion activities. These activities are thought to reflect current views on second language acquisition. However, the first cohort of learners through the program are very critical of it because they cannot see the point of many of the classroom activities they were asked to take part in. They request more teacher-directed activities and more error correction. “We don’t want to come to class to clap and sing” is typical student comment.
Comment: learners have their own views on how conversation skills can be developed and their own preferences for classroom activities. If the goals of fluency activities are not clearly explained and if students are not convinced of their value, they may not understand what their intent is and judge them to be ineffective. A questionnaire could have been administered prior to the course to determine students’ views of different kinds of classroom activities. In addition, a better orientation to the goals and methodology of the program should have been provided.
Consider the relative ease or difficulty of introducing change into the system
1) affect teachers’ pedagogical value and beliefs
2) understanding of the nature of the language
3) second language learning
4) classroom practice
5) teaching materials
Ø Practicality is also a significant issue:
Communicative Language Teaching Natural Approach
(materials and textbooks) (only a set of guidelines)
Ø Teachers also need to adopt new roles in the classroom
Communicative Approach V.S Traditional Grammar Approach
Ø Implementation of a new syllabus needs to involve the cooperation of many agencies. Rodger (1984, 41)
PROFILING THE FACTORS IDENTIFIED IN THE SITUATION ANALYSIS
The goal of situation analysis is to identify key factors that might positively or negatively affect the implementation of a curriculum plan. This is sometimes know as SWOT analysis because it involves an examination of ‘a language programs intern strengths and weakness in addition to external opportunities and threats to the existence or successful operation of the language program’ (Klinghammer 1997, 65)