The purpose of piloting a curriculum is to make sure the curriculum is effective, and to make changes before it is distributed or offered widely. Piloting a curriculum helps to identify which sections of the curriculum worked and which sections need strengthening. The process should include a comprehensive evaluation of the curriculum’s effectiveness and usefulness in achieving the course’s training objectives. The information gathered from the pilot is used to strengthen and improve the course content, materials, and delivery strategies in the next version of the curriculum.
Principals play an important role in the curriculum piloting process. Their active involvement in the process denotes a mutual responsibility for curriculum at the building level and provides an additional perspective for feedback and assessment regarding the written courses.
The curriculum will be piloted for a whole school year to have in all the counties a representative idea on the quality of the curriculum. Piloting a curriculum during a whole school year will give us a better idea on the pupils’ outcome after been taught the new curriculum content in different subjects. It will give us also a better idea on the capacity of the teacher on teaching the new methods and contents. There are four pillars we should look at when reviewing/piloting a curriculum: Impact (on children’s learning, on teaching approaches), successes, challenges, and priorities.
Data should be gathered through school-based interviews with children, parents, teachers and principals from the case study schools about their curriculum experiences to date. Apart from interviews and focus group discussions surveys will be distributed and lessons will be observed.
The collecting of data after each marking period will be done during school holidays or on Saturdays to disturb as less as people during the regular teaching and learning.
The piloting process:
a. Develop piloting and monitoring framework and tools for pilot testing of the curriculum.
b. Train all the stakeholders involved in the piloting.
c. Monitor the piloting of the curriculum in all the Counties.
d. Analyse data and review the curriculum
Develop a piloting and monitoring framework and tools for pilot testing of the curriculum.
For each phase 5 piloting tools will be developed
- A general curriculum tool for all subjects
- A curriculum tool for primary reading and writing
- A pupil questionnaire
- An English language and mathematics curriculum tool
- A curriculum pupils assessment tool ( per subject and per grade)
All tools will be printed for the training workshops of the monitors and the CEO/DEO Principals. After each training the tools will be reviewed. Once a final product is ready they will be printed for the piloting.
The program will be developed in two phases:
In five ( each) Counties the Curriculum will be piloted in 2 primary (Pre-primary) schools (one experienced and one not experienced) in each Network school (Public, Private, Community and Religious) in four Districts. In the same Counties and Districts the Curriculum will be piloted in two junior and two senior Secondary Schools (in the same Networks). This brings the total on 8 primary, 2 junior and 2 senior schools per County. Each County will be monitored by 2 Primary school monitors, 1 junior school and 1 senior school monitor.
Each primary school will pilot the whole pre-primary and primary curriculum that means 3 years of Kindergarten and six years of primary (9 teachers). Each junior secondary will pilot the whole curriculum (27 teachers) and each senior secondary school will pilot the whole curriculum (30 teachers).
The same method will be used in the other ten Counties. The monitors will send the surveys to the different schools where the principals will be responsible for the piloting of the curriculum. The education offices will support and monitor them.
Both phases will be organized at the same time over one school year
The curricula framework per level
Train all the stakeholders involved in the piloting.
The tendering organisation will train the 48 monitors through a 4 days’ workshop organised in Monrovia. The different topics are presented in the framework. Some topics will be trained in general others will be presented in level/subject/grade groups. Several sessions will be spent on managing the
After the training of the monitors a cascade training will be organised starting by the CEO/DEO/ and Principals training. Those stakeholders will be trained in the different Counties by the monitors from the different levels. The monitors will be assisted and monitored by the MoE staff.
School based training
The same training will be done for the different teachers that will pilot the curriculum in their classroom. All trainings will be organised at the same time in all schools in all Counties (every Saturday). The principal is responsible for the training and will have three assistants from each level. The Education Office will support and monitor the workshops.
For each training level there will be a pre- and post workshop test organised.
Participants should be informed that they are participating in a pilot session of the training workshop when they are invited and will be asked to provide extensive and honest feedback as part of the pilot-evaluation process.
Emphasizing that their feedback is critical to the development and improvement of the training will often help motivate participants to complete written-evaluation forms in detail and participate actively in group discussions on the training experience.
On the first day of the workshop, facilitators should mention that evaluation activities will be more extensive than normal because of the fact that this is a pilot, and they should articulate the specific evaluation activities that will be conducted
Monitor the piloting of the curriculum in all the Counties.
In phase one the monitor/trainer will pilot the different schools by lesson observation focus group discussions and interviews after each marking period in each subject and each grade. He will be assisted by the DEO and the principal. After each marking period the data will be collected by the monitor.
In phase two the monitor will send surveys to the school and collect the data after each marking period. The principals and DEOs will do lesson observation and interviews. Teachers will fill in the surveys (per subject and per grade). In phase one the monitor will pilot during the teaching hours, the data analyse, interviews... will be done after each marking period and during the holidays or Saturdays. There are six marking periods in the whole school years that means every 5 weeks.
Parents and community members have interest in how and what their children learn. Keeping them well informed of the curriculum and providing them an opportunity for feedback is important. Information can be disseminated through parents/community meetings or forums, television and radio broadcasts, newsletters, or other forms of communication.
As the curriculum is piloted, regular meetings are held between curriculum leaders, teachers, and administrators to discuss both successes and challenges of the new courses. Ongoing staff development should be provided to support pilot teachers' efforts as needed.
Analyse data and review the curriculum
After the pilot training is complete, it is time to review all the data and use it to make changes to the curriculum. As mentioned earlier, this is the most important part of the entire pilot-evaluation process. The first step is to compile and analyze all the data collected.
At the end of the first year, feedback and data collected should be considered by a team of the tendering institution in collaboration and under supervision of the MoE team. It will make decisions regarding changes or modifications needed and decide if the changes can be made at its level. Participant evaluation results, both written and from the focus groups, should be summarized and analyzed to identify key themes and issues, and recurring comments about what worked and what did not.