Activity Based Curriculum Definition and History

Sun, 12/15/2013 - 09:23 -- Umar Farooq

The Activity Based Curriculum has also been given the name of a project curriculum or an experience curriculum but the name activity is a fundamental conception.


An Activity based curriculum has a long history. The title "Activity Curriculum", however, until 1920 this approach was not very popular in use. Although Dewey used the expression "Activity Programme" as early as 1897 in a talk to the parents and teachers at his laboratory school in Chicago (U.S.A.). Activity is the natural urge of the child. He wants to do things by himself.


When curricular material is translated in terms of activity, it is known as activity curriculum. Learning of the prescribed material takes place through activities. Activity is used as a media or means for imparting knowledge and skills.

Activity based curriculum approach is the greatest motivation, provides freedom of expression to child 'himself fully. But activity should not be considered as synonym for play. It is rather a play way of learning things. The emphasis is on the way and then the activity becomes educative. Activity should not merely be considered as physical activity.

By activity we mean physical as well as intellectual activity. The educator (teacher) should engage students in activities in such a way that while manual skills are gained there should be mental satisfaction found in the work. The students should not be passive listeners, they should be active participants in the process of learning. True learning is experiencing. While activity is the process then experience becomes the product of activity. Activity results in experience. In fact activity and experience cannot be separated-from each other. A purposeful activity must end in gainful experience. The school must, therefore, plan its activities in such a way that students gain mastery on various experiences. Such type of projects should be completed under a problematic situation in a natural setting.