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The term curriculum refers to the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program. However, experiences over time have shown that there is an apparent gap between theoretical training and practice in Real Estate Management (REM). This paper examined this gap in the current learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) in the undergraduate Estate Management programme in University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Data was obtained from interview and questionnaires issued out to respondents. The research also adopted a survey design with a sample of one hundred and fifty nine respondents. The primary data was analysed and presented using statistical tools such as simple tables, frequency distribution and percentages Findings revealed that there were fundamental gaps between theoretical training and practice in Real Estate Management (REM). Major gaps identified were gaps between the conceptions of learning and the LTA practices in the traditional REM curricula, gaps revealed by the lecturers’ methods of teaching, gaps revealed by the learning assessment strategy, gaps inherent in the lecturers’ teaching qualifications and skills and entrepreneurial learning gaps.The paper submits that these variations and deviations may have adverse effect on the training of future professionals and consequently on practice. The paper recommends that Estate Management by way of policy should reinforce entrepreneurial skills in its teachings to enable students to demonstrate graduate outcome.
1.1 Background of the Study
Since the inception of western type of education in Nigeria, several attempts have been made to formulate policies in order to improve education system. The problem facing our different level of educational system is not the formulation of policy but the curriculum implementation. Even though large sums of money are spent on implementing new curriculum, several of these efforts have failed. According to Alade (2011), the main reason for the failure is the lack of understanding of the culture of the school by both experts outside the school system and educators in the system. Successful implementation of curriculum requires an understanding of the power of relationships, traditions, roles and responsibilities of individuals in the school system.
The word implementation connotes operationalization of a well-articulated and well intentioned ideas packed as theory. Hence to implement is to put to action packed ideas or theories into reality. Mezieobi (1993), conceptualized the term implementation simply as a process of putting an agreed plan, decision, proposal, idea or policy into effect. It is the bedrock of any plan success or failure. It is the moving force of any plan without which a plan is only good wish or intention. On the other hand, the word curriculum in a formal setting can be seen as the planned learning experiences offered to the learner in school. Esu, Enukoha and Umoren (2004) conceived curriculum as all learning experiences a child has under the guidance of a teacher. According to Offorma (2005), curriculum is a programme which is made up of three components: programme of studies, programme of activities and programme of guidance. It is therefore the blue-print or instrument by which school seeks to translate the hope and values of the society in which it operates into concrete reality.
However, the term curriculum implementation had been defined in different ways by different scholars. Garba (2004) viewed curriculum implementation as the process of putting the curriculum into work for the achievement of the goals for which the curriculum is designed. Okebukola (2004) described curriculum implementation as the translation of the objectives of the curriculum from paper to practice. In a nutshell, Ivowi (2004) sees curriculum implementation as the translation of “theory into practice”, or “proposal into action”. In a similar vein,
Afangideh (2009), sees the concept of curriculum implementation as the actual engagement of learners with planned learning opportunities. It is the actual carrying-out of societal culture and/or government policies spelt out in the curriculum.
It is a stage in curriculum process when in the midst of learning activities, the teacher and learners are involved in negotiation aimed at promoting learning. This is the interactive stage of the curriculum process which takes place in the classroom through the combined effort of the teachers, learner, school administrators and parents. It also integrates the application of physical facilities and the adoption of appropriate teaching strategies and methods. The quality of curriculum implementation of any society is the bedrock of its political, economic,
scientific and technological well being. Little wonder, it is always said that no society can rise above the standard of its education system.
The job of a teacher, according to Davis and Krajkcik (2005) involves helping the students to achieve their learning goals by teaching meaningful contents and engaging the students in relevant activities. In the process, the teacher is expected to address need of each student to ensure that all students are successful. The learning goals are often specified in the curriculum for each of the course. The Curriculum in Estate Management Education in Nigeria is often a blend of requirements of The Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and the mission of individual universities to meet the needs of the profession. Although the content of each course is often explicitly set out, the implementation depends on the way(s) each lecturer use the curriculum. This may create a chasm between the overt curriculum, which is the intention of the institution, and the operational curriculum, which is what the students actually experience or the taught curriculum.
Remilard (2005) suggested the teachers use curriculum materials in flexible ways, depending on their interpretation. This results in varying classroom experiences. In addition, Sherin and Drake (2009) identified three stages of curriculum implementation. These are reading, evaluating and adapting. In reading the curriculum, the teacher attempts to get the big idea, while in evaluating, the teacher attempts to judge aspect of the curriculum. Thereafter, the teacher adapts the curriculum to the students. In this case, the teacher makes changes to the curriculum in terms of structure, activities and purpose to suit a particular set of students at a particular time. This is often the reason the overt curriculum is different from the operational curriculum.
Sherin and Drake (2009) observed that while some teachers may omit some aspects of the overt curriculum in their adaptation, others would add new components to the curriculum to meet perceived needs of the students. In fact, suggest that the implementation of the curriculum is determined by the teacher’s perceptions of the needs and capabilities of the needs of the students. There are very few studies however, that investigated the gap between the formal or overt curriculum. O’ Donnell (2008) linked the fidelity to the implementation of overt curriculum to the students’ academic achievements. The focus of this is that estate management education has often been identified with some professionalism, where skills in daily practice are modeled in the classroom.
There is therefore the need to understand how teachers, particularly in Estate management use the overt curriculum. Although the bodies that dictates the components of the curriculum specified what should be taught, however, it is important to perceive the gaps that may exist in terms of what the students are expected to know and what they are actually taught. In the light of the fact that different teachers interpret the curriculum in different ways, it is expedient to know how the interpretations of same curriculum vary with different teachers. This investigation is made in Estate Management Education, University Of Uyo, using five courses that have been taught by different lecturers over the years. A study of this nature may give an insight into the level of preparedness of the students for professional practices. This is because such investigation would reveal if the course objectives were being achieved. It may also reveal how a change in the teacher teaching a particular course may modify overt curriculum. Another important justification for this study is, it may suggest needed reviews in the course investigated.
1.2 STATEMENT OF A PROBLEM
Despite the wide recognition and acceptance accorded the role of curriculum as a career of the national philosophy in Nigerian educational system, there seems to be problems in the implementation of this important educational blue-print. Many laudable goals of the curriculum have failed to pass the planning stage of the curriculum due to faulty implementation. Well conceived curriculum ideas have remained virtually inert and dysfunctional. The outcome of this is the bred of graduates of higher institution who are found to be grossly deficient in practical and professional competences (Izuagba and Afurobi 2009).
The euphoria of new, energetic and dedicated teachers wears with the increasing numbers of years in the field. Besides, some teachers do not know or were ill-informed in the utilization of the overt curriculum which is the intention of the institution and may feel some confident when they make use of none so as not to embarrass themselves and disappoint their lecturers. Some teachers may omit some aspects of the overt curriculum in their adaptation; others would add new components to the curriculum to meet perceived needs of the students. This is often the reason overt curriculum is different from the operational curriculum.
There are also problems militating against the effective and efficient implementation of overt curriculum and these include: lack of teacher participation on decision making and curriculum planning, lack of sufficient finance, frequent turnover of teachers, policy changes, poor ICT, attitude of schools/ college heads, curriculum review when needed, rapid increase in knowledge, incompetency of teachers etc.
Consequent upon this type of development, the government loses nothing except half-baked and incompetent students to the labor market; the parent cannot get value for their legitimate right. The result of this state of affair according to Idaka and Joshua (2005) is the production of half baked, ill trained and sometimes confused graduates. This problem and other related problems should be a cause for concern to all patriotic and serious minded stake holder of the educational sub-sector.
How the teachers fares without the proper implementation of overt curriculum grossly weakens the channel of achievement of the behavioral objectives, hence the persistent decline in the quality of the outputs from our higher institution educational system. This study therefore evaluates the Gap between Overt Curriculum and Operational Curriculum in Estate Management Education: Implication for Professional Practices.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this research is to evaluate The Gap between Overt and Operational Curriculum in Estate Management Education: Implication on Professional Practice, Case Study of the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. To achieve this aim, the following objectives shall be pursued.
i. To assess the overt and operational curriculum in Estate Management Education.
ii. To evaluate the gap between overt and operational curriculum in Estate Management Education.
iii. To identify the problems militating against effective implementation of overt curriculum in Estate Management Education.
iv. To assess the implications of the identified problems on professional practice.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions are given as follows:
i. What is the assessment of the overt and operational curriculum in estate management education?
ii. Is there any gap between overt and operational curriculum in estate management education?
iii. What are the problems militating against the proper and effective the proper and effective implementation of estate management education?
iv. What is the implication of the identified problems of curriculum implementation for professional practice?
1.5 THE SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of the study was limited to The Gap between Overt Curriculum and Operational Curriculum: In Estate Management Education: Implication for Professional Practice, Case Study the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Hence, every other institution in Akwa Ibom state or other states was not taken into consideration. Secondly, the study was restricted to curriculum studies in estate management discipline. Hence, every other courses/discipline was not taken into consideration. Furthermore, six courses studied in first semester which includes: ESM 211, ESM311, ESM 412, ESM 415, ESM 514 and ESM 516, will be used in evaluating the gap. The curriculum will be qualitatively analyzed by comparing the contents with the subject areas of the course objectives as identified by the overt(written) and operational(taught) curriculum in terms of the specification in the handbook and outlines as taught over the years. Hence, every other course taught will not be taken into consideration.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance of study lies to a great extent in setting a stage for a more urgent and more evaluation of The Gap between Overt Curriculum and Operational Curriculum in Estate Management Education: Implication for Professional Practices. This work will also be of importance to all those who may carry out further studies on the examination of proper curriculum implementation in schools and how it affects professional practice. Among whom are:
a. Research students for whom it will open an avenue for further research work.
b. Educational administrators and policy makers to whom it will give a general view of the problems and thereby pave way for possible solutions through implementation of policy to ensure the establishment of quality control and monitoring mechanism measure that would ensure that ‘what is written’ is actually ‘what is taught’.
c. Learners or students to whom it will give them the understanding that whatever educational curriculum provided by the school are meant for them to use in learning either by the assistance of the teacher or independently.
d. Teachers to whom it will ensure the proper and effective implementation of overt curriculum intended by the institution.
e. The general public at large who may now find it easier to have access to information on curriculum studies in Estate Management Education.
1.7 THE STUDY AREA
The University of Uyo (UNIUYO) lies between longitude 5.04080N, 7.91980E is located in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
The university was formerly known as the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS). On October 1, 1991 the federal government of Nigeria established it as a federal university and the name was changed to the University of Uyo. The university inherited students, staff, academic programmes and the entire facilities of the erstwhile University of Cross River State established by Cross River State in 1983. Academic activities commenced during the 1991/92 academic session. UNIUYO has about 12 faculties and the school of continuing Education, the various faculties are as follows:
1. Faculty of Agriculture
2. Faculty of Arts
3. Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences
4. Faculty of Business Administration
5. Faculty of Clinical Sciences
6. Faculty of education
7. Faculty of Engineering
8. Faculty of Environmental studies
9. Faculty of Law
10. Faculty of Science
11. Faculty of Social Sciences
12. Faculty of Pharmacy
13. School of Continuing Education.
UNIUYO is in the heart of Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria's second largest oil-producing state. Uyo is easily accessible by road, though there is an international airport for external use(s). It operates from four campuses:
- The Permanent Site/Main Campus which accommodates Parts of Central Administration, Faculties of Engineering and Natural and Applied Sciences, International Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Research (ICEESR), and the Postgraduate School
- The Town Campus which accommodates Faculties of Arts, Education, Social Sciences, Pharmacy
- The Annex Campus, home for the Faculties of Agriculture, Business Administration, Law, Environment Studies and General Studies
- The Ime Umana Campus, Ediene Abak, which accommodates the Pre-Degree, JUPEB and other special courses.
The Permanent Site/Main Campus of the university along Nwaniba Road, Uyo is about 4.5 km from the city centre and covers an area of about 1,443 hectares.
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