Kessels, J.W.M. (1999) A Relational Approach to Curriculum Design

Kessels, J.W.M. (1999). A relational approach to curriculum design.
In: Van den Akker, J.J.H., Branch, R., Gustafson, K., Nieveen, N. &
Plomp, Tj. (Eds.) Design and development methodology in education
(pp. 59-70). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-

The findings of the present study justify the conclusion that in striving for quality in corporate education a relational approach should be a high priority. As a consequence, design standards that strive for an internal, rigid logic, but meanwhile hinder the integration of the actors' interests, values, believes and priorities (external consistency), should be abolished and replaced by mainly strategies focusing on the interpersonal dynamics of educational decision-making. In particular, professional curriculum designers should be alerted not to focus unilaterally on the structured and internally consistent formal curriculum.

Curriculum development should be regarded, more than up till now, as a social enterprise. Therefore, developers may elaborate on their management role within that social enterprise of the educational decision-making process. Effective educational provisions are not constructed, but negotiated. Therefore, successful curriculum designers are above all competent social engineers, who skilfully manage the social enterprise of educational decision-making.