Meaning and Nature

Activity-centred curriculum is a modern approach in curriculum development. It is a reaction against the traditional curriculum which was subject-centred or teacher dominated. Child centred education and activity movement led to the concept of activity-centred curriculum.

Child-centred education requires active involvement of the child in the educative process. Modern educationists like Rousseau, Dewey, Gandhi, and Pestalozzi realised that education which does not influence child’s conduct is useless. Some such views are described as under.

Comenius View.


“Whatever has to be learnt must be learnt by doing.”

Rousseau’s View:

“Instead of making the child stick to his books I keep him busy in the workshop, where his hands will work to the profit of his head.”

Pestalozzi’s View:


“Verbal system of teaching neither suits neither the faculties of the child nor the circumstances of life.”

The importance of ‘learning by doing’ has been stressed by all other educationists and psychologists like John Dewey, Piaget, Tagore, Gandhi, and Aurobindo and so on. The importance of activity principle led to the evolution of various modern methods of teaching like Project Method, Dalton Plan, and Problem-Solving Method.


1. Activity curriculum is reaction against traditional curriculum


2. The subject matter is presented through activities. Knowledge is the result of purposeful activities.

3. Continuous stream of child’s activities-Dewey

4. Importance:

Sublimation of instincts


1. Balanced development

  1. Development of social virtues
  2. Motivation
  3. Pupils develop initiative
  4. Preparation for life
  5. Co-operation

Activity-centred curriculum

In activity-centred curriculum, the subject-matter is presented through activities and knowledge is the result of the purposeful activities performed. Activity is the medium of imparting knowledge, teaching skills and developing attitudes. Some of the views about activity curriculum are expressed as under:

According to John Dewey


“Activity curriculum is a continuous stream of child’s activities, unbroken by systematic subjects and springing from the interests and personality felt needs of the child.”

According to framers of Ward ha Scheme of Education

“We have attempted to draft an activity curriculum which implies that our schools must be the places of work, experimentation and discovery, and not of passive absorption, imparted as second hand.”

According to Secondary Education Commission


“The basis of teaching must be the organisation of the subject-matter into units of projects which would create opportunities for self activity on the part of the students. These should largely replace the formal lessons which lack proper motivation and therefore, fail to arouse real interest.”