Education is in a process of continuous changes. The modern trends favor emerging academic disciplines and allied school subjects.

The necessity of teachers with proficiency in academic disciplines and professionalism in school subjects is accounted for as an essential quality of prospective teachers.

Understanding Disciplines And Subjects subject B.Ed, b ed, bed, b-ed, 1st, 2nd,3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth semester year student teachers teaching notes, study material, pdf, ppt,book,exam texbook,ebook handmade last minute examination passing marks short and easy to understand notes in English Medium download free

What is Discipline?

Discipline is an organized body of knowledge, characterized by a domain, a method, and a tradition.

The meaning of discipline refers to a branch of academic study. 

For example - psychology, sociology, anthropology, mathematics, and philosophy are all disciplines.

These can mostly be seen in higher educational institutions such as universities.

Characteristics of a Discipline

  1. Every discipline has a history.
  2. Each discipline has a certain domain of knowledge (cognitive, affective, and Psychomotor).
  3. Discipline has a particular object of research, though the object of research may be shared with another discipline.
  4. Discipline has theories and concepts that organize the accumulated knowledge effectively.
  5. The discipline uses specific terminologies or a specific technical language to define and explain the concepts and facts included in that discipline.
  6. A discipline has a group of intellectual followers, who have a strong belief in that discipline.

Forms of Disciplines

  1. Basic Discipline
  2. Applied Disciplines
  3. Multidisciplinary
  4. Interdisciplinary

Basic Discipline:

  • Some disciplines have their own networks of concepts that are distinctive and unique in nature. Such disciplines are categorized as ‘Basic Disciplines’.
  • Thus, have their own logical structure of knowledge.
  • For example, Mathematics is a basic discipline that has distinct and abstract concepts and the criterion of testing truth in Mathematics is deductibility within an axiom system. 

Applied Disciplines or Fields:

  • The applied disciplines are those wherein the knowledge of basic disciplines is used.
  • For example, scientific knowledge is used in technological applications.
  • The areas of Bio-engineering, Biotechnology, Applied Physics, Environmental Biology are some of the examples of applied disciplines.

Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Areas:

Interdisciplinary Approach:

  • The recent approaches to designing the curriculum in schools are inter, multi, or trans-disciplinary.
  • For example, ‘Economics’ is not studied independently.
  • The knowledge of the disciplines of other branches of Social Sciences likes; ‘History’, Political Science’, ‘Geography’, and ‘Sociology’ are integrated into designing and transacting Economics in a better way.
  • This is an interdisciplinary approach in which one discipline serves as the principal organizer, with related disciplines serving to supplement the principal organizer.

Multidisciplinary Approach:

  • Multidisciplinary approach concepts are selected from various disciplines to create a new field of study.
  • For example, the area of Population Education requires the use of Biology, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, and so on.
  • There are many other areas, which are multi-disciplinary in nature like Home Economics, Social Biology, etc.


The evolution of a discipline is a continuous process. A discipline is formed with certain perspectives.

  1. Philosophical Perspective
  2. Socio-political and Cultural Perspectives
  3. Historical Perspective

Philosophical Perspective

Every discipline has its own philosophy i.e. ‘Philosophy of Science’; ‘Philosophy of Social Science’; ‘Philosophy of Mathematics’; and ‘Philosophy of Language’.

Socio-political and Cultural Perspectives

  • Academic discipline cannot be formed without the socio-cultural and political practices.
  • Many times, socio cultural practices form part of our school curriculum.
  • The goals of education are based upon the goals of the socio-political system of the country.
National Policy on Education (1986) says: ‘every country develops its system of education to express and promote its unique socio-cultural identity and also to meet the challenges of the time. There are moments in History when a new direction has to be given to an age-old process. That moment is today. Education is the highway to realize the cultural as well as socio-political goals of the country.’

Historical Perspective

  • Like any other social phenomenon, academic disciplines do have a history.
  • The evolution of any discipline has a certain historical perspective. The historical perspective of any discipline is also based upon the contexts prevailing at that time when it evolved.
  • Every discipline can be analyzed by looking at its historical development.
  • The journey of the specific academic discipline starting from its inception to the present form and practices of the discipline is called the history and development of that discipline.

LearningClassesOnline B.Ed Notes

What is Subject?

Subject refers to a branch of knowledge studied or taught. Subject means something or someone that is a topic of discussion, writing, art piece, or area of study.

  • Subjects are the parts into which learning can be divided.
  • At school, each lesson usually covers one subject only.
  • Some of the most common subjects at school are English, History, Mathematics, Physical Education, Religion, Music, Art, Dancing, Health, etc


The curriculum is defined as the guideline of the chapters and academic content covered by an educational system while undergoing a particular course or program.

The syllabus is defined as the documents that consist of topics or portions covered in a particular subject. It is determined by the examination board and created by the teachers.

The teachers are responsible for the quality of the course. It is made available to the students by the teachers, either in hard copy or electronic form to bring their attention to the subject and take their study seriously.

Differences Between Syllabus and Curriculum

Curriculum and syllabus are of equal importance for an institute, but there is a distinction between the two of these.

Curriculum Syllabus
Curriculum is a Latin term. Syllabus is a Greek term.
Curriculum is the overall content, taught in an educational system or a course. Syllabus is the document that contains all the portion of the concepts covered in a subject.
Curriculum is a set of courses, coursework, and content offered at an educational institution. Syllabus is a descriptive list of subjects that are to be taught in a class.
Curriculum is made at the state, district, or institute level. Syllabus is made by individual teachers.
Curriculum cannot be easily adjusted. Syllabus can be adjusted easily.
Curriculum is prescriptive. Syllabus is descriptive.
Curriculum contains information like course content, objectives, methodologies, etc. Syllabus contains a list of subjects to be covered, details about assignments, assessments, etc.
Curriculum is not accessible to students. Syllabus is accessible to students.
Curriculum is related to the all-round development of a student. Syllabus is focused on a particular subject.

The two terms differ in the sense that curriculum is a combination of some factors which help in the planning of an educational program, whereas a syllabus covers the portion of what topics should be taught in a particular subject.


What is Knowledge?

knowledge is justified true belief.

Knowledge is the sum total of human beings’ interaction with the environment, social conditions where they live, and also interactions with themselves.

Three Divisions of Knowledge

  1. A Priori Knowledge
  2. A Posteriori Knowledge
  3. Experienced Knowledge

A Priori Knowledge:

  • A priori knowledge is a knowledge whose truth or falsity can be decided before or without recourse to experience (a priori means ‘before’).
  • The knowledge that is prior has universal validity and once recognized as true (through the use of pure reason) does not require any further evidence.
  • Logical and Mathematical truths are a priori in nature.

A Posteriori Knowledge:

  • A posteriori knowledge is knowledge-based upon observation and experience.
  • This is the knowledge of the scientific method stressing accurate observation and exact descriptions.

Experienced Knowledge:

  • Experienced knowledge is always tentative and cannot exist prior to experience or be conducted from observation.
  • It must be experienced to have value.

Methods of Acquiring Knowledge

  1. Knowledge through Sense of Experience
  2. Knowledge through Intuition
  3. Knowledge through Reasoning and Rationalization
  4. Knowledge through Empirical Approach
  5. Knowledge through Inspirational Approach
  6. Knowledge through Authoritarian
  7. Knowledge through Social Awareness
  8. Knowledge through Action
  9. Knowledge through Training

Emerging Problems relating to Knowledge

  • Explosion of Knowledge
  • Plurality of knowledge
  • Integration of knowledge
  • Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Several specializations


  1. Propositional Knowledge (‘Knowledge of What’ Is Expressed in True Statements)
  2. Procedural Knowledge (Knowledge of How to Do Things)
  3. Direct Knowledge (Knowledge of Persons, One’s Own Mental States)

Knowledge as a Source of Change

As society changes, so do our knowledge.

The schools should be considered as a major data source for knowledge especially for children and youth, in terms of screening knowledge against aims of the society that sets for education

Forms of knowledge

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Human Sciences including History
  3. Moral understanding
  4. Philosophy
  5. Physical Sciences
  6. Religious Forms of Knowledge

R.S. Peter and others in “The Logic of Education’ suggest the following forms of human knowledge.

  1. Formal Logic and Mathematics
  2. The Physical Sciences
  3. History, Psychology, and sociology
  4. Morality and Ethics: Moral Judgments and Awareness
  5. Aesthetic Experience
  6. Religion
  7. Philosophy

The Realms of Meaning and the Disciplines

Prof. Philip Phoenix divides knowledge into six realms of meaning, which correspond to the discipline as under.

  1. Symbolic-Language, Logic, Mathematics, Symbols in Art
  2. Empirics-Physical and Social Sciences
  3. Aesthetics- Art, Literature, Music
  4. Synoptic-Literature, Philosophy, History, Psychology, and Theology
  5. Ethics and Morality-Parts of Philosophy and Theology
  6. Synoptic-History, Philosophy, and Religion

Academic Discipline

  • The term academic discipline originates from the Latin words ‘discipulus’ which means ‘pupil’ and ‘disciplina’ which means ‘teaching’.
  • Related to it, there is also the word ‘disciple’ as it is in the ‘disciple of Lord Budha’.
  • The term discipline as a verb means training someone to follow a rigorous set of instructions and also imposing and enforcing obedience.

The term academic (scientific) discipline can be defined as the academic studies that focus on a self-imposed limited field of knowledge. It is the subject that one teaches and researches as part of higher education is the academic discipline of that person.

It can also be defined as a form of specific and rigorous scientific training that will turn out practitioners who have been disciplined by their discipline (subject) for their own good.

Features and Characteristics of Academic Disciplines

  • Disciplines have a particular object of research (eg: politics, society, human behavior)
  • Disciplines have a structure of accumulated specialist knowledge referring to their object of research
  • Disciplines have theories and concepts that can organize the accumulated specialist knowledge effectively
  • Disciplines use specific terminologies or specific languages adjusted to their research objects
  • Disciplines have developed specific research methods according to their specific research requirements.
  • Disciplines must have some institutional manifestation in the form of subjects taught at colleges or universities.

The relationships between academic disciplines and school subjects:

School subjects can have different and variable relationships to academic disciplines, depending on their aims, contents, and developmental phases.

Academic disciplines and school subjects are different but related in one of the three ways:

  • Academic Discipline Precedes School Subject
  • School Subject Precedes Academic Discipline
  • The Relation Between the Two Is Dialectic.


  • Joseph Schwab views that discipline is the sole source of curriculum and so, the curriculum is divided into chunks of knowledge which are called subject areas like English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Humanities, Languages, and others.
  • He used the term discipline as the ruling doctrine of curriculum development.
  • Therefore, the curriculum is viewed as a field of study and it should only consist of knowledge that comes from the disciplines; for example, Linguistics, Economics, Chemistry, among others.

Meaning of Curriculum

Curriculum typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes

  • the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet;
  • the units and lessons that teachers teach;
  • the assignments and projects are given to students;
  • the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course;
  • and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning.

Curriculum Content

  • Curriculum content is defined as what the teacher and the students pay attention to when they are teaching and learning.
  • It is a list of subjects, topics, themes, concepts, or works to be covered.
  • It is the subject matter, process, approaches, and feelings used in teaching as the curriculum is being implemented.

Curriculum content refers to what is taught in school, it is the subject matter or topics consisting of facts, concepts, ideas, knowledge within a particular subject and how they will bring about change in the individual and to the society

Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum

  • Self- sufficiency of Learners
  • Significance of Domains of Learning
  • The validity of the Subject- matter
  • The interest of the Learners
  • The utility of the Subject-matter
  • Learnability of the Students
  • Feasibility of Completion

Principles of Curriculum

  1. Principle of utility
  2. Principle of natural interest
  3. Principle of activity and expression
  4. Principle of integration with other subjects
  5. Principle of flexibility
  6. Based on experiences


There are various patterns adopted by curricularists in organizing the curriculum by giving importance to a particular idea or aspect as the focus of the curriculum organization. However, the different patterns available are modification or integration of three basic design types:

  1. Subject-centered designs
  2. Learner-centered designs
  3. Problem-centered designs

Subject-centered approach:

  • The subject-centered approach is one of the most widely used methods for organizing educational experiences.
  • In this approach, the subject matter becomes the basis around which learning experiences are organized and the mastery of subject matter becomes the basis for the attainment of educational objectives.
  • In subject-centered curriculum, the chief responsibility of the curriculum planners is to determine the subjects to be offered by the school and the body of knowledge to be covered within each subject.
  • For example, the subjects or the program of studies may be divided into areas like English, Tamil, Science, Social Science, and Mathematics, and so on.
  • The subject–centered approach includes four types of curriculum designs namely Subject design, Discipline design, Broad-field design, and Correlation design.

Learner-centered approach:

  • This approach to curriculum development seeks to present through school experiences the methods which an effective citizen uses in solving problems, pursuing his interest, or meeting his needs.
  • The curriculum plan will thus focus on the emerging needs of the students in their present lives.
  • This approach prepares the student to face the present rather than the future.
  • The learner-centered approach includes four types of curriculum designs namely Child-centered design, Experience -centered design, Romantic or Radical design, and Humanistic design.

Social problems approach:

  • The advocates of this approach believe that the learning experiences should be organized in terms of the major activities of the human being as he/she lives in his/her culture.
  • The social–centered approach includes three types of curriculum designs namely Life- Situation design, Core design, and Reconstructionist design.


A type of curriculum that focuses on the needs, attitudes self-expression, and instinct motivation is called a learned-oriented curriculum.

Importance of learner-oriented Curriculum

  • It creates a social environment.
  • It develops social qualities like cooperation, sympathy, love, belongingness, etc.,
  • The child comes in direct contact in life situations.
  • It develops group loyalties and team spirit.
  • It helps to solve the social problem of life.

Therefore, modern educationists and curriculum planners give importance to the learner - centeredness in education and curricular programs.

The advantages of a learner-oriented curriculum

  1. Students learn important communicative and collaborative skills through group work.
  2. Students learn to direct their own learning, ask questions, and complete tasks independently.
  3. Students are more interested in learning activities when they can interact with one another and participate actively.
  4. A learner-oriented curriculum engages students in the hard, messy work of learning.
  5. Learner- Oriented Curriculum includes explicit skill instruction.
  6. Learner- Oriented Curriculum encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it.
  7. Learner- Oriented Curriculum motivates students by giving them some control over learning processes.
  8. Learner- Oriented Curriculum encourages collaboration.


Life orientation is an inter-disciplinary subject that draws on and integrates knowledge, values, skills, and processes embedded in various disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Human Movement Science, Labour Studies, and Industrial Studies.

Life orientation aims to:

  • Guide and prepare learners to respond appropriately to life’s responsibilities and opportunities.
  • Equip learners to interact optimally on a personal, psychological, cognitive, motor, physical. Moral, spiritual, cultural, and socio-economic level.
  • Guide learners to make informed and responsible decisions about their own health and well-being and the health and well-being of others.
  • Expose learners to their constitutional rights and responsibilities, to the rights of others, and to issues of diversity.
  • Expose learners to various study methods and skills pertaining to assessment processes.
  • Expose learners to an understanding of the value of regular participation in physical activity.


Life oriented curriculum is unique as it applies a holistic approach to the personal, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, motor, and physical growth and development of learners.

This encourages the development of a balanced and confident learner who can contribute to a just and democratic society, a productive economy, and an improved quality of life for all.

The Life oriented curriculum includes:

  • Social transformation
  • Outcomes-based education
  • High knowledge and high skills
  • Integration and applied competence
  • Progression
  • Articulation and portability
  • Human rights, inclusivity, environmental and social justice
  • Valuing indigenous knowledge systems
  • Credibility, quality, and efficiency

Change and the Curriculum

  • The curriculum can either reflect society or reflect upon and indirectly help shape society.
  • Teachers may either serve as cogs in a bureaucratic school machine, keeping subject matter safe and sterile, or they may help students think and act-by offering specialized, knowledge, raising controversial issues, and incorporating problem-solving activities.


  • A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study.
  • Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions.
  • Although most textbooks aren't only published in printed format, many are now available as online electronic books.

Author Remarks:

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