The curriculum thus developed, was piloted and later revised.
In the following sections, I will discuss the context and the analysis of various aspects of the curriculum.
Curriculum, which is central to teaching and learning, needs to be carefully developed to ensure maximum opportunities for student participation through which critical thinking skills can be harnessed.
In this article, I will analyse the curriculum development process at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and trace the opportunities for developing critical thinking skills in various areas of the English language curriculum in its Foundation Programme.
The data for analysis has been retrieved from the Comprehensive Curriculum Document developed for the purpose of guiding and directing teachers to follow the standards set for the Foundation Programme.
Critical thinking, curriculum, learning outcomes, opportunities for participation, better thinkers Introduction The Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) is the only national university in the Sultanate of Oman where English is the medium of instruction.The Centre for Preparatory Studies (CPS) in the university offers a course called the General Foundation Program (GFP), which is mandatory for all students entering the university. The majority of the students entering into higher and post-secondary education in Oman have to first take a Foundation Program designed to help prepare them for further studies.In essence, General Foundation Programs (GFPs) are effective in helping students attain the prescribed student learning outcomes in four areas: English, Mathematics, Computing and General Study Skills.Therefore, the Foundation Program is a “constantly developing context” (Burns, 2013, p. Consequently, the program is designed to: (a) Equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for undertaking university education (b) Provide students with sufficient analytical skills and knowledge in their areas of study (c) Improve the efficiency of teaching and learning in the classroom through students’ independent study (d) Provide quality education in English language, Arabic language, Mathematics, Information Technology, and Life Skills (Comprehensive Curriculum Document, 2017).The Foundation Program English language (FPEL) curriculum consists of six proficiency levels.Abstract Developing critical thinking skills, one of the most essential skills in the 21st century, is a big challenge in any teaching and learning context.It is a slow process and demands hard work on the part of both teachers and learners.Curriculum and Curriculum Development What is the meaning of the word curriculum and how was it framed?For framing and developing the curriculum at the CPS, the following definitions were the take off points.The elements in all these three approaches are tabulated as follows: Table 1.Approaches to Curriculum Development Learning outcomes were at the forefront in the curriculum design at the CPS because of the approach and the methodology of teaching.