Formal education is meant to serve students’ needs for personal development, self-fulfillment, and high-standard achievements at school and beyond, and thus to empower students for lifelong learning, and decency and success, even excellence, in various aspects of life, and not merely to prepare them for taking exams. Such a purpose is best achieved through systemic education that brings about graduates with systemic profiles, i.e., sustainable, constantly evolving profiles that combine in particular progressive mindsets, profound knowledge, productive habits, and principled affects (4P Profile). A systemic profile is defined and developed in the context of systemic curricula which, under systemic pedagogical frameworks, mandate systemic programs of study, and provide for meaningful and insightful coverage of these programs in a dynamic learning ecology that relies on authentic assessment and, to the extent that is possible, on experiential activities. Systemic Cognition and Education (SCE) is a pedagogical framework that serves these ends.


A systemic curriculum is systemic both inherently and in the way it helps students develop the graduate profile. It takes the form of a system, it works within the context of a field of study defined (or re-defined) around systems, and it helps students systematically organize their content knowledge around systems and develop systemic epistemic and functional habits. Even the specific traits of the profile, and subsequently specific content and process knowledge pertaining to the corresponding field of study, are envisioned and reified in the context of systems and for the ultimate purpose of system construction and deployment.


Curricula ought to work primarily for empowering students with generic knowledge and habits that are worth sustaining for lifelong learning and for deployment anytime and anywhere in the students’ lifetime, for a variety of purposes, whether personal or collective, aesthetic or practical, cultural or economic. Curricula must hence be cross-disciplinary. They must transcend the boundaries of individual disciplines, without undermining the particularities and specific merits of each discipline, and focus primarily on generic knowledge and habits. These include conceptions, reasoning skills, dexterities (practical skills), and affects that are shared by different disciplines, or that establish bridges and communication channels among disciplines, and that open up new perspectives, including the possibility of bringing together disciplines that may appear disparate at first site. This is where system-centered knowledge and habits can efficiently come to help, and that is why curricula become most suitable to serve their purposes when designed systemically to bring about graduates with 4P profiles at the core of which are such cross-disciplinary knowledge and habits.


Prof. Halloun’s experience in curriculum development began with his PhD dissertation, The Use of Models in Teaching Newtonian Mechanics (1984). In this dissertation, he laid the grounds for his modeling theory, while developing instructional materials for reforming college physics courses. His experience evolved as he gradually developed the theory into the broader field of science, and subsequently into Systemic Cognition and Education, and as he contributed, and still does, to curriculum reform in many countries around the world. While a consultant for UNESCO in Paris (1997-2002), he helped evaluating science and technology curricula in numerous countries, especially those participating in Project 2000+. Afterwards, he was the conceiver and principal developer of the International Arab Baccalaureate (IAB), a pan-Arab ERC initiative that involved the development of curriculum materials and teacher training programs for various fields in grades 10-12.




Curriculum development:

Curriculum Design and Deployment: A Systemic Approach. (Book in preparation).

Please refer to the introduction above.


Premises for authentic diplomas in the context of reformed curricula and educational systems. (May 2016). and LinkedIn Pulse.

.(مرتكزات أساسيّة لشهادات مصداقة في إطار مناهج تربويّة متطوّرة. (أيّار 2001

General education diplomas must be revamped in the context of reformed curricula and educational systems that bring about some reliable passport for student transition to higher / upper level education. That passport might include some form of a “diploma” that does not come about as a consequence of exit exams, but as part of, or as a summative account of, comprehensive school transcripts.

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International Arab Baccalaureate: Beyond competencies for 21st century student profile. (September 2013. Plenary paper). Proceedings of the National Symposium on Education and 21st Century Competencies. Muscat, Sultanate of Oman: MoE.    PowerPoint Presentation


Toward a comprehensive learning ecology. (October 2012. Plenary paper). Jordanian Ministry of Education Conference on IAB. Amman, Jordan.   PowerPoint Presentation عربي


From Modeling Schemata to the Profiling Schema: Modeling across the Curricula. (2011). In: Khine & Saleh (Eds), Models and Modeling in Science Education. Boston: Springer.

This chapter outlines the cross over to Profile Shaping Education from Modeling Theory, a research-based pedagogical theory developed by this author that promotes mediated experiential learning of model-laden theory and inquiry in science education. Modeling schemata are generic tools that students use for systematic construction and deployment of scientific concepts and models. Under PSE (and subsequently under SCE), these schemata have been extrapolated beyond the boundaries of science, and a single profiling schema (system schema under SCE) has emerged as a major tool to set and deploy benchmarks or outcomes that need to be accomplished in any educational field, and at any grade level.   Full Text


Profile Shaping Education: A paradigm shift in education to empower students for success in modern life. (July 2011). The 11th International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group biennial conference, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.

This is an early draft of Profile Shaping Education (PSE) which, like SCE, sets to empower students of all levels, especially secondary school and college graduates, with a profile needed for success in modern life. The profile embodies major traits of accomplished people in the workplace and daily life, while it respects the local vision for education and local culture and heritage.   Full Text


International Arab Baccalaureate: A paradigm shift in secondary education for distinguished achievement in higher education and success in life. (January 2011). BETT seminar. BETT, London, UK.   PowerPoint Presentation


Teacher professional development and ICT. (November 2010). BETT-Middle East. BETT, Abu-Dhabi, UAE.   PowerPoint Presentation


Curriculum evaluation:

Assessment of learning and evaluation of instruction. (April 2010. Plenary paper). Annual GASERC Symposium on Global School Evaluation. Kuwait, Kuwait.   PowerPoint Presentation


The Lebanese Secondary School Physics Curriculum and Students’ Conceptual Profiles. (2007). Beirut: Phoenix series / Lebanese University.

Lebanese secondary school students’ conceptual profiles in physics are evaluated by comparison to their U.S. peers, in an attempt to ascertain the effectiveness of the Lebanese physics curriculum currently in place. A battery of three instruments were developed and validated to assess student profiles in particular areas of physics. The three instruments were administered to over three thousand Lebanese and U.S. students between 2004 and 2007. Results show that Lebanese students: (a) enter secondary school encumbered with naive conceptual profiles that are at odds with scientific paradigm, (b) fail, after physics instruction, to enhance their profiles and develop them to the level aspired for in the official curriculum, and (c) lag, in most conceptual respects, behind their U.S. peers.   Full Text


Normative evaluation of mathematics, science and technology curricula: The case of the modeling curriculum. (2004). Proceedings of the 12th annual meeting of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Cape Town, South Africa: SAARMSTE.

Evaluation of a given curriculum is not an end by itself, and it does not mark the end of curriculum development. It is an ongoing process carried out throughout curriculum development and implementation for continuous regulation. Regulation at any point may extend from minor refinements of some curriculum components to a radical reform of the curriculum on entirely new grounds. For reliable outcomes and sustainable impact, curriculum evaluation needs to be normative. Normative evaluation is conducted according to well-defined taxonomy of conceptions, processes and trends that students are expected to develop under the given curriculum. It comes out with quantitative indicators ascertaining in terms of pre-established criteria to what extent students have actually met original expectations.  Full Text


Evaluation de l’impact du nouveau curriculum de physique sur les profils conceptuels des élèves du secondaire. (Juin 2008). 4e conférence sur les recherches scientifiques à l’Université Libanaise, Université Libanaise, Beyrouth, Liban.   PowerPoint Presentation


Lebanon’s new science curricula and modern educational theory. (1998, in Arabic). An-Nahar.  Full Text عربي

مناهج التعليم العام الجديدة: أين هي من ” الاتجاهات التربوية الحديثة ” في مواد العلوم ؟  النهار، 14 و15 و17 آب1998


Pour la modernisation des curricula libanais de science. (1989). Lebanese Journal of Science & Mathematics Education, 2(1), 5-7.

Grandes lignes d’un curriculum citées et appliquées à la physique. Texte Intégral


Les failles de l’enseignement traditionnel de la physique. (1988). Lebanese Journal of Science & Mathematics Education, 1(1), 10-13.

L’enseignement traditionnel de la physique est critiqué pour avoir négligé l’état intellectuel initial des enseignés, pour ne pas avoir présenté explicitement la structure paradigmatique de la physique, et pour avoir pratiqué l’enseignement de cette science comme un art alors que la didactique des sciences devient une science.  Texte Intégral