What is curriculum? Definition, importance and writing tips

What is curriculum? Definition, importance and writing tips

What is the curriculum? Does it have any importance in the education sector? What are some of the best writing tips for a curriculum? This might be the questions you are pondering about. This post has comprehensively explained the meaning of curriculum, its benefits, and writing tips. Read on to know more.

What is curriculum
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Educators and administrators research and explore to come up with what is ideal for the learners. A school cannot exist without a distinct curriculum. Since teachers use the set curricula to assess students, they ensure that whatever is prepared for the learners will enable them to be articulate and fully comprehend what is being taught.

Definition of curriculum

Curriculum in education is simply defined as the academic content taught in schools and learning institutions. A curriculum is also defined as the courses and programs offered in schools. Curriculum development is planned and focused and makes the education sector systematic. Curricular is sometimes changed depending on global events or the status quo.

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Though different countries have their own structures of curricular, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has set the standard objective of studying curricula and their application and execution worldwide.

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Types of curriculum

There are three major types of curriculum: explicit, hidden, and absent curriculum.

  1. Explicit/stated curriculum: Also known as overt or written curriculum. This type is majorly written as part of formal schooling experiences. The explicit curriculum contains direct steps that are to be followed for proper implementation and purpose. It is the primary schooling material and contains a clear-cut sequence. Every aspect of the overt curriculum is formal and approved by teaching instructors and curriculum directors.
  2. Hidden/unofficial curriculum: These are simple practices which are influenced by everyday routines and procedures. Relationships, rules, common laws, and basic structures all contribute to the establishment of the hidden curriculum. This type of curriculum goes past the classroom. The teacher does not have executive authority and children learn from nature and the organization and behavior of others.
  3. Absent/null curriculum: The null curriculum is that which is not taught. Children and learners get to understand that some elements may not be critical in their educational experiences or society. Aspects in absent curriculum may either be intentional or unintentional. Reasons for not teaching certain ideas may be due to limitations from authorities and other concerned bodies.

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Importance of curriculum

The type of curriculum used could have a positive or negative effect on the students and society at large. It is vital that all internal and external factors are considered before the ideal curriculum is set. School curriculum has a positive impact on the learners and is important in the growth of an economy. The following are reasons why the curriculum is important.

  1. It helps teachers and instructors deliver quality content that is properly arranged - With a set curriculum, one is sure that the education the children receive is of value and will positively impact the learner.
  2. It aids in the economy of the state - Curriculum development offers possible solutions to complexities and problems facing a nation. Political, economic, social, and socio-economic issues can all be solved by the answers provided by the curricula.
  3. The curriculum encourages innovation - This especially happens in universities, colleges, and institutions of higher learning. Colleges which have curricular courses which are relevant in global markets attract foreign students who help in innovation and problem-solving.
  4. Administrators, teachers, and students are able to follow a detailed structure, which helps them to easily tackle their tasks and successfully complete the course - The curriculum prepares students for the next chapter in life; whether higher education or a job. They are also able to sharpen their crafts and improve on their skills
  5. It helps in the recognition and preservation of the nation’s identity - If the head of state wishes to see to it that the country is given a particular identity, then the curriculum may be altered to accommodate his/her design of thinking. A country which wants to be identified as the tourism hub in the region will restructure their curricular to achieve that. Edu-tourism, agri-tourism, and techno-tourism are some of the things that can boost the country’s tourism sector.

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What is curriculum
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Source: UGC

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Tips for writing curriculum

As a teacher or instructor, writing a curriculum may seem like an uphill task at first. The lack of experience can make everything challenging as you want to give your best. Do not fret, the following tips form a good guide to use before you sit down to write a curriculum

  1. Keep the student in mind as you write - Understand that everything you are writing is about the student and not yourself. Focus on what you want the learner to know.
  2. Make a plan - Derive appropriate methods and designs for writing. Be natural and follow your heart. Do not rush into adding things you are not sure of. Take your time and come up with the best you can.
  3. Consult and work together with everyone who can add value to your work - Do not restrict yourself to just those who teach the same program as you. Talk to pioneers and those who have written before you. You will learn more even as you prepare for the learners.
  4. Remember feedback and assessments - Plan for feedback and assessment even as you write. As you develop your curriculum, understand that you will be required to weigh the learners. Squeeze in some time to interact with the students just to see how they take the day’s lessons and how they are doing. Ask what they enjoy most and what they find difficult.
  5. Take advantage of the advanced technology and select the appropriate software for your writing - There are a lot of computer programs online that will make your work easy. planbook.com and teachingchannel.org are a good start if you are stuck. Research and use the best software if need be.
  6. Focus on creating a single unit at a time -There is nothing wrong with not being speedy in your writing. You do not have to fit everything in the curriculum all at once.

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Now you know what is curriculum, types of curriculum, the importance of curriculum, as well as the best writing tips. Learners can now have different experiences in school through the curriculum. Extra-class activities, personal relationships, and counseling are all factors that affect the curriculum. The main purpose of the curriculum is to bring the desired outcome in designing and implementing teachings and lessons.

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