Curriculum

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Definition of Curriculum
Ernie Miller
Northcentral University Online

Define Curriculum
Curriculum is defined as an organized program of learning, which is separated by various subject areas. These subject areas are arranged into four specific categories: content, instruction, assessment, and context. The information and skills students are required to learn and should ultimately know by studying and processing the material is the curriculum content. The method by which the course content is taught to students (e.g. lectures and class discussions) is referred to as the instruction of curriculum. One vital aspect of curriculum is the assessment part of the curriculum. The assessment aspect of the curriculum is a vital element of the curriculum. The teachers/administrators use assessments (e.g. a variety of exams, oral presentations, research projects, or writing assignments) to measure the performance of students. The context of the curriculum describes the educational environment in which the course material or specified subject area will be taught. For instance, to fully comprehend the curriculum for an elementary school math class, the educator must reflect on the level of rigor for the elementary school students attending the class should be age and academically right. Larry Cuban, an educational theorist, argued that a well thought out curriculum should never be the only determining cause for deciding what should or what should not be taught by the teacher and learned in a school. Cuban implied that there are now four different types of curricula in place in today’s school system (Teacher’s Mind Resources, 2011). The four curricula defined by Cuban are: (a) the official curriculum; (b) the taught curriculum; (c) the learned curriculum; and (d) the tested curriculum. The official curriculum is the expected curriculum passed down by state and district officials. Curricular frameworks and courses of study are in placed within the schools and the...
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