April 22, 2002
Curriculum, in my opinion, is the whole picture of education. It includes the teaching philosophy of a school and a teacher, the way the subject is taught in the classroom, the supplements used in assistance of teaching, the attitudes the school, the teachers and the administrators bring to the table, and the knowledge of the subject areas in the minds of the teachers. Curriculum can also be described as “a desired goal or set of values that can be activated through a development process culminating in experiences for students” or as “the planned and guided learning experience and intended outcomes, formulated through systematic reconstruction f knowledge and experience, under the auspices of the school, for the learners’ continuous and willful growth in personal-social competence.”(Curriculum Development, Wiles p. 29) Curriculum includes what our standards of learning are, and the models by which the teachers facilitate the learning of those standards in the classroom. Some definitions of curriculum are very direct and small, as seen above, but I believe that curriculum must include every aspect of education at some point in its definition because it does cover the very broad spectrum in educating people.
Before one can formulate a curriculum for education, that person must first define what their educational philosophy is. This is due to the fact that, as previously mentioned, an educational philosophy is most certainly a key ingredient in the development of a curriculum. In most education circles, there are typically four educational philosophies generally considered to be the most relevant. The first one is known as perennialism. Perennialism is the most conservative, unworkable approach to education. Teachers teach, students learn, and discipline is the defining characteristic of perennialism. Wiles, from Curriculum Development, describes perennialists as people who “favor a...