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Curriculum Development

By jethro31 Feb 28, 2013 892 Words
Curriculum - The act of developing or disclosing that which is unknown; a gradual unfolding process by which anything is developed, as a plan or method, or an image upon a photographic plate; gradual advancement or growth through a series of progressive changes; also, the result of developing, or a developed state.

Other considered definitions:

1. A curriculum may refer to a defined and prescribed course of studies, which students must fulfill in order to pass a certain level of education. For example, an elementary school might discuss how its curriculum, or its entire sum of lessons and teachings, is designed to improve national testing scores or help students learn the basics. An individual teacher might also refer to his or her individual course of classes, referring to all the subjects that will be taught during a school year.

2. The word "curriculum" can also refer to a series of courses that help learners achieve specific academic or occupational goals. A curriculum often consists of general learning objectives and a list of courses and resources. Some of these are more like lesson plans, containing detailed information about how to teach a course, and come with detailed questions and topics to improve learning.

3. A curriculum is the set of courses offered at a school or university. A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard.

Curriculum development - The organized preparation of whatever is going to be taught in schools at a given time in a given year. They are made into official documents, as guides for teachers, and made obligatory by provincial and territorial departments. * Teachers use curricula when trying to see what to teach to students and when, as well as what the rubrics should be, what kind of worksheets and teacher worksheets they should make, among other things. It is actually up to the teachers themselves how these rubrics should be made, how these worksheets should be made and taught; it's all up to the teachers. In a practical understanding, though, there is no concrete way to say what methodology is right to use. But it is also true that the way in which a certain topic is taught habitually resolves what is actually taught. This is why it is required to make a distinction between the official or planned curriculum and the de facto curriculum; the one that is formal and the one that is actually taught in schools.

Tips for the development of a curriculum:

1. Define the objective of the curriculum. The goal may be to help enrollees pass a certain test. In a university program, the main objective might be to provide specific skills or knowledge necessary for completion and attainment of a degree. Being specific about the objective of the curriculum will further assist and hasten with its development.

2. Choose an appropriate title. Depending on the learning objective, titling the curriculum may be a straightforward process or one that requires greater thought. A curriculum for GED students can be called "GED Preparation Curriculum." A program designed to assist adolescents with eating disorders might require a carefully thought-out title that is attractive to teenagers and sensitive to their needs.

3. Create a scope and sequence. This is an outline of key skills and information that students need to achieve the main curriculum objective. For a bachelor's degree curriculum, the scope and sequence might be a list of courses that a student must complete. The outline for a software training curriculum might be a more detailed list of software operations, such as creating new records, saving information, deleting records and merging files.

4. Determine the teaching approach. Depending on the topic and objective, information might best be conveyed in a lecture format. In other cases, providing written materials, holding discussion sessions and offering hands-on practice might be the most appropriate teaching methods.

* Include discussion questions. In a curriculum that serves more as a script for teachers, detailed discussion questions provide greater direction. In a human rights curriculum, for example, students might be asked to share their understanding of what constitutes fundamental human rights.

* Allow room for flexibility to meet learners' needs. Curriculum development must prioritize the needs of learners. Sometimes needs are indiscernible until a teacher has worked closely with a group of students across a period of time. In some cases, it is better to provide general directions and allow teachers to fill in the details and revise the curriculum as needed

5. Build in an assessment component. Determining how to assess the knowledge of learners is dependent on the main curriculum objective. If students are preparing for a standardized exam, implementing practice tests is an effective way to simultaneously prepare students for the testing process and identify weaker skills and knowledge areas. If the learning objective is enrichment or life skills development, assessments may be more informal, consisting of class discussions, essays or one-on-one meetings.

6. Establish a system of curriculum evaluation. When preparing learners for exams, gathering statistics of passing rates is helpful for gauging overall effectiveness. In more subjective subjects, such as the arts or personal development, observe patterns of student attendance and participation. Special attention to participant engagement and empowerment also can reveal curriculum efficacy.

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