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In
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education fr ...
, a curriculum (; plural curricula or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to a view of the student's experiences in terms of the educator's or school's instructional goals. In a 2003 study, Reys, Reys, Lapan, Holliday, and Wasman refer to curriculum as a set of learning goals articulated across grades that outline the intended mathematics content and process goals at particular points in time throughout the K–12 school program. Curriculum may incorporate the planned interaction of pupils with instructional content, materials, resources, and processes for evaluating the attainment of educational objectives. Curriculum is split into several categories: the explicit, the implicit (including the hidden), the excluded, and the extracurricular.Kelly, A. V. (2009). The curriculum: Theory and practice (pp. 1–55). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Braslavsky, C. (2003). The curriculum. Curricula may be tightly standardized, or may include a high level of instructor or learner autonomy. Many countries have national curricula in
primary Primary or primaries may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music Groups and labels * Primary (band), from Australia * Primary (musician), hip hop musician and record producer from South Korea * Primary Music, Israeli record label Works * ...
and
secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, such as the United Kingdom's
National CurriculumA national curriculum is a common programme of study in schools that is designed to ensure nationwide uniformity of content and standards in education. It is usually legislated by the national government, possibly in consultation with state or other ...
.
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace an ...

UNESCO
's
International Bureau of Education The International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) is a UNESCO category 1 institute mandated as the Centre of Excellence in curriculum and related matters. Consistent with the declaration of the decision of the 36th session of the General Conferen ...
has the primary mission of studying curricula and their implementation worldwide.


Etymology

The word "curriculum" began as a
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
word which means "a race" or "the course of a race" (which in turn derives from the verb ''currere'' meaning "to run/to proceed").''Oxford English Dictionary'', "Curriculum," 152 The word is "from a Modern Latin transferred use of classical Latin curriculum "a running, course, career" (also "a fast chariot, racing car"), from currere "to run" (from PIE root *kers- "to run")." The first known use in an educational context is in the ''Professio Regia'', a work by
University of Paris , image_name = Coat of arms of the University of Paris.svg , image_size = 150px , caption = , latin_name = Universitas magistrorum et scholarium Parisiensis , motto = ''Hic et ubique terrarum'' (Latin) , mottoeng ...
professor
Petrus Ramus Petrus Ramus (french: Pierre de La Ramée; Anglicized as Peter Ramus ; 1515 – 26 August 1572) was an influential French humanist, logician, and educational reformer. A Protestant convert, he was one of the most prominent victims of the St. Bartho ...
published posthumously in 1576. The term subsequently appears in
University of Leiden Leiden University (commonly abbreviated as LEI; nl, Universiteit Leiden) is a public research university in Leiden, Netherlands. Founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange as a reward to the town of Leiden for its defense against Spanish attacks ...
records in 1582. The word's origins appear closely linked to the
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John C ...
desire to bring greater order to education. By the seventeenth century, the
University of Glasgow , image_name = University_of_Glasgow_Coat_of_Arms.jpg , image_size = 150px , latin_name = Universitas Glasguensis , motto = la, Via, Veritas, Vita , mottoeng = The Way, The Truth, The Life , established = , type = Ancient public research univer ...

University of Glasgow
also referred to its "course" of study as a "curriculum", producing the first known use of the term in English in 1633. By the nineteenth century, European universities routinely referred to their curriculum to describe both the complete course of study (as for a degree in surgery) and particular courses and their content. By 1824, the word was defined as"a course, especially a fixed course of study at a college, university, or school."


Definitions and interpretations


Professional interpretations

There is no generally agreed upon definition of curriculum. Some influential definitions combine various elements to describe curriculum as follows: *Through the readings of Smith, Dewey, and Kelly, four types of curricula could be defined as: **Explicit curriculum: subjects that will be taught, the identified "mission" of the school, and the knowledge and skills that the school expects successful students to acquire. **Implicit curriculum: lessons that arise from the culture of the school and the behaviors, attitudes, and expectations that characterize that culture, the unintended curriculum. **Hidden curriculum: things which students learn, ‘because of the way in which the work of the school is planned and organized but which are not in themselves overtly included in the planning or even in the consciousness of those responsible for the school arrangements (Kelly, 2009). The term itself is attributed to Philip W. Jackson and is not always meant to be a negative. Hidden curriculum, if its potential is realized, could benefit students and learners in all educational systems. Also, it does not just include the physical environment of the school, but the relationships formed or not formed between students and other students or even students and teachers (Jackson, 1986). **Excluded curriculum: topics or perspectives that are specifically excluded from the curriculum. *It may also come in the form of extracurricular activities. This may include school-sponsored programs, which are intended to supplement the academic aspect of the school experience or community-based programs and activities. Examples of school-sponsored extracurricular programs include
sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectators. Sports can, throu ...
, academic clubs, and
performing arts#REDIRECT Performing arts#REDIRECT Performing arts {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
. Community-based programs and activities may take place at a school after hours but are not linked directly to the school. Community-based programs frequently expand on the curriculum that was introduced in the classroom. For instance, students may be introduced to environmental conservation in the classroom. This knowledge is further developed through a community-based program. Participants then act on what they know with a conservation project. Community-based extracurricular activities may include “environmental clubs, 4-H, boy/girl scouts, and religious groups” (Hancock, Dyk, & Jones, 2012). *Kerr defines curriculum as " l the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside of school." *Braslavsky states that curriculum is an agreement among communities, educational professionals, and the State on what learners should take on during specific periods of their lives. Furthermore, the curriculum defines "why, what, when, where, how, and with whom to learn." *Smith (1996, 2000) says that, " syllabus will not generally indicate the relative importance of its topics or the order in which they are to be studied. Where people still equate curriculum with a syllabus they are likely to limit their planning to a consideration of the content or the body of knowledge that they wish to transmit." According to Smith, a curriculum can be ordered into a procedure: :Step 1: Diagnosis of needs. :Step 2: Formulation of objectives. :Step 3: Selection of content. :Step 4: Organization of content. :Step 5: Selection of learning experiences. :Step 6: Organization of learning experiences. :Step 7: Determination of what to evaluate and of the ways and means of doing it.


Types of curricula

Under some definitions, curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general
syllabus A syllabus (; plural ''syllabuses'' or ''syllabi'') or specification is a document that communicates information about a specific course and defines expectations and responsibilities. It is generally narrower in scope than a curriculum. A syllabus ...
which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard. A curriculum may also 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 curricula is designed to improve national testing scores or help students learn fundamental
skills A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the d ...
. An individual teacher might also refer to his or her curriculum, meaning all the subjects that will be taught during a school year. The courses are arranged in a sequence to make learning a subject easier. In schools, a curriculum spans several grades. On the other hand, a high school might refer to their curricula as the courses required in order to receive one’s
diploma A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study. The word diploma also refers to an academic award wh ...
. They might also refer to it in exactly the same way as an elementary school and use it to mean both individual courses needed to pass as well as the overall offering of courses, which help prepare a student for life after high school. A curriculum can be seen from different perspectives. What
societies A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societi ...

societies
envisage as important teaching and learning constitutes the "intended" curriculum. Since it is usually presented in official documents, it may be also called the "written" or "official" curriculum. However, at a classroom level this intended curriculum may be altered through a range of complex classroom interactions, and what is actually delivered can be considered the "implemented" curriculum. What learners really learn (i.e. what can be assessed and can be demonstrated as learning outcomes or competencies) constitutes the "achieved" or "learned" curriculum. In addition, curriculum theory points to a "hidden" curriculum (i.e. the unintended development of personal values and beliefs of learners, teachers, and communities; the unexpected impact of a curriculum; or the unforeseen aspects of a learning process). Those who develop the intended curriculum should have all these different dimensions of the curriculum in view. While the "written" curriculum does not exhaust the meaning of curriculum, it is important because it represents the vision of the society. The "written" curriculum is usually expressed in comprehensive and user-friendly documents, such as curriculum frameworks or subject curricula/syllabi, and in relevant and helpful learning materials, such as
textbooks A textbook is a book containing a comprehensive compilation of content in a branch of study with the intention of explaining it. Textbook are produced to meet the needs of educators, usually at educational institutions. Schoolbooks are textbooks ...

textbooks
, teacher guides, and assessment guides. In some cases, people see the curriculum entirely in terms of the subjects that are taught, and as set out within the set of textbooks, and forget the wider goals of competencies and personal development. This is why a curriculum framework is important. It sets the subjects within this wider context, and shows how learning experiences within the subjects need to contribute to the attainment of the wider goals. Curriculum is almost always defined with relation to schooling. According to some, it is the major division between
formal Formal, formality, informal or informality imply the complying with, or not complying with, some set of requirements (forms, in Ancient Greek). They may refer to: Dress code and events * Formal wear, attire for formal events * Semi-formal attire, ...
and
informal education Informal education is a general term for education that can occur outside of a structured curriculum. Informal education encompasses student interests within a curriculum in a regular classroom, but is not limited to that setting. It works through c ...
. However, under some circumstances it may also be applied to informal education or free-choice learning settings. For instance, a
science museum A science museum is a museum devoted primarily to science. Older science museums tended to concentrate on static displays of objects related to natural history, paleontology, geology, industry and industrial machinery, etc. Modern trends in museo ...
may have a "curriculum" of what topics or exhibits it wishes to cover. Many after-school programs in the US have tried to apply the concept; this typically has more success when not rigidly clinging to the definition of curriculum as a product or as a body of knowledge to be transferred. Rather, informal education and free-choice learning settings are more suited to the model of curriculum as practice or
praxis Praxis may refer to: Philosophy and religion *Praxis (process), the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized *Praxis model, a way of doing theology * Praxis (Byzantine Rite), the practice of faith, ...
.


Historical conception

In the early years of the 20th century, the traditional concepts held of the "curriculum is that it is a body of subjects or subject matter prepared by the teachers for the students to learn." It was synonymous to the "course of study" and "syllabus". In ''The Curriculum'', the first textbook published on the subject, in 1918,
John Franklin Bobbitt John Franklin Bobbitt (February 16, 1876 near English, Indiana – March 7, 1956 in Shelbyville, Indiana) was a North-American educationist, a university professor and a writer. A representative of the efficiency minded thinkers, he specialized ...
said that curriculum, as an
idea In philosophy, ideas are usually taken as mental representational images of some object. Ideas can also be abstract concepts that do not present as mental images. Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of ...
, has its
roots A root is the part of a plant that most often lies below the surface of the soil but can also be aerial or aerating, that is, growing up above the ground or especially above water. Root or roots may also refer to: Art, entertainment, and media * ...
in the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language ...
word for ''race-course'', explaining the curriculum as the course of deeds and experiences through which
child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty, or between the developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a p ...

child
ren become the
adult Biologically, an adult is an organism that has reached sexual maturity. In human context, the term ''adult'' has meanings associated with social and legal concepts. In contrast to a "minor", a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of ...
s they should be to succeed later in life. Furthermore, the curriculum encompasses the entire scope of formative deed and experience occurring in and out of school such as experiences that are unplanned and undirected or those that are intentionally directed for the purposeful formation of adult members of society, not only experiences occurring in
school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is someti ...

school
. (cf. image at right.) To Bobbitt, the curriculum is a
social engineeringSocial engineering may refer to: * Social engineering (political science), means of influencing particular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale * Social engineering (security), obtaining confidential information by manipulating and/or dec ...
arena. Per his cultural presumptions and social definitions, his curricular formulation has two notable features: (i) that
scientific Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as w ...
experts would best be qualified to and justified in designing curricula based upon their expert
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts (descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge). By most accounts, knowledge can be acquired in many diff ...
of what qualities are desirable in adult members of society, and which experiences would generate said qualities; and (ii) curriculum defined as the deeds-experiences the student ''ought to have'' to become the adult he or she ''ought to become''. Hence, he defined the curriculum as an ideal, rather than as the concrete
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reali ...
of the deeds and experiences that form who and what people become. Contemporary views of curriculum reject these features of Bobbitt's postulates, but retain the basis of curriculum as the course of experience(s) that form humans into persons. Personal formation via curricula is studied both at the personal and group levels, i.e.
cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.Tylor, Edward. (1871). ...
and societies (e.g. professional formation,
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined (in part) and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, an ...
via historical experience). The formation of a group is reciprocal, with the formation of its individual participants. Although it formally appeared in Bobbitt's
definition A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term) and extensional definitions ...
, curriculum as a course of formative experience also pervades
John Dewey John Dewey (; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first ...
's work (who disagreed with Bobbitt on important matters). Although Bobbitt's and Dewey's idealistic understanding of "curriculum" is different from current, restricted uses of the word, writers of curricula and researchers generally share it as common, substantive understanding of curriculum. Development does not mean just getting something out of the mind. It is a development of experience and into experience that is really wanted.
Robert M. Hutchins Robert Maynard Hutchins (January 17, 1899 – May 14, 1977), was an American educational philosopher. He was president (1929–1945) and chancellor (1945–1951) of the University of Chicago, and earlier dean of Yale Law School (1927–1929). He ...
, president of the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including ...
, regarded curriculum as "permanent studies" where the rules of grammar, rhetoric, logic, and mathematics for basic education are emphasized. Basic education should emphasize
the three Rs The three Rs (as in the letter ''R'') are three basic skills taught in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic (usually said as "''reading, writing, and 'rithmetic''"). The phrase appears to have been coined at the beginning of the 19th century. ...
and college education should be grounded on liberal education. On the other hand,
Arthur Bestor Arthur Eugene Bestor Jr. (September 20, 1908 – December 13, 1994) was a historian of the United States, and during the 1950s a noted critic of American public education. Biography Early life Bestor was born on September 20, 1908, in Chautauqua, ...
, an essentialist, believes that the mission of the school should be intellectual training. Hence, curriculum should focus on the fundamental intellectual disciplines of grammar, literature, and writing. It should also include mathematics, science, history, and foreign language. According to Joseph Schwab, discipline is the sole source of curriculum. In our education system, curriculum is divided into chunks of knowledge called subject areas in basic education including English, mathematics, science, and social studies. In college, discipline may include humanities, sciences, languages, and many more. Curricula should consist entirely of knowledge which comes from various disciplines. Learning the lesson should be more interesting and beneficial than receiving a scolding, being ridiculed, being required to stay after school, among other punishments. Thus, curricula can be viewed as a field of study. It is made up of its foundations (philosophical, historical, psychological, and social foundations), domains of knowledge, as well as its research theories and principles. Curricula as an area of study should be scholarly and theoretical. It is concerned with broad, historical, philosophical social issues and academics. Under a starting definition offered by John Kerr and taken up by Vic Kelly in his standard work on the curriculum, it is “all the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school." There are four ways of approaching curriculum theory and practice: # Curriculum as a body of knowledge to be transmitted. # Curriculum as an attempt to help students achieve a goal. # Curriculum as a process. # Curriculum as praxis. In recent years the field of education and curriculum has expanded outside the walls of the classroom and into other settings, such as
museums A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items availa ...
. Within these settings curriculum is an even broader topic, including various teachers, inanimate objects such as audio tour devices, and even the learners themselves. As with the traditional idea of curriculum, curriculum in a free choice learning environment can consist of the explicit stated curriculum and the hidden curriculum; both of which contribute to the learner's experience and lessons from the experience. These elements are further compounded by the setting, cultural influences, and the state of mind of the learner. Museums and other similar settings are most commonly leveraged within traditional classroom settings as enhancements to the curriculum when educators develop curricula that encompass visits to museums, zoos, and aquariums.


Progressivist views

On the other hand, to a progressivist, a listing of school subjects, syllabi, courses of study, and lists of courses of specific discipline do not make a curriculum. These can only be called curriculum if the written materials are actualized by the learner. Broadly speaking, curriculum is defined as the total learning experiences of the individual. This definition is anchored on
John Dewey John Dewey (; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first ...
's definition of experience and education. He believed that reflective thinking is a means that unifies curricular elements. Thought is not derived from action but tested by application. Caswell and Campbell viewed curricula as "all experiences children have under the guidance of teachers." This definition is shared by Smith, Stanley, and Shores when they defined curriculum as "a sequence of potential experiences set up in schools for the purpose of disciplining children and youth in group ways of thinking and acting." Curriculum as a process is when a teacher enters a particular schooling and situation with the ability to think critically, an understanding of their role and the expectations others have of them, and a proposal for action which sets out essential principles and features of the educational encounter. Guided by these, they encourage conversations between, and with, people in the situation out of which may come a course of thinking and action. Plus, the teacher continually evaluates the process and what they can see of outcomes. Marsh and Willis view curricula as all the "experiences in the classroom which are planned and enacted by teacher, and also learned by the students." Any definition of curriculum, if it is to be practically effective and productive, must offer much more than a statement about knowledge-content or merely the subjects which schooling is to teach, transmit, or deliver. Some would argue of the course that the values implicit in the arrangements made by schools for their pupils are quite clearly in the consciousness of teachers and planners, again especially when the planners are politicians, and are equally clearly accepted by them as part of what pupils should learn in school, even if they are not overtly recognized by the pupils themselves. In other words, those who design curricula deliberately plan the schools’ "expressive culture". If this is the case, then, the curriculum is ‘hidden’ only to or from the pupils, and the values to be learned clearly from a part of what is planned for pupils. They must, therefore, be accepted as fully a part of the curriculum, and especially as an important focus because questions must be asked concerning the legitimacy of such practices. Currently, a spiral curriculum is promoted as allowing students to revisit a subject matter's content at the different levels of development of the subject matter being studied. The constructivist approach proposes that children learn best via pro-active engagement with the educational environment, as in learning through discovery.


Primary and secondary education

A curriculum may be partly or entirely determined by an external, authoritative body (e.g., the
National Curriculum for EnglandThe National Curriculum for England was first introduced by the Education Reform Act of 1988. At the time of its introduction the legislation applied to both England and Wales. However, education later became a devolved matter for the Welsh governmen ...
in
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national identity, an identity and ...
schools). Crucial to the curriculum is the definition of the course objectives that usually are expressed as learning outcomes and normally include the program's
assessment Assessment may refer to: Healthcare *Health assessment, identifies needs of the patient and how those needs will be addressed *Nursing assessment, gathering information about a patient's physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual st ...
strategy. These outcomes and assessments are grouped as units (or modules), and, therefore, the curriculum comprises a collection of such units, each, in turn, comprising a specialized, specific part of the curriculum. So, a typical curriculum includes communications, numeracy, information technology, and social skills units, with specific, specialized teaching of each. Core curricula are often instituted, at the
primary Primary or primaries may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music Groups and labels * Primary (band), from Australia * Primary (musician), hip hop musician and record producer from South Korea * Primary Music, Israeli record label Works * ...
and
secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in organic chemistry to classify various types of compounds * The group of (usually at least four) defensive backs in gridiron football ...
levels, by school boards, Departments of Education, or other administrative agencies charged with overseeing education. A core curriculum is a curriculum, or course of study, which is deemed central and usually made mandatory for all students of a
school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is someti ...

school
or school system. However, even when core requirements exist, they do not necessarily involve a requirement for students to engage in one particular class or activity. For example, a school might mandate a music appreciation class, but students may opt out if they take a performing arts class.


Australia

In
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixt ...

Australia
, the
Australian Curriculum The Australian Curriculum is a national curriculum for all primary and secondary schools in Australia under progressive development, review, and implementation. The curriculum is developed and reviewed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and ...
took effect nationwide in 2014, after a
curriculum developmentCurriculum development is a process of improving the curriculum. Various approaches have been used in developing curricula. Commonly used approaches consist of analysis (i.e. need analysis, task analysis), design (i.e. objective design), selecting (i ...
process that began in 2010. Previously, each state's Education Department had traditionally established curricula. The Australian Curriculum consists of one curriculum covering eight subject areas through year 10, and another covering fifteen subjects for the
senior secondary The senior secondary years are the years of later adolescence corresponding to the later part of secondary education. Although definitions vary, the senior secondary years are sometimes defined as being from approximately age 15 to age 18. The te ...
years.


Canada

In
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...

Canada
each province and territory has the authority to create its own curriculum. However, the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (abbr. NT or NWT) is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately and a 2016 census population of 41,790, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. I ...
and
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act'', wh ...
both choose to use the
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton , largest_city = Calgary , l ...
Curriculum for select parts of their curriculum. The territories also use Alberta's standardized tests in some subjects.


South Korea

The National Curriculum of Korea covers
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally made in the late 18th ...
, primary, secondary, and
special education Special education (also known as special-needs education, aided education, exceptional education, special ed., SEN or SPED) is the practice of educating students in a way that provides accommodations that address their individual differences, d ...
. The version currently in place is the 7th National Curriculum, which has been revised in 2007 and 2009. The curriculum provides a framework for a common set of subjects through 9th grade, and elective subjects in grades 10 through 12.


Japan

The curriculum in Japan is determined based on the guidelines for education and the guidelines for learning presented by the
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology The , also known as MEXT, Monka-shō, is one of the eleven Ministries of Japan that composes part of the executive branch of the Government of Japan. Their goal is to improve the development of Japan in relation with the international community. T ...
(MEXT). When deciding on the curriculum for each school, the school's organizers will decide on the outline by referring to the manuals and explanations prepared by the Education, Science and Technology Ministry and other public offices, and the schools will decide on additional annual plans. The Courses of Education and Courses of Study are fully revised every 10 years. Before World War II, the curriculum was based on the school regulations corresponding to each school type.


The Netherlands

The Dutch system is based on directives coming from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). Primary and secondary education use key objectives to create curricula. For primary education the total number of objectives has been reduced from 122 in 1993 to 58 in 2006. Starting in 2009 and 2010 all key objectives are obligatory for primary education. The key objectives are oriented towards subject areas such as language, mathematics, orientation towards self and the world, art, and physical education. All of the objectives have accompanying concrete activities. Also final exams are determined by the OCW and required. Parts of those exams are taken in a national setting, created by the Centrale Examencommissie Vaststelling Opgaven (CEVO). Furthermore, the OCW will determine the number of hours to be spent per subject. Apart from these directives every school can determine its own curriculum.


Nigeria

In 2005, the Nigerian government adopted a national Basic Education Curriculum for grades 1 through 9. The policy was an outgrowth of the Universal Basic Education program announced in 1999, to provide free, compulsory, continuous public education for these years. In 2014, the government implemented a revised version of the national curriculum, reducing the number of subjects covered from 20 to 10.


Russia

Core curriculum has typically been highly emphasized in Soviet and Russian universities and technical institutes.


United Kingdom


England and Wales

The
National CurriculumA national curriculum is a common programme of study in schools that is designed to ensure nationwide uniformity of content and standards in education. It is usually legislated by the national government, possibly in consultation with state or other ...
was introduced into
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area ...
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; Ulster-Scots: ') is variously described as a country, province, or region which is part of the United Kingdom. Located in the northeast of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland shares a border to ...
as a nationwide curriculum for primary and secondary
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, United States * ''Our Sta ...
schools following the
Education Reform Act 1988 The Education Reform Act 1988 is widely regarded as the most important single piece of education legislation in England and Wales since the 'Butler' Education Act 1944. Provisions The main provisions of the Education Reform Act are as follows: ...
. Notwithstanding its name, it does not apply to
independent school Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level (2015) An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they ar ...
s, which may set their own curricula, but it ensures that state schools of all
local education authorities Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England and Wales that are responsible for education within their jurisdiction. The term is used to identify which council (district or county) is locally responsible for education in a ...
have a common curriculum.
Academies An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the worldwide group composed of professors and researchers at in ...
, while publicly funded, have a significant degree of autonomy in deviating from the National Curriculum. The purpose of the National Curriculum was to standardize the content taught across schools to enable
assessment Assessment may refer to: Healthcare *Health assessment, identifies needs of the patient and how those needs will be addressed *Nursing assessment, gathering information about a patient's physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual st ...
, which in turn enabled the compilation of league tables detailing the assessment statistics for each school. These league tables, together with the provision to parents of some degree of choice in assignment of the school for their child (also legislated in the same act) were intended to encourage a '
free market In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are self-regulated by buyers and sellers negotiating in an open market. In a free market, the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention ...
' by allowing parents to choose schools based on their measured ability to teach the National Curriculum.


Scotland

In
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwis ...
, the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) was introduced in August 2010 in all schools. The national qualifications were introduced in 2013 by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The national qualifications include the Life Skills Coursework (SFL),
National 3 Curriculum for Excellence is the national curriculum for Scottish schools for learners from the ages 3–18. It was developed out of a 2002 consultation exercise – the 'National Debate on Education' – undertaken by the-then Scottish Executive ...
(NAT3),
National 4 Curriculum for Excellence is the national curriculum for Scottish schools for learners from the ages 3–18. It was developed out of a 2002 consultation exercise – the 'National Debate on Education' – undertaken by the-then Scottish Executive ...
(NAT4),
National 5 Curriculum for Excellence is the national curriculum for Scottish schools for learners from the ages 3–18. It was developed out of a 2002 consultation exercise – the 'National Debate on Education' – undertaken by the-then Scottish Executive ...
(NAT5), Higher, and
Advanced HigherThe Advanced Higher is an optional qualification which forms part of the Scottish secondary education system brought in to replace the Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (CSYS). The first certification of Advanced Higher was in 2001. It is normally ta ...
.


United States

In the
U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, each
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, United States * ''Our Sta ...
, with the individual
school district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public primary and secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as units of local school districts, which ...
s, establishes the curricula taught. Each state, however, builds its curriculum with great participation of national academic subject groups selected by the
United States Department of Education The United States Department of Education (ED or DoEd), also referred to as the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It began operating on May 4, 1980, having been created after the Depa ...
such as the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Founded in 1920, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the world's largest mathematics education organization. NCTM holds annual national and regional conferences for teachers and publishes five journals. Journals NCTM publ ...
(NCTM) for mathematical instruction. The
Common Core State Standards Initiative The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative from 2010 that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in English language arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade. The initi ...
(CCSSI) promulgates a core set of standards which are specific information and skills a student needs to know at each grade level in order to graduate. States may adopt these standards in part or whole and expand upon them. Schools and states (depending on how much control a state gives to its local schools) then develop their curriculum to meet each of these standards. This coordination is intended to make it possible to use more of the same textbooks across states, and to move toward a more uniform minimum level of education attainment. According to the CCSSI, “ cisions on how to implement the standards, including the right supports to put in place, are made at the state and local levels. As such, states and localities are taking different approaches to implementing the standards and providing their teachers with the supports they need to help students successfully reach the standards.”


Higher education

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology student examines the university's main class schedule board on the first day of classes to find what classes he – and all students in his specialization (sub-major) – will attend this semester. Many educational institutions are currently trying to balance two opposing forces. On the one hand, some believe students should have a common knowledge foundation, often in the form of a core curriculum whereas others want students to be able to pursue their own educational interests, often through early specialty in a major or through the free choice of courses. This tension has received a large amount of coverage due to
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United Sta ...
's reorganization of its core requirements. An essential feature of curriculum design, seen in every college catalog and at every other level of schooling, is the identification of prerequisites for each course. These prerequisites can be satisfied by taking particular courses, and in some cases by examination, or by other means, such as work experience. In general, more advanced courses in any subject require some foundation in basic courses, but some coursework requires study in other departments, as in the sequence of math classes required for a physics major, or the language requirements for students preparing in literature, music, or scientific research. A more detailed curriculum design must deal with prerequisites within a course for each topic taken up. This in turn leads to the problems of course organization and scheduling once the dependencies between topics are known.


Core curriculum

At the
undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree. For example, in the United States, an entry-lev ...
level, individual
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college
and
university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. ...

university
administrations and faculties sometimes mandate core curricula, especially in the
liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''art'' in the sense of a learned skill rather than specifically the ...
. However, because of increasing specialization and depth in the student's major field of study, a typical core curriculum in
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion o ...
mandates a far smaller proportion of a student's course work than a
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (age 12 to 15) and upper secondary education ...

high school
or
elementary school A primary school (in Ireland, the UK & Australia), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in the US & Canada) is a school for primary education of children who are four to eleven years of age (and sometimes up to t ...

elementary school
core curriculum prescribes. Among the best known and most expansive core curricula programs at leading American colleges and universities are those of
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columb ...
and the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including ...
. Both can take up to two years to complete without
advanced standing Transfer credit, credit transfer, or advanced standing are the terms used by colleges and universities for the procedure of granting credit to a student for educational experiences or courses undertaken at another institution. This is a subset of Re ...
, and are designed to foster critical skills in a broad range of academic disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics, writing and foreign languages. In 1999, the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including ...
announced plans to reduce and modify the content of its core curriculum, including lowering the number of required courses from 21 to 15 and offering a wider range of content. When ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''NYT'' or ''NY Times'') is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won 130 Pulitzer Prizes (the most of any newspaper), and has long be ...
'', ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is an international weekly newspaper printed in magazine-format and published digitally that focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, and technology. Based in London, England, the newspaper is owned by The ...
'', and other major news outlets picked up this story, the University became the focal point of a national debate on education. The
National Association of Scholars The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is an American non-profit politically conservative advocacy group, with a particular interest in education. It opposes a perceived political correctness on college campuses and supports a return to mid-2 ...
released a statement saying, " is truly depressing to observe a steady abandonment of the University of Chicago's once imposing undergraduate core curriculum, which for so long stood as the benchmark of content and rigor among American academic institutions." Simultaneously, however, a set of university administrators, notably then-President Hugo F. Sonnenschein, argued that reducing the core curriculum had become both a financial and educational imperative, as the university was struggling to attract a commensurate volume of applicants to its undergraduate division compared to peer schools as a result of what was perceived by the pro-change camp as a reaction by "the average eighteen-year-old" to the expanse of the collegiate core. As core curricula began to diminish over the course of the twentieth century at many American schools, some smaller institutions became famous for embracing a core curriculum that covers nearly the student’s entire undergraduate education, often utilizing classic texts of the
western canon The Western canon is the body of high culture literature, music, philosophy, and works of art that is highly valued in the West: works that have achieved the status of classics. However, not all these works originate in the Western world, and su ...
to teach all subjects including science. Five
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colleges in the United States follow this approach: St. John's, Shimer,
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tra ...
, Gutenberg College and Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Thomas More.


Distribution requirements

Some colleges opt for the middle ground of the continuum between specified and unspecified curricula by using a system of distribution requirements. In such a system, students are required to take courses in particular academic fields, fields of learning, but are free to choose specific courses within those fields.


Open curriculum

Other institutions have largely done away with core requirements in their entirety. Brown University offers the Open Curriculum (Brown University), "Open Curriculum", implemented after a student-led reform movement in 1969, which allows students to take courses without concern for any requirements except those in their chosen concentrations (majors), plus two writing courses. In this vein, it is possible for students to graduate without taking college-level science or math courses, or to take only science or math courses. Amherst College requires that students take one of a list of first-year seminars, but has no required classes or distribution requirements. Similarly, Grinnell College requires students to take a First-Year Tutorial in their first semester, and has no other class or distribution requirements. Others include Evergreen State College, Hamilton College (New York), Hamilton College, and Smith College. Wesleyan University is another school that has not and does not require any set distribution of courses. However, Wesleyan does make clear "General Education Expectations" such that if a student does not meet these expectations, he/she would not be eligible for academic honors upon graduation.


Gender inequality in curricula

Gender inequality in curricula shows how men and women are not treated equally in several types of curricula. More precisely, gender inequality is visible in the curriculum of both schools and Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs). Physical education (PE) is an example where gender equality issues are highlighted because of preconceived Gender stereotyping, stereotyping of boys and girls. The general belief is that boys are better at physical activities than girls, and that girls are better at ‘home’ activities such as sewing and cooking. This is the case in many cultures around the world and is not specific to one culture only.


See also

* Academic advising * Body of knowledge * CSCOPE (education) * Curriculum studies * Educational program * Europass * Extracurricular activity * Hidden curriculum * Lesson * Lesson plan * Lifelong learning * Open source curriculum * Pedagogy * Residential curriculum * Structure of the disciplines * Sudbury schools have no curriculum * Syllabus * Unschooling emphasizes self-directed learning rather than a curriculum * Curricula in early childhood care and education


Works cited

* Bilbao, Purita P., Lucido, Paz I., Iringan, Tomasa C., and Javier, Rodrigo B. (2008). ''Curriculum Development''. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc. *


References


Gerador de currículos on-line


External links


World Council for Curriculum and Instruction

OnCourse Systems for Education - Curriculum Builder
*
UNESCO International Bureau of Education

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
{{Authority control Curricula, + Didactics