What Is Curriculum Development?

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Curriculum development - what is it? It is 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.

Another topic to be discussed in this article about what curriculum development is that in the year 1959, there gathered at Woods Hole on Cape Cod a group of 35 scientists, educators, and scholars with the intention of conversing about how to improve science education, with the purpose of "examining the fundamental procedure concerned in passing on to students a intellect of the matter and technique of science" '(Bruner, 1960, p. xvii)' (taken from a Curriculum Development report done by Judith Howard of the Department of Education in Elon University) They met for ten days, decided on themes and ideas about education that would have major implications for both science education and also for education in general. In the book, The Process of Education, Jerome Bruner discussed an account of the more important themes and conclusions that had emerged from that meeting. The chapter which discusses the importance of structure is one which speaks most directly about the development of curriculum, though the whole book is worth reading and rereading.

What was done at that conference was the creation of the structural theme that helped in the development of the focal points of curricula. The basic structures, which were developed to help, in turn, in the development of curricula in the aforementioned meeting, are comprised of vital ideas, like "supply and demand" (economics), "conflict" (history), or energy (physics), as well as the relationships between them. Such notions, when comprehended, make sure that students are able to be aware of many of the phenomena in that regulation as well as other analogous phenomena that may have been tackled in other places.

That report which this was information was taken from, has also referenced another author who discussed curriculum development a decade earlier than Jerome Bruner, named Ralph Tyler, who did so in his model text on curriculum development. His work was centered on the following four ideas:

1. To determine what educational principles must be reached by schools

2. The best way of deciding what kinds of learning experiences are apt to be valuable in reaching these objectives

3. The best way of putting in order familiarity of learning for effective instruction

4. The best way of evaluating aforementioned familiarity of learning (learning experiences)

Finally, to review, what is curriculum development? It is the idea of organized preparation of what should be taught to students at a given time in a given year. They are made into certified documents, as guides to teachers, and made mandatory.

More Information On Curriculum Development

  1. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  2. Eld!n - Science Curriculum
  3. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium