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Definition of Curriculum

Definition of Curriculum

Bloom (2006:6) states that curriculum is typically considered to be the official written document from a higher authority, such as the local school district or school board. Such a document is seen as a mandated template that must be followed by all teachers. Unfortunately, in many cases, teachers are supposed to follow such a mandated curriculum.

Braslavsky (1999: 2) states that according to the history of education, the term ‘curriculum’ was originally related to the concept of a course of studies followed by a pupil in a teaching institution. The concept of curriculum has evolved and gained in importance. Increasingly, it is used universally within the framework of globalization, the theory of pedagogy and the sociology of education. At the same time, the concept acquired such an importance that since the 1990s certain authors underscored the risk of an invading epistemology (i.e. the concept being used to indicate all dimensions of the educational process, without allowing any differentiated analytical approach to its complexity).

In fact, the term curriculum is mostly used to refer to the existing contract between society, the state and educational professionals with regard to the educational experiences that learners should undergo during a certain phase of their lives. For the majority of authors and experts, the curriculum defines: (i) why; (ii)  what; (iii) when; (iv) where; (v) how; and (vi) with whom to learn.

Using educational concepts, we can say that the curriculum defines the educational foundations and contents, their sequencing in relation to the amount of time available for the learning experiences, the characteristics of the teaching institutions, the characteristics of the learning experiences, in particular from the point of view of methods to be used, the resources for learning and teaching (e.g. textbooks and new technologies), evaluation and teachers’ profiles.


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