EDU 6500 Curriculum Construction

January 14, 2007

Definition of Curriculum

Filed under: Curriculum,Definition,Session 1,Session 2 @ 10:08 am and

After a small group discussion, our class came up with the following definition of curriculum:

Definition of Curriculum

1.  what you teach, why, when, how
theme teaching
content, standards, materials, experience
implementation of content using assessment to achieve objectives and goals

Read the following pages in your book:
Curr. Plan – page 7-9, 11
2.  Understand by design  page 340-341
Respond to this post on your expanded version of curriculum as a result of your readings.


  1.   claudineday — January 16, 2007 @ 6:29 pm    

    I like the way Caswell and Campbell, from the Curriculum Planning book, defined curriculum as all the experiences children have under the guidance of teachers.” (p. 8) I can relate to this quote because I teach small children and I facilitate a learning environment engaged through play and manipulatives. My students are creating new experiences everyday through my guidance.

  2.   Tim Kramer — January 17, 2007 @ 9:49 pm    

    McNeil described live curriculum as “when teachers and students engage in classroom activities that they find meaningful.” I think this is a solid definition because it encompasses the material that comes from the textbooks, supplemental material, discussion, as well as those other teachable moments that come up seemingly every day. While there are a lot of sub-topics that go into curriculum, I like to think of everything we do with our students as a meaningful part of why we teach and, hopefully, why our students come to school.

  3.   Julie Klawitter — January 18, 2007 @ 7:31 pm    

    I believe that the definition of curriculum must be broad so to incorporate all the experiences that children go through at school, at home, on the way to school and in the community. The hidden curriculum should be addressed as well.

  4.   Dana — January 18, 2007 @ 7:32 pm    

    Dear Dana,
    You are so smart. While I was reading I came across the perfect quote–”Coverage leaves students with no sense of the whole that seems so obvious to the expert–all but few most able students will get lost, and perhaps alienated.” This is so true, well what does one do? I will keep reading to see if I can figure it out.

  5.   Laura Anderson — January 18, 2007 @ 7:37 pm    

    I like the idea of curriculum being related to student outcomes rather than what is taught. It is more about teaching students math instead of teaching math to students. The focus is on what the student gets out of the experience.

  6.   Joe Soss — January 18, 2007 @ 7:38 pm    

    The best definition for curriculum seem to be one that incorporates a compilation of definitions from a variety of sources. There clealy is no perfect definition that can be applied to every situation. Individuals can and should be able to manipulate the curriculum concept to best meet the needs of their schools, community, and individual students.

  7.   Becki Micheletti — January 18, 2007 @ 7:39 pm    

    Tim and Claud touched upon what I think is so vital. As long as the students are actively engaged in their learning using combinations of books and life experiences, plus guidance from a teacher. Our objective should be to keep students engaged and active participants in their learning.

  8.   Monica Nawrocki — January 18, 2007 @ 7:39 pm    

    I agree with Tim’s quote. Curriculum becomes more meaningful when teachers and students are engaged in classroom activities. I am always looking for intesting ways to teach (engage) students. I still teach content but I do my best to provide them with a variety of ways to learn the material. We do not rely solely on the text book, but we also use supplemental materials and discussions that hopefully enhance student learning.

  9.   Cindi — January 18, 2007 @ 7:53 pm    

    I like Laura’s ideas about it being more about outcomes and what students get out of the experience. We want students to be able to use what they are learning.

  10.   julie klawitter — January 23, 2007 @ 9:17 pm    

    Hello everyone,

    After reading UbD this week I like some of the language the authors use in reference to curriculum which we did not mention in class such as a plan, a map, a blueprint or the particular “course to be run” on the way to effective and engaged teaching and learning ( I think it is important to include both of those parts in the definition). I particularly like the idea of a blueprint. An architecht does not just design a house just for the fun of it and just for something to do. No, he has a client who has a particular product in mind. The architect is merely the facilitator who carries out the client’s wishes in design form and gives the builders something to work with when actually creating the house. Hence, backward design! JAWOHL!

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