What is a curriculum?
A curriculum is a collection of lessons and assessments taught by a teacher in an educational institution. Or, to put it another way, it describes the totality of experiences a student will have when taught in an institution by a teacher.
Why the curriculum is important
A curriculum is essential because it imposes some order onto what is taught in an educational institution. It communicates clear expectations for teachers and students about what ought to be achieved by the end point of the course.
Having a curriculum allows students to pass between institutions so they can progress and get further qualifications. At the primary and secondary school levels, many students will move between schools; this is why a curriculum is essential. It means that schools are standardized and students will not suffer or miss out on teaching just because they move from one school to another.
What’s more, it sets a goal for all students to reach at the end of the primary school years. Moreover, all primary schools follow a curriculum, so they are prepared to the same level when they start studying at the secondary school level.
What are the different types of the curriculum?
There are several different ways to design a curriculum. These include a subject-centered design, which can be found in most schools across the UK; this will involve following a particular subject or discipline, such as mathematics and biology, and ensuring that a core set of knowledge is communicated to students throughout the course.
There is also a learner-centered or problem-centered curriculum design, which emphasizes what the students wish to learn or how they might solve a problem.
The subject of English in the UK follows a spiral curriculum design where each topic is covered several times throughout the student’s career, at a greater depth each time. Allowing students to become familiar with certain concepts at a young age and build on them each time they encounter them later.