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Curriculum Designing Guidelines Essay

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Updated: Sep 26th, 2020

A curriculum is an integral part of any systematic educational process. However, the creation of an effective curriculum and the revision of existing curricula may be difficult. It is stated that the teacher involvement in the processes of such creation and revision may lead to significantly better curricula (Huizinga, Handelzalts, Nieveen, & Voogt, 2014). Therefore, it is important for teachers to understand the process of curriculum designing.

In this paper, some guidelines for curriculum creation and revision will be provided; in particular, a number of guiding questions for curriculum designing will be offered, some recommendations for its revision will be supplied, and the issue of devising assessments will be discussed.

While designing a curriculum, it is important to consider a number of guiding questions. First, it is paramount to ask oneself what the aims of the course the curriculum of which is being created are. For instance, a history course for ninth-grade students will likely be aimed at giving the learners a broad picture of the described period and providing them with chance to learn to critically read and understand the materials, while a university’s course in history for history students will most likely be aimed at in-depth understanding of the period in question.

Second, it is recommended to take into account the audience. For example, a statistics course for mathematicians will differ from a statistics course for sociologists. (It is possible to see that the first two issues are interconnected.) Third, a curriculum needs to be consistent; this requirement may often cause difficulties for curriculum designers (Huizinga et al., 2014). Fourth, it is important that a curriculum allows for employing innovative educational techniques where appropriate, for example, blended learning (Mirriahi, Alonzo, & Fox, 2015).

And, fifth, a curriculum should be up-to-date, ought to include information that was uncovered in recent studies, and needs to be relevant to the current and the forecast needs of the society (O’Keefe, 2013).

Because of the need of an educational course to be up-to-date, it is paramount to regularly revise and update its curriculum. It is possible to state that the frequency of carrying out such updates cannot be universally prescribed, but depends on the discipline that is being taught and on the needs of the society. For instance, in an ancient history class, it may not be crucial to substantially revise the course every year; however, at least minor updates that would show the importance of the discussed topics from the point of view of the current events, and ones that would include recent findings, should be carried out.

At the same time, a course in modern history requires more frequent updates. Finally, the curricula for such disciplines as medicine or technology should be revised often, for much new knowledge pertaining to these spheres appears every day (O’Keefe, 2013).

An essential part of a curriculum is the assessment techniques. These should be related to the aims of the course. For instance, a high-school student may be required to show their skill of critically comparing a few pieces of data in a history course, whereas a university student of history should also demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the events. The descriptions of different tasks (as well as the curricula of whole courses) may also include rubrics, for they provide a way for a student to understand what exactly is expected from them.

To sum up, it should be stressed that, while creating a curriculum, it is paramount to take into account a number of issues, such as the aim of the course, the audience, the curriculum’s consistency, the use of innovative educational techniques, and the needs of the society. It is also important to regularly revise the curriculum (however, the frequency of revisions should depend on the specifics of the course), and to create proper assessment techniques that would be related to the aims of the course and be convenient for both the student and the teacher.

References

Huizinga, T., Handelzalts, A., Nieveen, N., & Voogt, J. M. (2014). Teacher involvement in curriculum design: Need for support to enhance teachers’ design expertise. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46(1), 33-57. Web.

Mirriahi, N., Alonzo, D., & Fox, B. (2015). A blended learning framework for curriculum design and professional development. Research in Learning Technology, 23, 1-14. Web.

O’Keefe, R. D. (2013). Applying principles of innovation to curriculum revision. International Journal of Innovation Science, 5(3), 173-178. Web.

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