Meaning and Definitions of Curriculum


Meaning of Curriculum

What to teach students in school? How to teach? When to teach? What was the effect of teaching? Such questions are a basic problem for a school or teacher. These questions point to the basic functions of schools and teachers in the formulation of educational programs, teaching and learning operations, and management. So these questions include important aspects related to the curriculum such as: what kind of knowledge, skills, and experiences to impart? That is, what knowledge, skills, and experiences are most important to a student? What kind of teaching and learning activities can easily impart the expected knowledge, skills, and experiences to the students? What time, age, and method are useful for this? How to find out what a student has learned or not learned? Seems to be trying to mention such aspects

In the traditional sense, the curriculum was the form of subject matter that students learned in the classroom. At that time there was no difference between curriculum and syllabus However, nowadays the lessons that students study in the classroom are considered only a part of the curriculum, not the entire curriculum. Therefore, in the modern sense, the curriculum has been broadened as a means of all-around development of children without limiting it to the curriculum.

In a broad sense, the curriculum
covers aspects of which children should develop, what kind of experiences should be provided to them, and how the necessary knowledge, skills, and perceptions can be developed in children by advancing those experiences. It seeks to cover all the educational experiences that children can gain inside or outside the school.

Not only subjects and students are included in the curriculum, but teachers are also an integral part of the curriculum. The curriculum also mentions how it is best to provide experiences to students. Such experiences are reflected in the teacher's teaching method.

The curriculum determines the subjects to be studied according to the needs of society and the individual. It also mentions the experiences that children need to gain, the work that teachers need to do to gain experience, and the evaluation process to find out whether or not children have been able to acquire the specified experiences.

The curriculum provides guidance on the basis of CRA research on what activities should be conducted for the development of children according to the social environment keeping in view the needs and interests of the students. Under this direction, efforts are made to produce the necessary manpower for society by operating the formal education system. In this way, the course can be taken as a guide. That is, the curriculum provides instruction to educators to work according to the needs of individuals and society by following certain norms.

In fact, the curriculum is a plan. What skills can students acquire in a given period of time according to their age and ability? Similarly, the curriculum is a pre-planning of all educational activities, including what kind of educational system can be taken forward to acquire these skills. The curriculum sets definite objectives. Based on the goals set in the curriculum, the learning achievement that should be developed in each student within the specified period, that is, the knowledge, skill, or perception that should be developed in the student and what kind of efforts should be made to develop those knowledge, skills or perceptions. It also includes assessment methods to assess each student's learning achievement. The curriculum is a comprehensive plan designed to advance any educational program in an organized and planned manner and to achieve the set objectives. It summarizes all the students' experiences.

In order to clarify the meaning of the curriculum, the literal (Etymological), narrow, and broad (wider) meaning of the curriculum, some definitions are presented.

Etymological Meaning of Curriculum

The word Curriculum is thought to have originated from the Latin word Current. This means racecourse or runway. The course has been taken as a race ground for the students studying in the classroom. The process adopted by the children to fulfill the objectives set in the curriculum or learning is considered to be a kind of race to reach the goal. Therefore, it is clear that the format of the curriculum is the way forward to achieve the goal based on the literal meaning.

Narrower Meaning of Curriculum

In a nutshell, the curriculum is only taken as a syllabus. The idea that the curriculum was a detailed list of what to teach had existed for a long time. In some places, this notion still exists. In this sense, if you look at the curriculum, you cannot find any other elements in the curriculum except the list of subjects. Children's expenses, aspirations, and standards cannot be accommodated in this narrow sense. In this sense, the curriculum is the subject taught in the school. The curriculum is just a sequence of subjects.

The broader meaning of the curriculum (Wider Meaning of Curriculum)

The broader meaning of the curriculum is to look at the curriculum as a document that includes all the elements needed to guide a learner's learning. It seeks to integrate the entire educational experience of children. In this sense, the curriculum is a document that deals with other aspects related to pedagogy such as human relations, teaching methods, educational materials, assessment process, psychological level, and child learning patterns. Similarly, the curriculum also serves to guide the interests, abilities, and qualifications of the children. Therefore, looking at the curriculum in a broad sense covers the integral parts of teaching and learning such as objectives, learning achievement, content, teaching methods, and evaluation. Thus the curriculum covers the educational experience, teaching-learning activities, learning environment, and learning person.

Some Definitions of Curriculum

The curriculum includes all the experiences of the learners involved in the program to help the learner's mental, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and moral development inside and outside the school.

The curriculum includes all the learner's experiences in or outside school that are included in a program that has been devised to help him to develop mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and morally. - Crow and Crow

The curriculum is the educational program designed to achieve the goal of education Curriculum is an instructional program designed to achieve the aims of education. -NESP 2028

Curriculum refers to all the experiences according to the plans and instructions prepared by the school and the teacher for the students to achieve the objectives of education. The curriculum is all the experiences of the pupil which are planned and directed by the school and teacher to attain objectives of education. - UNESCO

(The course should be taken as the highest point of all knowledge and experience of mankind.) The curriculum should be conceived as an epitome of a rounded whole of the knowledge and experience of the human race. -Froebel

The curriculum is the tool used to prepare the student according to his / her motto (objective).

“It (Curriculum) is a tool in the hands of an artist (teacher) to mold his material (pupil) according to his ideal (objective) in his studio (school)

The curriculum is the entire effort to achieve the expected achievements inside or outside the school. - Saylor and Alexander

The curriculum is defined as all of the planned experiences provided by the school to assist pupils in attaining the designated learning outcomes to the best of their abilities. - Neagley and Evans

The curriculum includes all those activities which are utilized by the school to attain its aims of education. -Moureoe

All of the learning of students that is planned by and directed by the school to attain its educational goals is the curriculum. - Ralph Tyler

The curriculum is a plan for learning. - Hilda Taba

Although there are literal differences in the definitions mentioned, most of them have taken the curriculum in the broadest sense as a complete plan of teaching and learning for children. In this way, we have to look at the curriculum as a plan of teaching and learning for the children.

In addition to the planned learning opportunities, the experiences gained by the learners during the implementation of the curriculum should also be included. According to this approach, the curriculum is not only a document of the teaching-learning plan but also the experiences gained from the implementation of the plan. So the curriculum has to be taken as a dynamic process that is given dynamism by continuous improvement through experiences gained during implementation.

Therefore, the curriculum not only records why what and how to teach but also indicates how the plan is being implemented in the school or any other educational institution. By defining the curriculum according to this concept, the curriculum includes the learning experiences planned by the educational institution or school, which are organized as written documents, and also the experiences gained during the implementation of those documents. Thus this concept of curriculum is intended.

The meaning of the curriculum will not remain until it is made clear that it will be implemented.

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