Curriculum design is a term that is used to describe the systematic, deliberate, and purposeful organization of instructional blocks (curriculum) within a course or class. To put it another way, it’s a way for teachers to plan how and what they are going to teach.

When a teacher designs a curriculum, they point out what’s going to be done, who’s going to do it, and what schedule they are going to follow.

There are several different types of curriculum design that teachers and parents should know about. By knowing what the different types are, parents and teachers will be able to make more informed and confident decisions about how to teach children.

Are you interested in learning more about the different types of curriculum? If you are, then keep on reading and we will walk you through everything that you want to know.

Purpose of Curriculum Design

A teacher needs to design every curriculum with a specific educational purpose in mind.

The main goal is to help the students learn. However, there are also other reasons to utilize curriculum design.

For example, if you were to design a curriculum for middle school students with both high school and elementary curricula in mind, to help make sure that learning goals are able to help the student transition from one grade to the next.

If a teacher designs a middle school curriculum without taking elementary or high school curriculum into considerations, then the student may not be able to make a smooth transition as they progress from one grade to another.

You also want to make sure that you only consider high-quality schools, such as Royal Public Schools.

Types of Curriculum Design

There are three main types of curriculum design that you should know about. Let’s go over them below.

Subject-Centered Curriculum Design

This is a type of curriculum design that focuses on a certain discipline or subject matter. For example, the curriculum might focus on science or history.

This kind of curriculum usually deals with the subject instead of the individual. Of the more than 100,000 schools in the United States, this seems to be the most common kind of curriculum.

This kind of curriculum design is about what needs to be studied and also how students should study it. An example of a subject-centered design curriculum is core curriculum. That means it can be standardized across school districts, states, and the United States as a whole.

In standardized core curricula, teachers need to provide a pre-set list of items that they need to teach their students. As well as specific examples of how these items should be taught.

You also can find these kinds of curriculum designs in big college classes where professors focus on a certain discipline or subject.

The biggest downside of this kind of curriculum design is that it’s not centered on the individual students. In particular, subject-centered curriculum design is built without taking specific learning styles of the students into account. This can lead to issues with student motivation and engagement and might even cause children to fall behind in class.

Learner-Centered Curriculum Design

As opposed to subject-centered curriculum design,  learner-centered curriculum design takes into consideration the goals, interests, and needs of the student. To put it another way, it acknowledges that students are unique and it adjusts to the needs of the students.

This kind of curriculum design is supposed to empower students and help them shape their education through choices.

Instructional plans in this kind of curriculum are differentiated. It gives children the chance to choose activities, learning experiences, and assignments. This can motivate kids and help them maintain engagement in the material that they’re learning.

The main downside of this kind of curriculum design is that it’s labor-intensive. Developing differentiated instruction puts pressure on the instructor to create instruction and/or tools that are helpful to each student’s learning requirements.

Teachers might not have the time. Or they might lack the skills or experience to make such a plan.

This kind of design also requires instructors to balance student interests and wants with students’ needs and required outcomes.

Problem-Centered Curriculum Design

Similar to learner-centered curriculum design, this kind of curriculum design is also a type of student-centered design. Problem-centered curricula focus on teaching children how to identify a problem and come up with an answer to the problem.

Students are then exposed to real-life problems, which helps them develop skills that can be implemented in the real world.

This kind of curriculum design boosts the relevance of the curriculum and lets students be innovative and creative as they learn.

The downside to problem-centered curriculum design is that it doesn’t always take learning styles into consideration.

Curriculum Design Tips

There are several curriculum design tips that are worth knowing about. First, you should identify the stakeholders. This tends to be the students.

You should know what the student already knows and what they need to know in order to be proficient.

You should also make a clear list of learning outcomes and goals.

Lastly, you want to identify your constraints.

The Importance of Knowing About the Different Types of Curriculum

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of the different types of curriculum. As we can see, by knowing about the different types, you will be able to make better decisions about how to teach your students.

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