An introduction to curriculum

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Curriculum is a vast and complex field. Most simply, curriculum can be defined as a ‘course of study’, though in the context of today’s society and school system the concept of curriculum is highly contested and often misunderstood (Priestly 2019).  Taking curriculum in its broadest sense, we can appreciate that every part of school life plays an important role in delivering curriculum and teaching children and young people. Curriculum is manifested both through the ways that schools and subject areas interpret and design courses of academic learning, and also through the ‘hidden curriculum’. This term refers to almost everything not subject-related in schools, including: Non-academic learning promoted by schools (through the attitudes, values and culture promoted by the school) The physical environment of the school The social environment of the school Unconscious teaching that occurs in the classroom.  (Priestley, 2019) Taking this holistic view, we can see that curricu

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. A
    Angela Murphy

    A really useful introduction to the principles behind curriculum design and the importance of collaboration and holistic planning to achieve this. Thank you.

  2. S
    Sakira Arthur

    This video highlighted how complex designing a curriculum is, with many elements that need to be considered. Very eye opening!

  3. M
    Mr Rupert Ibbotson

    A good introduction to the complexities of designing a curriculum that effectively addresses the importance of sequencing and development.

  4. L
    Luke Mazingham

    I like how Tom spoke about choosing that big picture, and then as we have learned throughout the last couple of weeks, using smaller chunks so the pupils aren’t dealing with cognitive overload.

  5. A
    Abigail Cox

    I really enjoyed this, it makes you think about the real complexities of a curriculum and the joy of delivering one collaboratively with the rest of your department.

  6. G
    Gina Plimley Gadd

    It seems obvious now that I’ve read this article, but I was struck by the notion that a curriculum is not just the academic learning that takes place in a classroom, but the “totality of learning” based on the explicit subject curriculum as well as the “hidden curriculum” – and the phrase “unconscious teaching in classrooms” was quite powerful as well, and how we have to be aware not just of the subject-related material we are teaching our students but what else we might be teaching them without realising it. Bit scary to think about but so good to be aware of.

  7. D
    Declan Hill

    Very interesting ideas about designing a curriculum, and especially about the experience of the curriculum. Should it be purely exam and qualification-based or could it have a holistic element to it which explores elements not covered by the assessment criteria? And when would this take place?

  8. M
    Michelle Coles

    This video made me deeply consider the intricacies of designing a curriculum. I like that it promotes collaboration and community. Thank you!

  9. M
    Miss Fiona Purdy

    A good insight into the foundations of what must be considered in curriculum design in order to create a rich, deep and challenging learning experience!

  10. L
    Lydia Marsh

    A really interesting read and video which highlighted the complexity of designing a curriculum and how important it is to consider a range of ideas and approaches

  11. G
    Gemma Goulding

    A brilliant video from Tom, some really interesting points to think about when it comes to curriculum design

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