How to Create Flexible & Innovative Curriculum

Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Are you looking for ideas about how to improve your current curriculum or make new curriculum that is flexible and innovative? This article provides insights and recommendations for transforming the curriculum design process to work better for both you and your students. Let's start with an overview of the design process.

Developing Flexible and Innovative Curriculum

Flexibility & Innovation

Curriculum Design Overview

Curriculum design is both an art and a science. It is often challenging and may require extensive practice in order to be effective, efficient and adaptable for various situations. Many contexts must be considered; these include the type of school (public, private or alternative), the level of instruction (elementary, secondary or tertiary), the ages of the students, the number of students, and the topic of instruction.

Other factors, such as geographic location, the socio-economic status of the student population, the language backgrounds of the learners, and the learners' cultural backgrounds may also be important considerations when designing curriculum. In order to identify the best way to create a flexible and innovative curriculum for your subject, let's look at each of these factors in more detail.

Considerations for Unique Contexts

Most public schools in the United States have required policies and procedures about what students are taught and, in many cases, how teachers must teach. Private and alternative schools also have policies, but they are generally able to afford a teacher's autonomy, in terms of both content and instruction. This is the starting point: Determine what you are and are not able to do according to your school's policies.

The level of instruction will also influence how flexibility and innovation are integrated into the curriculum. Generally, elementary teachers have a smaller number of students to work with while upper level teachers may see several hundreds of students on a regular basis, and the ability to individualize instruction decreases as class sizes increase.

We must also consider the ages and corresponding cognitive development stages of learners. This, of course, is linked to maturity and the ability for learners to comprehend complex, sophisticated and abstract concepts. The study of philosophy is one example of a topic that may be excessively challenging for younger minds.

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