Identifying the Scope of Curriculum Development

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  • 0:02 What Is Curriculum?
  • 0:53 School & Districtwide Plans
  • 1:55 Unit Plans
  • 3:07 Lesson Plans
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Curriculum can be overwhelming if you as a teacher are unable to define its scope. In this lesson, you will learn to identify the scope of curriculum development and think about how the scope impacts your work within a curriculum.

What Is Curriculum?

Who's in charge of a curriculum? Did you think the district or the principal or the teacher? Surprisingly, the answer is more like: life! Broadly defined, curriculum refers to everything that students learn, are taught, or even are exposed to, both in school and in the world at large. When we talk about curriculum development, though, we are usually talking about curriculum that teachers and administrators consciously plan for.

Defining the scope, or breadth and parameters, of curriculum is important for multiple reasons:

  • To avoid being overwhelmed by or unfocused in curriculum planning
  • To help you assess students' readiness for and receptiveness to a particular curriculum
  • To help you collaborate with families and other teachers to make sure students are having a coherent, meaningful experience with learning

Schoolwide and Districtwide Plans

Sometimes, a curricular scope can contain an entire school or even district's approach to a subject area. In this case, curriculum development might include buying a prepackaged program, or publishing a school or district-specific guide to expectations of student development over the years in this content area or skill set.

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