Types of Curriculum Models

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  • 0:00 What Are Curriculum Models?
  • 0:57 Key Curriculum Components
  • 1:33 Product and Process Models
  • 2:13 Curriculum Model Frameworks
  • 3:36 Popular Curriculum Models
  • 6:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Educators use guides to help them decide what, when, and how to teach. These curriculum guides are based on models. Have you ever thought about where your lesson plans came from? Let's take a look at how curriculum models mold our teaching.

What Are Curriculum Models?

To understand curriculum models we need to take a step back and talk about curriculum itself. Curriculum can be defined as a plan used in education that directs teacher instruction. Many districts and schools use a tool designed to help teachers pace their lessons, called a curriculum guide. But a curriculum and a curriculum guide don't just come out of thin air. Time and energy goes into the creation of these documents. This process is known as curriculum development.

All of these things are based on a curriculum model. A model is really the first step in curriculum development. A curriculum model determines the type of curriculum used; it encompasses educational philosophy, approach to teaching, and methodology. The good news is, unless you've been hired to design curriculum, you won't come across many curriculum models. However, it's good for educators to be familiar with the models used in their schools.

Key Curriculum Components

Curriculum models have five areas they define, each looking at education from a different slant. The focus concept looks at a subject or a student and centers instruction on them. The approach component is a traditional or modern method and looks at the type of instruction that will be used. In the content component, a slant towards a topic-based or content-based is used, asking how units or strands will be written. The process structure looks at assessment: formative or accumulative. Finally, structure components focus on the system of review, determining how the curriculum will come up for revision.

Product and Process Models

Curriculum models can be broken down into two very broad models, the product model and the process model. Luckily, these two models are just as they sound.

  • The Product Model - You may see this in portions of your curriculum. This model is focused on results, like grades or reaching an objective. The majority of the weight is focused more on the finished product than what is happening in the learning process.
  • The Process Model - Conversely, this process model focuses on how things happen in the learning and is more open-ended. Curriculum focusing on the process model emphasizes how students are learning, what their thinking is, and how it will impact future learning.

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