Course taster

Unit summary

You have seen how the concept and definition of a curriculum are often difficult to interpret – a problem that has hindered the very development of curriculum studies as a field. Definitions do not solve curriculum problems, but they do provide a useful perspective from which to view them. What is important is that whatever the definition, it should help educators with the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the curriculum.

A curriculum comprises a number of components, both formal and informal, and the taught curriculum does not always match the intended (operational) curriculum.

Curriculum design, development and planning may adhere to established models, which are typically defined by content, products and processes.


In this activity, you will study your own setting and briefly report on the composition of the curriculum relating to a chosen programme/course of learning.

Select a short programme of study in which you are involved or of which you have knowledge. Consider the following questions:

1 - What is the official curriculum for this programme, and where is it documented?

2 - Do you think the taught curriculum matches the official curriculum? If not, can you offer reasons why?

3 - How does each of the components of a curriculum (as outlined in this unit) apply to your selected programme?

4 - Which curriculum models apply to your selected programme?

In answer to these questions, write a short statement (200 - 300 words) in your Personal Journal (The link to the Personal Journal is not available in this course taster). You should spend 2-3 hours on this.