Defining Cirriculum

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Curriculum is a term that has many different meanings or uses. Theses uses differ greatly in many of the writings of professional educators with regard to their definition or terminology, so it is often difficult to actually reconcile these differences. Despite the fact that professionals defining curriculum have tried to restrict the meaning of the word, they still do not agree on the foundation or basis of the term, which would have to be taken into consideration when hoping to define it with a degree of legitimacy or credibility. In 1856, the word “curriculum” first appeared in Webster’s Dictionary and it was presented as a course that especially was taught at University. Later, the definition curriculum was mentioned and published by an American educationist John Franklin Bobbitt in 1918. In 1918, Bobbitt wrote his first writing in explaining the meaning of curriculum in his essay “The Curriculum: a summary of the development concerning the theory of the curriculum”. Bobbitt stated that curriculum came from the Latin word for “race-course”. Moreover, he clarified curriculum as “the course of deeds and experiences through which children become the adults they should be, for success in the adult society”. Traditionally, curriculum is defined or recognized as the sum of information, facts, concepts, ideas, and experiences that is delivered to students by teachers. But, the modern concept of curriculum is different from the traditional concept because curriculum definition is developed due to several reasons such as cultural changes resulting from scientific and technical development, the change in the objectives of education and the nature of the curriculum itself affected by students, environment, cultures, society, and theories...

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...hips with others. On the other hand, overt curriculum is the written or the official curriculum which it “gives the basic lesson plan to be followed” in the classroom. Furthermore, the overt curriculum provides the students with science, mathematics, literature, and social studies. Many educators define this type of curriculum as subject matter curriculum. However, there are many other types of curriculum such as the null curriculum, societal curriculum, received curriculum, and phantom curriculum.

Lastly, educators have to differentiate between “curriculum” and “syllabus”. As it was mentioned in this paper, curriculum is the set of the experiences that are offered by the school to its students. However, syllabus is an outline of the course that includes a brief overview of the course objective, assignments, reading list, exam dates, and course expectation.
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