Curriculum Theory

Curriculum Theory

  • Shaaban Fundi asked a question:
    Would you use the VARK Questionnaire to determine students' learning preferences in a dissertation study?

    Would you use the VARK Questionnaire to determine students' learning preferences in a dissertation study?

  • Hanzhou Pang added an answer:
    Could you give me any information or suggest any methodology about emotional intelligence in multicultural higher education?

    I'm currently trying to shape a project to focus on emotional intelligence in multicultural education. My plan is to approach this in these following directions: policies regarding international students and faculty members, how mentors train their TAs or Postdocs about intercultural teaching assignments, multicultural classroom discourse, and feedback to multicultural class members. Could you give any information about these directions? Could you suggest any methodology?

    Most universities have international programs that provide orientation and consultation services to international students and scholars. I would have to find those policies that deal with emotional issues from the administrators. Do you know how to get those?

    I was an English Writing instructor and writing tutor in US for 11 years, assistant professor of English in Seoul, Korea, and Khabarovsk, Russian. I need to collect more samples of feedback [speaking or writing] to multicultural class members.

    Most researchers are good at survey or primary research design. But I'm new. How can I get any potential information from multicultural students, instructors, and administrators? Thank you.

    Hanzhou Pang

    Hanzhou Pang · National Research University Higher School of Economics

    Thanks, Shawn. My best wishes. Hanzhou

  • Mustafa Yilmaz added an answer:
    How have PISA results influenced educational policies in your nation?

    At this moment in Brazil, the government is designing a National Curriculum for Basic Education.

    Mustafa Yilmaz · University of Kansas

    Dear Dr. Johnson,

    (I have typed a longer version of my comment, but then my internet browser caused me loose it. Here is I wanted say with that comment in summary)

    First, I appreciate your valuable comment and recommendation, but respectfully I do not want to keep the discussion turning around the association between the failure/success of the US in international assessments and its economic achievements because I believe time will be a better judge in that concern. The only thing I want to add is that I DID READ Tienken's paper, and as you may have seen in my previous posting, I have a lot of question about the methodology specifically when I consider the strong opinion the author has at the end of the analysis even though I see the point he wants to make. I wanted to mention what I think about the research because I believe what PEOPLE THINK about a hypothesis or a study is the ONLY thing that MATTERS to establish and advance of way of thinking and making correct decisions about phenomenons. As I mentioned in my previous posting I understand the value of the Tienken's study and I accept it as a preliminary analysis for future studies, but the analysis does not take me to the point the paper intended to reach basically because it has too shallow statistical examination of the extremely complex relation between a country's educational outcome and its economic position. I have a lot more to discuss, but I do not want to be disrespectful to the main topic of the discussion question. That is why it is all I want to add now.



  • James Williams added an answer:
    In what diverse ways can qualification-inflation lead to the devaluation of the academic currency?

    In recent times, emphasis in education especially in developing countries has been placed on quantity of school products than on quality of the products. Schools at almost all levels are 'mushrooming' or springing up due to a desire to make education more accessible to many. In so doing, the tendency to sacrifice quality is a possibility. The consequence is production of a lot of so-called graduates without the requisite academic and social skills to change society.   

    James Williams · Soka University Of America

    Katara, based on what I view as his very negative assessment of teachers, I suspect that Erasmus' experience in education is quite different from mine.  He appears to believe that I work with only elite students. Nothing could be farther from the truth, even at the elite universities where I have worked in the past:  UCLA, University of Southern California, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Even at these school, most students enter with remedial proficiency in reading, writing, and math, owing to the large-scale failure of public education.  A single example can, I believe, be generalized to what I do with these unprepared students.  

    Five years ago, a third-year university student enrolled in one of my classes, and I quickly saw that she had very low reading proficiency and could barely write.  I asked her how she had managed to get through two years of university classes, and she said that her teachers were easy and really didn't ask her to do any writing or reading; thus they were unaware of her difficulties.  I then asked her whether she wanted to learn.  She said "yes," so I asked whether she was willing to do the hard work necessary.  Again, she said "yes."  From that point on, I met with her every afternoon for 1-2 hours, helping her develop her academic vocabulary and working with her on writing.  We did this for about 5 months.  She was able to pass my class, and then she asked me to continue tutoring her during her senior year as her capstone mentor.  I agreed.  We continued our afternoon sessions throughout her senior year.  Her writing and reading improved so much that she earned a top grade on her capstone.  After she graduated, she went on to a doctoral program in psychology and will be completing her PhD next June.  Not all of my students go on the doctoral programs, but when they leave my care, they can perform academic tasks better than they ever could before.

    What I find insulting is Erasmus' assumption that any professor would spurn such students.  Perhaps they do at his school.  I am always available to students who want my help, even at night and on weekends.  As for the "blame" issue, I do not blame students and did not in my previous posts, for they are the victims of a failed education system, but I most certainly do blame our schools, teachers who don't teach, and politicians who are willing to perpetuate failure through failed policies. 

  • Would you recommend any good reference which provides a guideline for third level curriculum and/or module design?

    Looking for "best practice" approach towards designing a new course. I have many references but seeking a good guideline to support the process.

    Many thanks.

    Javier Alberto Carvajal Jaramillo · Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia

    While it's true, all design fits a context, I have a recommendation for curriculum design have been nurtured over time.

  • Tricia James added an answer:
    How can I utilize my word wall to make it more meaningful for students, particularly those with learning disabilities?
    As I teach students with learning disabilities, I am becoming increasingly curious as to how I can make substantial use of word walls to assist them in developing vocabulary skills.
    Tricia James · Walden University

    Thanks for the suggestions Brenda!

  • Steven Newton added an answer:
    Further reading on resistance created by curriculum structure
    Looking for some pointers towards some further reading in order to formulate a thought I am still struggling to articulate.

    In the students I am researching, I am seeing a pattern in their responses to the format of formal learning they have experienced. There is a dissatisfaction in being expected to engage in learning that is repetitive or abstract, or being asked questions by adults who already know the answer or to which the answer is obvious.

    It is evident in my data collection there is a connection between the student rejection of the curriculum and the structure of the curriculum and I was looking for pointers to further reading on this.
    Steven Newton · Queensland University of Technology

    I have bounced back, refined my theoretical model and and moving forwards through the data analysis.  I live in hope that my findings will assist someone somewhere to do something good. Even if its just me, reaching one more student than I can reach now.  

  • James F Peters added an answer:
    Is this imaginable that Biology is more interesting through the Literature?
    I've been interested in Biology since my birth, insomuch as there was a short period of my life when I wanted to become a biologist. Later,my interest was lost really somewhen in secondary school and turned towards the humanity. Now, many decades later, reading this article a question came up from the past: if my teachers of biology have been more informed in literature would I be a semi educated biology fan today?
    James F Peters · University of Manitoba

    A lot depends on the teacher.    My first undergraduate course in biology was actually two courses: lecture section and laboratory section.    The lecture section was a nightmare because I found that I had to memorise most of what was in a hefty biology book and become skilful in drawing all of the parts of animals.    By contrast, the biology section was like running water, smooth and very interesting.   The lab instructor was J. Tomlinson, who became quite well-known for his work on hermaphoditism and parthenogenesis.    See, for example,

    J. Tomlinson, The advantages of hermephroditisim and parthenogenesis, J. Theoret. Biology 11 (1), 1966, 54-58.

    Only many years later did I follow up on what I started learning about in Dr. Tomlinson's laboratory.   I started collecting specimens and checking them with a good microscope (making many drawings, labelling them, too).   Only then did I begin to appreciate what was in that first biology course.

  • Molaodi Tshelane added an answer:
    How can we enhance the principal's leadership role in the usage of ICT for teaching and Learning?

    Scholars are in agreement that the leadership role of the principal is critical in the implementation of ICT for teaching and learning. However, teachers seems to be reluctant in using ICTs to enhance professional curriculum practice.

    Molaodi Tshelane · University of the Free State

    Thanks Doc

  • Francisco Cua asked a question:
    ARGUE: “Good teaching” is a pursuit of happiness for everyone who engages in skills development and unstructured knowledge construction.

    In UNESCO's four pillars of education, learning to learn as a means is about developing "occupational skills," learning to understand the "world around them," and leading lives with "some dignity." Learning to learn as an end is underpinned by the "pleasure that can be derived from understanding, knowledge, and discovery."


    UNESCO (1996). The four pillars of education described in Chapter 4 of Learning: The treasure within: A report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the twenty-first century Retrieved from

  • Ferran Gimenez added an answer:
    Does anyone know of good models or references to analyze the management process of creating a new undergraduate degree?
    In my view, case studies of educational experiences are in general discipline bias, either ‘pedagogy’ or ‘management’ centered. One consequence of that is not having an interdisciplinary perspective that comprehensively considers the managerial dimension of the work of creating a new university program.
    Ferran Gimenez · Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
    Right now I’m considering looking at the case from the perspective of Entrepreneurship, like the point of view of Stevenson, for instance:

    Stevenson, Howard H, and J Carlos Jarillo. “A Paradigm of Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial Management.” Strategic Management Journal 11, no. 5 (1990): 17–27.

    Anyone with experience in that field could please give me a hint?
  • Ljubomir Jacić added an answer:
    As far as the curriculum at the university comply with a particular specialty and practical needs
    In discussing one of the questions raised Costas Drossos good topic of compliance training programs: «So I think there is a serious problem of economics curriculum»
    What do you think about it.
    Ljubomir Jacić · Technical College Požarevac
    Dear @Vyacheslav,curriculum should be flexible, cheangable and innovative. They must track the requirements of the labor market and the economy in the immediate and wider environment! Feedback again!
    As You pointed out economics curriculum, where I am not the expert, I have found some notes on this issue regarding accounting!
  • Kashif Raza asked a question:
    What are the expectations that Gulf Arab Students and faculty hold about English Studies?
    I am conducting a research study and am surveying Gulf Arab students and faculty at Qatar University to bring to light the similarities and differences between the two. It will help improve academic and non-academic relations and bridge the gap between the two.
  • Gerald Ogbuja added an answer:
    What is intercultural competence?
    Intercultural competence is merely conceived as one of the competences should be developed as part of the communicative competence (communicative and linguistic approach). However, this competence is highly related with a wider competence is developed through a new approach related with curriculum and school, curriculum and education, that's why more and more educative programs have been developing curriculum through a more intercultural perspective. Seen this competence as a competence every single individual must develop in this new century of globalization!
    Gerald Ogbuja · University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

    In any multicultural society, there is no one way of looking at things. Reality must be perceived in broad perspective rather than a narrow viewpoint. Based on this premise, diversity and multiculturalism call for plurality in ideas. Anyone who thinks that his/her own story is the end of it all, should know that there are other rich stories out there yet to be told. What makes other cultures thick should not be seen as weakness in another culture. Anytime, we criticize a language, we are indirectly criticizing our own very language before the same individual and before the consul of reason. It is like telling another individual that he has an accent, without realizing that before that same individual you are manifesting a kind of accent different from what he is familiar. The ability to give an open ear to another accent in order to understand different accent and language makes you adaptable, competent and diversity-oriented. But, when you shut down your mind to other values, other cultures and languages that are different from you, you make matter difficult for adaptation and comprehension. It is equivalent to cultural disaster or linguistic suicide.The ability to mortify your pride and accept other cultures different from you knowing fully well that in other cultures, there are values so real, something mysteriously better and even more enduring than the culture and values you know makes your culturally competent. It makes an individual more tolerant to others, adaptable to new thoughts and ideas without being narrowed down to a given frame of mind. A mind that is locked up cannot be freed from its intellectual imprisonment. Neither can such mind be open to enculturation and acculturation of new thoughts and ideas. Such narrowed mind cannot not be trusted in the web of cultural competency or in the lattice chain of diversity.

    An Asian man who lives in an English speaking country but decides to put aside particular language and culture he knows but embrace English culture and language is culturally competent. A German who lives in London but refuses to learn English as lingua franca or refuses to adapt to English way of life is not culturally competent. This is applicable to any Tran-cultural or Trans-Atlantic habituation. In this regard, competency implies, learning new things greater and different from you; adapting to new ways of life, assimilating new languages, and most importantly, appreciating other cultures and values while retaining a prior cultural values and heritages inherent in you.
  • Monica Bhattacharjee added an answer:
    What are the skills must we possess to do a radical innovation of a product or a service?
    Nowadays, Leaders cannot stay without more enhancing their abilities and capabilities to become an Invention Leaders. But to do this, they must acquire a some specific skills and they are not easy skills to obtain or to master. In your opinion, what are the most important skills Leaders must have got and master to make a radical innovation of a product or a service?
    Monica Bhattacharjee · Simon Fraser University
    The ability to exercise rational foresight. It helps to have the ability to envision an implementation plan, to estimate and preempt possible roadblocks, and to work on probable solutions to overcome/prevent/improvise.
  • Beth Robelia added an answer:
    Do you have any special words for carbon monoxide in your everyday language?
    We use a word "czad" which is often confused with "smoke". I'm going to write a paper dedicated to vernacular misconceptions in chemistry.
    Beth Robelia · Walden University
    Marcin, This is really interesting. There are a number of misconceptions about ozone and about carbon. Your carbon footprint is really a carbon dioxide footprint. What other words are you looking at? I have some background for your paper that might be helpful.
  • Ferran Gimenez added an answer:
    What theoretical position could be used to support the analysis of a bachelors' curriculum design and development?
    The best known curriculum theories are rooted mainly in primary education experiences. Is there a comprehensive theory that could be used to analyze an undergraduate curriculum design and development case?
    Ferran Gimenez · Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
    Many thanks Kathleen. I agree that Situated Learning Theory consistently supports the ‘pedagogical’ dimension of a Bachelors’ curriculum. In my opinion, a Bachelors' program is a multifaceted system with two dimensions interwoven with the ‘pedagogical’ one: ‘profession-discipline’ and ‘management’. Besides its own logic, each of these dimensions have complex interactions between them.

    From my professional experience, the mechanics of this interaction are critical for designing and developing a Bachelors’ curriculum. I’m searching for a theory that considers the bachelors’ curriculum from this multidisciplinary perspective.
  • Xavier E Fazio added an answer:
    The concept of curriculum integration has often been maligned and discarded but it keeps making a comeback. Why is this so?
    Curriculum integration (CI) has been utilised by democratic educators because it maximises flexibility for curriculum design and, as research shows, it actively engages students in their learning (especially young adolescents). In theory, CI seems like a promising approach but when implemented it has a patchy record: sometimes it is wonderful, other times it is awful. What are your thoughts?
  • Mario Diaz Villa added an answer:
    How can globalized higher education systems and institutions form graduates capable of professing in local contexts?
    In an increasingly globalized world, higher education is being affected at the first place: imported curricula, international body of faculty and staff members, and students from different cultures and nations. How are such ingredients able (are they?) to form professionals capable of practicing their job in local contexts? I am more interested in the case of higher education particularly in Architecture.
    Mario Diaz Villa · Universidad del Valle (Colombia)
    The expression "globalized higher education systems" is part of the language of globalization, that encourage policies, regulations, and similar forms of goverrnance of what can be called "the global market of higher education (HE)". One of the key questions of this "globalization" is that HE has become the space for the reproduction of generic models able to produce generic professionals. The generic language of training has weaken the boundaries between local contexts and global contexts, and promoted generic skills and competences relevant to generic workplaces: competence has become the common language which supports the new basis for the culture of the new professionals (flexible, generic). This, in turn, has eroded not only the relevance of academic knowledge, relevant to specific national contexts, but the identity of national HE systems which now must respond to global educational policies of the global knowledge economy.
  • Denise Morel added an answer:
    Do teachers in schools engage in curriculum planning and decision making? How?
    Do teachers in schools engage in curriculum planning and decision making? How?
    In Quebec, there are a lot of bureaucratic levels between the teachers in the field and the Ministry of Education at the State level. Teachers answer directly to the school administration (principal and vice principal), but schools themselves answer directly to their school board (there are over 70 regional boards spread throughout the province), and the school boards answer to the Ministry. When the Ministry reforms the curriculum and develops new programs of study, teachers naturally perceive it as a top-down imposition (even though some of their colleagues participated on the development committees), and resent it. They resent it mostly because new programs necessarily require new teaching/learning materials (e.g. textbooks, lesson plans, electronic resources) to implement them in the classroom; without these, each teacher has to devise her own materials and lesson plans for every lesson, using whatever resources she can find. This adds a lot of extra time and effort to their existing workload, which they feel is already stretched to the limit. They are also highly protected by the provincial teachers’ union, which sets strict limits to the number of hours teachers can be asked to work and the kinds of responsibilities that can be assigned to them. And school administrators themselves vary in their commitment to the curriculum reform – some are pedagogical visionaries and others are simply businessmen – and so the amount of encouragement and support for professional development activities varies from school to school.
  • Jim Kusch asked a question:
    What knowledge is of most value in teacher education?
    The problem of value may reveal much about how we frame inquiry and how we discuss purposes of education.
  • Ali Khaleghinejad added an answer:
    What is a macro curriculum in higher education?
    Can we consider courses of study as macro curriculum? How can we evaluate macro curriculum in higher education? Can we consider micro curriculum as goals, content, etc. (Components of higher education curriculum), only? What are the differences between macro and micro higher education curriculum ? Is there any model in curriculum development that evaluates the course of study? For designing a model in curriculum development which principals and stages do we have to consider?
    Ali Khaleghinejad · Allameh Tabatabai University
    Dear Mrs. Behar-Horenstein
    Thank you for your explanations. I understand your idea. Can we call the sum total of courses as a course syllabi and each course as a unit? I would be grateful if you would reply to my questions about best evaluation model for evaluating macro curriculum.
  • Marc Demeuse asked a question:
    Is somebody as a reference to papers related to curriculum analysis thought fictions (like Harry Potter)?
    I have published a paper (in French) regarding curriculum analysis and fiction. This paper was inspired by a paper form Eric Margolis concerning Harry Potter's school. I have found other references concerning Potter's school and I am now interested by other papers concerning curriculum analysis and fictions. It is a good way for me to increase my students' interest to curriculum analysis. Could you help me? What is your opinion about it?
    Link to the paper:
  • Denise Morel added an answer:
    How might the metaphor of the aging human body help us understand the need for curriculum knowledge to also age?
    The contemporary preference for curriculum outcomes seems to address knowledge as fixed and stagnant. For those of you working in curriculum contexts, how often are you renewing?
    I assume that by “curriculum knowledge”, you are referring to the lists of hierarchically ordered “objectives” (that usually specify the knowledge and abilities that learners are supposed to “acquire” during the course of their studies) in an “official” curriculum (one developed and sanctioned by a Ministry of Education)? Here in Quebec, there is a curriculum “renewal” (nobody likes the word “reform” anymore) about every 20 years.
    In French, there are two words for knowledge, and with respect to curriculum development, they are used differently. The word “savoirs” (or “savoirs codifiés: codified knowledge) refers to what you are referring to, the body of standardized knowledge shared by a community of specialists in a particular discipline, the “canon”, if you will; and that is considered relatively fixed and stable (although of course it evolves and expands, especially in this day and age). Then there is the word “connaissances”, which refers to the knowledge that individual people (e.g. students) “construct” with respect to the codified knowledge. Connaissances are not stagnant; they are alive, dynamic, constantly changing as the result of new experiences, new knowledge, age, etc. Connaissances cannot be listed in a curriculum precisely because they vary from individual to individual, and from one point in time to another.
    Recognition of the changing nature of knowledge (at both the macro and micro levels) has motivated curriculum reform around the globe, with many States opting for competency-based curricula. In the adult education curriculum in Quebec, competency is defined as the mobilization and effective use of an integrated group of resources in order to handle a class of real-life situations. The curriculum is thus organized around situations (or classes of situations), rather than being organized around “decontextualized” items of knowledge or ability (“savoirs”). There are still lists of “savoirs”, but they are identified as external resources that the learner appeals to in order to deal competently with a group of situations. Thus, knowledge is conceived to be at the service of competent action, and competent action is contextualized in situations. Outcomes are defined in terms of the competent handling of a class of situations.
    Such an orientation to curriculum design is more open-ended than traditional objectives-based curricula, since it focuses not on particular items of knowledge to be acquired, but rather on the varied uses to which such knowledge is put, and indeed through which it is developed.
    (Sorry for the lengthy reply.)
  • Mohd Noor Hashim added an answer:
    Precision assessment: Can anybody explain?
    We read about the works of Ogden Lindsley on Precision Teaching, but is there any clearer definition on precision assessment?
    Mohd Noor Hashim · Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
    Is there any references?
  • Lennart Rolandsson added an answer:
    What are the important factors for collaboration between teachers at different schools?
    In my investigation I have found a couple of Swedish teacher associations (TA), active during the 1970s and 1980s, who found their incitements for collaboration in the need for managing computer hardware and software. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and National Board Of Education it seems like TA are influential concerning the development of informatics (computer science) curriculum. Somehow today things have changed and the formation of TA are constrained by other regulations (political, economical or technological). Or would you say it's not?

    For instance Educational secretary Michael Gove in England has recently presented a National Curriculum framework, where computing curriculum is supposed do be shaped from the bottom-up where teachers are going to share and use services on the internet for collaboration. He holds the idea of using Master Teachers which will spread the word. In such a situation I wonder if the collaboration will be driven from the needs of the teachers, the hope from the politicians, or from the programmers ideas about user interfaces.

    QUESTION: The question about whether Gove's implementation will work or not, is another thing which the future will reveal, I therefore would appreciate if you could tell me (based on your research or experience from curriculum implementation) what is important for the existence of teacher associations and collaboration? What are the important factors?
    Lennart Rolandsson · KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    @Robin There is a reference summarizing how teachers could be involved in curriculum change. See
    Aikenhead, G.S. (2003, August). Review of research on humanistic perspectives in science curricula.
    A paper presented at the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) Conference,
    Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands. Available at:
  • Atila Yildirim added an answer:
    What is curriculum leadership?
    “When the door is shut and nobody else is around, the classroom teacher can select and teach just about any curriculum he or she decides is appropriate” (English, 2000, p. 1).

    What is curriculum leaders position and mission?
    Atila Yildirim · Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi
    School principals in the development of the program is that they are competent
  • Ahmad Raza added an answer:
    What are some of the tensions between curriculum theory and pedagogical practices? How can we mitigate if not eliminate these tensions?
    How do researchers and scholars approach this?
    Ahmad Raza · University of Management and Technology (Pakistan)
    Kim Young Chun wrote and article, titled, ;Post-colonialism and Korean curriculum studies", published in Journal of Curriculum Theorizing,Spring 2005,Vol;20;No;1,ISSN: 1057-896X.The article presents an excellent theoretical and analytical synthesis of the issues involved in curriculum theory and pedagogical practices. Ahmad
  • Arlindo Mendes Vieira added an answer:
    How to develop the curriculum to deal with world crisis and to give some hope to the new generation?
    In the context of the global crisis we live in, the curriculum is unable to respond to crises that seem insurmountable. How can schools provide an education/skills necessary for youth to solve the uncertainties of global society?
    Arlindo Mendes Vieira · University of Cape Verde
    I want to thank everyone who posted their comments on this issue. I think we should continue with debates, raising pertinent questions. best regards
  • Asha Baiju added an answer:
    HIV education curriculum
    I am working on a proposal right now and its a comparative study based on a programme incorporated into HIV education curriculum at seconday school level for two african countries. It is some kind of evaluation. I have just met this new concept on models and would like those with an idea to please guide me.
    Asha Baiju · University of Kerala
    A 'programme review tool' may be good enough to asses the strength and weakness of the programme in the two countries. Then go for comparison both qualitative and quantitative

About Curriculum Theory

Curriculum design for education programms

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