School Time: 10 Different Types of Curriculum to Choose From

School Time: 10 Different Types of Curriculum to Choose From


In the 1900s the curricula moved on to the agricultural sector. Since then, however, it has evolved to broader subjects.

Today, there are many types of curriculum. We’re looking at technology literacy and system-based learning. These are used to prepare students for their entry into the workforce.

Teachers are using a wide array of classroom tools and practices to convey information effectively. Curriculum development has changed with the economy, demographic, and industry trends.

What Are the Different Types of Curriculum?

There are many types of curriculum, but this is usually subject to interpretation. You see, curriculum reflects the different models of instructional delivery.

This could be categorized according to psychological classifications. These include social, personalist, behavioral, and information processing.

Longstreet and Shane, for instance, dubbed curricula divisions differently. They dubbed them as child-centered, knowledge-centered, eclectic, and society centered.

Different philosophical orientations also play a role in determining curriculums.

These include idealism, experimentalism, realism, constructivism, and essentialism. Let’s take a look at the ten different types of curriculum in our schools today.

1. Written, Explicit, or Overt Curriculum

Written curriculum refers to the written formal instruction of school experience. It refers to texts, films, documents, and other supportive teaching materials. They are chosen to support the intentional instructional agenda.

The overt curriculum appears in local and state documents. These include district curriculum guides, state standards, source of study, and sequence charts.

2. Hidden or Covert Curriculum

The hidden curriculum refers to a lot of what creates daily established routes. In 1993, Longstreet and Shane defined the hidden curriculum as the type of learning children get from the organizational design and nature of public schools.

They also get it from the attitudes and behaviors of the administrators and teachers. The hidden curriculum includes the messages derived from the organization of schools, from the endless competitions for grades to timed segments.

This includes annual schedules, standing in lines, and silently raising hands and waiting to be called upon. Concentrations equating to student behaviors all send a message.

This curriculum encompasses both positive and negative messages. This, however, highly depends on the perspectives of the learners and the models provided.

3. The Null Curriculum

The null curriculum covers what is not taught in school. It essentially gives students an idea of what is not important in both society and their educational experiences.

Writing about a curriculum that doesn’t exist is a kind of paradox. However, school programs face consequences for both what they do teach and what they don’t.

What schools don’t teach is just as important because it shapes the available options students can consider. Ignorance is not void as it affects people’s lives; what is not taught in school also affects the students.

For instance, when you choose to teach about war and not about peace. Both your choice and omission have a message for the students.

4. Societal Curriculum

Carlos Cortes defined the societal curriculum as ongoing, massive, and informal. It is the most suitable curriculum for families.

Other parts of society such as organizations, peer groups, occupations, mass media, and churches play a role as well. This is where the effects of social media would fall. It creates new perspectives and helps shape both public and individual opinions.

5. The Phantom Curriculum

This involves the messages students get from exposure to various types of media. This is a major aspect of the age we’re living in because there is so much exposure to it.

It plays a significant role in the enculturation of the students in predominant meta culture, as well as acculturating them to generational or narrower subcultures.

6. Rhetorical Curriculum

The rhetorical curriculum encompasses the ideas usually offered by politicians, policymakers, administrators, and school officials. It may come from professionals that are involved in content changes or concept formation.

It may also come from educational initiatives. Most are usually a result of decisions based on state and national reports and public speeches.

7. Concomitant Curriculum

This revolves around what is taught at home. The experiences one gets together with their family or those sanctioned by their family. The concomitant curriculum could also be received from churches as religious expressions.

Lessons on morals, ethics, values, molded behaviors, and social experiences; all these are usually based on family preferences.

8. Curriculum in Use

This is the formal curriculum that comprises concepts, content, and textbooks in the district curriculum guides.

The thing is, though, that most of the time, these formal elements are rarely taught. The one in use is the one delivered by each teacher.

9. Received Curriculum

This curriculum includes the things that students actually take out of their classes. The concepts that they truly learn and remember are considered as the received curriculum.

10. The Internal Curriculum

The internal curriculum involves the content, process, and knowledge. All these are combined with the experiences and realities of learners.

Educators may be aware of this curriculum. They, however, usually have very little or no control over it at all because it is unique to each learner.

The best way for educators to explore this curriculum is by using reflective exercises. They may also use instructional assessments, or debriefing discussions. It helps them to gauge what learners remember from the lessons taught.

It usually comes as a surprise for most to learn what is more important for learners and what’s not.

other valuable tips:

Bonus Point: Electronic and Theme Based Curriculums

The electronic curriculum involves lessons learned from searching for information from the internet. The electronic curriculum could be either formal or informal.

The lessons could be good or bad, overt or covert, and correct or incorrect. It usually depends on the view of the learner and how they use the internet.

The theme based curriculum is quite different from how students learned traditionally. Theme based learning considers academic skills a necessity. However, it eliminates the concept of subjects and needs to have real-world applications.

You Now Know the Different Types of Curriculum

These are the ten different types of curriculum you should know about. However, there are two more that are just as important. These are the electronic and theme-based curriculum.

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Image Credit: by Pixabay

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Categories: Academics