What is curriculum Essay Example

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What is Curriculum?

Table of Contents”

Introduction 3

Discussion 3

Conclusion 6

References 7


A curriculum is a study course of subjects aimed at standardizing what is taught in learning institutions. The subjects are usually from different aspects of life, which are tailored to equip the learners with mass knowledge. I understand that a curriculum is the system or structure that guides what students ought and need to be taught in school. It determines and governs the subjects and topics taught in classes. The curriculum ensures that there is fairness and uniformity in learning institutions whether private or public. Absence of a national curriculum would cause much anarchy because different schools would end up teaching different things. This would create great difficulties in formulating a criterion for assessing the learning of different students. I also understand that the curriculum affects and influences extra-curricular activities in schools. Schools need to streamline their programs and extra-curricular activities to compliment the education curricular in schools. The curriculum needs to be evaluated from time to time to ensure it reflects the global demands in terms of the economy and academics. The aim of this report is to analyze and summarize the growth, development, and achievements of the Australian curriculum. It examines the way Australian curriculum has continued to evolve and the various stakeholders who have been part of the change process.


Numerous curriculum models exist in the world due to differences in the education systems worldwide. Each model aims at providing a clear guidelines or proposals for dealing with particular problems (Marsh, 2004, p.311). The models need constant revision and assessment to improve them and ensure they suit the demands from the educational sector. Most governments set up committees of experts to assist them in coming up with workable curriculums that facilitate the growth and development of their students. The committee bodies are permanently established to not only formulate the curriculum but also to implement and monitor its progress. Most curriculum models are linear. They give a systematic order on academics, which students need to go through in schools. An example of a curriculum model is the subject-centered model (Nunan, 1988, p.8). This model gives much emphasis on the content offered by the curriculum rather than the students. It corresponds to the information provided in textbooks and online reference sources on specific subjects. Examples of subject-centered model include subject design, discipline design, and correlation design. The greatest limitation to this model is that it focuses a lot on the subject and ignores students’ tendencies, experiences, and interests. Students who go through such a curriculum find it hard to relate what is learnt in school to real life situations.

The second type of a curriculum model is the learner-centered model. This model, unlike the subject-centered model focuses on the learners themselves and not the subject. Leaner-centered model includes the child-centered design, experience-centered design, and the humanistic design. Other models include the problem-centered curriculum, which focuses on solving problems, and the Taba model, which emphasizes on an inductive approach to the curriculum. In this case, students are likely to open up more and view the world differently.

The Australian curriculum was developed through the integration of different curriculum models. The English curriculum is among those that were used, which is based on the integration of the principles of language, literacy, and literature. ACARA is the body responsible for the constant development and revision of the Australian syllabus. The development of the countrywide syllabus is based on the interactions and collaboration of educational stakeholders such as the state, teachers, and territorial educational authorities (Marsh, 2010, p.1). The ACARA board enacted the shape of the Australian curriculum v4.0 in 2012. This curriculum was developed by experts who aimed at providing structure, organization, and a direction of purpose in the learning areas. Open public participation and consultation was involved in developing the curriculum. The curriculum is structured to support student differentiation. It has mechanisms to cater for the needs of students with disabilities, the gifted, or talented and students wishing to do additional languages.

According to Lingard (2003, p.113), the national curriculum was a project of the teachers and the federal government. It was a critical political issue for many regimes. The quest to develop a national curriculum began in the 1980’s. The Hawke Federal labor government initiated the push for a national curriculum through a draft document, which acted as a proposal of the curriculum (Brady, 2010, p.30). Resistance from the liberal government posed a great challenge in developing a national curriculum. It was not until April 2008 that the government appointed the National Curriculum board to oversee the implementation and development of the national curriculum scheme. The introduction of the national curriculum faced a lot of challenges and criticism particularly in New South Wales. The criticisms were concerning particular subjects such as mathematics, Science, English and histories. It was after several revisions to include and deduct various aspects of the curriculum that it became relatively acceptable to the public.

The structure of the syllabus is based on learning areas Foundation, that is, F-10. The F-10 curriculum comprises the learning parts, general abilities, cross-syllabus priories, and the year level. The learning areas include English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Geography. The year levels include the foundation and years of study starting from year one to year ten.

The curriculum has achieved great successes in influencing the lives of students positively. It not only specializes in sciences and mathematics like before, but it also on developing special talents through sports and arts. The curriculum provides a more simplified and friendly way of learning. Students can comprehend what they learn in school and apply it in their daily lives. Student’s ease of amassing knowledge has improved and uniformity in the quality of education offered in schools has improved. There are fewer cases of school drop outs in Australia since the system is friendlier and student oriented.


The Australian curriculum has undergone tremendous changes over the last few years. These changes have been made in an effort to curb global educational demands. Moreover, the changes have been effected to improve the country’s educational system and make it more competitive. Although the curriculum has undergone many recommendable changes, this is not the end because the world is very dynamic and competitive. There is need for constant revision and improvement of the curriculum to meet new and emerging needs. Stakeholders in the education sector need to innovate and create better systems to ensure quality and practicability of the curriculum in life situations.

Reference List

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2010). Curriculum construction 4th edition. Frenchs Forest, NSW:

Pearson Australia.

Marsh, C. (2004). Key concepts for understanding curriculum. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson


Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher: knowledge, skills and issues 5th edition. Frenchs Forest,

NSW: Pearson.

Lingard, B. (2003). Leading Learning: Making Hope Practical in Schools Professional

learning.New York: McGraw-Hill International.

Nunan, D. (1988). The Learner-Centred Curriculum: A Study in Second Language Teaching

Applied linguistics and language study Cambridge Applied Linguistics. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press.