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Training Tools for Curriculum Development. A Resource Pack
Core Modules


  1. The structure of a curriculum framework

  2. Formulation of what students should know and be able to do

  3. Approaches to curriculum integration


This module provides opportunities to explore current developments in curriculum design and to understand the central concepts involved in:

  • Defining national curriculum standards.
  • Defining curriculum outcomes, standards, competencies, objectives, content.
  • Current approaches to curriculum integration, diversification and differentiation with particular reference to the following examples:
    • Citizenship and/or values education and social transformation;
    • Science and Technology Education (STE);
    • School health and HIV and Aids prevention;
    • Coping with emergency situations;
    • Common or connected student learning outcomes.
  • The principle and practice of curriculum design for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The curriculum professionals are guided into an analysis of the building blocks of curriculum at the macro level, through three activities:

  1. The structure of a curriculum framework. Includes the typical components of curriculum frameworks to be used as a structural analysis tool.
  2. Formulation of what students should know and be able to do. Helps the participant to revise and choose several alternatives to define the expected achievements of students.
  3. Approaches to curriculum integration. Reviews existing strategies for curriculum integration with different focus and depth.

Following these activities is a “Resources” section which contains a list of discussion papers and other resources referred to in the activities, as well as a list of additional readings.

Conceptual framework
Many education systems across the world are moving away from centralized models of curriculum decision-making towards more democratic, decentralized models. As a result of this trend, decision-makers are considering ways of organizing the curriculum in ways other than the traditional subject approach in which all students learn the same content at the same time. Increasingly curriculum is being structured in ways which:

  • are appropriate to the needs and circumstances of regions and
  • address more effectively the needs of students.

One example is the trend towards adopting curriculum frameworks as overarching curriculum documents. The purpose of a curriculum framework is to establish the parameters within which curriculum should be developed. It often expresses the state’s aims of education, and can define minimum standards for content and assessment, as well as teacher qualifications, educational resources and learning materials, management, and evaluation. Such a framework is often approved by a competent authority as a first step in the curriculum development process. The framework then provides guidelines for the developers of more specific learning area syllabuses.

Another example of changing curriculum structures is the remodeling of learning experiences of many separate subjects into a more integrated content. This is because the compartmentalization of knowledge into discrete subjects is antithetical to how students experience life and the real world. Learning that is integrated enables students to apply knowledge and skills more easily to their daily lives. On a higher level, integrated content can be more readily “internalized” and reflected in behaviour. Learning then becomes integrated into the self and becomes a part of one’s being.
This module describes trends in curriculum development and illustrates integrated learning through the examples of citizenship and social transformation and science and technology, which can serve as models for other types of integration.

Curriculum Design, Standards, Structure, Learning Areas, Subjects, Contents, Scope, Sequence, Integration of Curriculum, Cross-curricular Provision, Integrated Curriculum, Flexibility of Curriculum, Diversification, Time Allocation, Learning Outcomes, Four Pillars-orientated Design, Sustainable Development.