The Art of Curriculum Design

Designing and developing curriculum is an exciting process allowing us to really think outside the box, and create magical experiences for our students.  This process should be constant, and at no point should curriculum remain stagnant.  Even as curriculum is designed it should always be evolving, revisited, and further developed as it is used.

In this 6 month series on The Art of Curriculum Design, we will explore the fundamental questions of curriculum design, via an Arts Appreciation course developed through arts collaboration.

As we move through this process, it is important that we explore the way in which we will be using the language, so for the purpose of this series the following definitions will be employed:

Curriculum: Both the plans for learning, and experiences involved in order to reach educational goals.

Learned Curriculum: The planned written curriculum including standards, expectations, and assessment.

Hidden Curriculum: The positive, sometimes negative, messages exposed through priority, and the expectations of learned curriculum.

Curriculum design: The creation of course objectives, activities, and assessments in a standards-based backward manner.

Curriculum development: The revision of curriculum after implementation, based on student need and achievement.

Understanding by Design (UBD): Often referred to as “backward planning”. UBD requires an outcome perspective or end-in-mind approach.

It is important to note that standards, textbooks, resources, and detached lessons… are not curriculum.

The goal of the series is to introduce the art of designing curriculum through the exploration of a newly designed Arts Appreciation course.  Over the course of the series, we will look at how to build your own curriculum. We will also look at how to present a full course of study that can be implemented at any secondary level institution.

Welcome to The Art of Curriculum Design series!

Piquès & Pirouettès

Next Week: The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”

Next week we will take a look at why curriculum should be designed and the specific reasons that illustrated the need for designing the sample Arts Appreciation course.