Crafting the Curriculum
Crafting a curriculum follows some
designs. Curriculum designs provide
clear relationships between and among
the different elements of the
curriculum: objectives, contents,
activities, and evaluation. Considering
all of these elements, as a curriculum
designer, one has to look into the
parameters or dimensions upon which a
design can be crafted.
According to Tyler in Ornstein (2004),
he defines scope as all the content, topics,
learning experiences and organizing
threads comprising the educational plan.
Scope does not only refer to the
cognitive content, but also the affective
and psychomotor content.
The scope of the curriculum can be
divided into chunks called units, sub-units,
chapters, or sub-chapters.
Contents and experiences are arranged
in hierarchical manner, where the basis
can either be logic of the subject
matter or on the developmental
patterns of growth of the cognitive,
affective, and psychomotor domains.
Smith, Stanley, and Shore (1957)
introduced four principles for
1. Simple to complex learning
2. Prerequisite learning
3. Whole to part learning
4. Chronological learning
Posner and Rudnitsky (1994) presented
five major principles for organizing
content in units, which can also be
applied to curriculum.
1. World-related sequence
c. Physical attributes
2. Concept-related sequence
a. Class relations
b. Propositional relations
3. Inquiry-related sequence
4. Learning-related sequence
a. Empirical prerequisites
Vertical repetition and recurring
appearances of the content provide continuity
in the curriculum. This process enables the
learner to strengthen the permanency of
learning and development of skills.
Gerome Bruner calls this “spiral
curriculum” For learners to develop the
ideas, these have to be developed and
redeveloped in a spiral fashion in increasing
depth and breadth as the learners advance.
“Everything is integrated and
interconnected. Life is a series of
emerging themes.” This is the essence
of integration in the curriculum design.
Organization is drawn from the world
themes from real life concerns.
Subject matter content or
disciplined content lines are erased and
isolation is eliminated.
Can be done either vertically or
horizontally. In vertical articulation,
contents are arranged from level to
level or grade to grade so that the
content in a lower level is connected to
the next level. Horizontal articulation
happens at the same time like social
studies in grade six is related to science
in grade six.
Equitable assignment of
content, time, experiences and other
elements to establish balance is needed
in curriculum design. Too much or too
little of these elements maybe
disastrous to the curriculum. Keeping
the curriculum “in balance” requires
continuous fine tuning and review for its
effectiveness and relevance.
Guidelines in Curriculum Design
• Curriculum design committee should
involve teachers, parents, administrators
and even students.
• School’s vision, mission, goals and
objectives should be reviewed and used
as a bases for curriculum design.
• The needs and the interests of the
learners, in particular, and the society, in
general, should be considered.
• Alternative curriculum design should
consider advantages and
disadvantages in terms of cost,
scheduling, class size, facilities and
• The curriculum design should take into
account cognitive, affective,
psychomotor, concepts and outcomes.