The word comes from the Latin word currere which means the course to be run. It contains the courses of study that a student has to complete successfully to obtain a degree certifying competence. (It is the What and Instruction is the How) In K-12 schools, it also contains the standards and benchmarks for each of the courses of study. Students must successfully complete the benchmarks in order to complete the course. In this new age, those benchmarks are measured by the Louisiana Educational Assessment Plan (LEAP).
During the 1920s, the definition of curriculum as school experiences was developed by progressive educators to emphasize the quality of experiences. What children learn in school is wider than what goes on in the classrooms. It includes experiences in hallways, the cafeteria, playground, etc. These experiences cannot be separated from the responsibility of educators. There are five types of curriculum: FORMAL- The formal curriculum is the intended curriculum, explicit, overt, and written.
It includes the planned and advertised menu of courses, the content of those courses, the catalog descriptions, and the regular public activities included in those courses. You will find this in the Louisiana Content Standards and Benchmarks and the Grade Level Expectations (GLEs). INFORMAL-The informal curriculum is also intended, but not explicit or written. This includes such things as citizenship, manners, and social skills and is influenced by the teacher and his or her educational philosophy.
It is reflected in the classroom and is often found in the rules and procedures that a teacher implements. It is also evident in the methodologies chosen by a teacher. For example, I have a strong belief in learning styles; therefore, in face-to-face classrooms, I include a lot of hands-on activities for students to participate and engage in. Also, I include activities that involve lots of student interaction. HIDDEN- The hidden curriculum is the covert, or implicit, implied by the very structure of the school buildings. It is learned by exposure of living in the environment. It is characterized by the reward systems, physical plan of the school, furniture arrangement, etc. When you look at a school, is there a trophy case for sporting events, but not academics? Are classes dismissed every Friday, 6th or 7th period, for a pep rally? If so, that school would value athletics over academics. As you look at the structure of the school, is there a computer room, or is technology evident in every classroom? Are teachers allowed to attend professional development activities during the school day?
All these things will provide information about the hidden curriculum of the school. Hidden curriculum is researched by critical theorists. NULL-The null curriculum is what is left out, not attended to, or taught. What is missing from your school, or even the Louisiana Content Standards and Benchmarks? Does the school embrace diversity, or just say it does? EXTRA-The extra-curriculum includes those activities that are structured by the teachers and administration. If a school has a football team, a basketball team, track team (etc.) but no history club, Spanish club, math club (etc. ), one might infer that athletics are valued more than academics. If the school has a basketball team and track team and also has National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, (etc. ), one would infer that all learnings are valued. What is the relationship between Formal Curriculum and Hidden Curriculum? What is the relationship between Formal Curriculum and Informal Curriculum? How do all forms of curriculum relate to each other curriculum?