Curriculum Definition Collection

A. Bestor (1956):  The curriculum must consist essentially of disciplined study in five great areas: 1) command of mother tongue and the systematic study of grammar, literature, and writing.  2) mathematics, 3) sciences, 4) history, 5) foreign language.
Albert Oliver (1977): curriculum is “the educational program of the school” and divided into four basic elements: 1) program of studies, 2) program of experiences, 3) program of service, 4) hidden curriculum.
B. Othanel Smith (1957):  A sequence of potential experiences is set up in the school for the purpose of disciplining children and youth in group ways of thinking and acting.  This set of experiences is referred to as the curriculum.
Bell (1971): the offering of socially valued knowledge, skills, and attitudes made available to students through a variety of arrangements during the time they are at school, college, or university.
Bobbit (1918):  Curriculum is that series of things which children and youth must do and experience by way of developing abilities to do the things well that make up the affairs of adult life; and to be in all respects what adults should be.
Caswell and Campbell (1935):  curriculum is composed of all of the experiences children have under the guidance of the teacher."
Daniel Tanner and Laurel N. Tanner (1988) "that reconstruction of knowledge and experience systematically developed under the auspices of the school (or university), to enable the learner to increase his or her control of knowledge and experience."
David G. Armstrong (1989):  "is a master plan for selecting content and organizing learning experiences for the purpose of changing and developing learners' behaviors and insights."
Decker Walker (1990): A curriculum consists of those matter: A.  that teachers and students attend to together, B.  that students, teachers, and others concerned generally recognize as important to study and learn, as indicated particularly by using them as a basis for judging the success of both school and scholar, C.  the manner in which these matters are organized in relationship to one another, in relationship to the other elements in the immediate educational situation and in time and space.
Duncan and Frymier (1967):  a set of events, either proposed, occurring, or having occurred, which has the potential for reconstructing human experience.
Goodman (1963): A set of abstractions from actual industries, arts, professions, and civic activities, and these abstraction are brought into the school-box and taught.
Harnack (1968)  The curriculum embodies all the teaching-learning experiences guided and directed by the school.
Hass (1980): The curriculum is all of the experiences that individual learners have in a program of education whose purpose is to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives, which is planned in terms of a framework of theory and research or past and present professional practice.
Hilda Taba (1962): "All curricula, no matter what their particular design, are composed of certain elements.  A curriculum usually contains a statement of aims and of specific objectives; it indicates some selection and organization of content; it either implies or manifests certain patterns of learning and teaching, whether because the objectives demand them or because the content organization requires them.  Finally, it includes a program of evaluation of the outcomes."
Hollis L. Caswell and Doak S. Campbell:  "all the experiences children have under the guidance of teachers."
J. Galen Saylor, William M. Alexander, and Arthur J. Lewis (1974): "We define curriculum as a plan for providing sets of learning opportunities to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives for an identifiable population served by a single school center for persons to be educated."
Johnson (1967): Curriculum is a structural series of intended learning outcomes.  Curriculum prescribes (or at least anticipates) the results of instruction.  It does not prescribe the means...  To be used in achieving the results.
Jon Wiles and Joseph Bondi (1989):  curriculum is a goal or set of values, which are activated through a development process culminating in classroom experiences for students.  The degree to which those experiences are a true representation of the envisioned goal or goals is a direct function of the effectiveness of the curriculum development efforts.
Krug (1957):  Curriculum consists of all the means of instruction used by the school to provide opportunities for student learning experiences leading to desired learning outcomes.
Musgrave (1968):  the contrived activity and experience- organized, focused, systematic- that life, unaided, would not provide.
P.  Phenix (1962):  The curriculum should consist entirely of knowledge which comes from the disciplines... Education should be conceived as a guided recapitulation of the process of inquiry which gave rise to the fruitful bodies of organized knowledge comprising the established disciplines.
Peter F. Oliva (1989): "the program, a plan, content, and learning experiences."
Ralph Tyler (1957):  The curriculum is all of the learning of students which is planned by and directed by the school to attain its educational goals.
Robert Hutchins (1936):  The curriculum should consist of permanent studies-rules of grammar, reading, rhetoric and logic, and mathematics (for the elementary and secondary school), and the greatest books of the western world (beginning at the secondary level of schooling).
Ronald C. Doll (1988):  "the formal and informal content and process by which learners gain knowledge and understanding, develop skills, and alter attitudes, appreciations, and values under the auspices of that school."
Ronald Doll (1970):  The curriculum is now generally considered to be all of the experiences that learners have under the auspices of the school.
Shaver and Berlak (1968):  situations or activities arranged and brought into play by the teacher to effect student learning.
Smith and Orlovsky (1978): the content pupils are expected to learn.


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes