This article describes the seven types of curriculum and classroom implications. Upon reading this article, you will realize the complexity of the term “curriculum” as I discuss each type, along with the examples. Read on and find out the different types.
Allan Grathon (2000), as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008), describes the seven types of the curriculum in the following section.
Table of Contents
Seven Types of Curriculum
1. Recommended Curriculum
Perhaps you have asked these questions: Why should I take all these subjects and follow the course flow religiously? Why is there a need to implement the K to 12? The answer is simple! The Ministry of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, or any professional organization can recommend and implement a curriculum.
For example, in the Philippines, the curriculum being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) or the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) is an example of a recommended curriculum. In some cases, a law-making body like the congress and the senate, or a university or a school can recommend a subject, a course, or any academic program deemed necessary for national identity and security, for environmental protection and sustainable development, among others.
2. Written Curriculum
The written curriculum refers to a lesson plan or syllabus written by teachers. Another example is the one written by curriculum experts with the help of subject teachers. This kind of written curriculum needs to be pilot tested or tried out in sample schools to determine its effectiveness.
3. Taught Curriculum
This is about the implementation of the written curriculum. Whatever is being taught or an activity being done in the classroom is a taught curriculum. So, when teachers give a lecture, initiate group work, or ask students to do a laboratory experiment with the their guidance, the taught curriculum is demonstrated. This curriculum contains different teaching and learning styles to address the students’ needs and interests.
4. Supported Curriculum
The supported curriculum is about the implementation of the written curriculum. Whatever is being taught or activity being done in the classroom is a taught curriculum. So, when teachers give a lecture, initiate group work, or ask students to do a laboratory experiment with their guidance, the taught curriculum is demonstrated. This curriculum contains different teaching styles or strategies and learning styles to address the students’ needs and interests.
5. Assessed Curriculum
When students take a quiz or the mid-term and final exams, these evaluations are the so-called assessed curriculum. Teachers may use the pencil and paper tests and authentic assessments like portfolio assessment and performance-based assessments to know if the students are progressing or not.
6. Learned Curriculum
This type of curriculum indicates what the students have learned. The capability that students should demonstrate at the end of the lesson can be measured through learning outcomes. A learning outcome can be manifested by what students can perform or do either in their cognitive, affective, or psychomotor domains. The test results can determine the learning outcome, and the students can achieve it through learning objectives.
Read More: Learning Outcomes 101: A Comprehensive Guide
7. Hidden Curriculum
The hidden curriculum refers to the unplanned or unintended curriculum but plays a vital role in learning. It consists of norms, values, and procedures. See the three-minute video below for more details.
Classroom Implications of the Different Types of Curriculum
Now, let’s discuss some classroom implications of the different curriculum types by taking the following situation as an example.
Let’s assume that you are a college student taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English. Your course or degree program is a recommended curriculum prescribed by CHED. The syllabi given to you by your teachers are the written curriculum. When your teachers start to teach, that is a taught curriculum. And when they ask you to use the internet and search for information about future-oriented topics like regenerative medicine as a very effective but noninvasive approach to better health, this is a supported curriculum.
Furthermore, teachers need to evaluate your performance. So, when you are given a test or exam, that is the assessed curriculum. The assessed curriculum results will determine what you have learned—and that is the so-called learned curriculum. However, the hidden curriculum can affect what will be taught and assessed by your teachers and eventually affect what you will learn.
To sum it up, the curriculum is not only about a course or a simple listing of subjects, but it is the total learning experience of students as indicated by the seven types of curriculum.
Recent Advances in Curriculum Development
As advances in curriculum development occur, there emerged a transformative approach to teaching and learning that has been gaining momentum in recent years—the creative curriculum. This approach paved the way for the design of a curriculum that integrates traditional academic disciplines with real-world applications, tapping into students’ inherent curiosity to foster an engaging and collaborative learning environment.
Since ChatGPT came into being in November 2022, software-based curriculum applications that use artificial intelligence emerged as the best way forward in designing an appropriate curriculum for learners of varied needs. Innovative, responsive, and up-to-date curriculum powered by the so-called curriculum engine can be designed quickly and more reliably with efficient use of digital resources.
Suggested Related Readings
Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.
© 2015 January 7 M. G. Alvior | 3rd Revision: 5 January 2024