Scope of the Curriculum

When designing curriculum, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. In this post, we will look at the following question.

  1. How wide and deep should the curriculum be?

How wide and deep should the curriculum be? This first question relates to the scope of a curriculum. The scope is breadth and depth of a curriculum. Some curriculum are broad, in that they have many different ideas and subjects discussed, while not being very deep because nothing is discussed in detail. An example of this would be any kind of music or art appreciation class.  There are many topics that are discussed in a shallow way. This is because the goal of the course is often exposure to unfamiliar content rather than mastery of it. Other classes are much more narrow in focus but concepts are dealt with in great detail.

One example of this would be an upper division education class such as classroom management. This class is highly focused on one particular aspect of teaching.  The students have learned the fundamentals and now need deeper knowledge of this one facet of teaching. The scope of a curriculum is determined by the goals of the designer. Do the students need more breadth or depth? What do they need to know for the future? Scope addresses these concerns. One cannot say a curriculum is too broad or narrow unless it does not match the needs of the students and or the goals of the institution. In other words, scope can only be inappropriate in comparison to the goals and needs of the stakeholders.

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