Continuity and Curriculum

Another consideration of curriculum design is continuity. Continuity is the repetition of important concepts within the curriculum vertical or over time.  For example, if developing critical thinking is important in a curriculum than this concept will appear throughout the curriculum at a gradual higher and higher level of complexity. This ensures that the students develop mastery of the important concept or idea.

One simple way to look at continuity is the idea of repeat and expand. A teacher shares an idea one way. In the future, they return to the idea and add another layer of complexity to it. This process is repeated over and over again until the entire concept is explained to the students.

The person who has developed the idea of continuity to its highest levels is probably Jerome Bruner. He is widely known for the development of the spiral curriculum in which ideas are developed and redeveloped over the course of a curriculum. Burner is famous for this because he was one of the first to document and explain this technique.

Teachers need to be aware of how they will approach continuity. Some ideas need to be addressed more than once. It is up to the curriculum designer to know when this is necessary.

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