Tag Archives: Curriculum theory

Approaches to Curriculum

A person’s approach to curriculum is really just their philosophy or beliefs about how curriculum should be created. There are many different approaches to curriculum and the same approach could have multiple names. Among the most prominent approaches are the behavioral approach and the academic approach.

The behavioral approach is focused on, as you can guess, behavior.  This approach is grounded in scientific principles. Everything the students do must be observable as this is the evidence that the student has achieved the goals and objectives, which are also based on observable behaviors.  All activities lead to students being able to do whatever the goals and objective specify. Even today, most curriculums are behavioral focus as this is very easy to assess.

The academic approach is a more focused on the structure of knowledge and organization of subject matter into subjects. The training and development of the mind is what is most important. Observable actions are not as significant in this approach. When people adopt this approach they believe in training the mind like a muscle. A strong muscle can be used in many different ways just as a strong mind can be used in many different occupations in life.

Behaviorist focus on training people to develop skills while academics focus on training the mind to think. In reality, these two approaches complement one another and help to make well-rounded individuals. Focusing on one over the other is not the wisest way to develop students.