Looking at Curriculum Issues Within a Contextual Framework

Without a doubt, the basic elements of curriculum design must reflect the intentions of the teaching- learning goals for any educational program. As the following schematic demonstrates, curriculum considerations flow from the curriculum goals (what a student should know and be able to do ), to how to best teach and assess those goals in a unified or mutually supporting manner. Often the curriculum development process results in a fragmented curriculum where context is separated from meaning. As educators ponder over responses to content, instruction, and assessment issues, the essential elements of a contextual curriculum emerge and provide direction to their curriculum development effort.

The schematic presented here provides the reader with a snapshot of basic elements for designing contextual curriculum. Although there are numerous considerations for comprehensive curriculum development, the teaching-learning questions asked below guide the educator to think about curriculum design systematically and within a contextual framework.

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