The Definition of Curriculum

The term "curriculum" is not a straight forward word that can be defined nor its depth appreciated. Further investigation into this topic reveals that the art and science of curriculum building is a complex field that many authors, scholars or academic writers each have a different definition describing what curriculum means to them. This essay will attempt to address issues such as various definitions of curriculum, its purpose or goal, how it is developed, its structure, how it is influenced by different learning theories, the processes of teaching,

The word curriculum originates from a Latin word which means “a race” or “the course of the race”. Indeed, for many leaners and teachers the school curriculum is a race to run, a series of obstacles or hurdles to be passed. The definition of curriculum is not isolated to one context, there has been no agreed upon definition. Many different authors, scholars or academic writers have derived on various definitions of the word curriculum.

The definition of curriculum from different perspectives includes:

• Curriculum can briefly be defined as a“ plan for learning”.(Thijis and   Van Den Akker 2009:1)

• All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school.   (John Kerr)

• Marsh and Willis (2007, as cited in Marsh, 2010, p.93) define curriculum as "an interrelated set of plans and experiences which a student completes under the guidance of the school".

Braslavsky states that curriculum is an agreement amongst communities, educational professionals, and the State on what learners should take on during specific periods of their lives. Furthermore, the curriculum defines "why, what, when, where, how, and with whom to learn.

• Eisner (1985) defines a curriculum as a series of planned events that are intended to have educational consequences for one or more learners.

The definition of curriculum can be further...