Whenever the topic of education is discussed the terms ‘syllabus’ and ‘curriculum’ always come up, people often comprehend them as the same but that’s not the case syllabus and curriculum are both different and have their significance. Where ‘syllabus’ is the document that covers all the information about different concepts and topics that are needed to be taught in a particular subject, ‘curriculum’ has overall content that is needed to be taught in a particular course, it includes set guidelines for the chapters and it also teaches attitudes, values and skills to the students.
Today as the old classroom education is changing to new methods of teaching and learning like online teaching and learning, hybrid teaching and flipped classrooms, the curriculum of the education also needs to be updated and changed according to teaching-learning needs, changing educational objectives and societal changes.
Here are the different types of curricula that are implemented.
Child-Centred Curriculum: The central idea behind the development of this curriculum is to keep the interests, abilities and learning needs of the child in mind, as its name suggests in child-centred curriculum students are the focal point of education. In this curriculum, students are allowed to engage in self-learning activities rather than just mugging chapters. The role of the teacher in this curriculum is as a facilitator and students are the ones who actively take part in the learning process to meet the educational objectives. Students going on field trips, participating in debate competitions, presenting topics in front of the class and making models are examples of the ways through which students learn under the child-centred curriculum. Today this is the type of curriculum that is being implemented in most schools, colleges and universities.
Teacher-Centered Curriculum: This type of curriculum focuses majorly on the teachers and their teaching skills, unlike in child-centred curriculum, in this curriculum teachers are active participants in the teaching-learning process. Teachers are given the responsibility to create lesson plans according to them and deliver them in front of students, the learning needs and choices of students are not considered in this type of curriculum. The teachers are to develop a sense of authority among the students, and during the lectures, students act as passive listeners and the teachers do all the work. The lecture method of teaching used is the best example of a teacher-centred curriculum, where teachers keep teaching and students are expected to listen and understand. This kind of method of teaching is useful when teachers need to maintain order and discipline in the classroom.
Written Curriculum: Written curriculum is the type of curriculum which is developed for the formal instructions to be used in the schools. In this curriculum, instructions are written in the form of text, lesson plans, reference books and instruction manuals by the teachers and administrators for the other or future teachers and administrators to help them for the instructional purposes of the school. This curriculum helps in maintaining consistency of education as documented curriculum helps teachers and administrators remember the objectives, structure and expectations of the curriculum. The syllabus written and lesson plans made by the teachers and principles are examples of the written curriculum.
Hidden Curriculum: The hidden curriculum is that which is not written or not intended to be taught formally to the students, concepts like values, attitudes, beliefs and norms come under the wing of the hidden curriculum. Through this curriculum, students learn about cultural values and develop qualities like honesty, kindness and humanity which make them better people and responsible citizens of tomorrow. Coming early and attending classes on time teaches punctuality and keeping your mic off on the live teaching app when another student is speaking, teaches respecting others’ opinions. Both these values are being taught unintentionally as teachers don’t take lectures for these values.
Core Curriculum: The core curriculum includes the set of knowledge, skills and values that are essential and are mandatory to learn for all the general students. The subjects like languages, maths, science and social science are the ones that are taught mandatorily to the students to comprehend and function in the society. This curriculum helps in developing the moral, social and educational values of students.