Activity 2

Section 1: Assessing Curriculum Foundations and Theory, Design, Development, and Implementation

Course Resources
The Resources area for this course contains a variety of reference materials that will help you to complete the course activities. It is suggested that you become familiar with these resources before you begin the activities.

References used for research need to be peer reviewed/scholarly journals, which can be found by searching the Northcentral University Library databases. These journals typically have the following characteristics:

  • Articles      are reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for      publication.
  • Articles      are written by a scholar or specialist in the field.
  • Articles      report on original research or experimentation.
  • Articles      are often published by professional associations.
  • Articles      utilize terminology associated with the discipline.

Information literacy is a set of skills that help you to find and appropriately apply information. The Northcentral University Library has developed a tutorial based on the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Information Literacy Standards and is intended to raise awareness on how one effectively interacts with information. Review the Information Literacy Tutorial to become familiar with information literacy at Northcentral. 

Writing Center 
Northcentral values your progress and success as a scholarly writer. Please access the Writing Center from your student home page to see a wide variety of writing tips and examples to help you as you compose written submissions for this and other Northcentral courses.

The Writing Center also contracts with SmartThinking, an online 24/7 tutoring service that offers assistance in mathematics, statistics, finance, and writing. You can contact SmartThinking from the home page of the Writing Center. 

Curriculum Foundations
Curriculum is a field of study that has been evolving since the first educators began to teach and study what it meant to deliver knowledge. This field, however, has eluded a clear and concise definition of the word �curriculum� and what it should encompass. Opinions vary widely from those who ascribe a narrow focus on curriculum as merely subjects to be taught, or widely, as all that individuals require for full societal participation. It may be that there are no clear answers to be found in perfectly, or even adequately, defining curriculum, as our ideas about what and how to teach are shaped by our ever-changing society. Curriculum developers will organize content, emphasize subject matter, choose textbooks, recommend methodology, and evaluate learning based on (a) their philosophical leanings, (b) their view of what has transpired through history, (c) theories of learning, and (d) social factors. A curriculum developer�s actions are guided by his or her beliefs and attitudes that are formed by experience with the philosophical, historical, psychological, and social factors that have contributed to the field over time.

Curriculum Principles: Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

Design: Curriculum Design must be considered because it is where essential attitudes, skills, and concepts are addressed in the curriculum. Existing designs include subject, learner, and problem centered that are historically and philosophically based. Each designer needs to carefully consider which design or blend of designs will serve best. Designers need to consider all domains of learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor) when developing objectives. The Ornstein text describes cognitive learning as divided into six levels using Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy model (see pages 229-230). “Levels 2-6 address various problem solving skills and abilities. Each level depends on acquisition of the previous level.” It is rather like the foundation of a house supporting the upper walls. The use of such a model has direct and indirect implications for curriculum and teaching. Affective and psychomotor objectives have received less emphasis but should be considered in the design as well.

Development: As with designs, curriculum developers make choices based on their perceptions and philosophies. They develop content selecting from many models to meet the needs of their students, schools, and communities and to address the outcomes of their task and needs analyses.

Implementation: Successful implementation depends on many factors. Even the best materials must be carefully introduced and care must be taken to thoroughly understand and plan the change process.

Curriculum Evaluation: Evaluation must start at the very beginning of curriculum development. Every aspect of the curriculum is evaluated at every point before, during, and after implementation. Choices of approaches to evaluation and evaluation models are influenced by beliefs and attitudes rooted in varying philosophies and ultimately result in the evaluation steps taken.

Stimulating Your Learning
Consider this visual as you reflect on the components of curriculum. Imagine the curriculum you use in light of this model. How might you make revisions using each of these aspects of curriculum?



Required Reading:

Please refer to the Activity Resources section of each activity for the required readings.

Assignment 2   Evaluating Curriculum Design and Development Discussion

Many representative curriculum designs help reinforce the aims of the curriculum. These different design options allow educators a wide selection to choose from. A particular design may be favored over another. Each design influences the character of the school leaders who adopt it, but it can be difficult to discern which design is employed because schools often blend these varying approaches to best meet the needs of their community.

Activity Resources

  • Ornstein,      A. C., &Hunkins, F. P. (2009): Review Chapters 6-8


  1. Read      the assigned chapters noted above in the Activity Resources.
    • In       your text, carefully review the four basic parts of curriculum       design: objectives, content, learning experience and evaluation.
  2. Use      the NCU      Library,      and or other resources you may find helpful to research more detail      regarding this topic.
  3. Review      APA Form and Style

In the Ornstein text, you reviewed the four basic parts of curriculum design: objectives, content, learning experiences, and evaluation. These basic components will be selected based on the philosophical orientation of the designer. Curriculum design differs from instructional design, which is more focused on methods, materials, and activities. Together they make up the final product: The curriculum.

Subject   Centered Design



  • advocates the creation of        separate subjects
  • perennialism and essentialism
  • focuses on scientific        knowledge



  • promotes specialized        disciplines within the curriculum to process information
  • perennialism and essentialism
  • focuses on academics at the        exclusion of vocational, life skills, science, knowledge

Broad   Fields


  • allows for interdisciplinary        inquiry into broad subjects and across different disciplines
  • essentialism and        progressivism
  • emphasizes the source of        knowledge and society



  • separates subjects while        linking related content
  • essentialism and        progressivism
  • rooted in knowledge



  • based on progressivism
  • highlights psychology and        knowledge as the source.



Centered   Designs

  • Are all grounded in        progressivism or essentialism.
  • They source the child as a        constant theme for curricular focus.
  • The child�s        needs, interest, and experiences are the emphasis.
  • child-centered
  • experience-centered
  • radical, and humanistic


Centered   designs

  • Focus on the society as the        source for the curriculum
  • Rooted in Reconstructionism
  • Focus on life or social        problems
  • Life-situation
  • Social reconstructionist

See Ornstein &Hunkins, 2009, p. 206, Table 6.1 for more complete information.

Curriculum Development can be separated into two predominant camps: Technical and Non-technical

Curriculum Implementation must be carefully planned with extensive knowledge of the change process.

Main Task: Choose a curriculum design 
For this Activity, you will write a paper with the following two distinct parts:

  1. Choose      a curriculum design or combination you most prefer from the table in the      Pre-Activity. Remember you do not have to fall into one camp and one camp      only � you need to be flexible according to the situation. *(Take a minute      to view the short clip below before starting).

Bruce Lee, the martial arts master, simply said, “Be water, my friend.” He was trying to explain that his martial arts style was adaptive to every situation, not locked in by technique. You may view Bruce Lee�s response in kinetic typography.

  1. Justify      your selection and give specific reasons for your choice.
  2. Select      a subject to develop curriculum around that design and      describe the following:
    1. whether       it will be technical, or non-technical (or a blend) and why
    2. how       you will develop the aims, goals, and objectives and why
    3. and       who will help you and why.

Support your paper with a minimum of three (3) scholarly sources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.

Length: 5-7 pages not including title and reference pages

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere toNorthcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.


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