WHAT IS A CURRICULUM?
The concept of curriculum has two possible aspects: 1) the theoretical design of a structured educational model and 2) the set of strategies that a student must use to achieve academic success.
A plan is a systematic model that is developed before carrying out a certain action with the intention of directing it. In this sense, we can say that a curriculum is the curricular design that applies to certain lessons taught by a study center.
The curriculum provides guidelines in education : teachers will be responsible for instructing students on the topics mentioned in the plan, while students will have the obligation to learn these contents if they wish to graduate.
In addition to the training, the training of future professionals is included in the development of a study plan . This means that, together with the particular techniques of each discipline, it is sought that the student acquires responsibility for his or her future as a professional and the impact it will have on a social level.
In the case of university education in Spain we find the fact that any study plan, as established in a royal decree, must include several sections irremediably. Specifically, it must be made up of justification, objectives, content, resources, quality assurance system, student admission, planning and previous results.
When we refer to what the university master’s degrees are, their corresponding curricula must be comprised, among other elements, of the seminars, the directed works, the evaluation activities, the compulsory and optional subjects, the external practices and the final work Master’s
It should be noted that a curriculum can also be called a curriculum or curriculum . This Latin term means “career of life” ; Therefore, the curriculum involves a “career” where the goal is graduation or obtaining the degree.
The notion of a curriculum transcends that of the educational program . The program supposes a list with the contents that must be taught; The curriculum also determines how the instruction will be and explains why those contents have been selected.
It is important to keep in mind that curricula change over time, as they must be adapted to new social circumstances and updated so that student training does not lose value.
On a personal level, and in order to be able to carry out the academic training that they are carrying out in order to obtain the required degree, there are many individuals who decide to establish their own curriculum. In this way, not only will they organize their time much better but they will establish a planning that is absolutely effective to overcome that.
Specifically, when talking about this type of study plan, it is established that it should be made up of sections such as the aforementioned planning, motivation, subjects, minimum and maximum hours of study per day, breaks … And all This without forgetting that for this to be effective it is essential that the student take into account a series of factors that will influence said achievement of objectives, we are referring to the place of study, the environment, the routine and the hours of sleep.
Origin and evolution
The curriculum concept was used in the pedagogical context since the 17th century. Based on Anglo-American technology and its international meaning, it was introduced in the discussion of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1697 by SB Robinsohn.
The curriculum being determined by a social, political and cultural framework is subject to constant modifications established by the dynamics of a historical moment. Thus, the curriculum in the twentieth century, was marked by profound changes such as the emergence of industrial society and the consequent production, being necessary to implement in education a curriculum project capable of generating the type of citizen that industrialization claimed.
Nelly Moulin, from a classical vision, remembers that in Medieval Europe the curriculum meant the set of subjects or contents, as well as the development of the studies carried out in the school. The middle school curriculum represented a very restricted elite, included in the first cycle the trivium: grammar, rhetoric and dialectic and, in the second cycle, the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.
The establishment of the educational system required a discipline that analyzed the problems of teaching from an institutional perspective.Remember that the teaching of the seventeenth century had emerged as a discipline dedicated to the study of teaching in an individual dimension: the teacher and his students. In fact, in the work of Comenio, La Salle and Pestalozzi, this perspective is clearly observed, whose horizon is enrolled in school courses: first, second and third grade, for example, but where the school is not considered part of a system Educational or social system. Only after the French Revolution are laws enacted that establish the compulsory primary education as a state responsibility. The curricular field emerged in the late twentieth century showing enormous developments in relation to two trends:
to. One linked to the educational processes, school experiences and the development of each student. Thus, the philosopher and educator of the so-called progressive movement of education, John Dewey, elaborates The child and the curriculum (1902) where he proposes a student-centered perspective and makes important developments on the role of learning experience.
b. A closer look at the institutions, that is, the need to clearly establish a sequence of contents that support the choice of teaching topics. The proposal is formulated by an engineer, administration professor, Franklin Bobbit, who presents his book How to make the curriculum (1924), considered the first systematic work on curricular problems, which emerged in a period when the movement of force emerged. social efficiency, which focused on the question of “what should the school teach?” as a problem that should be addressed scientifically and in The Curriculum (1918). Bobbitt, a professor at the University of Wisconsin (United States), was a reformer who fought the education of his time.
The history of the curriculum in particular and curricular studies in general have continued to be reduced mainly to the Anglo-Saxon world, at least until today. The curriculum focused as an academic field made efforts to find a theory of the curriculum, especially since the 1920s and 1930s, which marks a fundamental difference between the American and European debate on education and school. In Europe, the debate focused mainly on the teaching of the different disciplinary subjects (Gundem, 2000; Autio, 2006; Lundgren, 2015) (and in Germany, in addition, in teaching in general, in relation to the idea of Bildung, vid. Horlacher, 2015).
In its origins the term “curriculum” was understood in a somewhat more restricted sense, as it was associated with what should be taught in schools, making exclusive reference to the contents of the disciplines and the curriculum of a particular subject. Currently, a curriculum model is still being built that is capable of serving on its own an education that respects differences, making transformations to meet the needs of different students.
The curriculum as an educational model
In the academic field, a structured scheme of the different contents and periods of each area of knowledge must be organized within an educational stage. Thus, a curriculum is a global strategy that serves as a normative guide for its application by education professionals . Its purpose is evident: that the students reach a series of competences in the different areas.
Elements and pedagogical principles of the curricula
In general, these plans include basic skills, cognitive or artistic, among others. In this way, in the design of a study plan, the type of competence that corresponds to each area of knowledge is specified (for example, a subject such as biology promotes cognitive competence and a subject such as drawing develops or promotes competence artistic).
Any curriculum must be governed by a series of pedagogical principles. Some of the most significant would be the following
1) the student is the fundamental axis of the learning process,
2) for learning to be effective it must be planned,
3) it is necessary to generate an adequate learning environment,
4) we must promote collaborative work between students and teachers,
5) emphasis must be placed on curricular standards and competencies that must be achieved
6) educational materials adapted to the needs of the students should be used,
7) learning has to be permanently evaluated,
8) education has to favor the integration and inclusion of all students,
9) it is convenient to incorporate relevant issues from a social point of view,
10) a curriculum must be designed in which the different actors of education (students, teachers and families) are contemplated and the role of each of them is delimited,
11) a climate of respect and coexistence must be promoted and
12) A tutorial action and advice must be incorporated so that students can achieve their goals.
If we understand the word plan as a program that establishes what things will be done and how they will be done (escape plan, career plan etc), we can say that a curriculum is a guide that collects what subjects will be taught and how it will be done in every moment
For us to understand it a little better, the curriculum would be a way of establishing guidelines within education . Thanks to this curriculum, teachers (whether in colleges, institutes or universities) can instruct their students following a clear script.
A correct curriculum must have fairly defined and clear parts. Thus, it is essential to talk about the objectives that students must achieve with said plan, thus justifying the contents and resources that will be necessary to impart the knowledge that will allow them to achieve said objectives.
Curricula will change at each student stage. In addition, it should be noted that these plans may vary over time ; and it is that the curricula must also be renewed to be completely adapted to the reality of our days.
The importance of the curriculum for universities and colleges lies in the fact that with this plan they can attract more or less students. Thanks to that script, parents and students will be able to observe what kind of knowledge is prioritized in that center, as well as the basis of their education.
It is also important for teachers, because without this curriculum they would be completely lost. It is essential for teachers to establish their own action plan and give the necessary subjects in the established time.
The curriculum is also important for the student. Students can consult it to find out what are the requirements and knowledge necessary to obtain a certain degree or diploma. Without these plans they will be lost to a large mass of formless matter .
As we see, the importance of the curriculum is really vital for current education. It should also be noted that the creation of such plans must be done carefully. It must be understood that a bad curriculum will mean that teachers are not able to do their job and that students do not understand anything about the educational process they are undergoing. Thus, the main function of this plan is to create an individual who can perfectly understand the knowledge necessary to face our current world.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UPDATE IT?
1. Constant change in global industries
Since the world is constantly evolving, thanks to new technologies and the arrival of the Internet, it is essential that the educational plans of all careers evolve along with innovation.
Otherwise, the knowledge that students acquire during university will not be applicable when obtaining their professional degree and exercising their career.
Take into account that in recent years systems, devices and all kinds of technological tools have emerged that make professional activities more efficient and even expand their fields of action.
For that reason, educational institutions must adapt the content of their degrees to the new needs of markets and international reality.
2. Inclusion of new study modalities
Another aspect of great relevance for universities in relation to academic plans is the updating of the learning modalities through which they teach their chairs.
An example of this is that today a large number of educational institutions offer online degrees in which students do not have to go to a campus to obtain a degree and finish a degree, which allows them to save on transfers and take their race wherever they are.
On the other hand, for those who work and have other responsibilities during the day, universities have also designed specially created academic plans so that they can complete their training.
A sample of this are the Executive Bachelor’s degrees, which have flexible schedules, a shorter duration than traditional programs and modular educational programs.
The latter means that students should only take a couple of subjects at a time to facilitate their understanding.
Because of this, if you have a busy schedule, but you dream of accelerating your development, these are ideal alternatives to achieve it.
As you can see, by allowing curricula to evolve along with the global environment in which we live, the opportunities for more people to access comprehensive and quality training are greater.
3. Optimization of learning methods
Last but not least, updating a curriculum is essential to seek improvements in the teaching processes of all careers.
This implies, of course, a constant evaluation of the students’ performance, their employ ability when obtaining their professional degree and their graduation profile, since when analyzing these factors, areas in which it is necessary to reinforce the programs in order for education to be more increasingly meaningful and effective.
That’s it! If you got here you already know what a curriculum is and why it is important to update it, which will be of great relevance for you if you decide to pursue your career soon to reach your goals.
Do not forget that when reviewing the subjects of an academic program you must verify that they are adapted to the characteristics and needs of the industry and the current society.
If you choose a university that takes these characteristics into account when designing your training plans, you will have all the tools to perform successfully in the work area of your interest and aspire to positions of greater responsibility.
In addition to this, a quality institution offers its students employ ability and entrepreneurship programs that help them expand their opportunities and, consequently, achieve financial stability and other goals.