A curriculum? How does that sound to you?
As a parent am sure you are aware that education is the most important thing you can ever give your child to secure a better future.
But the question is, which curriculum will you chose for him or her?
It is important for you to know that, each child is an individual with unique learning style.
Hence, what works for one child may not necessarily work for the other.
That is why you need to educate yourself first on what a curriculum is, before making a decision.
At the end, no matter which curriculum you choose, you can be confident knowing that you have considered all options and made a smart choice for the education of your child.
Now let us begin by answering the basic question.
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What Is A Curriculum?
A curriculum is a planned sequence of learning experiences.
In other words we can also say that it is a comprehensive overview of what students should learn, how they will learn it, what role the instructor is playing, and the framework in which learning and teaching will take place.
Educational curriculum is usually developed by stakeholders, though in some cases it can also be done by the government, the school or an individual.
Whichever way or by whoever it was developed, the goal of a curriculum must be to enhance teaching and learning.
Read Also: What is an academic curriculum?
Types Of Curriculum
Curriculum can be grouped into many categories but for the sake of this lesson, let us look at it from two sides.
- Local curriculum
- International curriculum
Educational policies and rules may vary from one nation to the other.
What one country consider valuable may not be the same for another country, hence every national has its own curriculum locally recognized, approved and used by it citizens. `
For example, if you live in Ghana, it is likely for you to be following the Ghana Education Service (GES) curriculum.
If you live in Singapore, it is likely for you to be following the Singaporean curriculum.
So you see the curriculum of the state or the country from where you live and work is the curriculum of the nation or the local curriculum.
There are other curriculums, which are not developed locally but are highly regarded and use the world over.
Some may also be curriculums of other nation but is highly sort after and used worldwide.
These are the curriculum known as the international curriculum.
International curriculum includes:
- American Curriculum
- British Curriculum
- Indian Curriculum
- French Curriculum
- International Baccalaureate
The American Curriculum
The American Curriculum is mostly associated with education in the United States; it is purely base on Hands-on learning.
Taught in many schools worldwide, this system promotes individual achievement and academic excellence in a very broad range of subject areas.
What It Entails:
- Available in schools worldwide
- Ideal for students keen to attend US and Canadian universities
- A flexible curriculum which can be individually tailored to suit unique schools
- A broad, balanced and student centered approach
- Assessed though standardized testing
- Students complete SAT and advanced placement tests for university
The British Curriculum
The British Curriculum is also known as the National Curriculum for England, and this system focuses on creativity and creating measurable, achievable goals for students.
It provides a carefully structured system of assessments at every educational stage.
This ensures every student, parent and child is aware of individual progress and goals, helping all children reach their potential.
Critical thinking, flexibility and a liberal approach are all important parts of this respected curriculum
What It Entails:
- Taught widely in international schools across the globe
- Broad, balanced and student-centered
- Features regular national benchmarking and assessment
- Results in an International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), AS and A level qualifications
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The Indian Curriculum
The Indian curriculum believes wholeheartedly that a good education is your child’s passport to life’s opportunities.
With a focus on Indian culture and values, alongside the pursuit of academic excellence, Indian curricula taught in international schools encourage dedicated study and help each student take personal responsibility for their own academic success.
What It Entails:
- Includes the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations)
- Strong focus on academics
- Effective for a very wide ability range
- Ideal for students keen to enter the best Indian universities
- Growing acceptance from universities worldwide
The French Curriculum
As the name implies, the French Curriculum originated in France.
Even so, the success of the French style of learning has allowed the French Curriculum to spread far beyond its native France.
These days the French Curriculum has found its way into schools around the world, including many progressive educational institutions in the United States.
The origins of the French Curriculum date back to the 1789 revolution, which overthrew the rule of kings and introduced the principles of democracy to the French people.
In modern France education is both free and compulsory, and the system of learning is firmly based on the principles of the French Curriculum.
These principles include a dedication to academic freedom and independent learning, as well as the principles of neutrality and a secular approach to the education of young people.
What It Entails:
- Takes a secular approach to learning.
- Neutrality is crucial, allowing students to make up their own minds on controversial issues.
- Focus on core knowledge and skills.
- Provide both structured learning and individual freedom for students.
The International Baccalaureate
Many of our international dual curriculum schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) as an alternative curriculum for your child’s two pre-university years.
This is a highly internationally respected curriculum, designed to give students a global outlook and a rigorous education in the broadest range of subjects possible.
What It Entails:
- Strong international focus
- Very well-respected by international universities
- Seen as the broadest international curriculum
- Early introduction to independent research
- School-driven formative assessments
- Available at primary, middle and diploma levels
The most important role as a parent is to provide your children with quality education and that means taking the time to assess and learn more about the different curriculum options available.
Each country has developed its own system of educating its children, and the long track record of the various curricula provides structure for parents seeking quality education for their own children.
As with any decision, the best way to choose a curriculum for your son or daughter is to educate yourself and learn all you can.
There is no exact one approach to the education of children, and the child who thrives under one educational system may not do as well under another.
What you need to do now, is to understand the needs of your own son or daughter and get a curriculum that best meets their needs, interests and talents.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson?
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Which curriculum is your child following in school?
If you are yet to, what curriculum will you chose for your child?