Curriculum, Instruction and Meaningful Student Involvement

Whether it is the lessons taught in classes, the specific course of learning students follow, or the entire program of learning and teaching throughout a student’s educational career, understanding curriculum is in the middle of Meaningful Student Involvement.

The Breadth of Curriculum and Instruction

Students should understand what it is, what it does, why it is used and who it serves. (Ngussa & Makewa, 2014) Students should have a working knowledge of the parts of a curriculum, including the learning materials, teaching methods and educational environment where the curriculum is delivered.

Examining single topic approaches to learning, integrated learning, blended learning and flipped classrooms are all keys to understanding curriculum. Students should learn the difference between moving between classrooms for different subjects, multi-age classrooms and looping grades. An exploration of organized and planned learning is key to students learning about curriculum, as well as recognizing the difference between classes and extracurricular activities like sports, clubs and student government.

Instruction focuses on teachers facilitating opportunities for students to build knowledge through problem solving. Students gather, interpret and relate that knowledge according to what they already know. Because of this process, teaching focuses on organizing, structuring and using knowledge in order to most effectively foster student learning. This happens through curriculum.

Finally, students should understand the difference between the process of learning and the outcomes of teaching. The process of learning can involve all of the different elements listed in this section on curriculum so far. However, the outcomes of teaching are explored below in the section on assessment.

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