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Curriculum, Definitions Of

  • By: Donna Adair Breault & J. Dan Marshall
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

The term curriculum has numerous definitions. Some educators see the numerous and diverse definitions as a problem (confusion perpetuated, chaos within the field, etc.), while others suggest that when analyzed carefully, these definitions differ little. So why bother to address this cacophony of curriculum connotations?

In his 1992 interpretation of the field, Philip Jackson offered a clear and straightforward explanation for multiple curriculum definitions in relation to the growth of the curriculum field. For him, new definitions represent efforts to change or embellish the traditional meaning (and the one still commonly used) of course of study. John Dewey expanded upon this notion by introducing the learner's experience into the definition. For Dewey, the child or learner would be helped to encounter the curriculum (school subject or ...

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