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Subject-Centered Curriculum

  • By: Larry D. Burton
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Throughout the 20th century, most curriculum specialists in the United States relied on three or four data sources for making curriculum decisions: the child, the society, learning processes, and subject matter. Although alternative curriculum development approaches or models have been advanced that relied on the first three sources, the subject areas have dominated school curriculum since the beginning of formal education in the United States. Subject-centered curriculum remains the most common type of curriculum organization in most states and in most local school districts today.

In subject-centered curricula, the subject matter itself serves as the organizing structure for what is studied and how it is studied. In its purest form, the curriculum for each subject-area is designed by subject-matter experts and is intended to be studied ...

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