A curriculum is a series of activities in which students engage with subject matter. Because everything cannot be studied at once, these activities must be orchestrated in some way. This arrangement is called curriculum design. Whether the subject is geometry, visual arts, or map skills, it is arranged in ways that emphasize some aspects and implications of the subject and neglect others. In this way, curriculum design is among the most powerful tools educators can use to influence what students learn.

Curriculum design can be viewed as an arrangement of materials prepared in advance and intended for instruction. Alternately, it can be considered as what emerges from interactions among teachers, students, and materials. In either case, however, a given design suggests conscious planning and brings with ...

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