All societies and cultures wrestle with the fundamental question of education: What should schools teach children? It is a complex question because it means not only is it necessary to parse through all the available knowledge, skills, and values available in any place or time, but there is also the complexity created by answering this question amidst the diverse regional, cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious traditions that also exist.

Because of this, there is significant debate about the curriculum schools should teach, who should select the curriculum, and how it should be taught and evaluated. This entry briefly describes different conceptions of curriculum, provides some examples of critical analyses of curriculum, discusses the relationship between curriculum and what is referred to as “official knowledge,” and concludes ...

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