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Types of Curriculum - A Guide


The curriculum in an educational setting acts as the main factor that determines the learning outcomes. It plays an important in defining the topic, and instructional methodologies of a learning process. There are multiple types of learning curriculum available for the students to choose from. The curriculum plays a vital role in determining what a student learns during the course of his/her education.

The topic that a particular curriculum covers will differ from another curriculum. It is important to choose the appropriate curriculum that matches the competency of the students. It should enable students to perform better and enhance their knowledge of individual students.

This article revolves around the different types of curriculum and how each is formulated and its impact on learners. Read on, to know what are the different types of curriculum are.

Written Curriculum

The written curriculum is also known as explicit curriculum or overt curriculum. As the name suggests a written curriculum is a curriculum that is formally written or documented and has to be followed by the teachers. This type of curriculum has a specific objective attached to it and it is usually formulated by experts. The expert would also seek the help of subject teachers for the creation of this curriculum. Therefore, teachers ought to follow the curriculum to have a greater impact on their students and also to make sure the objectives of the same are accomplished.  The written curriculum establishes a standard for what to teach in schools.

Hidden curriculum

Contrary to the written curriculum, the hidden curriculum is the lessons and values that students unintentionally learn during their education. It can contribute to the holistic development of students. Through this curriculum, students learn lessons that might help students to tackle real-life challenges. This helps students to develop skills that are necessary for them to excel in real-life situations. Moreover, these skills help them to have better career prospects. Hence, a hidden curriculum is essential for a student to grow as a person. They learn these values from teachers or other external factors in a school or learning environment.

To learn more about hidden curriculum, read our article on the same.

Societal curriculum (or social curricula)

Social curricula allow students to interact with others as well as empathize with them. This is essential because a student ought to learn in order to thrive in a social setup. Dr. Carlos E. Cortés, a Professor of History at the University of California has defined the term social curriculum.

Cortes defines this curriculum as follows:

“ [the] massive, ongoing, informal curriculum of family, peer groups, neighbourhoods, churches, organizations, occupations, mass media, and other socializing forces that “educate” all of us throughout our lives”.

From the definition, it is evident societal curriculum includes all lessons that students learn from any member of society. It helps students to develop social skills.

Subject-Centred Curriculum

The subject-centered curriculum will be based on a particular subject or discipline. It focuses on improving the knowledge of learners on a specific subject or discipline. It was formulated after much consideration and close examination of the subject. It is followed in a formal traditional educational setup. It gives information about what a student has to learn and how it should be taught or learned. It is followed by most schools in most countries. It is a part of the formal education system. In this type, teachers have to follow standard procedures to teach students. This type of curriculum is not curated based on the requirements of students or by considering the learning capabilities of students.

Student-Centered Curriculum

These days, the education system is shifting towards a learner-centered approach, where the learning styles and competencies of students are taken into account for applying different pedagogical methodologies. It acknowledges that each student is different and unique and does not follow a one-size-fits-for- all approach. Hence, it would have a great impact on students. It improves the learning experience for students. It caters to the needs of students and hence students become the ultimate focus. In this type, teachers act as facilitators in the learning processes to guide students in the proper direction.

Activity Centered Curriculum

In this, learning is revolved around activities. This kind of curriculum can have a long-lasting impact on students as it involves active involvement from students in the learning process. It is a shift from rote learning methodologies and hence the learning becomes more engaging and exciting.

Moreover, knowledge retention will be high as students are learning concepts through activities. Like student-centered curricula, it would be beneficial for learners. In addition, students will be able to grasp the concepts in a better way and in a much quicker pace.

Teacher-Centered Curriculum

Here, the teacher plays a key role in delivering the knowledge and skills to students. Compared to student-centered, this type does not consider the learning requirements or competencies of students. It is more about teachers and less about the students' participation. Here, teachers play an authoritative role where they put forth learning methodologies that the student ought to follow. Also, in this curricula, since teachers have an upper hand, they have the opportunity to exhibit their talents and capabilities to deliver knowledge in the most effective way.

Integrated Curriculum

It is formulated by integrating two or more disciplines. These disciplines would have some similarities in terms of themes and concepts. The child's capacity to apply what they learn in one context to another is enhanced by this method. This curriculum helps in the development of life skills among the students. They learn to deal with problems that are out of their discipline and also help in their holistic development.


The objective of this article was to introduce the readers to different types of curriculum. The articles also discuss the involvement of learners in each curriculum and the impact each has on students. As mentioned above, each type of curriculum has its own purpose and might be followed by educators in one way or the other. Educators can focus on any curriculum that serves their purpose or on a specific type of teaching methodology that caters to their requirements.

Teachmint is one of the leading education infrastructure providers in the country. With our advanced learning management system, you can improve the teaching-learning experience. Our offerings like education erp, admission management system, fee management system, and others conveniently digitize educational institutions.

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