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What Are The 5 Types Of Curriculum Operating In The Schools

The term curriculum is used to describe the overall instruction, plan, and structure of educational courses and programs offered at schools. Such courses may cover a single grade, multiple grades, or several disciplines.

There are many different types of curriculum found in schools with different objectives and outcomes. The five most commonly-utilized curricula in schools are academic, experiential,hidden, traditional, and Waldorf.

Academic Curriculum

Academic curriculum is the most commonly used curriculum in public and private schools. It has a specific structure and follows a logical progression towards achieving a set of standards and objectives. This type of curriculum is usually linked to state or national standards, and is tailored toward the specific needs of students.

Academic curriculum focuses on developing knowledge and skills through reading, writing, mathematics, science, and other core subjects. Students may also be exposed to electives or extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music, art, foreign language, and other extracurricular activities.

Academic curriculum utilizes lecture-style learning, with a focus on passing tests and mastering academic activities such as math, reading, and writing. It typically relies on standard assessments and tests, such as End of Course examinations, to measure student understanding and progress. Although it contains some elements of experiential learning, it primarily focuses on knowledge acquisition via traditional classroom methods.

Academic curriculum seeks to ensure that students are well versed in the fundamentals of most academic disciplines. This helps to ensure that graduates are prepared for college and the workforce.

Academic curriculum often equips students with essential problem-solving, reasoning, and critical-thinking skills.

Experiential Curriculum

The experiential curriculum is an approach to learning that allows students to be actively involved in the process. It emphasizes student engagement and emphasizes hands-on learning.

Experiential learning allows students to gain knowledge by doing. It emphasizes the need to connect ideas and relate them to the real-world context. Experiential learning involves problem-solving, decision-making, and critical-thinking.

Experiential curriculum often involves field trips, lab work, and other physical activities. It teaches students to solve problems, develop insights, and apply their knowledge in practical ways. It encourages students to acquire knowledge through observation and participation in meaningful activities.

This type of curriculum is also often linked to extracurricular activities, such as sporting activities, musical performances, and art projects.

Experiential curriculum can be a great way to engage students, as it allows them to gain an understanding of concepts in a meaningful, hands-on way.

This type of curriculum may also be more suited to certain subjects, such as science and engineering, which require a great deal of experimentation and exploration.

Hidden Curriculum

The hidden curriculum is an unwritten or implicit curriculum that is often present in schools. The hidden curriculum refers to the unspoken norms, values, expectations, and beliefs that are taught to students in the classroom. It is often transmitted via the attitudes, behavior, and actions of teachers, and shapes students’ understanding of the world around them.

The hidden curriculum may include elements such as proper social behavior, respect, and work ethic. It is often emphasized through subtle, implicit techniques, such as how teachers interact with students and how they respond to certain behaviors.

It also includes the messages or lessons that are communicated through classroom activities or lessons.

The hidden curriculum is important in helping students develop character and develop appropriate social and academic skills. It helps students understand the importance of respecting diversity, fairness, and self-discipline.

It can also help students develop qualities that will help them be successful in their future endeavors.

Traditional Curriculum

Traditional curriculum is a type of curriculum that is usually associated with conventional teaching methods, such as lectures, textbooks, and tests. This type of curriculum focuses on basic subject matter, such as mathematics, language arts, science, geography, and history.

Traditional curriculum is often taught in a lecture-style setting, and tends to emphasize rote memorization and recall of facts and information.

Traditional curriculum is focused on developing a fundamental knowledge base and emphasizing basic skills. It often relies on textbooks, lectures, and assigned readings to provide students with the necessary information.

Traditional curriculum typically does not emphasize practical skills or creative approaches to learning.

Traditional curriculum is a great way to ensure that students have a basic understanding of certain subjects, but it may not be the best way to engage students in the long-term. Many students may get bored with this type of learning environment, as it does not always allow students to explore the material in an open and creative way.


The Waldorf curriculum is a type of curriculum that follows the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. This curriculum is based on an educational approach that emphasizes imagination, creativity, and spiritual growth.

It seeks to create an environment where students can learn in an experiential and holistic manner. It emphasizes the importance of establishing meaningful connections between the subject matter and the world outside the classroom.

The Waldorf curriculum focuses on developing artistic, physical, and intellectual skills through play and creative activities.

It encourages students to explore their creative abilities and become independent thinkers. It often includes activities such as gardening, cooking, and storytelling, which help to promote creativity and imagination.

The Waldorf curriculum is great for providing an engaging learning environment for students. It allows students to explore and create in a way that is not often found in traditional curricula. This type of curriculum is also great for fostering an appreciation of the arts and developing important life skills.


The five types of curriculum operating in schools are academic, experiential, hidden, traditional, and Waldorf. Each type of curriculum has its own objectives and outcomes, and can have a significant impact on the learning environment and experience of students.

Academic curriculum focuses on developing knowledge and skills through traditional methods, while experiential curriculum emphasizes meaningful activities and hands-on learning.

The hidden curriculum helps to shape student behavior and understanding of the world around them. Traditional curriculum provides students with a fundamental knowledge base, while Waldorf curriculum encourages creativity and artistic expression.

Each type of curriculum has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important for schools to carefully consider their objectives and the best way to meet them when selecting a curriculum for their students.

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