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Which Type Of Curriculum Is Best For Students

The type of curriculum a student is exposed to in their formative years can have an everlasting impact on their development. With the proliferation of different curriculum options, from the more academic models of traditional schooling, to newer experiential approaches, what type of curriculum can be considered the best for students?

To answer this question we must look at the different components that these types of curriculums offer, what kind of benefits they bring, and which will suit certain individuals more suitably than others.

Traditional Curriculum

The traditional curriculum has long been the go-to model for most educational establishments, and consists of a subject-focused and linear approach that involves studying a variety of academic subjects and memorizing facts in order to be tested and graded. This approach has the advantage of a well-structured set of goals and maximizes the time students would have available as to fully build their knowledge.

It encourages a disciplined approach to learning and helps students build a sense of commitment and perseverance towards their studies. However, this type of curriculum can lack nurture other important skills, such as critical thinking or creativity. It is often perceived as a rather rigid approach and can breed feelings of competition between students.

This can be counterproductive in certain contexts, leading to a feeling of competition rather than collaboration and cooperation. Additionally, traditional curriculums can fail to take into account the student’s own interests, which can make it difficult for them to find meaning and motivation in their studies.

Experiential Curriculum

Experiential curriculums are designed as an alternative approach to traditional educational systems, as they place more of an emphasis on the student’s experience and development rather than the standard academic content. The experiential model strives to improve learning by making it more engaging, by introducing hands-on activities and problem solving. Rather than simply learning facts or skills, students gain an understanding of the world around them and of their own capabilities and interests.

Experiential curricula provide a broader range of learning opportunities, including activities such as field trips, holistic education, and life-long learning opportunities. This helps create a more unique experience for each student, as they are able to explore different areas and expand their knowledge in a way that is more meaningful to them.

This also encourages collaboration and cooperation between students, as they learn that they all benefit from working together.

What Type of Curriculum is Best for Students?

Ultimately, no one type of curriculum can be deemed ‘the best’ for all students. Some students can benefit from the structure and discipline of a traditional curriculum, while others prefer the creative element of an experiential curriculum.

Both models of education can be used to create a stimulating learning environment, and encourage self-development and growth. The most important factor for students to consider when deciding what type of curriculum to follow is to assess their own individual needs and learning style. Both models should be evaluated equally in their own right, to fully understand the pros and cons of each option.

By understanding the different elements of each type of curriculum, each student can then make an educated decision as to which works best for them.


Deciding whether to pursue a traditional or an experiential curriculum is an important decision that can have an impact on a student’s development and future. Each type of curriculum has its own advantages and drawbacks, depending on the preferences and learning requirements of the student.

Understanding what is available and evaluating these options accordingly is the best way for students to determine which type of curriculum is right for them.

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