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Syllabus and Curriculum

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

What's the difference between syllabus and curriculum? There do not seem to be agreed meanings. [wikiP page on Syllabus wikiP page on Curriculum] Syllabus derives from the Greek for "table of contents"; curriculum from the Latin for "race track" cf. "course of study".

On the whole, 'syllabus' refers to a description of what will be or should be covered; 'curriculum' to a prescription of the set of activities or courses a student must take.

This is consistent with a hierarchy:

  1. Syllabus, content, learning aims and objectives, ILOs, outcomes.
  2. Curriculum, 'experiences', learning activities and exercises; instructional design.
  3. Instruction, delivery, execution, ...
One of the things missing from this is any place for deciding what topics must be taught together, which must be put in a particular order (pre-requisite constraints).

The muddle however is well illustrated by this sentence: "[The syllabus is the content ... which] should be relevant to the outcomes of the curriculum."

Authors often discuss the words' derivations, but do not give a definition and certainly do not commit to one, and fail to discuss how other authors have different meanings. Because of this, my conclusion is that any person (or department) who uses either word ('curriculum' or 'syllabus') wishes to give the impression of being knowledgeable but is not serious about communicating or being understood.

Syllabus & curriculum
Alec Johnstone in a talk seemed to be using:
Syllabus = aims & objectives
Curriculum = timetable (plan of M-acts).  [Willy Dunn[e] said that curriculum
was coined at UoG, and referred to the set of set books that were handed
"round" in turn.  They were set content, but not time.]

But American IDs I think use curriculum for the aims.
	Reigeluth (above):
Curriculum (what to teach)
Instruction (how to teach it)  includes:
	(= design, dev.(create resources?), impl.(adapt to local circs =?delivery?)

Instructional design / L-design

What does curriculum design mean?

Put this on page with 
C]  L-act/Lactivity hier?  L-object.  cf. like the books of the original
B] curric vs. syllabus (vs. L-aims vs. L-design ...)
A] ILOs, L-aim, objectives; outcomes, ...
	It (A&K neoBloom book) also says intended student learning outcomes --
outcomes = objectives, curriculum standards, learning goals.

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