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The third teacher-level factor is “classroom curriculum design.” It may be the least addressed teacher-level factor. This lack of attention is unfortunate for two reasons. First, there is a strong and extensive research base that can be readily translated into practical suggestions and protocols for the construction of classroom curriculum. Second, many breakdowns in student learning may be a function of poor classroom curriculum design.
Before discussing the specifics of classroom curriculum design, let's briefly address the nature of curriculum in general. The following definitions are a representative sample of those used throughout the 20th century:
Curriculum is all of the experiences children have under the guidance of the teacher. (Caswell & Campbell, 1935, p. 7)
Curriculum encompasses all learning opportunities provided by the school. (Saylor & Alexander, 1974, p. 25)
Curriculum [is] a plan or program for experiences which the learner encounters under the direction of the school. (Oliva, 1982)