Interns- Curriculum Development Process

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Revision as of 08:47, 17 November 2017 by Williaas (Talk | contribs) (5. Inserting Learning Objectives)

Curriculum Foundations

Enduring Idea

An enduring idea in curriculum is a concept that has drawn attention of people over time. These are issues that extend beyond specific disciplines. Some examples of enduring ideas:

  • Identity
  • Power
  • Conflict
  • Ritual
  • Humans and Nature
  • Change
  • Communication

A enduring idea is very generate and unlimited. Often key concepts or questions can provide the impetus and focus for the development of the instruction. Enduring ideas help teachers to avoid activities that aren't connected to lifelong learning. It's a way to link academia subject matter to life-focused issues.

It can be impractical and unrealistic to just select an enduring idea as the starting point to curriculum. More often, curriculum design starts from looking at media artwork, a learning objective, a piece of technology or equipment, personal interest, etc. Often you need to search for the enduring idea.

Curriculum is inherently about choice. We want it to be relevant and diverse.


  • Student interest and need
  • Media understanding and processes
  • Contemporary culture


An awareness of the range of possibilities in a particular area regarding ideas, issues, themes, artists, artwork, artifacts, or groups that are studied.

Getting Started:

1. Choosing the Enduring Idea

  • Select an enduring idea with the following criteria in mind
  • What is the importance of the idea?
  • What is the appropriateness of the idea for students? How does it relate to their present and future interests and needs?
  • How does it relate to contemporary culture?
  • How is the enduring idea represented in the media arts?

2. Writing a Rationale:

Explain why the enduring idea is important for the learning and for your students in particular. Rationales motivate you to examine whether or not the idea is worth teaching and if it is relevant to students.

3. Unpacking the Enduring Idea: Key Concepts

Think about what is implied by the enduring idea considering diverse perspectives. Then generate a list of key concepts that might be associated with the enduring idea.

An example--enduring idea: "Communication is an essential aspect of what it means to be human."

Key Concepts:

  • Communication can be verbal and nonverbal.
  • Communication requires interpretation.
  • Communication can be direct or indirect.
  • Communication can be understood or misunderstood.
  • Communication can be literal or symbolic.
  • Communication evolves.

Review your list and decide what seems most important. Often many key concepts can be collapsed into a single concept.

4. Formulating Essential Questions

Essential questions synthesize key concepts and focus curriculum. The enduring idea provides broad focus, but individual lessons need specific direction. Key concepts are useful, but may represent too many ideas to keep in mind at once. Essential questions fall between the generality of the enduring idea and the specificity of key concepts.

An example:

  • What counts as communication?
  • Why is communication often difficult?
  • Why is communication important?

You often only need one essential question, but could have several.

5. Inserting Learning Objectives

Learning objectives identify what students will understand or be able to do (skills) as a result of the lesson.

What do you want your students to know and be able to do as a result of the lesson?