A curriculum has five major components:
(1) A framework of assumptions about the learner and the society such as learners’ capacity and ability, aptitudes and potential for learning, motivation, needs, interests and values as well as society’s orientation to nurturing or using the individual gainfully.
(2) Aims and objectives (i.e., why education should be provided and towards what direction).
(3) Content or subject-matter with selection of what is to be taught and learnt, scope of the subject-matter and its sequence.
(4) Modes of transaction which deals with the process of teaching-learning and includes methodology of teaching, learning experiences both within the institution and outside, learning environments, teachers’ material as well as students’ material.
(5) Evaluation methods and techniques for students.
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Curricula differ from each other on the basis of the extent of emphasis given to each of these elements, the extent and manner of linking these elements with each other and the style of decision-making pertaining to each of these elements.
For example, one institution places more emphasis on the intellectual development of students whereas another institution emphasizes developing ideal, democratic citizens.
The selection of subject-matter will, therefore, different these two institutions with the first institution incorporating programmes and activities aimed at developing rationality and thinking.
Thus, both these institution; would believe in different theories of learning and teaching thereby differing in the nature and sequence of subject-matter and learning experiences.