Any curriculum should reflect current conceptions about how people learn and how they should be taught. There are basically three approaches to curriculum development:

  • Curriculum as syllabus—a body of knowledge to be transmitted
  • Curriculum as product—an attempt to achieve certain ends in students
  • Curriculum as process—what actually happens in the classroom and what people do to prepare and evaluate learning

The first two are most relevant to solar education and training. The third, curriculum as a process, is often thought of as having more to do with instruction, which is specific to classroom practice and more immediate.

For a syllabus to be a curriculum—and not just a list of topics, office hours, and assignments—it must contain certain attributes, including a set of learning objectives or standards and a way to evaluate student mastery of the content. Because curriculum as a product is defined as aligning with standards and learning objectives, the common way of looking at curricula for technical training is to address it as a product. Students’ achievement of a set of outcomes that can be verified through assessment and testing is paramount.

a good curriculum


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