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.