What are the two types of curricula?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The two types of curricula are the formal curriculum and the informal curriculum.

1. Formal Curriculum: The formal curriculum refers to the planned and structured curriculum that is designed by educational institutions or governing bodies. It includes the subjects, content, and learning outcomes that are meant to be taught in a specific educational setting. This type of curriculum is typically documented and followed by teachers and students. It can be found in textbooks, syllabi, and curriculum frameworks. The formal curriculum aims to provide a comprehensive and standardized education across different schools or institutions.

2. Informal Curriculum: The informal curriculum, also known as the hidden curriculum, is the unintentional and implicit learning that occurs in educational settings. It encompasses the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that are indirectly taught or absorbed by students through their interactions with teachers, peers, and the school environment. The informal curriculum is not explicitly planned or documented, but it greatly influences the socialization and character development of students. It includes aspects such as school climate, extracurricular activities, and the relationships between students and teachers.

It is important to note that the formal and informal curricula are not mutually exclusive and often work together to shape students’ educational experiences. While the formal curriculum provides the structured content and learning objectives, the informal curriculum plays a significant role in fostering social skills, values, and attitudes that are not explicitly taught in the classroom. Both types of curricula contribute to the holistic development of students and their preparation for future roles in society.