What Are the Characteristics of a Planned Curriculum?

Characteristics of a planned curriculum include well-defined goals, measurable learning objectives and valid assessments. The planned curriculum should be identifiable by the careful steps taken to connect learner needs to proven research-based educational strategy and performance outcomes.

Curriculum planning serves to ensure that resources allocated to education are used efficiently, providing students with quality learning opportunities. This education may need to meet societal, organizational, family or personal goals. Developing a plan to address the goals in a structured way often helps education administrators to monitor how well a curriculum is delivering desired results.

If learning needs change, the curriculum would also change. If the learning needs remain constant but students are not learning or performing at a necessary level, then the learning strategy or organization needs to change. Effective planning helps to define and structure this process.

Curriculum planning also allows for educators to determine the chronology of instruction. For example, foundational mathematical knowledge, such as counting and arithmetic, may be necessary before a student is expected to perform higher-level algebra. As part of the curriculum plan, this student would learn basic math skills to proficiency before taking an algebra class. This plan then serves to provide efficiency for both the educational system and the individual student.