What Is Curriculum Innovation and Change?

Curriculum innovation is defined as deliberate actions to improve a learning environment by adapting a method of presenting material to students that involves human interaction, hands-on activities and student feedback, according to the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. Changes in curriculum may involve innovation, but in general, change in terms of curriculum involves adapting a new educational method and not necessarily a method with human interaction.

When curriculum innovation or change is made in the classroom, it can enhance the social skills of students and focus on unique methods for teaching historical, technological, organizational or political lessons. An innovative lesson may encourage students to use online tools, multimedia software applications or hands-on lab experiments and outdoor archeology adventures. An innovative curriculum relies on students to make discoveries with an instructor present to serve as a mentor or guide instead of taking the role of the expert who controls the learning. Projects may include individual self-study assignments or group activities that produce a final product, such as a newsletter, video, presentation or theatrical production. Curriculum innovation encourages educators to defy the norm and think outside of the box to reach all types of learners with individualized styles instead of focusing on lessons that are effective for just a few average students in a classroom.