In this document, curriculum (or curricula) is defined broadly to include four basic components:
1. Goals: The benchmarks or expectations for teaching and learning, often made explicit in the form of a scope and sequence of skills to be addressed;
2. Methods: The specific instructional methods for the teacher, often described in a teacher’s edition;
3. Materials: The media and tools that are used for teaching and learning;
4. Assessment: The reasons for and methods of measuring student progress.
The term curriculum is often used to describe only the goals, objectives, or plans, something distinct from the “means” of methods, materials, and assessment. Yet since each of these components are essential for effective learning-and since each includes hidden barriers that undermine student efforts to become master learners-curriculum design should consider each of them as a piece.
These guidelines apply to the general education curriculum which, when universally designed, should meet the educational needs of most students, including those with disabilities. This document can help guide the design of expectations, content, methods, and outcomes across differing classrooms in each school or system.