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Difference between Syllabus and Curriculum

Syllabus and curriculum are two different words that are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. The two words have similar meanings, but they aren’t exactly the same. The syllabus is a more informal term because it’s derived from syllogism (a logical argument based on the four basic fallacies; namely, petition principal (assuming the conclusion before proving that it is true), conclusion’s petition (premising an assumption within one’s argument rather than proving it as fact), euphony(using just a few words to make an idea or point sound more powerful or impressive than it really is) and euphemism. Curriculum on the other hand derives from Latin; curriculum vitae which means “the course of life.”

If you have ever taken a high school or university class, or have been part of a curriculum/syllabus committee, you know that the two words are often used interchangeably. The difference between the two is crucial for curriculum developers, teachers, and parents. Both terms describe long-term courses of study. However, the syllabus is often used to describe a course outline that provides an introduction to a particular subject matter (e.g., biology syllabus are A-Z lists of topics), while a curriculum has broader connotations that can include entire programs at multiple levels (e.g., a four-year-long English class).

Difference between Syllabus and Curriculum

Difference between Syllabus and Curriculum

Educational terms such as syllabus and curriculum may appear similar, but they contain distinct elements and definitions. You will see the academic plan of a program or a course in a completely different light once you understand the difference between syllabus and curriculum.

A curriculum is a set of items that have been designed to assist teachers in choosing the course content. The course objectives, the materials, and the teaching strategies are all outlined in the curriculum. As a result, it specifies not just what should be taught or how it should be taught, but also why it is being taught and what will be achieved. Typically, a school’s administration sets the curriculum for its premises but the higher power is the government that may set the curriculum for educational institutions under its control. Teachers frequently use the curriculum to create the syllabus. The curriculum also gives teachers the opportunity to evaluate the progress of their students through standardized tests.

The term “syllabus” refers to a set of documents that outline the subjects or portions thereof that will be covered during a course or a term. The caliber of the course is the responsibility of the teachers. Teachers provide it to the students, either in physical copy or electronically, to get their attention and encourage them to take their studies seriously. A syllabus is a list of the subjects that will be covered and a description of what will be covered in each. It outlines and condenses what pupils should learn. 

Contrary to curriculum’s, syllabuses are created by teachers. They can be modified to meet the needs of a specific class. A syllabus contains information on the schedule, tests, homework, and projects (if any).

The syllabus provides ground for:

  1. Specifying core knowledge, skills, and competence as ‘inspirational’ targets;
  2. Provide a common and transparent professional vocabulary for standards;
  3. Matched with lean and appropriate testing and examination system;
  4. A system-wide emphasis on developing teacher professional capacity to improve local school and classroom-based curriculum planning and assessment practice; and
  5. Strong focus on the specific learning needs and challenges of children from different communities.

On the other hand, an effective curriculum offers a quantifiable plan and structure for delivering quality education to teachers, students, and community stakeholders. The learning outcomes, standards, and core competencies that students must demonstrate before moving on to the next level are specified in the curriculum.

In conclusion, the curriculum is the umbrella under which comes the syllabus. It is important the device a curriculum that suits the current demands of the world.

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