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What is the difference between a syllabus and a curriculum?

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shewa55 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM via web

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What is the difference between a syllabus and a curriculum?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that both concepts are related to one another in order to demonstrate a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom.  The curriculum represents the content that needs to be taught.  Within the curriculum exists the essential questions and content that drive the understanding within the content area.  The curriculum is broad, enabling instructors or other determining bodies to assess what it is that students need to know upon successful completion of the school year.  The syllabus is more of the practical steps in order to achieve this end goal.  The syllabus outlines through incrementalism where the progression will lie.  In a syllabus, there are broken down elements where different concepts will be taught in sequence.  The syllabus is to fit into the larger curriculum design, but represents the means by which to achieve the end result.  The syllabus is also the means through which the student understands why they do what they do and how individual parts are able to fit into the larger entity.  In successful understanding of both, students are able to gain greater insight and comprehension of material.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM (Answer #2)

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On the college level, a syllabus is not only a breakdown of the weekly assignments, readings, papers, text chapters, etc., but also a legal contract between student and college; it includes a statement about accomodating students with special educational needs, a statement describing grading criteria, etc.; it is designed semester by semester or quarter by quarter, individually for each class.  A curriculum (circle of study) is a series of offered courses leading to a specialization--for example, a curriculum in Shakespeare would include a course (with a syllabus) in tragedies, a course in comedies, a course in histories, etc. This is the fundamental difference.

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rahulsk | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM (Answer #3)

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Syllabus means the portion like which is coming for the exam and curriculum is which the pattern the school follows like for example CBSE.

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