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How do I Choose the Best General Curriculum?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2018
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Those interested in choosing general curriculum may be choosing for many different people. Parents who homeschool their kids have to work on deciding what to teach, teachers may need to design general curriculum, and a person who was attending college would also need to make decisions about what general ed paths to follow that accompany any requirements in a major. Selection process of curriculum differs depending on the person’s circumstances.

For the homeschooling parent, principal focus tends to be on preparing students at some point to enter college. They must first learn basic skills in the primary grades, like how to read, write, do arithmetic and then learn more advanced math. Students are usually also taught some amount of science and geography/history, as they reach fifth or sixth grade.

Even if a person does not approve of public schooling, expectation in college is that students will have learned and mastered those skills taught in most public schools. It can therefore be very useful to review the curriculum offered at a local public school and determine general curriculum that at least meets or exceeds the demands of what a school would teach. This is a guiding rule throughout a child’s education, and especially as they progress to high school level studies.

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Find out what the state would teach a child, and make decisions on general curriculum accordingly. The matter becomes a great issue as a child advances in grades. Colleges tend to assume that students have mastered high school level work, and that they enter college with certain skills, so helping a child attain these skills is very useful.

Just as the homeschooling parent may be guided by state or district standards, the average classroom teacher often teaches from material provided by the school, or they may get to vote on what material to use. Given time, teachers can augment general curriculum with other material they’ve found useful or enjoy teaching, but it is a common complaint that it may be hard to do this due to lack of time. Some teachers may still have the luxury of choosing general curriculum, but here they still may need to choose materials that meet general education requirements. However, they may be able to choose their favorite books, worksheets or other things that will amply fulfill standard requirements students must meet.

The college student has a great deal of choice when trying to choose general curriculum to participate in. Most students must take several years of general ed requirements but there is flexibility in how these requirements are fulfilled. Since many students enter college without a clear major, working through general education classes first is one of the best ways of discovering strengths and determining career path. Students with a purposeful goal already in mind might lean toward general curriculum that supports learning in a major. Other students and academic advisors are often the best resource for students who don’t know what to take, and may be able to comment on particular teachers, subject matter and other aspects of each general course that could help inform a student’s choices.

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