Curriculum refers to the course work that an institution of learning offers. To become a curriculum writer, one must possess at least two things: expertise in the subject-matter and an ability to write. Very often, curriculum writers are former teachers or administrators, who specialize in a particular level of education, often within a particular region. School curriculum may be created by large and small publishers, and, in some cases, individual school boards create their own curricula. When looking to become a curriculum writer, one should consider approaching the different types of potential employers.
Typically, curriculum writing, requires technical writing skills. Technical writing is often necessary in educational materials in order to clearly lay out the material in a logical fashion. To clearly convey the content, organized writing is key. This is often achieved through the use of key headings and subtitles.
In various parts of the world, mandatory standards for curricula may be set by governing bodies, including local, regional or national governments. School districts or private educational institutions may also set regulations. This means that in order to become a curriculum writer, one must be able to work within parameters set forth by those bodies.
A typical curricula document or handbook is separated into sections, the first of which is some type of overview of the entire document. Next, a rationale of why the writer created the unit is outlined. Then, a section often follows which identifies the desired outcome for the students who will be using it. Following this goals section, there is typically an activities section describing the instructor’s steps, methods and specific classroom tasks for reaching the curriculum’s goals. Some curriculum units end with an annotated bibliography or appendices.
Not all curriculum writers have college degrees, though most have one or multiple degrees in the subject area. Those who have achieved a high degree of knowledge within a field but have no formal classroom experience, as either a college student or teacher may very well be able to write curriculum for a particular area of study. It is common for people in this situation to have a professional editor, or even a ghostwriter who can compose in conjunction with the author of the document.
To become a curriculum writer, one may look for job postings for curriculum writers. These postings may be made by known curricula publishers, smaller publishers or school districts. Some potential curriculum writers seek work by pitching an idea to school districts or higher learning institutions. Alternatively, a potential writer may write a piece of curricula and then shop it around for a suitable buyer or publisher.