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Theories and Best Practices of Curriculum and Instruction




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Course level: EDU Graduate

This course focuses on applying curricular theory to best practices in the 21st century classroom. Candidates explore the social and political foundations of curriculum and instruction and current research in this area. They analyze curriculum philosophy and planning as well as practical applications and innovations in curriculum design. Special attention is given to the use of technology in the development of effective learning environments and instruction in the 21st century classroom. This course is not available for enrollment to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.


This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a Bachelor's degree. Be prepared to provide documentation during the checkout process.

What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Differentiate between the different definitions of curriculum.
  • Investigate the differences between curriculum development and curriculum design.
  • Examine curriculum trends and issues in the 21st century.
  • Compare and contrast the different philosophical orientations to the different educational theories.

Week 2

  • Identify the theories of learning and explain the contribution to classrooms and schools.
  • Identify methods for nurturing intellectual competence through differentiated instruction.
  • Analyze the relationship of social and emotional foundations on curriculum.
  • Compare and contrast the social and developmental theories.

Week 3

  • Compare and contrast elementary, middle, and secondary curriculum mapping systems and curriculum designs.
  • Examine cross-curricular connections of curriculum design.
  • Identify the purpose of aims, goals, and objectives with curriculum design and instructional delivery.
  • Reflect on collaborative leadership in classroom curriculum development and use of an integrative design.
  • Analyze systems of curriculum design that use data for instructional planning.

Week 4

  • Investigate the standards movement and explain its impact on curriculum.
  • Explain the role of politics in the standards-based curriculum.
  • Identify the role of Common Core State Standards in curriculum design in the classroom.
  • Explain the role of diversity in the development of curriculum.
  • Identify major challenges in determining and selecting curricula content.

Week 5

  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of technology use in the curriculum.
  • Demonstrate the integration of technology in the curriculum.
  • Evaluate instructional software and various other instructional technology tools.

Week 6

  • Explain the nature and purpose of evaluation.
  • Compare and contrast formative and summative evaluation.
  • Evaluate emerging assessment systems under common core state standards.
  • Identify method for evaluation of curriculum design and changing student needs.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts