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Curriculum Content Check List

Is the content focused on the learners and their needs? Are the concepts appropriate for the age, educational level, and circumstances for the learners?

Does the content match the intended outcomes?   This may seem redundant but taking a second look at the content in direct relationship to the intended outcomes is essential. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the learner. The intended outcomes are the translation of the needs into what the learner can expect to know or be able to do as a result of the participating in the planned activities in the curriculum. Putting the content into a chart (i.e., with the topic, intended outcomes, concepts, and activities will help assure that e activities are connected to the intended outcomes.

Is the content structured so it is understandable by the target learners?  Generally speaking, topics "close" (near and dear) to learners in location, in time, in comfort level, or familiarity, appear early in e program. The pro­gression of content proceeds from near-at-hand to far away. That means beginning with oneself and pro­gressing to the family, home, village/community nation, and world. Content could also start from the here-and-now and progress to the future (or regress to the past). That could mean assessing population in the community today, projecting what population will be in the next 20-40 years to determine estimated future food supply needs. This is called the "expanding environment" principle and is. widely used in presenting content.

Have you put "first things first"? Another rationale for sequencing is by level of complexity. Simple topics are placed earlier than those more difficult. Complexity of a topic can be determined by:

* Concepts and relationships to be studied.

Materials or resources used.

* Pace and scope of content and presentations.
* Depth of understanding expected.
* Maturity and experience of learners.

 For example, elementary students and college students in sociology study the family, but at different levels of analysis.

Another example of using a "first-things-first" sequence might be called "psychologically safe-to-risky" (e.g., discussing values regarding family size before personal decisions about family planning).

Does the curriculum outlined provide opportunities  for  learning  concepts,  skills, attitudes, and values in sequence?   Because learning concepts, skills, and values is cumulative, ideas should be initially introduced as concrete and simple. Then continually reinforced and applied.... extending, expanding, and illuminating in more depth, complexity, and taking into account the learners' progressive understanding and advancement.

Does the curriculum provide opportunities  for  involving  significant others (family members, experts, and/or leaders from the community) in the learning process?   Though the content section primarily deals with what rather than how, one of the skills mat should be included in the curriculum is how to access information and use resources from within the community to achieve the desired outcomes.

What reinforcement of content is planned and/or needed for learners to attain desired outcomes?   Where and how will this reinforcement occur?   Learning theory and evidence suggests that all who interact with youth -parents, teachers, and group leaders - share respon­sibility for teaching, encouraging, expanding, and refining skills. Skills are learned and applied throughout a lifetime, in formal and non-formal settings. Every opportunity should be taken to encourage complementary learning experiences in the home and in non-formal learning settings. Planning for reinforcement of knowledge acquired and skills learned by learners sharing what they have learned with others is a "double reinforcer". For example, if learners deliver a speech of the concepts and relationships between population and agricultural production in their community, the learner's knowledge of the subject is reinforced along with the skill of public speaking.

"If it is planned, it is more likely to happen!"

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