Curriculum standards are a set of rules or guidelines that reflect the goals of an educational system or community. Typically, curriculum standards affect how schools are run, and how instructors teach their students. For example, enough time must usually be allotted for flexibility within curriculum lessons. This way, instructors can monitor and evaluate a curriculum to see how beneficial it is to student learning.
The first step in planning curriculum standards often involves the development of an overall curriculum framework. These frameworks can be developed on a local, regional or national level, with the regional level often being the most common. The curriculum usually needs to address many audiences, purposes, and situations.
If the curriculum standards are being formed at the regional level, then they are generally being formed for regional or local school districts. Sometimes, a curriculum committee is formed to address the overall concerns that might arise. The committee is typically made up of school board members, administrators, instructors, community members, parents, and occasionally students. Overall goals that might be set during meetings often include the implementation of ways to increase student achievement through various forms of learning.
For example, if curriculum standards are being discussed for social studies courses, a framework is usually developed addressing thematic strands. These are topics that social studies classes most commonly address. Culture, time, change, individuals, groups, and institutions are things that might be implemented in a curriculum framework for social studies classes.
One of the main responsibilities of a regional curriculum committee is to analyze local and national education standards. During this analysis, members typically look for facets such as content standards and the use of technology in instructional activities. The goal is usually to implement the most effective aspects into the district curriculum standards.
Selection of standards generally has a lot to do with purpose and audience. Guidelines might be established in regard to instructor requisite knowledge. This knowledge usually involves instructors having certain degrees or certifications in the topics they teach.
Instructors also usually need to be able to teach in various ways to accommodate various learning styles. For example, an instructor who primarily lectures typically needs to be able to adjust his or her teaching style to accommodate not just auditory learners, but also visual and tactile learners. Standards usually not only have to allow for this kind of flexibility, but also provide a constant framework for each educational situation.