Fall 2021 - EDUC 471 E100

Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice (4)

Class Number: 5290

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units.



Explorations of curriculum theory and processes of development with applications at different levels and in several subject areas.


Understanding the key concepts of curriculum development is essential to contemplating issues throughout the field of education and entering the profession of teaching. Over the last few years in British Columbia, the Minsitry of Educations’s redesigned purposes of education, capacities and strategies for teaching have been gradually implemented in public schools and classrooms. This “New Curriculum” is guided by core competencies, big ideas, content, and curriculum competencies that also make space for personalized learning, environmental education, Aboriginal perspectives and flexible learning. At the heart of the New Curriculum are literacy and numeracy, essential learning, creative and critical thinking, communication, and personal and social development of learners. Teachers are encouraged to make local decisions based on their students’ needs and sound pedagogical rationales.

This course will appeal to students in their professional development programs as well as practicing teachers and other educators. Over the semester, we will evaluate the competing aims of education, survey the different ways we conceptualize curriculum and identify the pressures on it to reform. Students will benefit from classroom discussions, small group work and be able to pursue topics of personal interest in assignments.

Further details

The enterprise of education is key to human development, and because there is so much depending on its outcomes, every learning institution, large and small, must be able to justify itself to a wide range of people. In addition, all places of learning, from preschools to universities, want to emphasize in their “mission statements,” such as in SFU’s Strategic Vision, the values that they feel are the most essential.

Prospective students and other interested parties may have more specific concerns, especially in elementary and secondary school education.

  • Students want to know what benefits there will be for their developing selves, their effort, time and sometimes money.
  • Parents want to know what kind of a school it is, who the teachers are, how students will be treated and what will be learned.
  • Communities ask what kinds of values are being passed along, how they will contribute to the students’ identities and sense of belonging, and how the social atmosphere of the school will prepare students to enter the larger world.
  • Future employers demand well trained workers who can collaborate and improvise, and in many cases, draw on critical and creative abilities as well.
  • The media and politicians want answers to perceived problems or shortcomings.
  • Lastly, but not exclusively, nations must assure their future citizens can keep pace with other countries’ development and innovations, guaranteeing advancement in quality of life for all.

As a result, long before any teaching begins, learning institutions must clarify their purposes, their content, and how they will evaluate themselves.

This is often depicted in a cyclical pattern. In determining purposes, educators may draw on historical models, delving into philosophical ideas and adapting them to present values. Content must be deemed age appropriate, worth knowing and teachable. There must be ways of assessing teacher effectiveness, student learning, the social health of the school, leadership and other concerns. When the teaching begins, educators must ask, who are the students, what are their particular needs, and what do they bring to the classroom? Purposes and content are adapted, and the steps of evaluation begin again.


  • Participating in discussions, remote activities, attendance, punctuality and professionalism in class 20%
  • Developing a research paper over three weeks and a final paper 30%
  • Interviewing an educator with a summary write up 20%
  • Creating and presenting a lesson plan in class 10%
  • Writing one’s personal educational narrative (over the semester) 20%


There is no final exam for this course.



All course readings will be on Canvas or through the SFU library

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.