Curriculum Framework

A curriculum framework is an organized plan or set of standards or learning outcomes that defines the content to be learned in terms of clear, definable standards of what the student should know and be able to do.

A Curriculum Framework is part of a outcome-based education or standards based education reform design. The framework is the first step, defining clear, high standards which will be achieved by all students. The curriculum is then aligned to the standards, and students are assessed against the standards. As compared with traditional education which is concerned only about delivering content, a standards based education reform system promises that all will succeed if all are held to high expectations. When the standards are reached, there will be no achievement gap where some groups are allowed to score lower than others, or the disabled are offered different opportunities than others. All will meet world class standards and be qualified for good colleges and trained for good jobs which pay good wages. In a traditional education system, the curriculum was defined by those who created textbooks rather than government bodies which assembled groups of stakeholders to create standards based on consensus of what students should know and be able to do.

In some states, curriculum frameworks have been adopted based on traditional academic standards rather than outcome-based constructivist standards, but many frameworks were originally or still based on student-centered learning and constructivism such as standards-based mathematics, whole language and Inquiry-based Science which have been controversial in some states and communities. High school graduation examinations tie awarding of diplomas to demonstration of meeting the standards set out in the frameworks.