Types of Curriculum Documents

A Foundation for Excellence is the base for all other Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Senior 4) curriculum documents in Manitoba.

Within the various subject areas, the following types of curriculum documents are being developed, as required

Although the majority of curricula are published in print form, the Department is moving increasingly toward electronic publication of documents.

As well, policy documents and independent study and teacher mediated courses for distance delivery are being developed, as required.

Each of the above three types of curriculum documents is described below.

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Curriculum Frameworks of Outcomes (and Standards where applicable)

A curriculum framework is a subject-specific document which identifies student learning outcomes for what students are expected to know and be able to do as they relate to the knowledge and skills of a particular subject area. Standards of achievement for mathematics and language arts are also included in curriculum frameworks for Grades 3, 6, Grade 9 (Senior 1) and Grade 12 (Senior 4). Curriculum frameworks provide the basis for teaching, learning, and assessing in a particular subject area or course.

They also provide a foundation for further development and implementation in areas such as student assessment, staff development, learning resources. Each subject-specific curriculum framework includes the overview, student learning outcomes for each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Senior 4).

Overview -- The overview contains an introduction to a subject area or course, including

Nature of the Discipline -- A description of the discipline as it exists in the larger community

Rationale -- An explanation of why it is important to teach the subject area or course

Philosophy -- A statement of subject-specific principles and beliefs that guide instruction

Student learning outcomes are concise descriptions of the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn in a course or grade in a subject area. Student learning outcomes are expressed as general outcomes and specific outcomes, and include illustrative examples. Student learning outcomes should not be confused with standards of student performance.

General Student Learning Outcomes -- Identify the knowledge and skills that students are expected to learn in a subject area or course on completion of a grade or series of grades.

Specific Student Learning Outcomes -- Identify the component knowledge and skills that contribute to a general student learning outcome. Specific student learning outcomes identify a range of contexts and the variety of dimensions of learning within the general outcomes. They are stated grade by grade.

Student learning contexts include

  • projects
  • exhibitions
  • demonstrations
  • exercises
  • simulations
  • case studies
  • experiments

Illustrative Examples -- Are sample student learning contexts which demonstrate or clarify specific outcomes. They are essential in showing the richness, the breadth, and the depth contained in the learning outcomes, particularly as this relates to high-order thinking, applied learning, real-life applications, and problem solving.

Each student learning outcome stated in a curriculum framework should be

  • understandable by students, parents, educators, and community members
  • appropriate to the intended grade or series of grades and to the subject area
  • capable of capturing the knowledge and skills expected of students
  • supportive of the use of a range of teaching, learning, and assessment strategies and approaches as well as the use of a variety of learning resources
  • observable, measurable, and reportable to enable the appropriate connections to be made between and among teaching, learning, and assessing. It should be stated in such a way that it will be apparent when a student has met the student learning outcome. Demonstrations of student learning can occur within contexts which range from the classroom to large-scale assessments. They can include projects, performance assessments, paper-and-pencil tests, and case studies.

Standards -- Standards are descriptions of the expected levels of student performance in relation to grade- and subject-specific student learning outcomes.

Standards have been developed for mathematics and language arts at several checkpoints: Grades 3, 6, Grade 9 (Senior 1), and Grade 12 (Senior 4).

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A Foundation for Implementation Documents

A foundation for implementation document is subject-specific and is designed to provide teachers with information on how to structure teaching, learning, and assessing relative to the student learning outcomes and principles identified in curriculum frameworks.

Teacher Support Documents

Teacher support documents are subject-specific or generic documents designed to provide further support to teachers.

These documents are often introduced through department-initiated inservices publicized through the annual Workshop Registration System.

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