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Religious Curriculum Education and Catholic Schools

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The explicit curriculum is the actual material that is delivered to the students. This material is found in the textbooks used, the timetables to be followed, the course outlines and all that makes up the actual knowledge that is supposed to be passed on to the students. The explicit curriculum can be described as the content of what the teacher teaches. Teacher’ s mind resources (2010) states that what is considered the official curriculum make up the explicit curriculum. The list of laws, definitions, principles and rules that a student is supposed to have grasped at the end of the learning process constitute the explicit curriculum.

Hence, this curriculum is usually confined to written material that is formally reviewed and designated by administrators, directors as well as the teachers themselves. This curriculum is sometimes referred to as overt or written due to its nature. Although most people assume that all learnt in school is what they are taught by their teachers or what they are examined on, this is a big misunderstanding. A great deal is learnt in catholic schools outside the four walls of the classroom.

Punctuality is instilled in all students especially so as to avoid punishments from their teachers. Students also learn how to do activities which will end up bringing about long term satisfaction, a good example being homework (Eisner, 2005). Responsibility, diligence, accountability, obedience and hard work are just some of the other acquired virtues at school not because they are part of the syllabus but because they cannot be avoided. Implicit curriculum is emphasized by the school itself, including factors such as the reward system used, the organizational structure employed and even the actual surroundings of the school (NAEA, 2010).

This curriculum is in contrast with the explicit curriculum in that it looks beyond the rigid class schedules, lesson plans and the set of rules to be followed into other virtues gained outside of these. The null curriculum is probably the most controversial of all the three curriculums as defined by Elliot Eisner (2004). This curriculum suggested that what schools do not teach is as important as what they actually teach. Since educators are of the belief that they do not have time to cover everything, they intentionally leave out what they consider as the least important concepts of the official curriculum.

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