Foundations of Teaching for Learning 4: Curriculum

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Course Date: 08 September 2014 to 20 October 2014 (6 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Curriculum is a framework for guiding teaching and learning. This course provides an opportunity for you to consider the relationship between the teacher, the learner and the curriculum.

Estimated Workload: 4-6 hours/week

Course Instructors

Suseela Malakolunthu

Dr. Suseela Malakolunthu is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya.  She obtained her Ph.D. from the Michigan State University, USA in the area of Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy.  From 2005-2006, under the Fulbright Senior Fellow Program, she conducted her research on ‘Multicultural education and leadership’ at Stanford University, California. From 2009 – 2012 she served as a “Research Fellow” at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. And in 2011 she was a visiting fellow at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge and subsequently in 2012 she was appointed as “Fellow” at the Center for the Commonwealth Education, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University, UK. Suseela is a recipient of several fellowships and awards for her academic excellence and participation in International Education Development Programs.  She has been an invited speaker and delivered several keynote addresses and research papers in international conferences. She has also published books, articles in refereed journals, contributed chapters in books, monographs, and research reports.  

John MacBeath

John MacBeath is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, UK where he held the Chair of Educational Leadership from 2000 to 2012. From 1997 to 2001 he was a member of the UK Government National Schools Standards Task Force. His consultancy work has included the OECD, UNESCO, the International Labour Organisation, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Commission and the Education Bureau in Hong Kong. More recently in his role as Project Director of the Centre for Commonwealth Education he has, in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast, helped embed leadership for learning in government policy in Ghana.  He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to education in 1997 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. He has authored and co-authored 20 books in education, including most recently A Common Wealth of Learning (Routledge, 2013) with Mike Younger and Learning in and out of School: the selected works of John MacBeath (Routledge, 2012).

Course Description

In this course you will learn how to use a curriculum to develop meaningful learning activities for each of your students. It will also help you to make better bridges between learning in and out of school and create more effective approaches to home-based learning activities.

This course is part of the Foundations of Teaching for Learning program which is designed to assist people who are currently teaching but have had no formal teacher education improve their understanding of their role and work as a teacher.  This set of courses will enhance your knowledge and understanding about learning and teaching and what makes a teacher a professional.  

Practical activities are provided to assist you in using what you have learned to improve your teaching practice.  While these are optional, it is strongly recommended that you undertake them if at all possible.

Of particular importance is a guide to the development of a portfolio to help you organize and document your thinking about what you have learned. In addition, you may be able to use the portfolio to access other opportunities in the future.


  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

On the satisfactory completion of each course you will receive a statement of accomplishment related to the course. These courses form part of a Specialization and if you have enrolled for signature track and satisfactorily completed each of the eight courses in the Specialization you will be able to participate in the capstone project. On completion of the capstone project you will receive a verified Specialization certificate for the entire program. 

  • Is there any point in taking just one course out of the program?

Each course covers a different topic and can be taken separately though we would recommend that the introduction is taken first as it explains the techniques used and sets the scene for the other courses.  


This course will help you answer the following questions:

  • how do I understand curriculum?
  • what are the different ways in which “curriculum” is understood?
  • what are the connections between my students and the curriculum?
  • how do I use the curriculum to develop learning activities for my students both within the learning environment and beyond?

Course Workload

4-6 hours/week

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