English Language Center

ELC Curriculum Philosophy

See the Curriculum Philosophy brochure

      The ELC curriculum philosophy is based on one definition and three principles. While curriculum has a variety of meanings, Rodgers (1989) offers a functional description. For ELC purposes:

      “Curriculum is all those activities in which [students] engage under the auspices of the school. This includes not only what [students] learn, but how they learn it, how teachers help them learn, using what supporting materials, styles and methods of assessment, and in what kind of facilities” (p. 26).

      Along with this definition, three interrelated principles are applied to develop and maintain a curriculum that is stable, responsive, and cohesive (see Figure 1). Though each of these principles is delineated in greater detail below, the following serves as a brief outline. Though all effective curricula must embrace some innovation, a stable curriculum implements change in a way that is orderly, systematic, and principled.

      For a curriculum to change in this manner and to remain viable, it must also be responsive to such factors as student needs, institutional and environmental changes, and current research. Without responsiveness, a stable curriculum soon stagnates. Finally, a sound curriculum is cohesive in that there is internal consistency and continuity between and across the various elements of the curriculum.