Six types of curriculum

Now that you are thinking through your educational philosophy and understanding more about your students learning preferences, now let’s think through curriculum.

Per Dr. Sherri L Wynn, Ed.D. author of How to Pick the Right Teaching Strategy for Children and Teens, (pg 24) the world seems to have accepted the term curriculum as an all-inclusive name for whatever content is being taught, I believe it’s important to create categories of curriculum according to type rather than subject matter.

I know for most moms starting into their journey of home education, their first concern is usually what curriculum to buy.  My hope is that this process is enlightening you to the facts that “content” can be instructed many different ways and you can do it in such a way that your child thrives.

Dr. Wynn helps us think through categories of curriculum according to a type rather than subject matter.  She states “For example, content in science and in mathematics is clearly different in terms of topics yet the essential core of these two subjects area is very similar.  That essential core is what I’m calling a curriculum type – in the case of math and science, I call them a Type L curriculum.  Type L refers to logical and sequential progression of content material to be learned.”

I developed the acronym PRIMAL to describe six definitive types of curriculum reduced to their essential elements.  Dictionaries say the word primal means original, first in importance, and fundamental.  All those words fir the meaning for what I describe as the six fundamental types of curriculum.  by Dr. Wynn


Here is the chart of PRIMAL Strategies and the match to their relevant instructional practices from Dr. Wynn.

PRIMAL Strategies chart

PRIMALInstructional Practice
PhysicalityAn intensely physical orientation toward learning
RoteA memorizing process using routine and/or repetition for learning
InsightfulPerceptive; having a deep understanding of human behavior when learning
MorphingTo change; a continuous transformation of oneself while learning
AssociativeA relationship between independent items discovered during learning
LogicalAnalytical, deductive, and/or sequential conditions illustrated through learning.
Table 1.2 PRIMAL Acronym (page 25) Used by permission from Dr. Sherri L Wynn, Ed.D. author of How to Pick the Right Teaching Strategy for Children and Teens.



Written by 

Founder of Bixby Educational Events, Inc., fondly known as B.E.E., an educational non-profit providing services to the Home, Private and Charter School Communities of Orange County.