International Bureau of Education
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Curriculum framework

An overarching document that fulfills some or all of the following: places national statements of vision, economic development and education policy in a curriculum context; sets out broad aims and objectives of the curriculum at the various stages of schooling; explains the educational philosophy underlying the curriculum and approaches to teaching, learning and assessment that are fundamental to that philosophy; outlines the curriculum structure, its subjects or learning areas and the rationale for the inclusion of each in the curriculum; allocates time to various subjects and/or learning areas in each grade or stage; provides guidelines to subject curricula developers, teacher trainers and textbook writers; prescribes requirements for curriculum implementation, monitoring and evaluation. (Source: UNESCO IBE 2011).

The term can also be used to refer to a document which specifies the general outcomes (to be attained throughout the grades), the specific outcomes (to be attained by the end of a given grade), and the achievement indicators (e.g. a representative list of the depth, breadth, and expectations of the outcome) for a particular subject or subject area. It can also be used with reference to an educational stage or level (e.g. primary education curriculum framework).

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