CURRICULUM SELECTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Define "Biblical curriculum".
C Explain the value of Biblical curriculum .
C Select appropriate curriculum .
C Develop your own Biblical curriculum .
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
The Bible is the basis for all instruction in the church. But Christian writers have
developed some excellent materials that can assist in organizing training for one group or several groups of students . This lesson concerns the selection of Biblical curriculum .
The word "curriculum" refers to an organized course of study. It can refer to one course or all the courses used in a school. "Biblical curriculum" is an organized course of study of Biblical subject matter.
THE VALUE OF BIBLICAL CURRICULUM
Biblical curriculum is a valuable tool in Christian teaching. Here are some reasons:
-It provides more research and background material than you may have access to or have time to prepare.
-It provides written lessons and activities for students.
-It provides an outline for teaching a lesson.
-It provides suggestions for how to teach the lesson.
-Some curriculum provides written objectives for each lesson.
-Most curriculum is prepared for specific age levels. It is written by people who are trained in working with that particular age group.
-An organized curriculum program provides wider coverage of Biblical truths. Most teachers tend to focus on certain portions of the Bible which they enjoy or feel
comfortable teaching. Organized programs of curriculum cover the entire Bible over a period of time.
-It provides a way to organize teaching for many age groups in a local church.
The most important thing to remember in curriculum selection is that curriculum written
by man is not our final authority. The Bible is the one and only authority for the
Christian teacher. Curriculum must be carefully examined to be sure it is doctrinally
Here is how to obtain and select curriculum :
1. If your local church is part of an organized denomination, they may publish their
own curriculum . Write to your denominational headquarters to obtain samples .
Remember to consider Harvestime International Institute materials for your
training program for adults. Write to us for information.
2. While you are waiting for the materials to arrive, write general objectives for your
total teaching program . (Use the skills you learned in Chapter Nine of this course).
What are your general spiritual objectives for the groups for which you are
obtaining materials? You will need to know these objectives in order to evaluate
the curriculum to see if it meets these spiritual purposes.
3. When you receive the sample materials, use the checklist in this chapter to
evaluate the material. If others will be teaching this curriculum, have them assist you in reviewing the sample materials.
4. After you select the curriculum you want to use, prepare and mail the order. Use
the order form the publisher will enclose with the sample package . Be sure to
include the correct payment for the materials. Keep a copy of your order so you can verify that you receive what you ordered.
5. When the order arrives, immediately open the materials to make sure they have
sent exactly what you ordered. Compare your copy of the original order to what
they actually sent. If there are errors made in filling your order, notify the
6. You may need to train others in how to use the curriculum . Chapter Fourteen in
this course, "Teacher Training", will assist you in doing this.
7. Store the material in a safe place until you are ready to use it.
DEVELOP BIBLICAL CURRICULUM
If you do not have funds to purchase curriculum, develop it yourself. In Chapter Ten of this course you learned how to plan a Biblical lesson. Use these skills to develop a series of such lessons. Write these lessons out in detail. Eventually, you will have developed your own training course. Take the series of lessons you have written and evaluate them using the evaluation chart in this chapter. The chart will help you identify ways to
improve the materials you have prepared.
It is slower to develop Biblical curriculum than to purchase it, but there are some advantages:
-You can design it specifically for the audience or culture for which you intend to use it. -You can be certain of its doctrinal content.
-You can prepare it to meet specific spiritual objectives.
CURRICULUM EVALUATION CHECKLIST
Use this evaluation checklist when reviewing curriculum materials:
-What are the stated objectives?
-Are they similar to the objectives you have set for teaching/learning?
-Are they specific enough so that you can know when you have accomplished them ?
-Is the content doctrinally sound?
-Is it appropriate for your culture ?
-Is the Biblical content appropriate for the learners at the age at which they will be using
-Is the interpretation of the Biblical material appropriate for the age at which it will be used? (Not too simple for older learners or too difficult for younger learners).
-Does the material help learners understand what it means to be part of the Christian community, its worship, structure, beliefs, history, mission?
-Does content support your church program ?
-How does the material interpret the meaning of the Christian life ? To what extent is this in agreement with your objectives?
-How does the material relate Christian living to Biblical learning?
-Does the material give opportunities to practice and reflect upon actions that express a Christian lifestyle ?
-How does the material relate Christianity to living in family, school, community, world, and environment?
-Is the format of the book attractive?
-Is each session clearly outlined so that a teacher can easily understand the steps for teaching?
-Are there particular features that help the teacher grasp the outline?
-What methods for teaching are suggested ? With which of these are the teachers comfortable? Which new ones could be easily learned?
-Are instructions for activities clear and easy to follow ?
-What resources are suggested for use beyond those in the book? Which of these are essential ? Which could be easily obtained?
-Does the teacher’s book include helpful material about the age and learning levels of those in the class?
-Is there background material about the lesson content so that teachers’ information will be enriched?
-Is it attractively illustrated [from a child’s viewpoint]? -Is the print easy to read for a child ?
-Would the style and language attract a child’s interest? -Is the story within a child’s understanding?
-Would the exercises be interesting to children? -Are they too difficult? too easy?
-Would they enrich the understanding of the lesson ? How ?
-Would they be helpful enough for the cost involved? Or would it be better to develop activities specifically for the class?
-Which activities are most likely to be used? How often?
-Critically speaking , what is the quality of each item : poster, picture, filmstrip , etc.? -Will children find the suggested activities useful, or could similar activities be constructed with little effort and less expense?
-What is the purpose of this paper as evidenced by its design and content? -Would it reinforce the lesson for use at home?
-Would it enrich the material used in class?
-Would it be a link between absentees and the class?
-How valuable would it be as a contact with the families of children present in class? Of those who were absent?
-Is it worth the price? Why or why not?
GENERAL PLAN OF CURRICULUM:
-What are the goals over a six, eight, or twelve-year span? -List the basic content of each unit of the twelve-year span.
-Note the "flow" of the material:
-How is Biblical material used : chronologically? topically? other? -What are the advantages/disadvantages of this design?
-Where do repetitions of material occur?
-Do these reinforce learning? deepen insights? fill space?
-Are units planned for seasonal emphasis? Are these useful?
-Is the cost within the budget of your congregation? Is the program within the teaching skills of your teachers?
-Is there space for additions or substitutions for special studies without disrupting the pattern [such as missions project, worship, stewardship]?