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Factors that affect the curriculum design process

Updated April 17, 2017

Several factors affect all curriculum development in meeting the needs of 21st century learners in both organised academic settings and corporation learning centres. Blueprinting curriculum development requires selecting learning goals, designing knowledge delivery models while creating assessment methods for individual and group progress. Factors affecting curriculum development include government norms, which in turn brings other factors into the process. Valid curriculum development requires awareness of the diversity of the target community socially, financially and psychologically.

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How politics influences curriculum design and development starts with funding. Both private and public educational institutions rely on funding for hiring personnel, building and maintaining facilities and equipment. All aspects of curriculum depend on local, state and national political standards. From defining goals, interpreting curricular materials to approving examination systems, politics affects curriculum development.


Curriculum developed for in house training in corporations focuses on educating employees for promotions that bring better returns in profits. Nations financing education expect an economic return from educated students contributing to the country's economy with global competition abilities in technical fields. Curriculum content influences learner goals, standards for academic achievement with an underlying influence of the nation's economy.


The computer technology of the 21st century influences curriculum development at every level of learning. Learning centres and classrooms increasingly provide computers as requisite interaction for studies among students. Technological multimedia use influences educational goals and learning experiences among students. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer technology increases in popularity. .


Social diversity including religion, culture and social groupings affects curriculum development because these characteristics influence the types of topics and methods for teaching information. Developing relevant curriculum takes into account society's expectations, accommodating group traditions and promoting equality.

Learning Theories

Both child and adult learning theories within the psychology field influence curriculum development. Understanding the psychology behind learning theories implemented in curriculum development maximises learning with content, delivery, interactive activities and experiences initiated at the most opportune teaching moment.


World awareness and action toward reversing and ending pollution continues affecting curriculum development. Typical elementary classrooms teach recycling and healthy environmental practices. Higher education in the sciences offer environmentally-focused degrees.

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About the Author

Catalina Bixler's journalism career began in 1970. After five years as a publishing teacher, Bixler then published/edited NATO's U.S. 5th Army and 17th AF "Wiesbaden Post" newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in bilingual-journalism/community development from Redlands University, and a Master of Arts in adult education/training from the University of Phoenix.

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