There are as many interpretations of curriculum design as the definitions of curriculum. One of the most widely accepted is the one developed by Hilda Taba. "Curriculum design is a statement which identifies the elements of the curriculum, states what their relationships are to each other and indicates the principles of organization and the requirements of that organization for the administrative conditions under which it is to operate. A design, of course, needs to be supported with and to make explicit a curriculum theory which establishes the sources to consider and the principles to apply".
The elements referred to in the above quotation are:
- Learning experiences
- Teaching strategies
The way in which the elements mentioned by Hilda Taba are related to each other which quite often specifies the kind of curriculum design that is portrayed. For example, the type of design that is dominated by content consisting of predominantly factual information is quite often characterized by teaching strategies that are largely expository in nature, learning experiences which depict the learner as a passive receiver, objectives which emphasize a narrow cognitive perspective and evaluation procedures which are formal testing procedures.
Such type of design is often referred to as a subject centered design. On the other hand, the child - centered design-portrays the relationship between the elements in. a different, and distinctive manner. The tendency to rationalize a curriculum pattern in terms of a single principle, such as child - centeredness or subject - centeredness is an over simplification. It is a point worth stressing. It is not sufficient to enter the rationale for a design on some single criterion or principle as a curriculum has to do with reaching something to somebody. It can be neither entirely content centered nor child centered in the sense of neglecting either the nature of the learning or the nature of content
For further reading please study
Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice. Hilda Taba 196