Curriculum design & implementation challenges | ed 533 curriculum | Alcorn State University



1). Class participation points will be automatic for completion of the Case Study. Class participation is worth five points.  

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2). Case Study: The Mandated Curriculum Meeting the Needs of Teachers and Their Favored Practices. Directions: Please read the attached case study thoroughly.  You will need to do the following: (1) identify its problems, (2) provide related research (summarized) to address the problems identified, (3) analyze the problems, and (4) provide solutions to the identified problems. The rubric will be key in helping you construct your ideas to ensure you answer all requirements. 

(Note: This case study is worth ten points; in the syllabus, it states two case studies will be assigned, due to time constraints, only one case study will be given.)

Assignment Materials


Curriculum designers face challenges with implementing curricula, and they should be fully aware of its many barriers and anticipate them to happen. Even before the curriculum is implemented, the design team should know the barriers to curriculum design. Those barriers are the absence of curriculum frameworks to support the curriculum, change,  communication, product focus, funding, hidden curriculum, and tradition. With the proper planning, budget allocation, scheduling, communication, and support, each of these barriers can be removed (Weber, 2015). Hence, the implementation process of the curriculum can roll out smoothly. Let’s discuss the barriers of curriculum design further with notes listed below.


When designing curricula, the curriculum design team must include curriculum frameworks to support the curriculum. This way, teachers will guide using various concepts to integrate student thinking at a deeper level of understanding.

Change is inevitable, and it does not have to be chaotic. This one word can upset the implementation of a curriculum. The key to addressing change is helping teachers have a clear understanding of the written curriculum. There should be consistency in how teachers are supported, whether revisions in curriculum frameworks to storing curriculum units.

Communication is essential, and it is considered a major barrier to curriculum design and implementation. If not communicated effectively. The lack of communication will cause an implementation to fail. Curriculum designers must use all forms of communication to discuss the implemented curriculum with teachers. Whether verbal, written, or online, teachers need an opportunity to discuss the curriculum, their concerns, and next steps. A well-thought-out communication plan is vital to fully implementing curricula in classrooms.

When designing a curriculum, the design team must focus on the processes instead of the product. The goal of creating a curriculum is to focus on continuous improvements. The product should not de-emphasize the process but focus on the design process.

Curriculum comes with a hefty price tag, and it should be considered when planning how to support teachers in implementing the curricula with fidelity. To address this barrier, school districts need to make budgeting a top priority in their annual budget to ensure allocations are made to provide continuous training, resources, materials, and manipulatives.  A curriculum cannot be implemented without its bolts and nuts. Often, many districts try to implement a curriculum without proper funding, and the implementation of its curricula fails.

The “hidden curriculum” is the unintended curriculum. It is what students learn from its physical environment, its policies, and procedures of the school, and it is connected to the climate and culture of the school. When curriculum design teams identify the “hidden curriculum” and work to include those elements in the curriculum – perhaps, the curriculum can be implemented smoothly.

Timing matters, and it matters when choosing the opportune time to design a curriculum. It is time-consuming and taxing. Why? Because teachers need to be teaching, and district administrators are working on their next big project. Most districts try to set aside summer months for teachers and district curriculum coordinators to write curriculums, which is still not enough time. However, it seems to be the best time for curriculum design teams to come together to reflect, design, collaborate, debate, and analyze the curriculum (Weber, 2015). When teams meet consistently, the team can produce a clear and concise curriculum that provides what students should know and do.

Tradition. Don’t you love that word? Tradition gives a connotation of “this is how it has always been done.” When faced with the word “tradition,” curriculum design teams must plan “backward” from the desired results. This strategy is known as the UbD – Understanding by Design. This approach offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. It focuses on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer and designing curriculum “backward” from those ends (Weber, 2015).

In a nutshell, curriculum design teams must consider processes for curriculum design, implementation, and results; open and ongoing communication; determining the hidden curriculum of the school or district; setting the right time to discuss curriculum; recognizing gaps in the curriculum.


Weber, S. (2015, October 23). 8 Barriers to Curriculum Design. [Web log post]. (Links to an external site.).


Curriculum Design & Implementation Challenges