Nature of Curriculum

What does it mean to study the Nature of Curriculum?
This line of research emphasizes studies about research-based characteristics of curriculum, such as coherence, rigor, and focus; delivery mechanisms that will change what learning looks like in the classroom; and the educative nature of materials that teachers use in their classrooms. We design simple yet powerful studies that focus on one area of emphasis, and we design complex studies that address overlapping areas of emphasis. Each study will contribute to knowledge in the field and increase understanding about the relationships among curriculum, instruction, and learning.

We plan studies such as an exploratory study of a groundbreaking idea related to digital learning environments or a synthesis of prominent studies on formative assessment in secondary science across the last decade. Our studies might focus on the design and development of instructional materials with focus on outcomes related to equity. The design and development of our Inquiry Program for Grade Eight is an example of such a study. This project is funded by Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education.

Another way to study the nature of curriculum is to conduct large, rigorous, controlled studies of a program’s effects. Our efficacy study on BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach that we are currently conducting in the state of Washington, also funded by IES, is an example of such a study.

Browse the list below for a selection of Nature of Curriculum research reports.

The research reports listed on this page represent internal and external studies conducted over the years on the BSCS comprehensive...

This research studied SNB use with grades four and five science kits in two Colorado school districts. An allied professional development intervention...

This report is based on the work of Project PRIME (Promoting Reform through Instructional Materials that Educate). The goal of this project was to study...

Women and minorities do not participate in the science workforce at rates consistent with their populations (Rosser, 2000). A variety of theoretical...