History of Curriculum

The historical overview of American curriculum can be traced back to reigns of President Jefferson who campaigned for the creation of the public school. This created the era of the curriculum in America. The public education system was then born and its development has been traced back to the era of Congregationalists and Puritan religious schools which are recorded to have existed in the 1600s, they are associated with the current curriculum system which both the private and public school encompasses (Johnson Et al. 1995). Private sector dominate in the provision of edification in America and this curriculum initiative is funded and controlled by three governmental bodies local, state and federal, through this initiative child edification is compulsory. There is a special select school board committee whom oversees funding, teaching, school curriculum and other policies observing directive from state legislature through school districts jurisdiction. Local jurisdictions are the main separators of school district fostering budgets and independent officials. The state government mandates over the verdict of the standard level of curriculum and standardized assessment. The curriculum history of American reforms has been triggered by social unrest and personal development which made individuals become more interested in career-oriented studies as noted by Button and Provenzo (1983).

China Curriculum History

The Chinese curriculum which has been highly debated has roots which can be traced back to 551-479 BC. This curriculum consisted of three classical teaching which were mostly influenced by Chinese Confucius which included Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. These were the teaching of moral being and guidelines of an individual (Burton, 1986). However, due to isolation from the rest of the world, it is not clearly known if they were embraced as curriculum or mere moral principles taught to the ancient Chinese by grate thinkers of this region.

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China curriculum was officiated in 1912 after the Republic of China establishment. The then appointed first minister of edification Cai Yuanpei abolished the use of Chinese classic in the curriculum system and adopted the formal education system. The founding of National Philosophy and National Science in 1949 to control and budget for the education system in China because of the contemporary issues which arose during edification reforms in developing new China. This initiative regulated over matters concerning edification policies, curriculum, edification theory, teaching and school management and assessment, this committee was chaired by Ms. Fang Xiaodong. These has evolved from this time to diverse increased interest which are executed by the government to inspire the students to embrace a consolidated curriculum system which develops and generate the highest quality of edification to shape their future (Biele, 1969).

Major Movements in American Curriculum History

The curriculum reforms in America have been mostly facilitated by mostly social unrest and the quest for the higher standard of edification for the whole population of this nation. First major reformations were during the 18th-19th century as this nation was being transformed from social unrest and movement of personal development. This era saw all races attending same public schools development of private schools and having one core curriculum as the bottom edification policy (Rury, 2002).

These debates were actualized and campaigned by McCarthyism in the beginning of 1950s and the yielding result was that it should be better for consolidation of the curriculum system, equity issues concerns and unionization of the faculty. Tyack (1974) notes that this injected interest on the students to be more reinforced and motivated on curriculum system which encompassed career-oriented studies. This consolidation was mostly influenced by the economic downturn in the 1970s, following this path the beginning of 1980s marked yet another curriculum reform decade. This saw initiative like “A Nation at Risk” which was the cause which generated the founding of the Blue Ribbon Commission which was embraced by 33 states and the main agenda was that they analyze the education policies. This change the earlier reform which was more concerned with equity and access, the new directive would now concern itself with the student outcome and accountability.

Another major reform which is hardly regarded is the 1800s free elementary reform which allowed children of younger ages attend and achieve edification free of charge. The initiative which advocated for this directive was known as Common school reformers program. This is the one which first initiated major development on reform, the changes would e felt and encompassed changes which is accounted for today dramatic change in the highly decentralized curriculum system (Button & Provenzo (1983).


Major Movements in Chinese Curriculum History

The changes in the curriculum system of China were mostly projected by Cai Yuanpei the first minister of edification in 1900s. The change of the curriculum from the classical Chinese system to a more career-oriented one then begun it reformation process mixed with hurdles because of the communist way of ruling and views concerning edification. There has been censorship even in the curriculum sector where stereo type history is eliminated from the system abruptly without credible explanation as articulated by Hu (1969). Contemporary and ancient curriculums are also screened and censorship injected on both print text and curriculum text books. From the year 1999-2006 there have been debated which have been projected to reform on the screening of historical curriculum in contemporary issues affecting china however this has been met with strong opposition backed by the radical communist government propositions as echoed by Adamson and Morris (1997).

Institutions influenced reforms and how the view of learners have changed

In America the government has been the number one reformist on the Curriculum system where else in China the government is the biggest opposing factor in curriculum reforms. In American President Jefferson was the first president to embrace changed as one of the major reform agenda in his reign as president. In America McCarthyism engineered major curriculum reforms and also economical downturn also affected the thinking of scholars to generate a more career-oriented curriculum. However, Common school reformers program is the most proficient reformers which have affected the curriculum of the United State as exemplified by Parkerson and Parkerson (2001).

According to Dow (1975) articulates that in China due to the isolation and censorship issues the government has had little to do with reform other than abolishing of use of contemporary and ancient curriculum in the education system. Other reform was generated by National Philosophy and National Science through an initiative which allowed the student to also develop and adapt a career-oriented curriculum.


Both china and American curriculum system have been marred with issues when attempting to make amendment. These two super power nations curriculum are both inacceptable however China curriculum is more biased by the governmental censorship. American curriculum is mostly projected toward higher learning though critics are articulating that this mode of curriculum is still ineffective. Ranking both America and China curriculum one would only opt for American curriculum system readily than the censored one from China. However, both the nations still need ample reform to excel and provide learner’s with a career developed and focused curriculum.