Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Syllabus and Curriculum

Syllabus vs Curriculum

Education is an act of imparting and acquiring information. In more technical terms, it is the process where society passes its accumulated knowledge, values, and skills on to one generation. This process develops the reasoning, intellect, and judgment of an individual. The word “education” comes from the Latin word “educare,” meaning “to bring up.” That word is also related to the word “educere,” meaning “out“ and “ducere,” which means “lead.” In education, a teacher is the one who directs the education of the students, providing the schooling for them. The process of education starts from the curriculum.

A curriculum is a set of courses that presents their content; they are offered by schools and universities. It comes from a Latin word for “race course.” The meaning of this race course is not a one-track race but a record of actions and experiences that guide an individual for intellectual, functional, and ethical growth. A curriculum prescribes the objectives of the system and acts as a documented guide for teachers to understand the standards of a student and view the requirements to achieve the end of their developmental stage. The historical conception of curriculum came from John Franklin Bobbitt. Bobbitt is also a university professor and a writer. He wrote a book called “The Curriculum” explaining that the curriculum as an idea for a course of deeds and experiences which will guide children into becoming adults and establish a place in adult society. He also said that accumulating these deeds and experiences are not only limited to school. They can also be obtained outside of it. These also include those experiences that are obtained through unplanned and undirected actions. Bobbitt also defined curriculum as an ideal. While there are some views that reject Bobbitt’s postulates, they still retain the basic idea of curriculum and that experiences act as a course for shaping a human being into a person.

In formal schooling, a curriculum shows the range of the courses available. From there, the students will choose subject matters to be studied, and they will also act as a learning program. Features of a curriculum also include the course objectives and their definitions usually delivered through learning outcomes and assessment strategies. These factors are grouped and labeled as units. The curriculum design also allows the student to see the prerequisites of each course that can be satisfied by fulfilling certain conditions, like taking particular courses, gaining work experience, and examinations. Core curriculum also exists. It is treated as the center of the course of study and is defined as mandatory for the students.

Curriculum is often fused with a syllabus. A syllabus is an outline of the topics covered by the course and displays the summary of these topics. Unlike a curriculum, a syllabus is descriptive. They are defined by an exam board or laid out by a professor that is in charge of the quality of the course. They serve as ensuring an understanding between professors and students so there will be less confusion regarding the policies of the course. A syllabus also sets the expectations of the material that must be learned, the behavior to be displayed while inside the class, and the effort put into the course.


1.Education is an act of sharing and gathering information. Society passes its accumulated knowledge, values, and skills on to one generation to have it develop.
2.The first step in the process of education starts from the curriculum. A curriculum is a set of courses which also defines their content. It is considered as prescriptive and is more general compared to a syllabus.
3.A syllabus serves as an outline and summary of topics that are to be covered in a course. It is descriptive and ensures the understanding between the professor and the student regarding the policies and learning materials of the course.

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