Distinguish between Curriculum and Syllabus

Distinguish between Curriculum and Syllabus

We use two words Curriculum and Syllabus having same meaning in daily life but they have different meaning according to nature.

Definition of Syllabus:

An outline of the course of study to be completed in a fixed time.

Definition of Curriculum:       

  1. Curriculum is the total effort of the school to bring the desired outcomes in school and out of school situations
  2. Curriculum is a sequence of potential experiences set up in school for the purpose of bringing discipline in children and youth in group, by ways of thinking and acting.
  3. Curriculum is the way of preparing young people to participate as productive members of our culture.
  4. The Curriculum does not mean only the academic subjects, traditionally taught in the school, but it includes totality of experiences that a child receives at the school. In this sense, the whole life of the school becomes the curriculum which can touch the life of the students at all points and help in the evolution of a balanced personality.


  1. It is a vast concept
  2. It is made at different stages/levels, e.g. primary stage, secondary stage, higher secondary stage.
  3. It includes only general objectives at various levels or stages.
  4. It deals with philosophy of life and education.
  5. It is flexible and informal in nature.
  6. It has no duration/ time limit.
  7. It guides teachers and administrators every time.
  8. It includes objectives, methods of teaching learning, evaluation system etc.
  9. It is helpful to formulate syllabus, textbooks.


  1. It is a limited concept
  2. It is made for only one standard.
  3. It includes objective related to specific subject and standard.
  4. It deals with capacity, ability of pupils and psychological theories, principles.
  5. It is rigid and formal in nature.
  6. The study is to be completed in definite duration.
  7. It is useful to teacher for daily teaching.
  8. It includes only objectives related to specific subject, standard and content.
  9. It depends upon curriculum.


  1. Curriculum means a course of study and includes all the experiences which are provided by the school to attain the aims of education
  2. It has a broad scope
  3. It is framed according to stages. Eg. Primary, secondary, higher secondary, etc.
  4. All the co-curricular activities are involved
  5. Competencies of the students are not considered
  6. Stages of growth and development are not considered
  7. Teaching aids, learning activities are not mentioned
  8. Index of subject-wise activity is not framed
  9. The curriculum is the guideline according to which the syllabus is framed
  10. There is no separate evaluation of the curriculum.


  1. Syllabus is a part or sub-set of Curriculum and means a plan showing the subjects and content to be studied in a particular course in a fixed time
  2. Its scope is narrower and limited
  3. It is framed for each standard. Eg. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
  4. Only school subjects, their units and sub-units are mentioned
  5. Intellectual, mental, verbal, social competencies are considered.
  6. Stages of growth and development and also the age-group is taken into consideration
  7. Teaching aids and learning activities are a major part of the syllabus
  8. Index of subject-wise activity is framed
  9. The syllabus is framed in keeping with the experiences mentioned in the curriculum
  10. Evaluation of the syllabus leads to evaluation of the curriculum.

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