core curriculum

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core curriculum (plural core curricula or core curriculums)

  1. (education) The courses or other components of an educational program which are foundational, prerequisite, or mandatory, as opposed to the elective, secondary, or variable components of a program.
    • 1923, James M. Glass, "The Reorganization of the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Grades—Program of Studies," The School Review, vol. 31, no. 7, pp. 523-524:
      The senior high school, if free to concentrate on intensive specialized courses and a core curriculum of constants, will consummate the socially integrating influences of the elementary school.
    • 1991, David M. Bossman, "Cross-Cultural Values for a Pluralistic Core Curriculum," The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 62, no. 6, p. 662:
      Thus, the undergraduate core curriculum is a college's foundational education, a developing lens that effectively focuses issues of whatever sort and projects them, so focused, onto a community screen as conventional wisdom.
    • 2007, Anne C. Lewis, "Language Learning and National Security," Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 89, no. 2, p. 84:
      Even the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act includes foreign languages as part of a core curriculum.