I know that curricular is an adjective and curriculum a noun, but are they both used in exactly the same meaning? Or are there some differences concerning what they imply or apply to? Being a non-native English speaker I would say that they are the same or at least are used as synonyms. I would prefer to use "curriculum framework" but quite often the translation e.g. from German 'Rahmencurriculum' is made with "curricular framework".

  • They do not refer to the same thing. In each case, the reference is the noun, (qualified by the adjective).
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2012 at 12:52
  • @Marthaª Does that mean I got the question wrong? The title refers to one thing while the edit suggests it's asking the difference between curriculum and curricular.
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2012 at 15:36
  • @Kris, the title is also about curriculum vs. curricular: the change of order is necessary because adjectives need to precede nouns. Or at least that's how I interpret it, but naturally Joksteri has the final say.
    – Marthaª
    Oct 16, 2012 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


'[Rahmencurriculum]1' (Ger.) translates to model curriculum (curriculum according to a specific framework) in English. The reference is to curriculum.

It is clearly not curricular framework in OP's case.

A framework curriculum is a sample/ model built on the basis of guidelines (the 'framework'). Individual institutions can design their curricula on this model, or probably adopt it as such.

A curricular framework (loosely, curriculum framework) is a set of guidelines defining and explaining what a curriculum is required to be like or contain.

  • 2
    It would be helpful to define the three terms "curriculum framework", "curricular framework", and "framework curriculum" asked about and contrast their meaning. What is intuitively clear to one person may not be to another. Also please substantiate with reliable sources.
    – MetaEd
    Oct 16, 2012 at 13:35
  • The reason I did not delve into further detail is that the specific definitions depend on the local conventions and practices. In German schools, they could have formulated a model curriculum, on the basis of which, schools design their curricula. That is merely our surmise, though.
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2012 at 15:09

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