Spiral curriculum

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Spiral curriculum describes a didactic principle for the arrangement of learning content , which was largely determined in 1960 by the American developmental cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner . It thus falls into the field of teaching methodology .

Basic idea

The principle goes back to the hypothesis that every child at every stage of development can be taught every subject in an intellectually honest form. This means that, in principle, all relevant content can be learned by children at primary school age using the didactic reduction . The curriculum thus not only follows an internal logic, but also takes developmental and learning psychological aspects into account, does not arrange the material linearly, but in the form of a spiral, so that individual topics recur several times over the course of the school years at a higher level and in a more differentiated form . Due to the hermeneutic circle , however, internal historicity as a model can justify a spiral approach.

The spiral principle is found not only in general school forms, but also in vocational education. It is particularly suitable for content in which structured and interrelated work is required. This is the case for topics with an interdisciplinary and project-oriented character, such as "Renewable Energies", as well as for all forms of learning that are not fully planned in advance based on legal principles.

Significance for math lessons

The special importance of the spiral principle for mathematics lessons is discussed in the context of mathematics didactics . By applying the concept to mathematical content, these should not be broken down into disjointed areas, but rather the learners can recognize lines of relation between the respective individual topics and get an orientation in the wealth of material.


Individual evidence

  1. Jerome Bruner: Process of Education . Berlin, Düsseldorf 1970, p. 44 .
  2. Wolfgang Schnotz: Pedagogical Psychology compact: With online materials . Beltz 2011, ISBN 978-3-621-27773-0 , p. 142.
  3. Thomas Brühne: Renewable Energies as a Challenge for Geography Didactics . Springer Verlag, Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-91579-1 , p. 73 ff .
  4. ^ Pedagogical terms in vocational training Glossary: ​​Spiral curriculum. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on June 9, 2013 ; Retrieved July 31, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.berufsbildung.schulministerium.nrw.de
  5. Hans Georg Weigand: Didactic principles. (PDF; 182 kB) p. 1 , accessed on July 10, 2013 .