To have a “Productive Curriculum Innovation” means that the curriculum as a whole, is improving to meet the ultimate objectives of Higher Education. As such innovation in curriculum cannot be only changes in courses content, or in teaching techniques. Such changes will not increase necessarily the productivity.

Enhancing productivity needs more challenging changes in the curriculum, which will tackle the vision behind it. Productivity as such means avoiding redundancy, saving time but also and especially giving the graduate the main concepts related to their major integrated in the “conceptual fields” which link their domain to other fields of knowledge.

With such a vision, curriculum will gain not only flexibility, but it broaden the horizon of the students enabling them to work in a changing world. The Cognitive Approach, by linking knowledge acquiring to “in-act” conceptualization, offers the means for such enhancing. It will definitely change, the curriculum engineering, but the course contents, the teaching/evaluation methodology and the student’s participation in their learning. The chapter plan will be the following:

  1. Introducing the topic.
  2. Describing the specificity of the Cognitive Approach in terms of Curriculum design.
  3. Presenting the main changes to be adopted to implement such changes and their expected enhancement implications.
  4. One or two cases to illustrate the proposal.
  5. Conclusion.

cognitive approach, curricula, “in-act”, conceptual fields


Nahas, G. N. (2005). The Cognitive Approach as a Basis for Enhanced Curricula. In James E. Groccia & Judith E. Miller (Eds.), On Becoming a Productive University: Strategies for Reducing Costs and Increasing Quality in Higher Education (pp. 227-239). Anker Publishing Company, Inc.. Bolton, USA.

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