According to Curry and Temple (1992), a curriculum framework is "a document (usually developed at the state level) that suggests the best thinking about the knowledge, skills, and processes students should know and understand about a particular discipline, and that provides a structure within which to organize the other important curricular components of the instructional system" (p. 27).
The Laboratory Network Program Frameworks Task Force (cited in Sutton, 1993) adds the following information:
"A curricular framework specifies, organizes, and integrates the content and processes of education in a particular discipline. Its structure forms a bridge between established standards and classroom practice by providing guidance for the organization of specific knowledge and instruction. This organization also facilitates multiple levels of policy and curriculum decision making, especially in school districts and schools." (p. 5)Curry and Temple (1992) note the purpose of curriculum frameworks:
"Supportive, structured curriculum frameworks can help eliminate the frustration that results when innovations in different sectors (e.g., curriculum content and professional development) are not linked. A state curriculum framework . . . can be designed to assist curriculum developers in overcoming policy fragmentation by moving away from organizing only the content knowledge of a single discipline toward developing a coherent view of the discipline. This action, in turn, can structure and guide policy choices about instructional programs, materials adoption, teacher and administrator preparation, certification, professional development, and assessment. (pp. 1-2)