Education Curriculum


The set of courses that a school, university, or other educational institution offers—and, at times, requires for graduation—constitutes its curriculum; these courses may be determined at the school or district level, but more frequently they are influenced by educational legislation and policy. RAND has investigated and advised policymakers on curriculum development in schools worldwide, including helping to redesign the entire curriculum for Qatar's K-12 schools and universities.

  • Teacher grading homework at laptop in classroom


    What Teachers Know and Do in the Common Core Era

    Sep 27, 2018

    Have Common Core State Standards changed what teachers think and do? Survey findings suggest that states must do more to support teachers' knowledge about standards and standards-aligned practices. Online venues may be a good way to provide such support.

  • Elementary students holding hands and running, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Support for Social and Emotional Learning Is Widespread

    May 30, 2019

    Most U.S. educators believe that social and emotional learning (SEL) improves student outcomes and school climate. They agree that students should develop and apply skills like managing emotions and setting and achieving positive goals. But teachers tend to assign greater importance to SEL skills than principals.

Explore Education Curriculum

  • An American flag puzzle with a firearm overlay, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation from images by dusica69 and lnm/Adobe Stock


    Gun Policy Research for High School Students

    When RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative released its first set of research tools in 2018, high school teachers reported that their students were keenly interested. This new unit plan, recommended for grades 10 to 12, is designed to help educators and students understand gun policy research.

    Jun 11, 2020

  • Boston Public School teacher Princess Bryant teaches her kindergarten class via videoconference from her apartment in Boston, Massachusetts, April 28, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters


    Now That Digital Materials Are Front and Center, How Should They Be Used?

    Schools and teachers can support student learning during the COVID-19 crisis by considering how to keep curricula front and center alongside a set of targeted digital materials that connect with curricula and can keep students learning, engaged, and connected to their school support systems.

    May 4, 2020

  • A teacher at a desk with a tablet and a laptop, photo by FluxFactory/Getty Images


    What Digital Materials Do Teachers Use?

    Digital materials for lesson planning and instruction are becoming an increasingly important resource for teachers. A survey of English language arts, mathematics, and science teachers across the United States provides insights on which materials they use and what they consider barriers to use.

    Apr 16, 2020

  • A teacher pointing to a textbook helping a student, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images


    Teachers Need Access to High-Quality Materials

    When asked about their instructional materials, U.S. mathematics teachers were more likely to report regular use of at least one high-quality material compared to English-language arts teachers, although high school teachers did so less than their elementary or middle school counterparts. More open-access online materials could help.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Blog

    Hospitals' Critical Care Capacity, Unemployment Insurance, Farmworkers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how hospitals can increase critical care capacity, reforming the U.S. unemployment system, supporting farmworkers, and more.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Chrissy Brackett and grandson Caidence Miller learn to navigate an online learning system at her home in Woodinville, Washington, March 11, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters


    Schools Pivot Online in Wake of COVID-19: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Nearly all school-age children in the United States are no longer in the classroom as districts shut down to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. RAND education researchers discuss how this situation might exacerbate educational inequities, how districts and teachers are innovating and what they need, and what parents can do.

    Apr 2, 2020

  • Boy wearing headphones while using laptop during homework at home


    The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Education System

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, in response to the COVID-19 crisis RAND experts discuss K–12 education issues, potential income-based gaps, social and emotional learning matters, and resources for students and parents. The experts also consider actions that can be taken to facilitate learning while meeting social distancing goals.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Two adolescent girls at school with a teacher standing nearby, photo by eric/Adobe Stock


    How Teachers Use Intervention Programs

    Academic intervention programs support students who are performing below grade level. When asked about their use of these programs, U.S. teachers were more likely to report using them in English language arts than in mathematics. Teachers also reported using a wide variety of interventions.

    Mar 19, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Using Workforce Data to Plan Higher Education Degree Programs

    In this chapter, we summarize some findings and lessons from a series of projects for the state of Texas to help improve the alignment of higher education degree programs and workforce needs.

    Feb 12, 2020

  • Report

    The Big Lift Descriptive Analyses: Progress Across Three Kindergarten Classes

    In this report, the authors present results describing early learning outcomes of children from three kindergarten classes who were eligible to participate in The Big Lift, a preschool-third-grade initiative that aims to boost reading proficiency.

    Jan 13, 2020

  • An apple sits on a stack of booklets on a teacher's desk


    Two Innovative Tools to "Take the Pulse" of America's Educators

    This brochure describes the American Educator Panels—two innovative online survey tools that provide unique sources of accurate information about educators' knowledge, attitudes, practices, and working conditions

    Dec 18, 2019

  • Louisiana has received attention for new education policies and promising early results. This video describes Louisiana's approach to improving student outcomes since 2012 and summarizes potential policy implementation challenges.


    Raising the Bar: Louisiana's Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes

    Louisiana has received recent attention for some of its new education policies and promising early results. This video provides an in-depth description of Louisiana's approach to improving student outcomes since 2012.

    Dec 4, 2019

  • Elementary school teacher helping pupils as they work at desk in classroom, photo by Monkey Business/AdobeStock


    Teacher Perspectives on Social and Emotional Learning in Massachusetts

    Teachers are largely responsible for implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) programs and policies. How do teachers in Massachusetts feel about the importance of SEL? And what are their opinions on approaches to and support for SEL instruction?

    Oct 2, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Distinctions Without a Difference? Preschool Curricula and Children's Development

    This study is an examination of preschool curricula and their associations with preschool classroom environments and children's academic and social-emotional development using five samples of low-income children attending public preschool programs.

    Sep 19, 2019

  • Close up of pre-teen friends in a park smiling to camera, photo by Monkey Business/AdobeStock


    The RAND Center for Social and Emotional Learning Research

    This product outlines the programs of the RAND Center for Social and Emotional Learning.

    Sep 16, 2019

  • Children looking down at the camera, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images


    Back to School Means Back to SEL for America's Teachers and Principals

    Schools are increasingly adopting programs and practices to build social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about SEL, what they're doing to promote it, and what resources they need.

    Sep 4, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Advancing STEM-Based Business Sustainability: Mending the Curricular Gap

    Businesses are increasingly facing economic, social, and environmental sustainability challenges. This article discusses STEM-based business sustainability curricula to help educators prepare students.

    Jul 3, 2019

  • Engineer trains apprentices on machinery, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images


    How Community Colleges Can Establish Better Partnerships with Employers

    Career and technical education programs give students a chance to engage in learning relevant to their chosen fields and apply immediately for jobs. A strategic vision of collaboration between industry and community colleges can benefit all parties.

    Jun 6, 2019

  • A group of elementary school children wearing athletic clothing, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images


    Teacher and Principal Perspectives on Social and Emotional Learning

    In recent years, the availability of resources to address the concept of social and emotional learning (SEL) has expanded in U.S. schools. What are educators' opinions of SEL? And what SEL-related programs, practices, and assessments are they implementing?

    May 30, 2019