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4 Each school sets up its ideas and educational objectives. The curriculum is a schoolfs educational plan that organizes each gradefs core requirements in a systematic management style.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum In Japan, local standard curriculums provided by the prefectural boards of education and the municipal boards of education, are based on eThe Course of Studyf, which is the standard nationwide curriculum. Each school makes its eyearly guidance planf as a general plan at the beginning of the year. This guidance plan provides direction for 1. Guidance plans for grades, fields and subjects, 2. Semester guidance plans, 3. Monthly guidance plans, 4. Weekly and unit guidance plans, 5. Daily guidance plans and 6. Current lesson guidance plans. Plans are gradually made from 1. to 6.. These plans are evaluated through actual classes and periodically reexamined.
The school also makes its eCourse of Studyf at the beginning of the year. This plan is made for each subject and extracurricular activity (moral education, special activities, the period of integrated study) at each grade level and for each class.
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eEducational objectivesf are concepts of ewhat kind of human beings are to be nurturedf. In order to achieve such objectives, educational contents must be determined. The educational contents of ewhat to teach learnersf are ecurriculumsf that have a close relationship with teaching methods (how to teach). The ecurriculumsf of schools in Japan consist of two areas: esubjectsf and enon-subjects.f For example, in elementary schools there are nine subjects: eJapanese languagef, esocial studiesf, earithmeticf, esciencef, elife stylesf, emusicf, edrawing and handcraftsf, ehome economicsf and ephysical educationf. Inn enon-subjectsf there are emoral preceptsf, especial activitiesf and ethe period of integrated study.f The picture above provides one example of eyearly guideline plan listf at a lower secondary school (Art). Using this list, teachers are able to plan yearly instructions for each subject they teach, and also to review their actual lessons in comparison with initial plans.
6 Curriculum development is an activity that evaluates a schoolfs curriculum continuously from the perspective of social change, etc., and then improves it. It includes curriculums at various levels, for instance, schools, communities, and the national curriculum. In Japan, the implementation of the fundamentals of the Course of Study and each schoolfs full involvement in curriculum development commenced after CERI (Center for Educational Research and Innovation) of the OECD advanced an idea called SBCD (School-based Curriculum Development).  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The above chart illustrates the process of curriculum development in Japan. This process needs a set of procedures which are to 1.set educational objectives, 2.select study experiences, 3.select contents, 4.organize study experiences and contents, 5.perform evaluations, and 6.make improvements. By this set of practical procedures, each school develops its own curriculum. 7
Curriculum development is a dynamic process of curriculum improvement through edoing (teaching and guidance)f and evaluation of the results of a planned curriculum. eTeachingf is one of the practice models in the curriculum development process. It is important that the unity of eprocess of teaching improvementf be incorporated into curriculum development. This is one example of the themes of the eDevelopment Research Schoolf laid out by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2002. In Japan, the importance of developing creative and practical curricula at each school is emphasized. Research into original and new curricula development, such as at various eDevelopment Research Schoolsf, is in progress at national and local levels.
8 Educational objectives of schools are ideas formulated by each school on what education ought to be. They indicate the concept of the ideal type of person that each student should become through participation in school educational activities. Educational objectives of schools can be divided into 4 levels: 1) school objectives, 2) grade objectives, 3) class objectives, and 4) objectives of individual students.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum This is an example of educational objectives at an elementary school. School educational objectives consist of eschool objectivesf, egrade objectivesf and eclass objectives.f It can be said that the objectives of school activities become more practical over time. 9
In Japan, the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education provide educational objectives, and on the basis of them the Boards of Education and schools determine educational objectives. School educational objectives show each schoolfs educational philosophy. various educational activities are carried out in schools to achieve the objectives. This picture is an example of posted eclass objectivesf. Among a variety of posters in the classroom, eclass objectivesf are educational objectives for all the students who belong to the class to aim for during the school year. These are posted where students can see them daily. eClass objectivesf play an important role in assisting each student to go over and to reflect on daily personal educational activities and priorities.
10 In Japan, the official eCourse of Studyf is the basis of the national curriculum which is revised once in about every 10 years. The current version of the Course of Study was issued on December 14th 1998 comprising the Course of Study for elementary schools, the Course of Study for lower secondary schools, and the Course of Study for kindergartens. These courses of study have been in force since April 1st 2002. In addition, the Course of Study for upper secondary schools, the Course of Study for schools for the blind, schools for the deaf, and schools for the handicapped other than the blind and the deaf were issued on March 29th 1999.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum At elementary schools, each class is 45 minutes long. The total of class hours for special activities are counted as hours for class activities (excluding school lunch periods), which is provided in the Course of Study for elementary school.
(The day of a student¨9-29)
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œCareful selection of educational contents: Reduction, transition and integration of contents that tend to be advanced to upper level grades, senior schools
œCreation of fthe period of integrated studyf: Featured educational and developmental activities created and framed by each school
œResponse to internationalization and spread of the information age: Learning foreign language conversation, using computers and information and telecommunications networks in classes such as during ethe period of integrated study.f
œReduction of class session hours: Reducing the annual total of class session hours by 70 credit hours (2 credit hours a week)
(From the left), 1.The Course of Study (for elementary schools), 2.the Course of Study (for lower secondary schools), 3.the Course of Study (for upper secondary schools), 4.the Course of Study (for kindergartens), 5.the Course of Study for schools for the blind, schools for the deaf, and schools for the handicapped other than the blind and the deaf
12 Teaching contents are organized in some units according to the actual conditions of studentsf achievements based on each gradefs and subjectfs objectives. The organization of teaching contents needs to:
(1) Clarify each subjectfs objectives and select proper teaching contents carefully to achieve objectives of units.
(2) Arrange units to fit students, considering teaching contentsf quality of systems and development
(3) Arrange school events based on the schoolfs and local communityfs actual conditions and seasons.
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum An example of a list of the unit structure for an arithmetic lesson at an elementary school. 13
eTeaching materialsf are the important elements that constitute a class with estudentsf and eteachers.f The elements that shape the contents to be taught and in a class are eteaching materials.f Textbooks are the main teaching materials while other items include documents, reference materials and objects which teachers select from the daily life of students. An activity under which a teacher selects, interprets, and organizes eteaching materialsf in the context of class objectives is called eresearch on teaching materials.f A teacher spends a long time to conduct eresearch on teaching materialsf for use in teaching classes. The above picture consists of a figure of a unit structure for a schoolfs period of integrated study. It enables one to conceptualize one year curricula by units.
14 A eguidance planf is a specific plan made on the basis of school curriculum. On the basis of the eGuidance planf and eUnit structuref as a general perspective, individual class estudy lesson plansf per period are made. By making a estudy lesson planf, teachers can plan the class developmental process for a period and prepare guidance suitable for childrenfs actual conditions.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum In the above lesson plan, in addition to the name of the instructor, date, and class, additional information includes 1.name of the unit 2.the reason for the unit setting 3.objective of the unit 4.plan for the unit 5.objective of this class 6.guidance process for this class. For 2, teachers write about how they should teach, what they should use, and their views of the students in their class. In this unit, and for 6, they outline the process of the class hour from the beginning through conclusion. 15
Subsumed within eLesson plansf are all the outcomes based on class planning and research on teaching materials done by a teacher, including his / her ideas of education and educational instruction. The eLesson planf is a blueprint with intentions and structures of each class that is prepared to pre-plan the class. The eLesson planf is also useful to help improve the way teachers teach. By reviewing guidance plans, teachers can determine where there are instruction gaps. This allows them to adapt the structure of their future classes in a way to try to fill in those gaps. (Picture) The above picture provides an example of a lesson plan (1st grade of lower secondary school, Japanese History).
16 Written eguidelinesf change every time the Course of Study is revised according to evolving principles. These written guidelines consist of erecords of the school registerf and erecords of instructionsf, and plays two roles as: 1) the original certification for external use, and 2) instruction materials.
A ereport cardf (¨7-19) contains information about a studentfs performance and attendance record. Report cards are provided to studentsf parents at the end of each quarter, thereby allowing them to track the progress of their children in order to provide feedback and reflect on future instruction. In Japan today, absolute evaluation are being considered seriously as a means to assess studentsf academic performance since they provide a clearer assessment of studentsf performance and progress.
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum This is a picture of a school report card. A homeroom teacher carefully writes down evaluations of the progress and strengths of individual students in order to let the know their achievements, to set goals and to inform parents regarding their childrenfs academic development. 17
Today in Japan, setting concrete educational objectives and making precise evaluations of the extent to which objectives have been achieved have been prioritized in order to clarify individual improvements. This approach reflects previous knowledge regarding the utility of evaluations.
Excerpts from the Curriculum Council, Report on Evaluation of Learning and Educational Process of Students, December 4th, 2000.
In order to assess studentsf academic achievements, teachers evaluate tests which are done before, after and during the school term. Teachers also check notebooks, worksheets and work done by each student in order to be aware of their level of understanding and to teach appropriately. Teachers file these documents and make use of them in their evaluations.
1.6th grade, November 2005
2.1st grade, January 2005
3.1st grade, December 2003
4.Test, 6th grade, December 2003
18 An evaluation of class improvements is called eclass evaluationf and an evaluation of curriculum improvement is called ecurriculum evaluation.f Through these evaluations overall class and curriculum palns are reassessed.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum eClass evaluationsf are made to improve classes. While valuation points differ according to class objectives, important points to be considered are 1. the appropriateness of class content in terms of child development, 2. whether the class content has adequate range to accommodated individual differences, 3. whether children are able to work effectively and whether they are satisfied with the content, 4. whether children had opportunities to express their thoughts about things that they donft understand and 5. whether the teaching materials and equipment were effectively used. 19
eCurriculum evaluationsf are made to check if curriculum are designed and implemented appropriately and to improve curriculums. Evaluations are conducted at multiple levels, such as schools, communities, and the state. eCurriculum evaluationsf of schools are conducted in terms of 1.studentsf assessment of academic achievement, 2.organization of school curriculum development, 3.relationships between communities and curriculums, 4.results of evaluations of curriculums and the entire school and 5.school characteristics. In this picture, teachers observe a class. After the class visit, they hold a seminar, and discuss the objectives, content and methods of the class. There are both fin-school seminarsf held in the same school and fopen seminarsf which are open to outsiders. By learning from these seminars, teachers reassess their classroom instruction methods and attempt through mutual feedback to improve individual quality and abilities.
1. Class visit, moral education, 1st grade, March 2005
2. Discussion after the class
20 There are three forms of general guidance: 1. frontal teaching, 2. group study, and 3. provision of individual learning. In addition, recently, providing guidance according to studentsf individual needs and abilities becomes important at Japanfs elementary schools and lower secondary schools.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The Course of Study adopted in 1998 aims to strengthen the teaching of basic and fundamental contents and to develop education considering individual studentsf needs and abilities. To achieve this goal, instruction for small numbers of students is carried out, such as through individual and group teaching, instruction based on studentsf abilities and team teaching. 21
The above caption illustrates general types of instruction and the characteristics of each type. Currently in Japan, schools utilize not only classroom study but also other types of instruction, such as group and individual study . Which type of teaching methods are practiced depends on the contents of a class. ¨(addition) To instruct students individually and to ascertain their level of comprehension, instruction is given by the teacher by walking around childrenfs desks. (The number of students per class¨2-41) The Course of Study adopted in 1998 aims to strengthen the teaching of basic and fundamental contents and to develop education considering individual studentsf needs and abilities. To achieve this goal, instruction for small numbers of students is carried out, such as through individual and group teaching, instruction based on studentsf abilities and team teaching.
1. Frontal teaching, arithmetic 5th grade, January 2005
2. Group study, science 4th grade, December 2003
3. Team teaching, Japanese language 1st grade, December 2003
4. Individualized teaching, arithmetic 1st grade, December 2003
5. Individuaizedl teaching of Japanese, Japanese language, January 2005
22 There are nine subjects in elementary school; eJapanese languagef, esocial studiesf, earithmeticf, esciencef, elife skilsf, emusicf, edrawing and handcraftsf, ehome economiesf and ephysical education.f eLife skillsf is taught only in the first and second grades, while esciencef and esocial studiesf are taught from the third grade. Fifth and sixth graders study home economics together.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The above shows scenes from science and music classes in elementary school.
1. Japanese, 1st grade, December 2003
2. Calligraphy, 4th grade, July 2004
3. Arithmetic, 1st grade, December 2003
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Posting objectives from the Course of Study
In the current curriculum, contents of each curriculum were selected carefully to make sure that they are fundamental and basic.
The above shows scenes from science and music classes in elementary school.
1. Science 4th grade, December 2003
2. Music 6th grade, December 2003
24 The above shows scenes from physical education, handicrafts and home economics classes in elementary school.
1. Physical education, December 2003
2. Physical education (swimming) 2nd grade, July 2004
3. Drawing and Handcrafts 3rd grade, December 2003
4. Home economics 5th grade, November 2005
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum These are examples of childrenfs learning activities in an elementary school: research, summary, presentation, discussion, observation and watching.
1. In a school library room (the period of integrated study), 6th grade, December 2003
2. In a science room, 4th grade, December 2003
3. In a science room, 6th grade, December 2003
4. In a science room, 6th grade, December 2003
5. In a science class, 6th grade, September 2004
6. In a period of integrated study (international education), 2nd grade, June 2004
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They shows scenes from social studies and life skill activities in elementary school.
1.2. Social Studies (study outside the school), 3rd grade, November 2004
3.4. Life skills (study outside the school), 2nd grade, November 2004
Elementary and lower secondary schools in Japan conduct emoral educationf classes once a week. Moral education is provided in each subject and throughout all educational activities in the school.
1.Objectives of moral education
To teach and instill morality covering moral sentiments, moral judgment, moral attitudes and the capability and willingness to put these in practice through educational activities at school.
2.Objectives of moral education classes
To intensify moral values of self-awareness and to develop studentsf ability to practice morality by maintaining close relations
with other individuals. This is done by intensifying and integrating moral education through systematic developmental instruction.
26 In grades 1 and 2,
(4) was added as an item of contents to nurture love for onefs birthplace even in lower grades, and also
(2) was added to have a more independent relation with groups.
In grades 3 and 4,
(6) was added to nurture cultural and traditional values of onefs birthplace and Japan as well as to consider progress of internationalized society from now on.
In grades 5 and 6, the end of sentences was changed in pursuit of more independent relations with groups and the society.
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum These are the pictures of a Moral Education textbook and supplementary reading. In Japan, many schools use not only textbooks, but also supplementary readings.
1. use of paintings for introduction.
2. distributing handouts to students.
3. asking studentsf opinions.
4. handmade teaching materials
5. supplementary readings
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In grades 1 and 2,
(4) was added as an item of contents to nurture love for onefs birthplace even in lower grades, and also
(2) was added to have a more independent relation with groups.
In grades 3 and 4,
(6) was added to nurture cultural and traditional values of onefs birthplace and Japan as well as to consider progress of internationalized society from now on.
In grades 5 and 6, the end of sentences was changed in pursuit of more independent relations with groups and the society.
1. an introduction to a class using paintings
fwatch with an eye of heartf
3. a handicapped person relates her experience
28 eSpecial activitiesf are the activities outside subjects that are done usually through group activities of a whole class, grade, or school. They consist of four types of activities: A) class activities, B) activities of student councils, C) club activities, and D) school events.
* Objectives of special activities
Through appropriate group activity, special activities aim to develop studentsf minds and bodies in harmony, deepen their awareness of being members of a student groups, and nurture their independent and practical attitudes in order to seek to build a better life.
D. School events ¨ Field9 fJapanese school life and culturef
(DDSchool events¨9-1~15)<
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum 1.2. Class meeting; Under the guidance of a teacher and selected class representatives, students bring up topics such as problems in their class. The students then discuss these issues find solutions to the problems. (topic; what to do while summer vacation, 6th grade, July 2005)
3. Morning meeting (1st grade December 2003)
4. Procedure of class meeting
5. Record of class meeting (6th grade)
6. Record of class meeting (1st grade, December 2003)
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eClass activitiesf are defined as activities to improve progress in class and school life and to cultivate sound life styles for children.
A specific example is (1) to solve various problems in class and school life, by making class rules and by assigning work to individual students.
Another example is (2) to develop attitudes to live with hope and purpose, to acquire basic living habits, to develop good human relationships, to make use of libraries, to build healthy and safe life styles in mind and body, and to develop good eating habits during school lunch.
These are pictures of students at a school library and students during lunch time.
1. Students responsible for various tasks, 2nd grade, December 2003
2. School lunch time, 1st grade, December 2003@
3. Students responsible for growing plants, January 2005
30 Another special activity is the estudent councilf, which is a studentsf meeting organized by all students in a school. Management of the student council is carried out primarily by students in the 5th and 6th grades. The types of committees that the student council engages in are: erepresentative committee, f ecommitteef and estudentsf assembly.f  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum 1. 2. Student council eAbout greetings movementf
3. Feedback from a teacher
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eRepresentative committeesf consist of eclass representativesf ecommittee representativesf and esteering committees.f Representative committees discuss organization and government of student councils, plans of meetings and general school life. For example, they hold such meetings as to make annual activity plans, to conduct reviews of activities over the year, to plan sports activities (marathon races, rope skipping day), to plan cultural activities (welcome party for first graders, farewell party for sixth graders), to discuss school life problems (making and enforcing school rules, how to deal with rainy days, reading of books) and finally other topics (plan UNICEF day, make an annual cleaning plan). In the Newspaper Committee, students prepare a school paper with contents concerning intra-school information and interviews about school events.
1. At a health committee, students are making posters calling attention for all students to wash hands in order to prevent colds. December 2003
2. Library committee December 2003
3. At a newspaper committee, students are making a school newspaper concerning school news and school events. December 2003
4. At a radio broadcasting committee, students are broadcasting school news to all classes during an afternoon break. December 2003
32 These pictures show student assemblies titled eWelcome 4th year students.f All the students gather and the 4th grade students are demonstrating what they have recently learned.
1. Reading compositions
2. Drama
3. Physical Education
4. Music
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The figure provides an example of typical club activities at a school such as athletics, arts, and recreational activities, which meet studentsf needs. The school organizes various types of club activities. 33
eClub activitiesf are organized mainly by the upper grade students who have common interests. They are practiced in elementary school. Teachers encourage students to work and study by themselves with leaders from the 5th or 6th grades. 1.Computer club, July 2004
2.Cooking club: Students are making eZenzaif, January 2005
3.Handicraft club, July 2004
34 The pictures show cultural activities involving computer clubs and handicraft clubs.
At the end of each term, students do self-assessments
1. Flower arrangement club, July 2004
2. Flower arrangement club, July 2004
3. Science club, July 2004
4. Science club, July 2004
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The pictures show athletic club activities;
1. badminton, July 2004
2. basketball, July 2004
3. table tennis, July 2004
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1. Writing self-assessments
2. Club activities start from 4th grade. The visiting 3rd grade students are observing club activities to know what they are like.
The eperiod of integrated studyf was introduced under the revised Course of Study adopted in 1998. This is a period when children can study beyond the normal framework of subjects by pursuing original ideas identified within individual schools: elementary schools, lower secondary schools and upper secondary schools. The aims of the period are mentioned below.
(1)@to develop and improve abilities and stature to solve problems by identifying issues, learning, exercising critical thinking, interpreting and acting independently.
(2)@to learn how to study and think, and to learn how to act independently and creatively to solve problems and to carry out investigative activities, and finally to be able to undertake self-introspection.
(3)@to encourage children to (engage) in moral and special activities, and to be able to use these activities synthetically in order to develop life skills and knowledge.
36 The eperiod of integrated studye and the subjects encountered have an inter-linked structure, as shown in the chart above. This means that the knowledge and skills learned in each subject inter-relate in a comprehensive fashion to ethe period of integrated studyf. The power gained during the eperiod of integrated studyf is utilized in learning individual subjects.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum Source fSurvey on School Educationf in September 2003, by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
From the above survey data, we can see studentsf progress in developing perspectives that they donft always encounter in classroom settings when learning subjects. For example, when children encounter new experiences they become absorbed in studying by themselves. They can also engage in activities with children from other class levels.
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Source fSurvey on School Educationf in September 2003, by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
From the above survey data, we can see studentsf progress in developing perspectives that they donft always encounter in classroom settings when learning subjects. For example, when children encounter new experiences they become absorbed in studying by themselves. They can also engage in activities with children from other class levels.
The pictures show an activity during the eperiod of integrated study.f Various activities are done during the period of integrated study, depending on the creativity of teachers and students and the features of each school.
1. Voluntary teachers from a NPO for environment protection are explaining advantages to plant reeds for restoring nature. Students grew these reeds in their school.
2. Students are planting reeds.
3. City officials cooperate in carrying reeds from the school to the lakeside.
(Human resources of community ¨7-35~39)
38 When compared with compulsory eclub activitiesf in elementary school which are performed during class hours with participation by all students, eextracurricular activitiesf are club activities of studentsf choices which are organized outside the curriculum at lower secondary schools or higher school levels. At present, the eextracurricular activitiesf are practiced at most lower and upper secondary schools. Since the eextracurricular activitiesf represent activities chosen by students outside of regular school curriculums, students can develop social and group skills that are more difficult to learn from school classroom subjects, as well as to develop their individual personalities.  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum  4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum The above pictures show athletic club activities: Kendo and Softball tennis. Through club activities, students participate in official games and tournaments.
@During practice sessions, advisory teachers also participate in club activities
1.2. Kendo (Japanese fencing) November 2004
3.4. Soft tennis December 2004
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The above list of club activities are extracurricular, and are divided into athletic and cultural clubs in school. Through such club activities, students can learn respect for their seniors, sympathy toward juniors, and social interaction skills that cross age groups. The above pictures show athletic club activities: baseball and basketball. Through club activities, students participate in official games and tournaments.
@ During practice sesions, advisory teachers also participate in club activities
1.2. Baseball November 2004
3.4. Basketball November 2004
40 These are pictures of extra-curricular cultural activities such as computer clubs and brass band clubs. In these activities, students show their abilities by exhibiting their work at exhibitions held both within and outside school premises, including performing in concerts. Feedback from external evaluations is designed to develop students skills and to improve the quality of their activities.
1.2. Computer club, December 2004
3.4. Brass bands, December 2004
 4. Organization and Implementation of Curriculum 41
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