How to Develop a Curriculum

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:11
A curriculum often consists of a guide for educators to teach content and skills. Some curricula are general road maps, while others are quite detailed and give instructions for day to day learning. Developing a curriculum can be quite...
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A curriculum often consists of a guide for educators to teach content and skills. Some curricula are general road maps, while others are quite detailed and give instructions for day to day learning. Developing a curriculum can be quite challenging, especially when expectations have such a large range. No matter the situation, it is important to start with a general topic and bring in more details with each step. Finally, evaluate your work to see if any changes need to be made.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Seeing the Big Picture

  1. Step 4 Figure out how much you can cover in the time allotted.
    Use your knowledge of your students (age, ability, etc.) and your knowledge of the content to get a sense of how much information you will be able to cover in the time you were given. You do not need to plan activities just yet, but you can start to think about what is possible.[2]
    • Consider how often you will see the students. Classes that meet once or twice per week may have a different outcome than classes that meet every day.
    • For example, imagine that you are writing a theater curriculum. The difference between a two-hour class that meets once a week for three weeks, and a two-hour class that meets every day for three months is significant. In those three weeks, you might be able to put on a 10-minute play. Three months, on the other hand, may be enough time for a full production.
    • This step may not apply to all teachers. Grade schools often follow state standards that outline the topics that need to be covered over the course of the year. Students often take tests at the end of the year, so there is much more pressure to cover all the standards.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Filling in the Details

  1. Step 3 Create learning goals for each unit.
    Learning goals are the specific things that students will know and be able to do by the end of the unit. You already gave this some thought when you first brainstormed ideas for the class, now you have to be more specific. As you write your learning goals, keep important questions in mind. What does the state require students to know? How do I want my students to think about this topic? What will my students be able to do?[8] Often, you can pull learning goals right from common core standards.[9]
    • Use SWBAT (Students will be able to). If you get stuck, try starting each learning goal with “Students will be able to…” This works for both skills and content knowledge. For example, “Students will be able to provide a two-page written analysis of the reasons behind the Civil War.” This requires students to both know information (causes of the Civil War) and do something with the information (written analysis).
    Joseph Meyer

    Joseph Meyer

    Math Teacher
    Joseph Meyer is a High School Math Teacher based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an educator at City Charter High School, where he has been teaching for over 7 years. Joseph is also the founder of Sandbox Math, an online learning community dedicated to helping students succeed in Algebra. His site is set apart by its focus on fostering genuine comprehension through step-by-step understanding (instead of just getting the correct final answer), enabling learners to identify and overcome misunderstandings and confidently take on any test they face. He received his MA in Physics from Case Western Reserve University and his BA in Physics from Baldwin Wallace University.
    Joseph Meyer
    Joseph Meyer
    Math Teacher

    Teach foundational skills so all students grasp the basics. Proactively address the challenges and learning obstacles your students would face, and work to close the achievement gap between high and low performers. Create a collaborative environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive.

  2. Step 6 Include a plan...
    Include a plan for assessments to evaluate it. Students need to be evaluated on their performance. This helps the student know if they were successful in understanding the content, and it helps the teacher know if they were successful in delivering the content. Additionally, assessments help the teacher determine if any changes need to be made to the curriculum in the future. There are many ways to assess student performance, and assessments should be present throughout each unit.
    • Use formative assessments. Formative assessments are usually smaller, more informal assessments that provide feedback on the learning process so you can make changes to the curriculum throughout the unit. Although formative assessments are usually a part of the daily lesson plan, they can also be included in the unit descriptions. Examples include journal entries, quizzes, collages, or short written responses.
    • Include summative assessments. Summative assessments occur once a full topic has been covered. These assessments are appropriate for the end of a unit or at the end of the course. Examples of summative assessments are tests, presentations, performances, papers, or portfolios. These assessments range from touching on specific details to answering essential questions or discussing larger themes.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Making it Work

  1. Step 1 Use the curriculum to plan lessons.
    Lesson planning is usually separate from the curriculum development process. Although many teachers do write their own curricula, this is not always the case. Sometimes the person who wrote the curriculum is not the same person who will teach it. Either way, make sure you that what is outlined in the curriculum is used to guide lesson planning.[12]
    • Transfer the necessary information from your curriculum to your lesson plan. Include the name of the unit, the essential questions, and the unit goal that you are working on during the lesson.
    • Ensure that lesson objectives lead students to reach the unit goals. Lesson objectives (also called aims, goals, or “SWBAT”) are similar to unit goals, but must be more specific. Remember that students should be able to complete the objective by the end of the lesson. For example, “Students will be able to explain four causes of the Civil War” is specific enough that it can be tackled in one lesson.
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