Approving Curriculum Map Changes
After each curriculum map has been reviewed, there will be some changes that have been suggested by either teachers using the maps or other members of the school community. It is important to keep in mind how these changes will affect the next offering of the class before changes are made, or completely new courses created.
Your goal is to develop instructional practices and strategies for differentiated, innovative, and effective teaching and learning based on the adopted curriculum standards and school goals. Review standards on a regular cycle to stay current with an ever-changing, fast-paced, and technological global society.
Your goal is to develop instructional practices and strategies for differentiated, innovative, and effective teaching and learning based on the adopted standards.
Departments may be interested in exploring the following topics as they update their curriculum maps:
- Use of blended learning (blended learning combines in-class instruction with a variety of eLearning components) or online instruction
- Creative and efficient ways to engage students in the process of acquiring knowledge (team teaching, interdisciplinary exchanges, international components, synchronous or asynchronous online delivery, etc.)
- Links with the community
- Possibility of collaborating with another department or teacher
- Possibility of offering graduating students the option of a capstone project, such as a research project, thesis, or community engagement
- Possibility of offering experiential learning opportunities (internships, teaching assistantships, etc.), either remunerated or not
Each department should be able to identify any changes which may result in overlapping with another department. As well, they should identify any additional resources that will be required to add these changes into the curriculum.
Levels of Approval
First, consider the type of changes that are being proposed. Small changes to curriculum maps can likely be handled at the department or school level. Editorial changes, such as modifying the text in a section to make it easier to understand, can be approved by the department head. However, if larger changes are being proposed, approval may be required at a district level to maintain horizontal alignment. Any new course offering should be evaluated at the district level. This helps to avoid redundancies in curriculum, while offering other schools the opportunity to add this new course to their school as well.
The purchase and use of instructional resources and materials should be decisions made at the school or district level. Local schools or districts should determine the resources and strategies that will be used for instruction in support of their student needs and interests.
If significant changes to the curriculum will be made, ensure that sufficient professional development is prepared to allow teachers to fully understand the new curriculum. Ideally this will be done before the next school year, but if this is not possible, allocate time for professional development sessions throughout a school year, with the new curriculum beginning the following year.
In your training plan, include:
- Learning sessions for teachers at the school and district level
- Webinars, videos, and district-level teams to show teachers first-hand what is working in the classroom
- Extra time set aside throughout the school year so that schools can collaborate on training for teachers
- Additional professional development days for a sufficient introduction to the new curriculum
Chapter FiveAssembling a Team