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Home:Curriculum:Curriculum Development

Curriculum Development

A challenging, rigorous curriculum is created when it is  …

  • developed by a diverse team of teachers and administrators representing all grade levels and buildings.
  • aligned to the district mission, state and national standards.
  • articulated preK-12.
  • designed for effective implementation in the time available.

Although flexible to meet the needs of each discipline, the curriculum development process has four major phases:

  • Research and Focus
  • Curriculum Design
  • Professional Development and Refinement of the Curriculum
  • Implementation.

During this phase of the process, the committee studies national and state standards, as well as best practices in the discipline in order to gain clarity about what each grade level should know and understand.  Gaps are identified between current practice and what has been gleaned from research.  Timelines are created to focus and drive the committee’s work.

Committee members become familiar with a curricular framework based on inquiry.  In order to achieve the District’s mission, the curriculum design must compel students to explore pertinent questions and develop informed answers to those questions using the content of the discipline.  Grade level teams of teachers create units that develop a logical progression of skills and knowledge from one grade level /course to the next.  In addition, assessments are created or identified to clarify expectations for student performance. Finally, potential resources to support the curriculum- including technology- are evaluated and professional learning needs are identified.

At this point, committee members field test the units of study. Professional learning begins to prepare teachers for implementation of the newly developed curriculum.  This is an essential step in the process because it ensures that the written curriculum becomes the taught curriculum.  Teachers also become familiar with the resources and assessments to be used.  Units of study and assessments are refined and plans are finalized for additional professional learning.

In this final phase, the committee has achieved its goal of providing District 95 students with challenging learning experiences.  The written curriculum becomes the implemented curriculum across the district.  Feedback is gathered from teachers on the curriculum, resources, and assessments.  This information is gathered to inform future curriculum development and professional learning.

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