Thursday, November 29, 2007

Focus on Curriculum

One of the great things about the Educate For A Change plan is that is sweeps away so many hurdles that we've been forever struggling to get over. When learning becomes the focus and the sole criteria for placement and promotion, all sorts of problems just fall off the table.

When we start expecting "life-long learning" instead of just figuring out ways to get students through the system, we make a fundamental change in the culture of our schools.

At this point, we can take a long hard look at curriculum and ask some important questions:

1) What do we want people to learn in each discipline?
2) What are the essential standards?
3) Can the standards be organized in a sequence of pre-requisites leading to advanced study?
4) Are there cognitive development aspects of the standards that must be taken into account in sequencing?
5) Do the standards suggest a linear or a spiraling curriculum?
6) Are there parallel strands of standards in the discipline that are dependent on each other, and require horizontal articulation in terms of content and developmental aspects?
7) When we look at a standard and the outcome we expect, does this suggest a particular methodology?

In the next post, I'll speak to some of the important issues in Standards development. ~Mark