Curriculum Final

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  • 1. Michael Parent July 17, 2007 Final Exam Curriculum 1. Curriculum management can be defined as the process of ensuring that a plan of content, scope, and sequence is being followed and revisited on a timely basis. In order for school systems to be effective, the approach to the management of curriculum is crucial. However, many school systems do not have a formal method of managing curriculum One preferred approach to curriculum management is Deming’s cycle of plan, do, study, and act. Deming’s approach requires constant attention, evaluation, implementation, and research. The plan, do, study, and act approach also requires that a system be structured to enable these processes to occur. The planning stage of Deming’s cycle allows a school or district to focus on the intent of what is being taught and to utilize current data to develop that plan. In short, this model requires that data driven decisions be made, rather than “latest fad” or haphazard decisions. The Deming model also fosters a collaborative approach to curriculum development; planning, driven through data collection and analysis, requires the input of all stakeholders in the school system. Doing and studying follows planning. In these stages, the school or district develops a team of stakeholders to review the collected data and to research the theoretical frameworks through which the targeted curriculum can be viewed and formed. Finally in the act stage, a school or district will implement the curriculum in the classrooms. In turn, Deming’s model requires that the school or district then return to the plan phase based on the data collected from the implementation process. All of these stages, again, are based on a teaming and collaborative approach to management.
  • 2. In contrast to this model of curriculum management, some schools and districts manage curriculum in a vacuum. Administrators may implement curriculum without the use of information and without the input of others. A force-feed model, if you will. These management styles are all too common. A researched theory basis fails to exist, thus all curriculum developed stands alone without connectivity to a larger picture or philosophy. If asked to develop a curriculum, I would approach the process utilizing Deming’s model. In the planning stage, it would be imperative to gather the necessary data on why a particular curriculum needs to be developed. Secondly, building a team of stakeholders, including parents, students, and teachers, would be essential to the process. Following the teaming, the pertinent data would be reviewed and discussed. Essential in the planning stage would be the examination of implications of implementing the curriculum. What affects, if any, would the curriculum have on personnel, finances, and the school system in total? The doing and studying stages would follow the planning. It would be critical now to assess how the curriculum to be developed would marry the overarching curriculum – the philosophy and goals of the district. Without a true connection to the larger picture, a curriculum is worthless in spirit to students and teachers. To prevent this from occurring, the studying phase would include determining a philosophical foundation on which to build the curriculum. That philosophy, too, must connect to the big idea. Philosophies of pedagogy and learning would also be included prior to the actual developing and writing of the curriculum. Finally, the team would act – write and implement the curriculum that was grounded in data, theory, and research. This phase would require that Deming’s plan, do, study, and act take on a new audience – the teachers and school administration. They now will manage
  • 3. the implemented curriculum using the same model, only on a much smaller scale. 2. Curriculum mapping can be used by schools a means to ensure consistency and coherence in a subject or grade level. It is a method of management that removes temptation from an administration to force-feed a curriculum. It is also a grassroots method of curriculum management. Curriculum mapping is especially beneficial to a school that may be experiencing incoherence amongst teaching. The mapping process would assist a faculty in determining what is essential for students to understand and learn. The process would also require faculty members, not administrators, to determine how and by what means that learning and understanding will take place. In short, utilizing the seven phases of curriculum mapping can benefit a school in determining what is to be taught, how it can be taught, and how it will be measured. It is a process that is ongoing, ever developing, and builds collaboration and can propel cross- curricular teaching. It is a constructivist approach to teaching and learning that involves all stakeholders in a school.