Stages of Curriculum Reform

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An older presentation from the NAIS annual conference detailing the process of curriculum reform at one independent school.

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Stages of Curriculum Reform

  1. 1. Curriculum Reform at Beaver Country Day School, 1994-present Five Stages of Change Peter Gow NAIS 2001
  2. 2. 1985–92: Mission Drift <ul><li>School loses old “progressive” identity </li></ul><ul><li>Significant enrollment decline </li></ul><ul><li>Program development based on marketing, not mission </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1992–94: Early Days <ul><li>Small-scale but open-ended review process begins </li></ul><ul><li>New urge to adhere to understood mission as student-centered institution </li></ul><ul><li>Some “guiding lights” appear: Clem & Vance on change, Wiggins on assessment; “core values” discussions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Early Days—cont’d <ul><li>Curriculum Committee of “true believers” formed </li></ul><ul><li>Professional days introduce concepts of authentic assessment, planning backward, portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and Diversity groups discuss curriculum </li></ul>
  5. 5. Change in Earnest—1994–97 <ul><li>Curriculum Committee now a standing body </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum Map leads to interdisciplinary program (largely project-based) </li></ul><ul><li>Rubrics appear in many classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development focuses on assessment and curriculum development </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule Committee formed after need identified </li></ul><ul><li>New mission statement explicit on curriculum: </li></ul>
  6. 6. … teachers inspire students to realize their potential and acquire a love of learning by combining both innovative and proven approaches to learning and teaching… Values Learning and Teaching • Cooperative and collaborative learning and teaching produce active, engaged thinkers and communicators. • Project-based and performance-based assessment supports multiple-intelligence learning. • An interdisciplinary framework for instruction broadens understanding. • A dynamic and information-rich environment strengthens our curriculum.
  7. 7. Major Changes—1997–99 <ul><li>Sept ’97: new schedule proposed and accepted </li></ul><ul><li>’ 97-98: Professional development focuses on preparing faculty to use new schedule—pedagogy and curriculum design </li></ul><ul><li>Sept. ’98: new schedule in effect; new interdisciplinary courses created </li></ul><ul><li>Review of Middle School program begins </li></ul><ul><li>New strategic plan addresses PROGRESSIVE curriculum goals </li></ul>
  8. 8. Strategic Thinking—1999–2001 <ul><li>Academic Dean position created. Curriculum Committee laid down, replaced by smaller planning body with greater responsibility, authority </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing cross-pollination between “curriculum” development and diversity work </li></ul><ul><li>School defines and markets self as “progressive”; definitions developed for “Progressive Education” and “Effective Teaching” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Strategic Thinking—cont’d <ul><li>New evaluation process in development </li></ul><ul><li>All new faculty take “Progressive Ed 101” </li></ul><ul><li>Ad hoc groups identify annual strategic goals, implementation strategies </li></ul><ul><li>New administrative structures developed to better achieve strategic and management goals </li></ul>

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