July 17, 2007
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.
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
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
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 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.