Curriculum Development

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CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
The purpose of this guide is to provide some general instructions to school districts as staff begin to develop or revise their curriculum guides. This document provides an overview of the curriculum development process and suggests a series of steps to follow in creating curriculum documents. Currently, the State Department of Education has comprehensive program development guides in Mathematics, Physical Education and World Languages located at the curriculum web site. Overview

A curriculum guide is a structured document that delineates the philosophy, goals, objectives, learning experiences, instructional resources and assessments that comprise a specific educational program. Additionally, it represents an articulation of what students should know and be able to do and supports teachers in knowing how to achieve these goals. Accordingly, an exemplary guide is a tool that assists in planning and implementing a high quality instructional program. It: •establishes a clear philosophy and set of overarching goals that guide the entire program and the decisions that affect each aspect of the program; •establishes sequences both within and between levels and assures a coherent and articulated progression from grade to grade; •outlines a basic framework for what to do, how to do it, when to do it and how to know if it has been achieved; •allows for flexibility and encourages experimentation and innovation within an overall structure; •promotes interdisciplinary approaches and the integration of curricula when appropriate; •suggests methods of assessing the achievement of the program's goals and objectives; •provides a means for its own ongoing revision and improvement; and •provides direction for procurement of human, material and fiscal resources to implement the program. The formulation of such a school or district curriculum guide should not be viewed as the culmination of the curriculum development process, but rather as an essential step in the process of ongoing curriculum development and implementation. Thus, no guide will be perfect. No guide will ever be a finished product cast in stone. No guide will be free from criticism. However, to be effective, a guide must earn acceptance by teachers and must be deemed educationally valid by parents and the community at large. This acceptance will be far easier to attain when the curriculum guide is: •consistent with what is known about child growth and development; •compatible with the general philosophy of the school system; •based upon clear convictions about teaching and learning; •representative of instructional activities to meet the needs of students with varying abilities and needs; •articulated from kindergarten through grade 12;

easy to use by all educators;
filled with samples, examples, and suggested resources; •developed collaboratively by a broadly-based committee of teachers and other interested stakeholders; and •linked to teacher evaluation goals and professional development. The Curriculum Development Process

The development of an effective curriculum guide is a multi-step, ongoing and cyclical process. The process progresses from evaluating the existing program, to designing an improved program, to implementing a new program and back to evaluating the revised program. Many school districts carry out this process in a planned and systematic manner that includes the eleven components listed in Figure 1-1. Each of these components is addressed in the sections that follow. Figure 1-1

Components of an Effective Curriculum Development Process
A. Planning:
1.Convening a Curriculum Development Committee
2.Identifying Key Issues and Trends in the Specific Content Area 3.Assessing Needs and Issues
B. Articulating and Developing:
1.Articulating a K-12 Program Philosophy
2.Defining K-12 Program, Grade-Level and Course Goals
3.Developing and Sequencing of Grade-Level...
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