One of the biggest systemic impacts that school boards and administration has on their schools is through their work in adopting curriculum. While curriculum alone cannot improve student learning, without good curriculum, even the best teachers will not be able to provide a good education (unless they supplement heavily or abandon the bad curriculum all together!)
I have developed multiple curricula for a variety of classes, from those that were purely technical, to those that integrated technical and academic skills and knowledge. In most cases, I then taught these curricula and continued to improve it based upon my experience with teaching it to my students. I attribute the multitude of thank you cards I received from students, and my being recognized as a Teacher of the Year, due partly to my curricula development.
This development has always been based upon 5 core principles:
- Ensure you are Aiming for the Right Outcomes
- Get More Effect for Your Effort
- Have an Engaging Method to Deliver the Content
- Have the Difficulty of the Learning be in the “Sweet Spot”
- Provide Timely and Valuable Student Feedback