Tip 4: Implement a process for ongoing improvement when developing curriculum.
Curriculum development is a challenging and lengthy process! Incorporating opportunities for ongoing improvement is important. The following is a suggested sequence of steps in developing curricula:
• Review the relevant research about the topic to be studied.
• Learn about best practices for teaching in the discipline in which the topic falls.
• Develop a set of preliminary lessons based on what you learned from your research.
• Try implementing the preliminary lessons. Based on student responses and your own perceptions of how the curriculum worked, revise the lessons.
• Compile all lessons into a comprehensive unit of study.
• Pilot the unit in your classroom. Use your anecdotal notes and student learning results as sources of information to judge the effectiveness of the curriculum.
• Make revisions to the unit before teaching it again.
Based on the data you collect each time you teach the unit, this process allows you to refine the unit continually.
[Adapted from What Works, What works: 25 years of curriculum development and research (2nd ed.). Prufrock Press, Waco, TX.]