Guide to Curriculum Development

Guide to Curriculum Development free pdf ebook was written by Mark McKinnon on September 19, 2002 consist of 31 page(s). The pdf file is provided by www.turningpts.org and available on pdfpedia since January 29, 2012.

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Guide to Curriculum Development pdf




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Guide to Curriculum Development - page 1
Turnin Points TR AN S F OR M I NG M I D D L E SC HOO L S Guide to Curriculum Development
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Guide to Curriculum Development - page 2
Table of Contents Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Curriculum Development in Turning Points Schools. . . . . . . . 3 Five Principles of Curriculum Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1. Curriculum should be grounded in an understanding of the middle school child. . . . . . . . 5 2. Curriculum should be based on what we want students to know and be able to do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 3. Students and teachers should be engaged in authentic, intellectual work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 4. Assessment should demonstrate that students can do important work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 5. A coherent curriculum should be developed across the entire school.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Turning Points Curriculum Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Components of Turning Points Curriculum Planning . . . . . . 14 Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Essential Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Learning Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Assessment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Selection and Sequence of Learning Experiences . . . . . 27 Curriculum Planning Template. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 A Turning Points Curriculum Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools iii
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 3
Acknowledgements The Center for Collaborative Education wishes to thank all the Turning Points middle schools that have contributed to the develop- ment of this guide. In addition, we would like to thank our team of external reviewers: Gayle Davis, Middle Grade School State Policy Initiative Tim Flynn, Vermont Department of Education Tony Jackson, Disney Learning Partnership Deborah Trotter-Kasak, Association of Illinois Middle Schools Doug Kilmister, Expeditionary Learning Michael Levine, Carnegie Corporation of New York Dean Millot, New American Schools Frederick Park, Cambridgeport School, Cambridge, Massachusetts This guide was made possible in part by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation. iv Guide to Curriculum Development
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 4
Preface T urning Points is a national design for middle school change, coordinated by the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, Massachusetts, which serves as the National Turning Points Center. The design focuses on restructuring middle schools to improve learning, teaching, and assessment for all students. It is based on the seminal Turning Points report issued by the Carnegie Corporation in 1989, which concentrated on the considerable risks that young adolescents face as they reach the “turning point” between child- hood and adulthood. A crucial part of this reform initiative involves the practice of Improving Learning, Teaching, and Assessment for All Students. Student learning increases when schools focus on understanding the unique needs and capabilities of middle school students. Turning Points schools set high expectations for every student and create curriculum, instruction, and assessment that enable students to meet those expectations. The purpose of this guide is to communicate the Turning Points approach to curriculum development, teaching, and assessment. It offers specific tools which teachers and schools can use as they design curriculum, develop assessment tasks, and create the classroom practices that will lead to significant student learning and growth. Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools v
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 5
Turning Points Design Principles and Practices Involve parents and communities in supporting learning Teach a curriculum grounded in standards Building Leadership Capacity and a Collaborative Culture Provide a safe and healthy school environment Use instructional methods designed to prepare all students Developing District Capacity Improving Learning, Teaching, and Assessment for All Students Creating a School Culture to Support High Achievement Govern democratically by all staff members Networking with Like-minded Schools Data-based Inquiry and Decision Making Prepare teachers for middle grades Organize relationships for learning vi Guide to Curriculum Development
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 6
Turning Points Principles * Teach a curriculum grounded in rigorous, public academic standards, relevant to the concerns of adolescents and based on how students learn best The Six Turning Points Practices Improving Learning, Teaching, and Assessment for All Students: working collaboratively to set high standards, close the achievement gap among stu- dents, develop curriculum that promotes habits of mind and intellectual inquiry, utilize a wide range of instructional strategies and approaches, empha- size the teaching of literacy and numeracy Use instructional methods designed to prepare all students to achieve high standards and become lifelong learners Staff middle grade schools with teachers who are expert at teaching young adolescents, and engage teachers in ongoing professional development Building Leadership Capacity and a Professional Collaborative Culture: creating a democratic school community, fostering skills and practices of strong leadership, establishing regular common planning time, embedding professional develop- ment in the daily life of the school Organize relationships for learning to create a climate of intellectual development and a caring community of shared educational purpose Data-based Inquiry and Decision Making: setting Govern democratically through direct or represen- tative participation by all school staff members, the adults who know students best a vision based on the Turning Points principles, collecting and analyzing multiple sources of data to help improve areas that most impact learning, teaching, and assessment, setting annual measur- able goals Provide a safe and healthy school environment as part of improving academic performance and developing caring and ethical citizens Creating a School Culture to Support High Achievement and Personal Development: creating structures that promote a culture of high-quality Involve parents and communities in supporting student learning and healthy development Six practices translate these principles into action in each school and throughout a network of Turning Points schools in a district. Within each area of practice, teacher teams, a school leadership team, and faculty committees, engage in collaborative work. * Reprinted by permission of the publisher from Anthony Jackson and Gayle Davis, Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century, (New York: Teachers College Press), 24–25. © 2000 by Carnegie Corporation of New York. All rights reserved. learning and teaching, establishing small learning communities, eliminating tracking, lowering student-teacher ratios, building parent and com- munity partnerships Networking with Like-minded Schools: participat- ing in network meetings, summer institutes, and forums; visiting other Turning Points schools Developing District Capacity to Support School Change: building district capacity through collaboration Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools vii
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 7
Introduction M arianne Harrison teaches math and science at Jackson Middle School and shares 55 seventh graders with a social studies/lan- guage arts teacher. Her students’ latest project is a good example of how she organizes her instruction to meet the unique needs of mid- dle school students. Based on the grade-level team’s cross-discipline theme of “What Is Balance?” Ms. Harrison has devised a study around the use of chemicals and how the local community balances their benefits and dangers. Knowing that middle school students are very social, she has grouped them into teams to research chem- icals found in their community. One team is studying phosphates found in common household cleaning products. This group plans to research the chemical makeup of phosphates and the history of their use. Another team is studying the use of lead in the commu- nity and the occurrence of lead poisoning in the city’s children. All groups will collect data on how their chemical is used and the ways it both benefits and endangers people and the environment. The students will then analyze and synthesize their data. Ms. Harrison has asked them to make coherent arguments and significant conclu- sions about the use of chemicals in our society. To ensure that their school work has value beyond the school, all groups will present their findings to an organization in the community that has interest in the topic. Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools 1
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 8
The work in class is organized to address diverse instructional needs of middle school students and to take advantage of their desire for variety. Ms. Harrison plans different tasks, one of which is always an active learning piece. Instead of long lectures, she gives mini-lessons on new concepts. These mini-lessons are sand- wiched between an exploratory activity and students’ applying the concept to their project work. The whole class then engages in a dialogue to share observations and reflect on what they have learned so far. The educational needs of middle school students are truly unique. In no other period of PreK–12 education can one find such a wide range of physical, social, and cognitive development among stu- dents. For students, the middle school years can be a time of both great vulnerability and great responsiveness to change. These years are highly formative for behavior patterns in education and health that have enduring, lifelong significance. The challenge for middle schools is to help provide the building blocks of adolescent develop- ment and preparation for adult life. How do we engage middle school students in a way that meets their developmental needs, pushes them to learn significantly, and prepares them for the high school years and beyond? Turning Points believes the answer lies within challenging these students with engaging and worthwhile work while supporting them with close-knit relationships. 2 Guide to Curriculum Development
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 9
Curriculum Development in Turning Points Schools Developing curriculum that meets the needs of middle school stu- dents is a complex process that rarely follows a prescribed pattern. Teachers may come up with ideas for projects, themes, and activities on the way to work, in the middle of class, during a conversation with a colleague, and even in the shower. Some teachers begin with a theme while others start with habits of mind they want their stu- dents to acquire. Some teachers use state frameworks and standards as a starting point to curriculum development. Still others build a unit from an idea for a project. The purpose of this guide is not to dictate how teachers should develop their curriculum, but rather to propose that certain basic principles, supported by Turning Points work in schools, underpin curriculum development. Middle school curriculum should respond to the unique educational and social needs of this age group; it should be based on content standards, habits of mind, and thinking skills; and promote collabora- tive teaching, learning, and assessment opportunities that enable all students to achieve high standards. In addition, the Turning Points model calls for middle school teachers to develop curriculum orga- nized around themes and essential questions. Themes such as power, balance, relationships, and patterns are the big ideas that unify teach- ing and learning experiences. Essential questions are the two to three important questions about a theme that students and teachers con- sider throughout a unit in order to provide focus and stimulate inquiry. Finally, the Turning Points approach to curriculum develop- ment integrates teaching and learning with a process of ongoing assessment. Ongoing assessments, both formal and informal, give teachers, administrators, and students an understanding of how well they are doing and what they need to do to continue to improve. One of the main goals of the Turning Points design is to raise the level of discourse among teachers by helping them exchange ideas about student learning, instructional methods, and curriculum devel- opment. By using the strategies presented in this guide and in The Turning Points Guide to Looking at Student and Teacher Work, teachers can engage in rigorous intellectual dialogue that will help them reflect on their work. Conversations with colleagues energize teachers and help them to learn from each other, often leading them This guide does not dictate how teachers should develop curriculum, but proposes the principles underlying curriculum development in Turning Points schools. Turning Points Transforming Middle Schools 3
Guide to Curriculum Development - page 10
to try new methods in the classroom. These conversations also draw teachers’ attention to issues of equity as they focus on the diverse instructional needs of all students. Five Principles of Turning Points Curriculum Development 1 Curriculum should be grounded in an understanding of the middle school child. Curriculum development and teaching methods are based on an understanding of the middle school child as an intellec- tually capable, complex person who is responsive to challenge. 2 Curriculum should be based on what we want students to know and In Turning Points schools, curriculum is based on learning goals that include content standards, skills, and habits of mind. be able to do. All curriculum development, teaching, and assessment are tied to a broader definition of standards than the typical state standards, which tend to be content-focused. Turning Points curricu- lum includes habits of mind, skills development, and in-depth study. Turning Points schools go beyond state and local standards to define what students need to do to be thoughtful, caring, and valued mem- bers of the community. 3 Students and teachers should be engaged in authentic, intellectual work. All student work should have significance beyond the class- room. This work should be purposeful and rigorous, and it should develop skills and knowledge that will prepare students for high school and beyond. As a result, Turning Points curriculum is often project-based. 4 Assessment should demonstrate that students can do important work. A crucial part of curriculum planning is developing formal and informal assessments to understand what students know and what they are learning in relation to the learning goals. 5 A coherent curriculum should be developed across the entire school. Teachers and administrators use a process called “mapping” to build a well-articulated, coherent curriculum across the school. 4 Guide to Curriculum Development
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