Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 4

Developing Curriculum in Essential Schools: Looks at ways to reconcile Essential school ideals about curriculum with the realities of time and teaching and whether teacher-developed curriculum serves students' learning needs better than courses "off the shelf." Download PDF

A Teacher’s Reflections on Creating Curriculum

A big issue for me is maintaining a focus while leaving room for the serendipitous. Much of the good teaching I have done has involved seizing the moment and running with it. For example, a student will have had experiences or an insight that I did not anticipate when planning the unit. Something impacting the curriculum will happen in the

Balancing Content with Thinking Goals: One Picture of Curriculum

Teachers at the Parker School in Fort Devens, Massachusetts created their own curriculum template, juxtaposing “texts and resources” that describe content area knowledge with “tasks and activities” that elicit key skills they want students to practice: responding to text, creating new work, and performing or demonstrating their understanding. All the year’s projects in every content area reflect the school’s Essential

Developing Curriculum in Essential Schools

If curriculum is to reflect the goals of a school and the needs of its students, it makes sense for teachers to develop it them-selves. But how might they do it, and when? And is it better to adopt or adapt materials ‘off the shelf’ or should students and teachers be creating curriculum together? Five math and science teachers are

How the ATLAS Communities Structure a Curriculum

The Atlas Communities project has put together a design tool (forthcoming) that suggests using the following categories in planning curriculum: Generative topics . . . * Are developmentally appropriate. * Are broad and complex. * Are interesting to students and teachers. * Are important for understanding responsible citizenship and the disciplines. These criteria can help you make decisions about what

Resources for Curriculum Development

Technological Resources The Homework Page. Information of value in researching school projects is at http://www. jewels//homework.html Global Education Resources. Contact http:// OED1.html Kid Lists. Anchors to 82 sites children and their parents might enjoy. Contact /pub/journalism/kid.html Awesome Lists. Innovative sites with practical value and professional expertise. Contact pub/journalism/awe-ie.html Educational Resources. Online resources and projects for students

Teachers and Students Making Curriculum Together

Dan Drmacich at Rochester’s School Without Walls developed the following guidelines for his staff to use in constructing learning experiences. 1. Brainstorm. Teachers and administrators, students, and small groups should list all topics, issues, themes, and problems that students would like to learn about (depending on course flexibility). Don’t limit your brainstorming by eliminating what normally are regarded as irrelevant

Using a ‘Project Design Template’ to Develop Curriculum

Teachers in all Gorham, Maine schools now prepare at least one project using the design template that follows (which is still in draft form). “It’s meant to help teachers organize their classroom practice in ways we hope will result in increased understanding,” says John Newlin, a social studies teacher at Gorham High School who serves as a district coach to

What Makes a Curriculum Team Succeed?

The way a group goes about developing curriculum together has a great deal to do with its eventual success, according to ethnographer John Watkins, who has evaluated several lengthy curriculum development projects involving teams of teachers. Watkins describes several factors he says typically influence their progress, or lack of it: * the way teams use outside resources, learn the content