Curriculum Evaluation Artifact

I believe that school administrators should be curriculum leaders first. At a healthy school, students are actively engaged and learning new ideas regularly. I am proud to say that curriculum design and implementation are my professional strengths.

The culminating assignment for the Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Program Assessment course was to act as a curriculum specialist, hired by a district, to evaluate and make recommendations about a specific curriculum. My focus was comparing the two history-social science textbooks that my district had adopted.

You can find the full assignment at the following link: Curriculum Evaluation Letter.

Learning Theory: Prior Knowledge, Practical Application, Reflection

Through delving into the history programs, and gathering information about alignment to school purpose, design of the lessons and units, and assessment, I also journeyed through the learning process.

  • Building on Prior Knowledge and Experiences

I was free to chose any curricular piece for this study. I chose to analyze our history programs for a few key reasons. I was on the adoption committee that chose these programs, so I had watched the text book company presentations and discussed the Scott Foresman and TCI programs in depth with teaching colleagues. I have taught using both programs as well, specifically the 5th grade Scott Foresman and the 6th grade TCI, History Alive!.

  • Connecting Facts to Usable Knowledge

Through the process of analyzing these two curriculua, I considered three main aspects set forth over time in the curriculum course: the purposes of schooling, learning theories, and assessment practices. I connected the ideas, theories, and studies of Goodlad (2000), Brandsford, et al. (1999), and Baker (2007), to the situation in my own district. In doing so, I took a fresh look at the two programs, observed teachers utilizing the programs in their classrooms, and polled my own students for their perspectives and experiences.

  • Meta-cognition

Through writing and presenting this work, I was given the opportunity to reflect on strengths and areas of growth within each of the programs and within our district. The most personally relevant finding was that my district does not often discuss and debate the purpose of schooling. Since this  foundational piece is missing, decisions may not have effective outcomes. Specifically with these two history programs, teachers were not trained, technology was not supported, and learning goals and assessments were not common and clear. This lead to a less-than-successful implementation.

Professional and Personal Growth

To be honest, curriculum was my strength before enrolling in this program. I have always attended numerous professional development workshops and conferences yearly. I have the Rincon Valley Union School District to thank. However, I was not as practiced in presenting theory and analysis to others. When presenting in my district, I have been asked to show practical applications.

The second part of the assignment was to present our findings to a mock school board made up of our classmates. Creating a slide show presentation with the most relevant information was a challenge. Presenting all of my findings in ten minutes was a second challenge. Standing in front of my peers, who I consider to be extremely intelligent, and presenting the information was the third challenge.

You can find my slide show at the following link:

Curriculum Presentation PDF.

In the end I was grateful for the challenge. I received excellent feedback, and I think I shocked some of my peers. This experience gave my the confidence to present to the Rincon Valley Union School District School Board the following month. I used some of the same techniques that worked well for the assignment, and I received positive feedback from the board as well.

Published on March 11, 2010 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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