Creating a Curriculum that Delivers Impact
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
When we think of the term “curriculum,” we are automatically directed to think of the content that is taught in classrooms across the world. Traditionally speaking, curricular frameworks are developed by leaders and provide a detailed plan of action for instruction. Educators utilize these documents to then develop lesson plans that correlate to specific standards and benchmarks adopted by each state and school district.
While curriculum leaders strive to ensure diligent curriculum planning and direct alignment to the skills represented on statewide administered assessments accordingly, there is a need to shift the process towards embracing collaborative measures among facilitators of educators and students in pursuit of knowledge and skills. In this regard, the term curriculum encompasses multiple elements. It is understood as a flexible, living document based upon identified student needs; proactively co-developed by both educators and students; correlating to real world issues and shared experiences that individuals encounter.
Students are no longer passive about their academic career; when given the opportunity to vocalize their opinions, they offer pivotal insights about personalizing the learning process. The classroom presents an open forum to discuss and gain various perspectives on issues that affect the lives of our children.
The framework for the co-development of curricula restructures the traditional role of educators and students. In this model, it is overly emphasized that educators are “facilitators” of the learning process and provide specific, personalized opportunities to guide students along their path of inquiry. The role of the student differs from their traditional role of learners, as they are perceived as “leaders and equal partners” of the learning process. Students are responsible for their learning and are empowered to transform the information/knowledge attained into action. Facilitators of education engage in discussions that further propel the development of the curriculum but in essence ultimately allow students to assume the responsibility of their roles as creators. As such, instructional styles are adjusted as learners become engaged in the construction of their own knowledge. Facilitators provide multiple opportunities for students to take control of the classroom environment and create a learning community that is organized and maintained by students. In essence, they assist students in the process of transferring new knowledge and applying it to the context of the real world.
Read more about the curriculum development process in Dr. Jack's book, The Pedagogy of Consciousness.