An effective curriculum provides teachers, students, administrators and community stakeholders with a measurable plan and structure for delivering a quality education. The curriculum identifies the learning outcomes, standards and core competencies that students must demonstrate before advancing to the next level. Teachers play a key role in developing, implementing, assessing and modifying the curriculum. An evidenced-based curriculum acts as a road map for teachers and students to follow on the path to academic success.
When developing a curriculum for a school or district, aligning curriculum and instruction through the development process is ideal. Studying and writing curriculum is an ongoing part of curriculum development that may adjust during the process with teacher and district input. Including related professional development and teacher input is imperative in especially when developing or introducing new curriculum at a site or district level. For the curriculum development process to be successful, site and district leadership need to be available and open to working with teachers and curriculum developers as well.
Impact on Administrators
Administrators follow a detailed curriculum to help students achieve state and national standards of academic performance. Schools can lose public funding if students fall substantially behind peers at higher performing schools. The curriculum ensures that each school is teaching students relevant material and monitoring the progress of students from all types of backgrounds.
Impact on Teachers
A school’s curriculum informs teachers what skills must be taught at each grade level to ultimately prepare students for postsecondary education or a job. Understanding the big picture helps teachers align the learning objectives of their own curriculum with the school’s curriculum. In the absence of a curriculum, teachers wouldn’t know whether students are building a solid foundation to support learning at the next level.
Impact on Students
A curriculum outlines for students a sequence of courses and tasks that must be successfully completed to master a subject and earn a diploma or degree. Students may be more motivated to study if they understand why certain subjects are taught in the curriculum. A curriculum reassures students that they’re on the right track to reaching their goals and honing desired skills.
In addition to teaching students academic skills, the curriculum is also intended to teach students the importance of responsibility, hard work and responsible citizenship. Teachers in partnership with parents and community members collaborate on the development of a curriculum that will instill character in students and reinforce positive behavior.