Strong/Weak curriculum

Discussion in 'General Education' started by becky, May 6, 2008.

  1. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    How can one tell a quality curriculum from a weaker one? Is there a common trait to identify a curriculum as being quality, challenging, and not a waste of my time and money?

    I asked this last year, and I'm asking it again since it looks like I'm hsing again next year. Thanks for any advice.
     
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  3. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    one that touches on all the standards...and can keep a students interest for the most part? that would be my ideal quality curriculum...
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    It should progress in a sensible fashion, and be as free as possible from ambiguity (unless you're teaching something like poetry, where ambiguity is rather the point). If you're teaching subjects, you might consider asking professionals in the specific field of study as well.
     
  5. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    A strong curriculum will link directly to your state standards, real-world connections, and most importantly, higher level thinking!
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Like jsfowler said, make sure you are meeting your state standards. Professional educators make the most of the 'packaged' curriculum products purchased for us by school districts and 'make it our own'...the challenging, quality part comes through instruction, not through a teacher's guide. Reflective educational practioners make decisions on a minute to minute basis, lesson by lesson on how to deliver instruction, whether reinforcement or reteaching is needed, how to reach all learners through differentiation, what to use to complement and supplement the 'package'....that money can't buy!!
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    What happened with the school you'd hoped to send Jeannie to, Becky? (if you care to share).

    I think the curriuculum is strong if you are comfortable using it and it makes sense to you. It's the teacher, not the curriculum, that teaches kids. That said, the standards package that we follow in MD is called the "VSC" or "voluntary state curriculum," which is really a misnomer, because there is nothing voluntary about it! It is a list of standards for each grade, in each subject. I have sat in on multiple curriculum purchasing presentations for my grade/county, and most of the curriculum publishers will give you a pretty detailed list, tailored to MD, as to how the curriculum meets state standards if you ask.

    There is a private school in Baltimore that publishes a hs curriculum that mimics it's own curriculum and I know it's highly regarded....both by people "in" education and by hsing families. I will google around and see if I can find the name.
    Kim
     
  8. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Kim, I bet you're talking about Calvert. I looked at them for kindergarten. I know about the VSC, too- I printed that last year, plus our county's version.
    Let me give an example of why I'm asking this question to begin with.
    In first grade I chose a math program that looked good to me. The student book was colorful and laid out nicely, and the scope and sequence seemed to jive with what our county had on its website for grade one. Well.. as I talked to other hs and ps moms, their kids were doing things in math that Jeannie's program hadn't even introduced. It went like that all year. This year, I chose a program that was supposedly more on the ball. Well.. right off the bat there were things we hadn't done yet. In the end, that program didn't suit and I switched to Houghton-Mifflin, which fits perfectly. Had I been able to judge curriculum better, I wouldn't have started off with a curriculum that didn't suit. Since every curriculum is different, my untrained eye is even more useless.
     
  9. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Sigh.. it would seem I'm always going to be a day late and a dollar short, then.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Do you have a HS center in your district? They may be able to guide you in the right direction.
     
  11. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    When I have questions, I email my county's hs liason. She helps as much as she can.
     

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