Teaching and learning a more impactful and significant curriculum would mean changes in priorities and the techniques needed to meet them.
The heart of the new learning infrastructure is a curriculum designed to be substantive in terms of student mastery.
Everything in human learning depends on communication. Science and math are no exception. Numbers, symbols, problem solving equations, research strategies, construction, and virtually everything else depends on being able to understand others through language.
As leader and resource persons, our job was to help fellow committee members convert a passive curriculum into one that was focused, spiraled, teachable, and measurable.
While serving on other committees, I had been taught the “yes, and” principle. To allow myself to entertain reasons why someone else’s ideas had merit. Could ideas be made even better with a little tweaking?
It brought about focus and an understanding that the district’s academic program would be built and implemented on solid procedural and philosophical ground.
Chasms have opened because schools were and still are supported by a fragile infrastructure.
Everything is intertwined and mutually inclusive, and we teachers must recognize that school is just one way to make our society better. Through helping our students be open to new ideas and inspiring them to become significant contributors.
Our professors had each one of us present and defend our course mastery statement. In several ways. Student readiness. Alignment with both the general and subject area mastery statements. Logical spiraling considerations with other grade levels. Scope in the context of time allotments and instructional configurations.
In school districts, subject area and grade level mastery statements are worthless if there is no process in place for “delivering up.” As difficult as it is to collaboratively create those statements, it is infinitely more challenging to make sure they have an impact.