The way that a teacher constructs their curriculum can either make the class or break it. Before taking this class, I had a basic idea of how to construct my curriculum in ways that would present the information. However, after this class I realized the importance of developing a kind of curriculum that will be tailored to students.
I had prided myself in the way that I differentiated my classroom, but after reading Curriculum Leadership: Readings for Developing Quality Educational Programs, I realized that there are so many more ways that I can play to my students strengths. In addition to building my tool box in building student strengths, I also realized the importance of clearly spelling out standards for that content area. After this class, I feel like I can say with confidence that I am meeting the HOPE principles O1, P1, P2, P3, and P4. These principles call the teacher candidate to….
- O1 – Offer an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes.
- P1 – Practice intentional inquiry and planning for instruction.
- P2 – Practice differentiated instruction.
- P3 – Practice standards-based assessment.
- P4 – Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction
According to Curriculum Leadership, to have a well constructed curriculum you need to “create the desired balance between acquisition of content and mastery of processes, sequencing of content, incorporating students prior knowledge, identify methods for assessing student learning, determine the short-term versus long-term performance, and quality versus quantity (Parkay p. 301)”. As an instructor of the visual arts, I especially felt strong about the idea of quality versus quantity. The biggest thing that I have learned through my internship is that students work about four times slower than expected. It is because of this reason that I make my projects smaller than I think they need to be. For example, on our final project I asked students to create a hybrid animal, something with wordplay, or a ceramic shoe. I assumed that three weeks would be more than enough time to create a sculpture. However, much to my shock many students are still not done constructing something that is smaller than the size of an open hand. I appreciate that they are taking their time to create a quality piece of art, but I almost wish I would have made it simpler for a final.
(Student Options (differentiation)
Bottle Nose Dolphin
Time Flies & Sea Legs
Another area that I really developed in was assessment of student learning. The chart included below really helped me think about how I would be assessing students during a project and after a project.
(Curriculum Leadership; Parkay. Page 403)
When I started my internship, there were no official formative evaluations that had been developed. Partially from this class, I developed a form that helped student perform a mid-project critique of themselves and evaluate what they needed to do to improve and how far they were on their way to completion.
In conclusion, this class has given me the upper hand in creating a curriculum that will be effective and informative while playing to the strengths of my students.