In order to successfully implement a new curriculum, regardless of subject area, there are certain things that teachers and school administrators should keep in mind in order to understand the curriculum and how it can help to build student-centered practices in their classrooms. First, the teachers and administrators should familiarize themselves with the design principles of the curriculum to understand the structure, purpose, and goals of the curriculum. Then, the teachers should engage in backwards planning from unit assessments in order to determine the key concepts, topics, and/or standards that students are to master in each unit. Finally, teachers and administrators should use student data and observations to provide personalized support for students within the lesson structures.
Once they understand the curriculum, teachers should consider their students' specific strengths, interests, and areas for growth. This domain supports teachers to employ student-centered routines and instructional strategies and personalize the curriculum using flexible grouping, data-driven feedback, and student ownership.
Why it's important
Implementing a new curriculum with fidelity can be challenging for teachers and school leaders. Teachers may have a hard time trusting that the new curriculum will be as effective for their students as their old practices. Supporting teachers to understand the design principles, structure, and content of the new curriculum as well as supporting them to engage in backwards planning helps to build teachers' comfort and confidence in implementing the curriculum. Also, when administrators effectively facilitate and support the curriculum implementation, they can ensure that teachers feel confident in their implementation and that students experience a positive impact from the new curriculum.
What success looks like
In classrooms in which curriculums are successfully implemented, teachers are:
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