Creating a good curriculum for students can be tricky. Fortunately, there are several helpful strategies you can use when designing and tailoring your curriculum to fit the needs of your students.
This guide will walk you through examples of successful curricula, as well as how to go about creating your own effective curricula for your classroom.
Identify Your Goals and Core Values.
Before setting out to create a curriculum, it’s important for educators to identify their goals and core values. Reflect on what you want your students to learn, and how you want those lessons to benefit them.
What do you think the most important aspects of learning in the classroom should be?
Consider these questions as you create your curriculum and use them as the basis for creating engaging learning experiences.
Develop Learning Objectives for Each Subject Area.
Before you can design your curriculum, you need to create learning objectives. These should be written to help outline what students should know or be able to do after completing each subject.
According to Mena Wahezi, director of admissions in New York with years of experience in curriculum development, “To make sure that the objectives reflect the core values of your curriculum and goals for learning, have several teachers review them and provide feedback. Make sure that each learning objective is measurable and specific.”
For example: “Students will be able to analyze a text using critical thinking skills” is an example of a well-crafted learning objective, Mena Wahezi added.
Choose Related Materials and Activities.
Now that your learning objectives are complete, it’s time to choose the materials and activities that will make up your curriculum. Think about the topics, skills, and concepts you wish to include.
- What books, articles, videos, websites, etc. should be used in the course?
- What kinds of activities can students do to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding?
Make sure all selected materials are age appropriate and will help students reach the goals outlined in the learning objectives.
It’s also helpful to provide a range of options – from independent work to collaborative projects – so students have room for creativity and can show off the skills they develop over time.
Evaluate Curriculum’s Readiness for Instructional Setting.
Once you’ve settled on your desired approach to learning, and identified the materials and activities required, it’s important to ensure that they are ready for use in your instructional setting. Assess student access to materials, and make adjustments if needed.
- Can all students access them in their own homes?
- Do you need to provide print or digital copies?
- Have cultural implications been taken into account?
- Have the learning objectives and activities been tested in a real classroom setting?
Answering questions like these will help you determine if your curriculum is indeed instructional-ready.
Monitor, Collect Data and Adapt as Needed.
As you begin instruction, monitor the success and engagement of your students. Are they experiencing difficulty understanding concepts, feelings of frustration, or disengagement?
Collecting this data can provide vital insight into real-time information about your curriculum. If needed, make adaptations to activities or materials to meet student needs. Flexibly responding to this feedback may involve the addition of new activities, lectures, or technology that supports learning objectives.
Over time, your curriculum should improve in its ability to teach effectively and cost-efficiently!