“As educators… we need a shared vision of the skills and dispositionsthat students will need to be successful regardless of the content.”Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick
DescriptorCurriculum design involves weaving together the basic elements of content, skills and assessments. A curriculum incorporates standards, scope and sequence, enduring understandings, essential questions, performance assessments and recommended resources. We utilize Understanding by Design, UbD, as a curriculum framework, which includes both macro and micro level planning.
Curriculum Design – DistrictDuring macro planning, curriculum directors support educators to design the scope and sequence of the course to ensure vertical alignment of standards. In addition, connections are made to the macro level through transfer goals. These goals explicitly communicate skills and knowledge that the learners are able to demonstrate independently to bring greater coherence to the program. The macro level curriculum including transfer goals guides Stage 1 and Stage 2 of curriculum design.
Curriculum directors work with groups of educators to create Splash Screens, which contains the essentials of the curriculum, needed for educators to design learning. The Splash Screen provides content to be utilized by educators with the UbD template. Curriculum should be reviewed and revised regularly for relevance and alignment.
Stage 1: UbD Learning OutcomesIn Stage 1 of curriculum design, curriculum directors facilitate the design and prioritize the learning standards (TEKS, ELPS, CCRS, Pre-K Guidelines, Global Competencies) in order to support vertical and horizontal alignment. In addition, this stage includes transfer goals, enduring understandings and essential questions for each unit of study, noting what students will understand and continue to consider during and beyond the learning process. Along with associated content vocabulary, the acquisition of knowledge and skills are noted, with delineation between what learners will knowledge and be able to do following the unit of study.
Stage 2: UbD Assessment EvidenceIn Stage 2 of curriculum design, curriculum directors recommend performance assessments to measure learner progress towards mastery. For additional support with assessment, please review Chapter 5 on Assessment.
Curriculum Design – EducatorThe curriculum provides essential guidance for educators in designing learning experiences that are responsive to the needs of each learner. In Stage 1, educators are provided a scope and sequence that reflects the expectations for learning in Coppell ISD. In Stages 2 and 3, educators have the flexibility to design assessments and learning experiences and compact the curriculum.
Curriculum & Learning Design Process
CISD Splash Screen Template
District Curriculum Design – Working with Standards
Beginning with the End in Mind – From Standards to Concepts & QuestionsLearning standards such as TEKS, ELPS, CCRS, AP and IB Standards, Pre-K Guidelines and Global Competencies, are identified expectations of learning stating what learners will know and be able to do. The primary goal of curriculum design is working with standards to derive the concepts from which deeper understandings can occur, rather than reducing learning to remembering isolated, random knowledge and skills. The process for creating meaningful, standards-based, conceptual learning outcomes involves:
- Establishing Transfer Goals
- Identifying Concepts
- Creating Enduring Understandings
- Creating Essential Questions
- Clarifying the knowledge and skills embedded within the standards
Transfer GoalsTransfer is about independent performance in context. The learner understands when they can apply their learning without being told what to do and when to do it. The learner independently draws from their own repertoire, to handle new contexts on their own. Transfer goals have several distinguishing characteristics:
- Long-term in nature developing and deepening over time
- Performance based requiring application
- Occur in new situations, not ones previously taught or a result of rote learning
- Require learners to apply their own learning
- Calls for the use of habits of mind along with academic understanding, knowledge and skill
Developing the Whole Child – Identifying and Implementing Future-Ready Learning OutcomesFuture-ready learning outcomes are crucial for preparing learners for success and should be embedded in every content area. While identifying future-ready learning outcomes is a campus-based practice, CISD provides resources for creating learning outcomes. These outcomes include the thinking, interaction and other skills learners need to develop and are sometimes referred to as “21st Century Skills.” These skills include:
- Creativity and Innovation
- Communication and Collaboration
- Research and Information Fluency
- Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Digital Citizenship
- Adaptability and Initiative