I’ve said it before and I will say it again…when I am struggling for a structure, working to define a goal or an outcome for work within my practice as an educator, I UbD it out. So, when I was working on defining the work of curriculum teams a while ago, I had to do UbD it out. It was important for me, but more important for that those I was collaborating with knew the purpose and where we were going as a team. The plan was designed with the vision of the school and the strategic goals in mind. If I had it to do over again it would have been created in collaboration with each team. I was in a time crunch in this instance.
Here is what I came up with. I had a little help from these resources.
Schooling by Design: Mission, Action, and Achievement by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins
Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins
- Helping all students learn requires a collaborative and collective effort.
- Inspired and engaged learning is enhanced through collaboration on aligned curriculum.
- What makes a culture of learning?
- How can we sustain and integrate curriculum?
- How do structures impact the curriculum?
- Communication between team members is the thread that connects everything
- Learning is the primary work of all teams
- Teacher ownership and commitment to curriculum impacts the quality of student learning
- Strengths and limitations of the school’s current curriculum
- Identify and implement specific instructional refinements to improve learning, based on analysis
- Build trust and transparency
- Work collaboratively to provide a rigorous curriculum
- Actively and deliberately examine the curriculum
- Clarify knowledge and skills students must acquire
- Build collective understanding and responsibility for student learning
- Engage in purposeful instructional talk concerning (content area) with a focus on the instructional core.
My goal is to keep those understandings and essential questions in mind in all that I do because I think they are truly important to making education meaningful, authentic, and transferable for students. I also think they are the key to ensuring teachers feel they are a part of decision-making.