The July 2nd SmartBrief has a little reader poll that doesn’t appear scientific or representative or trustworthy at all. But still, it brightens my day. More than a host of trendy topics, educators want to learn about curriculum design:

Which topics are you most interested in learning about in your self-directed PD this summer?

Curriculum design: 25.89%
Differentiated instruction: 22.33%
Teacher leadership: 16.15%
Children living in poverty: 10.93%
Classroom management: 8.31%
Common Core and other state standards: 8.31%
Lesson planning: 8.08%

Let’s hope they’re learning about knowledge-rich, coherent, cumulative curriculum design.


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8 comments on “Teachers Want to Learn about Curriculum Design”

  1. 1
    Ewaldoh on July 9, 2015

    So, are these people who have graduated from college?
    If so, what IS being covered?

  2. 2
    Miss Friday on July 9, 2015

    @ Ewaldoh – In my experience at a California university (identity withheld to protect the incompetent), curriculum design is definitely NOT taught. There was lots about social justice, “unpacking” state standards (this was pre-Common Core), teaching reading and writing across the curriculum, writing isolated lessons and units, but nothing about curriculum design.

    Why? Because that would have been helpful to a novice music teacher (me), and goodness knows we wouldn’t want to do *that*! [Side Note: For a variety of reasons, music teachers are expected to write their own curriculum, it is a little known and frequently overlooked aspect of the job.] Everything I’ve learned about curriculum design has been my own hard slogging work.

    What I fear is that while teachers may *want* to learn about how to design curricula, they won’t be able to find anyone who can teach them. Just look at the plethora of low quality products and consultants on the market. If you want something that is not drivel, you have to do a lot of digging and go way off the beaten path (sometime at your own peril if your admin finds out).

    And even if quality resources are found, can an ordinary teacher wrap his brain around what is being offered? A few months ago, I walked a fellow music teacher through the process, and the poor chap was overwhelmed by the details. He finally got a grip, but he nearly gave up entirely because how complicated the process really is. But how many teachers are that determined?

  3. 3
    Ewaldoh on July 9, 2015

    @Miss Friday: So sorry to hear of your past and the trend with music and maybe the other “arts”.
    That was so much different with my background in science … at least when I was in school (my school anyway).
    Your mention of “consultants” prompts me to make at least this one suggestion. I have always had a group of teachers in my area to share ideas and to help the younger/poorly placed teachers. Consider forming a group that might meet once a month or quarterly to share and compare. Hope there is not too much of a competitive nature in the arts for that to work for you.

  4. 4
    Erin on July 16, 2015

    @Ewaldoh – As a fairly new teacher, I gained experience in college of all the poll choices except curriculum design. That was my biggest struggle when I first started teaching. I find it irritating that they have various workshops on differentiation and classroom management but nothing geared toward curriculum design. Luckily, I had a great group of teachers that guided me through it. This enabled me to truly understand the idea of curriculum design. Now, as a fourth year teacher, I am on the committee during the summer to improve the science curriculum for the middle school!

  5. 5
    Taylor on July 17, 2015

    I too am a new teacher and when reflecting back on my college days, I do remember having a curriculum design class. What I also remember about that class is how confusing and upsetting it was. The idea of curriculum design is very broad. They went through short term and long term planning and different ways to plan around a theme or idea. What I have found is that curriculum design is best learned when you are actually in the field. Sure, I reflect on some of the things I learned while in college but most of what I know now was obtained through experience and hands on practice.

  6. 6
    Latoyia on July 18, 2015

    I enjoyed reading this blog about learning about Curriculum Design. This aspect is something that teachers should be apart of in their district or territory. Sometimes living in a territory things are already made for us to use and we just have to continue with the flow. In my district we have a team leader for each grade level within a school. I see a team leader as a person that fights for their grade level to have the necessary things to be productive and being able to flow smoothly. Sometimes the ones that they have on the committees to design the curriculum does not know what is happening with the students in their classrooms. My point exactly, who deals with the students on a daily basis should have some type of input.
    I really hope that things change for our territory being that we have new leaders that were appointed.

  7. 7
    Quess Hood on September 17, 2016

    Curriculum Design has been on my radar for professional development for the past few years. I am interested in learning about how the curriculum I am using was developed and how it is best assessed. I want to gain knowledge about the curriculum I am teaching so I am able to teach it more effectively. I truly believe that if a teacher understand the objectives being taught, the instruction will be more effective. This type of professional development will also provide specific ways to teach standards that have been developed for their particular class. This type of professional development will also provide ideas and strategies for completing formative and summative assessments. Everything a teacher does is centered around student learning. There is no better way to increase student learning than understand the curriculum design.

  8. 8
    Ashley Garrett on July 19, 2017

    I found it very interesting that most educators wanted to learn more about curriculum design. What are the factors and reason? Are they aspiring teacher leaders or are they unhappy with their current design of curriculum? I would too be more interested into curriculum design, simply because curriculum should outline differentiated instruction for all learners. Curriculum design is very critical and beneficial not only for students but the teacher also. It allows the teacher to be comfortable and in control, especially if designed by self. Curriculum design also allows creativity, it is also important teachers design their curriculum because they know their students the best. The teacher know all the types of learning styles and what works to better support the classroom. Differentiated instruction is equally important, in order to create and design a supportive curriculum it is important that teachers know and understand differentiated instruction.

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