Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Upgrading Curriculum - An Iterative Process

In Los Altos School District we are on a journey to revolutionize learning for all students; not an easy task by any account but one that we are committed to.   This school year we are focusing on upgrading our instruction as we work to better understand the needs of all our students,  embrace the  Common Core Standards and better leverage technology as an instructional tool.   As is typical in education, we have multiple initiatives going on that to a casual observer may seem chaotic, but all of our initiatives are geared to improving the student learning experience.  Upgrading instruction is a first step that every teacher in our district is actively engaged in.  We are fortunate to have great support for our teachers through instructional coaches and other classroom teachers that spent a week last summer engaged in learning about this concept of upgrading curriculum and instruction with Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author of Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World

There is an entertaining Dodge commercial on T.V. right now called - How to Change Cars Forever.  I’m not sure the commercial does a great job of selling the Dodge Dart, but it does a fabulous job of illustrating an iterative process with concepts related to our conversation on curriculum upgrades.

Upgrading a unit of instruction isn’t just  another task to complete.  It isn’t just another box to check off the to-do list.  Upgrading instruction is really about rethinking instruction to make meaningful changes for students.  It is an iterative process that needs to be ongoing because of the changing world we live in.  It means asking tough questions of ourselves and of our colleagues.  It isn’t easy work but definitely worthwhile to improve the learning experiences we provide for our students.  If we are successful, we just might change instruction forever.

Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

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