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June 19, 2017

The Importance of Curriculum, Part One

I have curriculum on the brain this summer. Most of my current work is focused on curriculum; reviewing it, curating it, or exploring it in some way. Simultaneously, there is an increasing amount of scholarship in the field on the importance of curriculum. Much of this work answers the questions; does curriculum really matter? And if it does, what can we do about it?

Educators in the field, academics, publishers and supportive organizations are recognizing that quality curricular materials can support equity in our schools, be a significant force for reform, and act as a key ingredient in high performing classrooms. Of recent note is the Aspen Institute's report, "Practice What You Teach", which provides relevant research, profiles of curricular implementation, and key recommendations. EducationNext has a great post by Chester Finn titled "Education Becomes a Reform Strategy". The latest research report by StandardWork, "Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go", provides a much needed in-depth review of the topic.  And this post by Robert Pondiscio is great food for thought. (Further readings have been collected by EdReports and can be found on their website here.)

Maybe these are great reads for your summer break. Perhaps they are great reads for the leader of your school, district, or organization. As we all take some time to reflect, unwind, and then gear up for the Fall, it can't hurt to carefully consider the materials that guide our classroom instruction.


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