Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reading Council

"There is a huge discrepancy between the intended curriculum and the implemented curriculum. The former specifies what teachers are called upon to teach; the latter reflects what is actually taught.”

Richard Dufour

Chets Creek's Reading Council met Wednesday to discuss our states intended curriculum (The New Generation Sunshine State Standards) and our implemented curriculum at Chets Creek. This was not the first time we've had this conversation. In fact, about ten years ago, I remember sitting at the very same conference table having the same conversation. At the time, we had adopted the America's Choice School Design and were challenged to become a standards-based learning community. We needed to marry our state's content standards with the America's Choice performance standards and build a pacing guide so teachers would implement instruction based on the standards. The task of aligning standards and building pacing guides in each content area took months of discussion but grappling with the task brought deeper understanding and greater clarity.

Reading Council felt like deja vu. Once again we were having the conversation, because Florida has revised the Sunshine State Standards and adopted the New Generation Standards. The state intends for us to teach fewer standards but with greater depth. And, so, the process of analyzing the intended curriculum to design pacing guides so teachers can implement the curriculum has begun.

To get started, the Reading Council began exploring the New Generation Standards by navigating Florida's Department of Education website and discussing similarities and differences from the old to the new standards. Our conversation quickly shifted to a document that might best build an alignment guide for teachers to clearly see the changes. But, we know, by studying Dufour's work, we must avoid simply handing them a document and involve them in the process. Being involved in the process and grappling with the task will provide clarity and commitment that will be lacking if they are handed a finished product. We want to ensure that the intended curriculum becomes the implemented curriculum and in turn becomes the student's learned curriculum. Therefore, we know, the journey has only just begun.

“School leaders must do more than deliver curriculum documents to teachers to ensure all students have an opportunity to master the same essential learning. They must engage every teacher in a collaborative process to study, to clarify, and most importantly, to commit to teaching the curriculum." Richard Dufour


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dayle timmons said...

I guess it really has been 10 years since we really looked at standards as an America's Choice School. So... this is a new generation of teachers who can delve into the standards and disucss them so that we are all on the same page about what they mean. Sounds pretty exciting!

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