The case for Curriculum

Staff development network

Dr Mark Dowley May 30th, 2024 · 2min read

The reading this week, The ‘case for curriculum’ is about reducing teachers’ workload, is written by policy expert Robert Pondiscio of the American Enterprise Institute.

It argues that centralised curriculum could save up to 12 hours a week of teacher time and improve student outcomes.

Key points

  • Nearly four million women and men are needed to staff America’s classrooms. A number that large means teachers will be, by definition, people of average abilities.
  • What the most talented and driven can accomplish with children is what we expect from all teachers. We expect them to both design and deliver lessons at an expert level when doing either is a challenge.
  • According to the majority of teachers surveyed in a new Pew Center report, there is not enough time in the workday to accomplish all that is expected of them, and they don’t have enough time during their regular work hours to do tasks like grading, lesson planning, paperwork, and answering emails (84%).
  • An MDR study shows that teachers spend seven hours per week searching for instructional resources and another five hours creating their own classroom materials.
  • There is a major mismatch between what content experts think educators should (and shouldn’t) use in classrooms and what teachers, hungry for instructional resources, are choosing.

Read the full article.

What you can do

  • Start with high quality shared curriculum resources from Ochre or The Core Knowledge Foundation.
  • After teaching a lesson or unit, small tweaks can be made to improve the following year.
  • Consistent curriculum allows meeting time to be spent on talking about ‘how to teach’ rather than ‘what to teach’.
  • A great question for a team meeting is: ‘What common misconceptions do students have when learning this concept and how can we plan to overcome that?’

Ensure all curriculum documentation is stored electronically and is easily accessible to teachers and students.

Happy coaching,

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