This is where curriculum mapping is extremely helpful. When a school uses
curriculum mapping effeciently, it not only helps in long range planning
and thematic integration but enables you to identify areas with obvious
gaps and overlaps. District standards and proficiency outcomes can be
double checked to make sure that all are being met in a timely fashion.
A map can also serve as a tool in communication with parents who say that
the child "never was taught...." You can see in the school map that it was
indeed taught in January of last year. Was the child absent a lot? Did they
just forget it? Blah, Blah,
It also promotes commumication between teachers since you can only map
lessons that have been taught to all 4th graders, for example. This is to
ensure that the next teacher can build on what the students know. If only
one teacher teaches her particular class a concept and the other teachers
on her level do not- the entire 4th grade class has not even encountered,
let alone mastered, that strand in the curriculum. The next year's teacher
must decide to reteach it leaving a small percentage totally bored, or move
on and widen the gap for those who have never had the lesson at all.
We have a Curriculum Standards draft which will be finalized by this spring
for our district. Thankfully, it is based on the national standards and our
state model which recognizes the necessity of a framework leaving room for
teacher creativity. It is not hung up, for ex., on correct use of scissors
by grade ... but does want students to "control selected media".
Sorry this is so long!