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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 19:50:10 PST

I think I never am quite sure what people want when they ask for curriculum.

I always get a bit bent out of shape when someone asks for a curriculum.

I guess it differs from state to state, but where I am in PA, curriculum is
a carefully considered document, binding to teacher fulfillment, so we
choose our words very carefully.

I spend countless hours writing and rewriting curriculum. I get paid extra
over the summer to write curriculum (and that's where all my summer hours go
and how I wish those hours would go to making art instead)

Curriculum should be the content of what is to be taught/learned. How that
teaching/learning is achieved is suggested. The resources are suggested, the
evaluation is suggested, but the content is firm. Curriculum is linked to
department and district goals and objectives and state standards. But in the
long run curriculum is about content, not lessons. Curriculum is sequential
with expectations of higher level thinking skills at each level. As much as
I hate to say this, curriculum should reflect an "outcome."

I always keep in mind, when writing curriculum, that I am making a plan that
whoever comes in to teach the class has a basis for implementing the
content. Therefore it can not be so specific or locked into my personal
objectives. And never should something be written into curriculum that you
can't do.
i.e. If I die tonight and somebody has to take over the classes I teach,
the content should be such that any qualified person can implement it. That
person may not use the same method as I would, but should still be able to
convey the idea.

I am a department head and responsible for reporting to and justifying to a
school board a program that has some kind of sequence. That's why I do all
this curriculum writing. And when I have staff who ignores the curriculum
for "doing their own thing." it makes my job with the board all the more

I guess my point is that curriculum is very district specific and you just
can't get something from someone and use it for the needs of your own
program. You can research and glean, and pick and choose, but expecting
someone to just hand it over to you, well I think that's a mighty request.
The people on this list are very, very generous. And many of them have sites
with lots of information or links to the information. I think there is much
to be gained from investigation. Certainly, there is no need to reinvent
the wheel, but I would really like to see...
see that curriculum is not something to be taken as something that is
"passed around"

and I wonder
those of you looking for curriculum
what is the direction from your districts?