Reworking the Curriculum
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Principle: Principal as Courage Provider
Focus question: How safe is playing it safe? How much courage do we need to really change the curriculum?
are looking at new ways to stress authentic knowledge. One way
to get there is to change what is being taught by adopting one
of the many research-based mathematics or science curriculum packages.
This workshop examines how these new curriculum materials require
both principals and teachers to show courage, patience, and endurance.
4 Preparatory Readings
that you read the following article, included in the Appendix
at the back of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 4:
EducationHow Curriculum and Instruction are Evolving"
Calvert Elementary School
shows an example of how kits can be a way to introduce new curricula
at the elementary level. At Cranston Calvert Elementary School
in Newport, RI, principal Alice Clancy asked teachers in her school
to volunteer their time over the summer to receive professional
development in using the kitstaking advantage of the locally-available
infrastructure in support of the kits over the long term. This
segment profiles a kindergarten teacher, Elaine Brown, who teaches
with the kits in her classroom.
ChidseyAnderson Elementary School
is principal of Anderson Elementary School in Lawndale, CA,a
school in Los Angeles County with 900 students, approximately
50% Hispanic. A few years ago, the school received federal funds
to build a computer lab and staff it with a full-time technology
specialist. Evelyn had to overcome resistance from veteran teachers
to implement her vision of a technology program in math and science,
one where work in the lab is more directly related to classroom
Alvarez High School
"IMPInteractive Mathematics Program"
Alvarez High School is a new school of approximately 2,500 students
in Salinas, CA, about two hours south of San Francisco in a fast-growing
community surrounded by an agricultural region. Principal Murry
Schekman offers the Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP), a high
school mathematics curriculum developed at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley
as a parallel choice with the traditional math program. Currently,
about one-third of the students choose IMP and two-thirds are
in the traditional program. The video includes both traditional
and IMP classes, IMP parents discussing how the program better
serves the needs of their students, and a look at Murry's rationale
for offering both programs. Also, we see how the IMP program has
influenced teaching strategies in the traditional classroom.
4 Site Discussion Questions
(remember to choose a Structure from those listed on pages 12
- How can
I, as a principal, stay current, especially if math and science
are not my strengths?
- How and
when do I get real buy-in from my school community?
- How can
I, as a principal, walk the fine line between risk-taking and
playing it safe?
- How can
a principal get teacher and parent buy-in when introducing innovative
- If a principal
can't just totally mandate a new curriculum, how much compromise
it about using them or not? Or is it about learning how to adapt
- How do
we get truly sustainable change in curriculum?
does the principal get the courage needed when there is so much
political pressure to do the "traditional thing"?
How integrated can it be? How meaningful can it be? Or does
it just slow you down?
- Who determines
the curriculum and how are these decisions made?
K. and J. Mumme. "A Renaissance in Mathematics Education
Reform." Phi Delta Kappan 7 (1996): 478-484.
L. and D. K. Cohen. "Reform by the Book: What Is-Or Might
Be-The Role of Curriculum Materials in Teacher Learning and Instructional
Reform?" Educational Researcher 25. 9 (1996): 6-8,14.
L."Teacher Learning and the Mathematics Reforms: What We
Think We Know and What We Need to Learn." Phi Delta Kappan
77. 7 (1996): 500-508.
L. A."Tying Professional Development to Math Curriculum Development."
Journal of Staff Development 11. 3 (1990): 2-6.
Replacement Units: A Direction for Changing Math Instruction.
Math Solutions Publications, 1994.
K., et al. Facilitator's Guide to Science Assessment. CA
Department of Education, CA Science Implementation Network, CA
Science Project, Scope, Sequence, & Coordination Project,
and Santa Barbara County Office of Education Region 8, 1995.
D."Science Education-How Curriculum and Instruction Are Evolving."
Curriculum Update. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision
and Curriculum Development. Fall 1998: 1-4, 6, and 8.
J. P."Staff Development and Curriculum Development: Two Sides
of the Same Coin." Journal of Staff Development 14.
1 (1996): 38-41.
J., S. J. Russell, and K. Economopoulis. Beyond Arithmetic.
Palo Alto: Dale Seymour, 1995.
Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Curriculum and Evaluation
Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM, 1996.
Research Council. Guidelines for Aligning Instructional Materials
with the National Science Education Standards. Washington,
DC: National Academy, In Press.
Research Council. National Science Education Standards.
Washington, DC: National Academy, 1996.
Science Resources Center. Science for All Children: A Guide
to Improving Elementary Science Education in Your School District.
Washington, DC: National Academy, 1997.
S. J. "The Role of Curriculum in Teacher Development."
In Reflecting on Our Work: NSF Teacher Enhancement in K-6
Mathematics, Eds. S.N. Friel and G.S. Bright. Lanham, MD:
U P of America, 1996: 247-254.
for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Internet Address:
Six Skills. Internet Address: http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/Big_Six_Steps.asp
for Reform from AAAS Project 2061. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/tools/bluepol/blpframe.html
for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education. Internet
search. Internet Address: http://www.excite.com/guide/education/teacher_resources/curriculum_materials
Happen! Internet Address: http://www.edc.org/FSC/MIH/i-search.html
Internet Address: http://mathforum.org/~sarah/Discussion.Sessions/biblio.assessment.html
Internet Address: http://www.middleweb.com/
NSF. Internet Address: http://www.nsf.gov/
to School Improvement. Internet Address: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/
& Resources for Teachers. Internet Address: http://www.csun.edu/~vceed009/
Science Leadership Institutes. National Science Resources Center,
Washington, DC. 202-282-2063
Science (GSS). Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA. 510- 642-9635.
and Technology for Children. Developed by the National Science
Resources Center, Washington DC, 202-287-2063. Pub. Carolina Biological
Supply Company, Burlington, NC. 800-334-5551.