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Think Big, Plan Backward: Two Design Principles for Sound Curriculum Development

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Think Big, Plan Backward: Two Design Principles for Sound Curriculum Development

As you start on your curriculum development project, make sure you work on it smarter not harder by incorporating two essential design principles: Thinking big and planning backward. But, how can these two principles be translated into actual curriculum design practices? (Inspired by the work of Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe).

As you start on your curriculum development project, make sure you work on it smarter not harder by incorporating two essential design principles: Thinking big and planning backward. But, how can these two principles be translated into actual curriculum design practices? (Inspired by the work of Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe).

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Think Big, Plan Backward: Two Design Principles for Sound Curriculum Development

  1. 1. Think Big, Plan Backward: Two Design Principles for Sound Curriculum Development Dr. Suad Alazzam © 2012 All Rights Reserved suad[at]portlandstate.org *Inspired by the work of Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe
  2. 2. Work Smarter, Not Harder As you start on your curriculum development project, make sure you work on it smarter not harder by incorporating two essential design principles.
  3. 3. Two essential design principles that should guide your curriculum development project: 1- Thinking Big 2- Planning Backward
  4. 4. From Principles to Practices How can these two principles be translated into actual curriculum design practices?
  5. 5. Think BIG
  6. 6. “As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big!” Donald Trump
  7. 7. Think Big: Principles to Practices
  8. 8. Practice # 1: Curricular Philosophy Drawing from your school’s mission, formulate a curriculum philosophy statement articulating underlying assumptions about learning, teaching, and assessment.
  9. 9. Practice # 2: Mapping the Curriculum Create course maps that reflect the scope and sequence for each taught course across grades and subject areas in terms of units of instruction (not yet detailed lesson plans) taught throughout the academic year.
  10. 10. Practice # 3: Big Ideas & Big Questions Organize the content addressed in the units of instruction under two umbrellas:  Big ideas and concepts (not informational content)  Big essential questions (not topical questions)
  11. 11. Practice # 4: Multi-Year Phased Plan Curriculum development is acyclic process. Make sure that you develop a multi-year phased plan for planning, piloting, revising, and adopting the curriculum.
  12. 12. “Start with the end in mind. ” Stephen R. Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  13. 13. Plan Backward: Principles to Practices
  14. 14. Practice # 1: SMART & Prioritized Goals  Master-plan your curriculum project by setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely)  Prioritize your goals (long-term goals & short-term goals).
  15. 15. Practice # 2: Learning Outcomes Start the planning of the units of instruction by identifying learning outcomes: what the students will know and be able to do as a result of Levels of Learning Outcomes engaging in the units learning According to Bloom’s Taxonomies activities.
  16. 16. Practice # 3: Aligned Assessments  Develop formative authentic assessment tasks that follow varied strategies (assessment “for” learning)  Develop common summative assessments that employ common scoring rubrics (assessment “of” learning)
  17. 17. Practice # 4: Aligned Learning Activities  Develop engaging learning experiences that are differentiated in terms of academic readiness, interests, and learning styles.  Utilize available resources and tools & create new ones and employ effective instructional strategies.
  18. 18. Work Smarter, Not Harder Any questions? Do not hesitate to ask.
  19. 19. Thank You! Dr. Suad Alazzam © 2012 All Rights Reserved suad [at] portlandstate.org

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