Teacher Input

At our first meeting, Harris mentioned the idea of teacher creativity/input into the curriculum implementation process. No curriculum doc that we publish mentions this idea. If we want to add this idea into the curriculum overview, then we need to flush out this concept. Can the group comment on this idea? Please list the reasons why this is an important element in the curriculum implementation process. My goal is to edit the reasons and to arrive at 3 to 5 statements that capture this idea in a way that we as a school can use in describing our particular viewpoint on curriculum implementation.

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Discussion

8 responses to “Teacher Input”

  1. Mario Zinga says:

    This is a test reply.

  2. barga says:

    1) City Charter High School recruits and hires educators who are experts in their disciplines, and have the professional integrity to research, design, and implement curriculum that will prepare students for college or the workplace.

    2) Teacher creativity in curriculum design preserves a foundational value of the school – that our teachers can engage our students more effectively than textbooks and curriculum which do not account for racial, socioeconomic, and skill level diversity of our student body.

    3) Creativity in curriculum design is one of the most effective ways to maximize professional development and collaboration among the faculty, as staff members are constantly working together to improve instructional materials and strategies.

    4) Teacher/department autonomy over curriculum decisions allows for increased responsiveness to new research on best practices.

  3. downs says:

    I think Barga really hits 4 really important reasons here. My initial intention was to publish focusing on the importance teacher input has on team teaching, but Barga really illustrates that in #3. The only thing I really have to add that I think he doesn’t address is the importance teacher input has because of looping. We are encountering a different aspect of the curriculum every year. Even if the themes are the same, a lot can happen in a content area in 4 years–which I think Barga hints at in his 4th point. But maybe we just want to use “looping” in there?

  4. delarosa says:

    Teacher creativity in curriculum allows the teacher to take ownership in what he/she does, and in turn, naturally leads to exploring different/better ways to implement that curriculum. At City High, that idea of ownership is a part of our culture. We always talk about teachers having ownership of the floor, and ownership of the day-to-day operations with the students, etc and that idea of ownership also has to apply to curriculum. This idea of ownership in what we do has always sort of served as a catalyst to move City High forward.

  5. harris says:

    Teacher creativity alludes to the practice of delivering curriculum through design, environment, methods, and material.

    Teacher input refers to a reflection of this practice which should continue to build into curriculum making it an organic process.

    The history of City High curriculum has ultimately reflected this process coupled with influences from powers that be.

  6. juriga says:

    I agree with Barga’s four points and what Dela said about ownership extending to curriculum, as it does to the team floors. Creativity in all that we do is one of the foundations of our culture at City High.

  7. musto says:

    I’m in complete agreement with everything that has been stated. While each team of students should be held accountable to the same standards, having the ability to create and modify curriculum to meet the specific needs of a team based on their strengths and weaknesses is necessary as a best practice. In the course of a loop, teachers are able to identify needs that may be specific to that team or that may be new according to changing workforce/college demands. As Barga mentioned, having the freedom to create and change curriculum allows us to respond more quickly than in a traditional setting. And as Dela says, the ownership of the floor and the curriculum is empowering to teachers, leading to increased buy-in and productivity.

  8. watson-smith says:

    I also agree with everything that has been stated. Ultimately, curricular creativity increases teacher ownership as well providing them with the ability to make the adjustments necessary for student individualization and buy-in. Teachers at City High know their content, and they know their students. Flexibility in the curriculum allows teachers to use both to ensure that we reach every student, especially since each cohort/team/loop is unique. It also lends itself to the possibilities of more cross-curricular activities and to evolving projects if teachers are permitted to creatively implement new ideas that keep up with changing times (updating literature, new technology, comparison of historical events with current world events, etc.).

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