The focus of our HOF Inquiry is curriculum development. If teachers develop a high-quality written curriculum, but fail to implement it then their work is the equivalent of motion masquerading as progress (Parker, 1991).
Curriculum development is much more than an inquiry, unpacking standards, or meeting once a week. If teachers spend their time focusing on the taught curriculum they will be able to greatly impact student achievement. “When school staff have a more informed conception of curriculum, a teacher’s daily decisions about how to deliver instruction not only affect student achievement in that classroom but also future student achievement, for it is assumed that students will be entering the next classroom prepared to handle a more sophisticated or more expansive level of work” (Zmuda, Kuklis & Kline, 2004, p. 122).
Our inquiry should be about answering questions. “If you want to make discoveries, if you want to disrupt the status quo, if you want to make progress and find new ways of thinking and doing, you need to ask questions” (John Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, 2014). Here some key questions for HOFs that I have come across.
- What are the key concepts we will address in this course?
- What are the key skills we will address in this course?
- What are the priority standards for this course? How will we ensure that these standards are emphasized throughout the year?
- If I had a daughter enrolled in this course, would I be satisfied?
- How will we implement the 4 Cs (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity) in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment(s)?
- Will we use LwDT to support teaching and learning? How? What are the goals?
- Are there opportunities for student-led lessons or is every lesson dictated by the curriculum and teacher-led?
- Are there multiple options for personalized learning throughout the course?
- Does the course incorporate student-led questions which deepen student understanding?
- How will we measure student understanding?
- Are we designing authentic tasks for students?
- What is the role of formative assessment in measuring the written, taught, and understood curricula?
- Do we have a plan for when students don’t learn?
- Does our learning space support student understanding of the key skills, concepts, and soft skills that our staff has identified as important?
- How often do we meet to discuss teaching and learning?
- Do we analyze career readiness indicators? What is my role in supporting college and career readiness?
- Do teachers have the opportunity to provide ongoing feedback regarding the school curriculum?