Curriculum Mapping

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Curriculum mapping is a process that focuses on the subject matter to be taught, the manner in which it is taught, the timeline involved, available resources, and ultimately the means of assessment. With the inclusion of technology into the mapping process, web-based curriculum management can bring vital information easily into the hands of all curriculum decisions makers.

Curriculum mapping invites all individuals who deal with curricular concerns to enter into the curriculum analysis process. The values present in a web-based curriculum mapping tool are plentiful. A collaborative web-based tool can provide a framework for organization and communication which is not available in a traditional face-to-face, schedule bound meeting session. The ability to flexibly disseminate information facilitates the task of managing curriculum and sharing instructional best practices across grades, subjects, and schools. Another benefit is it can help build on what students have learned in previous years to prepare them for future classes and achievement.

One of the most important players in the curriculum mapping game is teachers. Unfortunately they can be the most difficult group to get involved due to busy schedules and an already full plate of ongoing lesson planning and assessment. To help create “buy-in” teachers need to be given ample time during the school day to work collaboratively on the curriculum map. Professional development and training on the use of the tool must be provided early in the school year and then supported throughout the process. Furthermore teachers need to be informed of the importance of their role; that they are the ones in charge of how curriculum actually occurs in the classroom. Teacher input into collaborat...

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...jectives and instead giving equal weight to objectives as well as materials and activities. These freedoms for teachers can allow for creativity and exploration of the curriculum.

The naturalistic method can also be very student-centered taking into account student needs and differences. This approach allows the teacher to consider their own teaching style, but also allows for differentiation for the students within the learning activities. Additionally there is flexibility beyond the traditional assessment. This flexibility puts greater responsibility on the teacher to know the curricular material and fulfill the objectives. Finally, the naturalistic approach looks at the whole picture first, and then narrows down the process to details. Technological curriculum planning appears to begin with and focuses on details which can be confusing and unappealing to some.

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