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An Introduction and Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model: Promise and Process Explanation: Welcome to our online support materials for those of you.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction and Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model: Promise and Process Explanation: Welcome to our online support materials for those of you."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction and Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model: Promise and Process
Explanation: Welcome to our online support materials for those of you interested in using the Parallel Curriculum Model. In this module, you will find a series of slides and teaching notes that have been created to guide educators in understanding the rationale behind the model, an overview of its components, and an explanation of the ten components that provide the foundation for curriculum designing and planning. To promote understanding of the model, teaching notes have been generated for each slide. The explanation notes explore the content meaning behind the slide; activity notes, containing processing prompts, assist workshop leaders or individuals by providing thought-provoking tasks or inquiries pertaining to the slide; and in some cases debriefing and discussion notes are written to further explore each slide’s content. The first module contains an introduction to the Parallel Curriculum Model and an exploration of the ten components that make for a comprehensive curriculum plan. It is recommended that educators read chapters 1-3 of the book prior to exploring this instructional module. 1

2 Our Advance Organizer Definition of Curriculum
Introduction to the Parallel Curriculum Model Orientation to “Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand” Overview of the Four “Parallels” Definitions and Exemplary Characteristics of the Ten Components Explanation: The first cluster of slides focuses on the framework that has been developed to assist teachers in designing or remodeling curriculum. A well-designed curriculum becomes the result of thinking clearly about several curricular components that guide the teaching and learning process. Included with the slides are “teaching notes” that provide explanations, activities, debriefing exercises, and discussions that can take place as you interact with the slides. In some cases there are two types of activities listed. The “Workshop Leader Activity”is for those who are are working with teams or are planning professional development. The “If You Are Working Alone Activity” has been tailored for those who are working by themselves. The activities are used to promote, process, and offer assistance in thinking about the content on the slide. 2

3 The Elephant in the Room: What does qualitatively differentiated curriculum really look like?
Explanation: Gifted education has used the term “qualitatively differentiated education for the gifted” since Virgil Ward, from the University of Virginia, was the first researcher to use this term. Many researchers and gifted education specialists have developed curriculum models that attempt to provide a “qualitatively differentiated curriculum.” Before investigating the rationale behind the Parallel Curriculum Model, which is based on the belief that a curriculum model should provide recommendations to a curriculum writer for effectively designing qualitatively differentiated curriculum, let’s explore what we think qualitatively differentiated curriculum means. Workshop Leader Activity: Compare and contrast the term “qualitatively differentiated” with the term “quantitatively differentiated.” Create a short definition for each term. Allow 2-3 minutes. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Compare and contrast the term “qualitatively differentiated” with the term “quantitatively differentiated.” Create a short definition for each term. Based on your definitions, what would it mean to write qualitatively differentiated curriculum vs. quantitatively differentiated curriculum? Debriefing: Share your group’s definitions of the terms “qualitatively differentiated and “quantitatively differentiated” with 2-3 other groups. Reach consensus on the definition of the terms. Discussion: Discuss the purpose of a differentiated education for the gifted. Consider the features or characteristics that might describe a curriculum unit that provides differentiated curriculum for the gifted. 3

4 Who has addressed this question in the past?
William James Alfred North Whitehead John Dewey Hilda Taba Ralph Tyler Benjamin Bloom Jerome Bruner Leta Hollingsworth Virgil Ward Philip Phenix LTI Curriculum Principles Explanation: Many educators who worked throughout the 20th century (James – Bruner) investigated strategies for creating high quality curriculum units. Their work has had a profound influence on gifted education and on the nature of curriculum development in gifted education. In the 1970s, the Leadership Training Institute developed a set of guiding principles that described “best practices” for developing qualitatively differentiated curriculum for the gifted. Their work serves as a “compass” that guides curriculum writers in the field of gifted education. Leta Hollingsworth, Virgil Ward, and Philip Phenix were three of the pioneers in curriculum development for the gifted. (Most of these names and contributions are identified and explained in the PCM book, particularly chapters 1-3.) The work of these individuals has contributed to the development of the Parallel Curriculum Model. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Working alone, review the list of names on this slide. Identify any familiar names and jot down your understanding of their contribution to the field of curriculum development. Debriefing: Use a jigsaw approach with other members of your study group in an attempt to identify the contributions of each of those listed on this slide. Activity: As a large group, work together to make a short list of 3-5 guiding principles that you think represent best practices for writing differentiated curriculum for the gifted. 4

5 A Changing Society Can Change Students
The Rationale for an Evolving Conception of Curriculum to Develop Expertise or “Why do we need to think differently about curriculum than we have in the past?” A Changing Society Can Change Students Changing Views of Intelligence and Giftedness The Need to Explore Similarities and Differences in Curriculum for All Learners and for Gifted Learners A Need to Honor the Past by Building to the Future Explanation: The rationale behind the Parallel Curriculum Model is based on these four principles and helps educators to understand how the conceptualization for this model was determined. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Read pages Discuss how these principles would be supportive of designing curriculum that is effective in educating students whose abilities are already highly advanced and those whose abilities are advancing. 5

6 Which Statements Reflect Your Beliefs About Curriculum?
Curriculum should guide students in mastering key information, ideas, and the fundamental skills of the discipline. Curriculum should help students grapple with complex and ambiguous issues and problems. Curriculum should move students from a novice to an expert level of performance in the disciplines. Curriculum should provide students opportunities for original work in the disciplines. Curriculum should help students encounter, accept, and ultimately embrace challenge in learning. Curriculum should prepare students for a world in which knowledge expands and changes at a dizzying pace. Curriculum should help students determine constants in the past and in themselves while helping them prepare for a changing world. Curriculum should help students develop a sense of themselves as well as their possibilities in the world in which they live. Curriculum should be compelling and satisfying enough to encourage students to persist in developing their capacities. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Working alone, review the list of statements on this slide. Make a check mark next to any statement that reflects your beliefs about high quality curriculum for the gifted. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Review the list of statements on this slide. Make a check mark next to any statement that reflects your beliefs about high quality curriculum for the gifted. Consider the conditions under which these opportunities should be provided to all students or to some students. Debriefing: Ask each member of your study group to share the statements they chose. Look for commonalities and differences among people’s lists. Discuss the causes for the similarities and differences. Discuss the conditions under which these opportunities should be provided to all students or to some students. Explanation: The Parallel Curriculum Model is designed to provide all of the opportunities listed on this slide. Different parallels within the model emphasize different kinds of learning opportunities. Used together, the four parallels of the PCM offer a comprehensive approach for designing qualitatively differentiated curriculum for all learners. 6

7 Theoretical Underpinnings of the Parallel Curriculum Model
Curriculum design should….. Respect the unique characteristics of the learner; Be organized around the structure of knowledge; Reflect content selection and procedures that will help maximize the transfer of knowledge, understanding, and skill; Select content (representative topics) that best represent the essential structure of the discipline; and Place a premium on the development of process skills, the appropriate use of methodology within content fields, and consider goals or outcomes in terms of concrete and abstract products. Explanation: Delineating the underpinnings for a theory of qualitatively differentiated curriculum is a challenging task. First and foremost, the theory must be able to show how curriculum for advanced students extends beyond what constitutes appropriate curriculum for all students. Next, the theory needs to take into account differences between two general types of curriculum: required or prescribed curriculum and curriculum that has its roots in the interests and learning preferences of students. Finally, a theory that supports differentiated curriculum for gifted learners should provide authors of curriculum with enough guidance to help ensure that materials, tasks, and products exemplify the principles around which the theory has been developed. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Read pages 5-12 to develop an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of a theory of qualitatively differentiated curriculum. Discuss and reflect on the following questions: How and why curriculum should respect the unique characteristics of the learner? How does knowing about the theories of knowledge and levels of knowledge assist us in writing effective curriculum that provides for ongoing levels of challenge? What are representative topics? In what ways can they illuminate a discipline? How can we help to ensure authenticity in curriculum? 7

8 Effective Curriculum for All Learners
Has a clear focus on the essential facts, understandings, and skills that professionals in that discipline value most Provide opportunities for students to develop in-depth understanding Is organized to ensure that all student tasks are aligned with the goals of in-depth understanding Is coherent (organized, unified, sensible) to the student Is mentally and affectively engaging to the learner Recognizes and supports the need of each learner to make sense of ideas and information, reconstructing older understandings with new ones Is joyful-or at least satisfying Provides choices for the learner Allows meaningful collaboration Explanation: High quality curriculum and instruction for all learners should include the elements that are bulleted on the slide. Coupled with the theoretical underpinnings, this list delineates the best of what we currently know about curriculum and instruction. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: (For this activity, use this slide and the next one.) Reflect on those bulleted points that you already consider when designing curricular units. Which of the bulleted points are those that have caused you to pause or rethink? What would you need to know or be able to do in order to use this element effectively when designing curriculum? Debriefing: Each of the elements represents recommendations for educators to be aware of when planning effective curriculum. Being aware of what we do and what we don’t do gives rise to new professional growth opportunities. The Parallel Curriculum Model and its four parallels helps curriculum writers consider how to think carefully about each of these elements. 8

9 Effective Curriculum for All Learners
Is focused on products (sometimes students make or do) that matter to students Connects with students’ lives and worlds Is fresh and surprising Seems real, purposeful, useful to students Is rich Deals with profound ideas Calls on students to use what they learn in interesting and important ways Aids students in developing a fruitful consciousness of their thinking Helps learners monitor and adapt their ways of working to ensure competent approaches to problem solving Involves students in setting goals for their learning and assessing their progress toward those goals Stretches the student Explanation: See notes on previous slide. 9

10 Ascending Levels of Demand
Ascending levels of intellectual demand is the process that escalates one or more facets of the curriculum in order to match a learner’s profile and provide appropriate challenge and pacing. Prior knowledge and opportunities, existing scheme, and cognitive abilities are major attributes of a learner’s profile. Teachers reconfigure one or more curriculum components in order to ensure that students are working in their zone of optimal development. Explanation: While a vast majority of learners benefit from curriculum and instruction characterized in the previous slides, it is also the case that learners vary in their cognitive development as well as in interests and preferred learning modes. Students learn best when curriculum and instruction are congruent with that learner’s particular needs. Thus, while most, if not all, learners share a common need for high-level, meaning-focused curriculum and instruction, there will be variance in how students should encounter and interact with the curriculum. As students become more advanced in their knowledge, understanding, and skill in a domain, the challenge level of materials and tasks will necessitate escalation. In the Parallel Curriculum Model, we call this match between the learner and curriculum “ascending intellectual demand.” This model suggests that most, if not all, learners should work consistently with concept-focused curriculum, tasks that call for high level thought, and products that ask students to extend and use what they have learned in meaningful ways. As a student becomes more advanced, task “demand” will need to escalate to ensure ongoing challenge for that learner and to ensure continual progress toward expertise. One premise of the Parallel Curriculum Model is that students of a given age will exhibit development along a continuum of knowledge and skill in a given area, with some students far advanced beyond grade level or age expectation, some moderately or slightly advanced, and some in the general range/age expectations, and some slightly, moderately, or acutely behind those expectations. The second premise of the model is that by offering each learner the richest possible curriculum and instruction at a level of demand appropriate for the learner, we assist each learner in developing to his or her maximum capacity. 10

11 Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand Take Into Consideration Students’ …….
Cognitive abilities Prior knowledge Schema Opportunities to learn Learning rate Developmental differences Levels of abstraction Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Make a three-column chart with the slide bullets listed in the left-hand column. In the second column, generate how each of these behaviors and abilities might pose a challenge for teachers as they plan curriculum and instruction, and in the third column brainstorm strategies for attending to these differences. Explanation: Complex as it is to know, appreciate, and respond to all learners, doing so is an imperative in teaching. Teachers who continuously strive to be reflective, respectful, and responsive, who support their students in developing those same traits, and who constantly assess the impact of environment, curriculum and instruction are far more likely to make a major, positive impact on the learning and lives of their students than are teachers who undervalue any of these factors. The Parallel Curriculum Model recognizes the fact that students differ in many ways and offer plans for how to address differences within each of the parallels. 11

12 Why Provide Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand?
To honor differences among students To address varying levels of prior knowledge, varying opportunities, and cognitive abilities To ensure optimal levels of academic achievement To support continuous learning To ensure intrinsic motivation To provide appropriate levels of challenge Explanation: The Parallel Curriculum Model offers, within each parallel, strategies and recommendations for ascending the levels of intellectual demand in a unit. The recommendations offered in each parallel help educators to address the following points on the slide. 12

13 Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand
Vary the depth Adjust the abstraction Change the complexity Make contexts and examples more or less novel or familiar Adjust the pace Use more/less advanced materials and text Provide more/less scaffolding Provide frequent/intermittent feedback Provide/let students infer related strategies Infer concepts from applications and problem solving Provide more/fewer examples Be more/less explicit/inductive Provide simpler/more complex problems and applications Vary the sophistication level Provide lengthier/briefer texts Provide more/less text support Require more/less independence or collaboration Require more/less evidence Ask for/provide analogies Teach to concepts before/after examples Teach principles before/after examples or concepts Explanation: This slide includes a list of possible ways to “ascend the level of intellectual demand” within a unit of study. When we consider that curriculum is designed around content, process, and product, it is easy to brainstorm ideas for escalating each of these features. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone: (Work in teams of 2-3 or individually.) For this activity, you need to recall the story, The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson, which is a literary selection often read by elementary students. Let’s also assume your students are second graders. First, select three-four strategies listed above on the list and apply it in designing a task using The Ugly Duckling story. For example, let’s say that you choose the following strategies: changing the complexity, use more/less advanced materials and text, and ask for/provide analogies. You must ask yourself, “What type of task could I create that asks students to deal with more complex issues in the story, The Ugly Duckling? What other texts might I have some students read to make comparisons and identify connections between the themes that are identified in The Ugly Duckling and those of the other texts? Can I have the students generate analogies that compare similar experiences in their own lives to those read in the story? Now that you have selected from the list above, generate a series of tasks that would be challenging and typically not offered to most second graders. Debriefing: Share the curricular tasks that each group generated. Discuss how the tasks differ and how they respond to the needs of students who vary experientially and cognitively from their peers. 13

14 Guiding Questions that Support the Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand
What are the powerful differences among my students’ levels of prior knowledge, cognitive ability, and rates of learning? Which students require greater or lesser degrees of depth, abstraction, and sophistication with regard to this unit, lesson, or task? How might I design lessons and activities that provide varied levels of scaffolding, support, and challenge? Which content, teaching or learning activities, resources or products support varying levels of prior knowledge and cognitive ability within this unit, lesson, or task? How might I assess students’ growth when many of them possess varying levels of abstraction and prior knowledge? Explanation: In designing curriculum that supports the ascending levels of intellectual demand, a teacher is required to carefully consider the questions posed on the slide. The answers to these questions help teachers plan the approaches they will use to construct learning experiences that attend to the various differences that exist among their students. These questions need to be addressed continuously throughout the instructional unit. Prior to developing a unit of instruction, teachers must consider how students varying in accordance with the curriculum that is taught in order to provide challenging learning experiences appropriately matched to student needs. 14

15 What is the Parallel Curriculum Model?
The Parallel Curriculum Model is a set of four interrelated designs that can be used singly, or in combination, to create or revise existing curriculum units, lessons, or tasks. Each of the four parallels offers a unique approach for organizing content, teaching, and learning that is closely aligned to the special purpose of each parallel. Explanation: The Parallel Curriculum Model proposes the possibility of developing appropriately challenging curriculum using one, two, three, or four parallel ways of thinking about course content. The term “parallel” indicates several formats through which educators can approach curriculum design in the same subject or discipline. “Parallel” should not be taken to mean that the formats or approaches must remain separate and distinct in planning or in classroom use. The model does not purport to be a recipe, and it cannot be prescriptive. It is important to also note that the parallel curricula described in the Parallel Curriculum Model can be used in any order. In addition, it is important to recall that the parallels can be used singly or in combination. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Turn to Figure 2.1 on page 18 of the PCM book. Read the definitions for each parallel and discuss the differences between each parallel’s definition and purpose. Discuss how a unit might be approached using one or more of these parallels. Think of curriculum that you have designed that attempted to achieve the purpose of one or more of these parallels. Share your examples. This module will provide only an overview of each of the parallels. Time should be provided for reading the description of each of these parallels as outlined in chapter 2. 15

16 Why Four Parallels? Qualitatively differentiated curriculum isn’t achieved by doing only one thing or one kind of thing. Students are different. Students have different needs at different times in their lives. Parallels can be used singly or in combination. Explanation: The four parallels help to organize our thoughts regarding content selection, developing expertise in a subject area or discipline, varying levels of cognitive readiness, and learning preferences (including style and interest). Collectively viewed, the four parallels provide educators with a framework for developing comprehensive curriculum while attending to all these issues. 16

17 So, how does PCM provide qualitatively differentiated curriculum?
Opportunities to learn the core knowledge (enduring facts, concepts, principles, and skills) within a discipline Opportunities to learn about the numerous relationships and connections that exist across topics, disciplines, events, time, and cultures Explanation: The organization of the PCM addresses the importance of providing qualitatively differentiated curriculum and respects the curricular principles that have been discussed thus far in the previous slides. All curriculum takes its basic definition and purpose from what the Parallel Curriculum Models called the Core Curriculum because this parallel reflects the essential nature of a discipline as experts in that discipline conceive and practice the discipline. The second parallel, the Curriculum of Connection,s expands on the Core Curriculum by guiding students to make connections within or across disciplines, times, cultures or places, people or some combination of these elements. A third parallel, the Curriculum of Practice, guides learners in understanding and applying the facts, concepts, and principles, and methodologies of the discipline in ways that encourage student growth toward expertise in the discipline. The fourth and final parallel, the Curriculum of Identify, guides students in coming to understand their own strengths, preferences, values, and commitment by reflecting on their own development through the lens of contributors and professionals in a field of study. The Parallel Curriculum Model assumes that teachers may create appropriately challenging curriculum by using any one parallel (at appropriate levels of intellectual demand) or a combination of the parallels (at appropriate levels of intellectual demand) as a framework for thinking about and planning curriculum. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone: Read pages to acquire knowledge on the differences among the four parallels. Create a graphic organizer that would organize your understanding of the definitions and purposes of each parallel. Additionally, include an example of a curricular idea using each parallel on your graphic organizer. Opportunities to transfer and apply knowledge using the tools and methods of the scholar, researcher, and practitioner Opportunities for students to develop intrapersonal qualities and develop their affinities within and across disciplines 17

18 The Parallel Curriculum: Four Facets of Qualitatively Differentiated Curriculum
Core: The essential nature of a discipline Connections: The relationships among knowledge Practice: The applications of facts, concepts, principles, skills, and methods as scholars, researchers, developers, or practitioners Identity: Developing students’ interests and expertise, strengths, values, and character Explanation: The four parallels are summarized in a single phrase in this slide. A curriculum writer may choose to focus on one or more of the parallels to construct a curriculum unit depending on the purpose of the unit. 18

19 What are the purposes for the Parallel Curriculum Model?
Provides teachers with a comprehensive framework with which they can design, evaluate, and revise existing curriculum Improves the quality of the curriculum units, lessons, and tasks Enhances the alignment among the general, gifted, and special education curricula Increases the authenticity and power of the knowledge students acquire and their related learning activities Provides opportunities for continuous professional, intellectual, and personal growth Offers teachers the flexibility to achieve multiple purposes Reinforces the need to think deeply about learners and content knowledge Uses high quality curriculum as a catalyst for observing and developing abilities in learners Allows flexibility to address varying needs and interests of learners Explanation: The purposes for the Parallel Curriculum Model can be best summarized by reading this list. It is a model that respects the curricular contributions of the past, recognizes that learners vary in different ways that will affect how they find meaning in the curriculum that is offered to them, and believes that there are several formats (parallels) through which educators can approach curriculum design depending on his/her purpose and after a careful reflection about students’ needs. 19

20 Your Questions and Concerns
Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Stop and consider what you now understand about the Parallel Curriculum Model. Make a list of insights you have gained. What questions do you still have? 20

21 What is curriculum? Curriculum is a design PLAN that fosters the purposeful, proactive organization, management and assessment of interactions among the teacher, the learners, and the content knowledge we want students to acquire. Explanation: Educators are faced with many decisions as they write or remodel units of instruction for their students. A plan that guides this decision making process should include those that encourage us to consider how we will organize, manage, and assess the interactions among the teacher, the learners, and the content knowledge we want students to acquire. Workshop Leader Activity: In small groups, generate the types of decisions that have to be made when writing or remodeling curriculum. Brainstorm this list and then with your group, categorize and label these decisions. Allow minutes. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Consider all the types of decisions you have to make when designing or remodeling curriculum for your students and record these decisions on a piece of paper. Take this list and categorize your decisions under larger headings. Compare your list to the ten components that have been identified on the next slide. Debriefing: Share the list of categories generated in each group. Compare this list with the components that have been identified on the next slide. Discussion: Discuss the importance of having a design plan in mind when developing instructional units. What are the pros and cons of using a design plan? Why might this be difficult to use? How might it be useful? 21

22 What are the ten components of a comprehensive curriculum unit, lesson, or task?
Content Assessment Introduction Teaching Strategies Learning Activities Grouping Strategies Products Resources Extension Activities Modification (Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand) Explanation: These elements are likely to be part of planning high-quality curriculum. These elements represent our current professional understanding of what it means to plan well so that students can learn well. In some cases a teacher may have legitimate reasons not to attend to one or more of the elements we propose here. There may be instances in which teachers would add elements to the ones we’ve chosen to present. Further, the planning process may not always follow a linear process. That is, a teacher may not begin by thinking about content or standards, move directly to thinking about an assessment plan, select an introductory activity, and so on. Early planning may actually begin with an idea for a powerful student product or by examining available resources for the unit. Our goal of generating these ten components is not to restrict or prescribe teaching planning but, rather, to prompt reflection on those elements which, used in concert and with finesse, can strengthen what and how we teach, with the goal of strengthening student learning. Workshop Leader Activity: Divide your group into teams. Provide each team with one or more index cards that have one of the ten components written on it. Their task is to provide a definition that helps us to understand the importance of this component and to identify what considerations should be made when planning for this component within a unit of instruction. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Reflect on why careful consideration of these ten components would strengthen student learning. Begin to ask yourself: “How can the products that I ask from the students demonstrate understanding of the content? How can these products be used to assess student learning?” “How will I ascend the levels of intellectual demand for some of my students and how will these changes impact the types of grouping strategies that I will use in my classroom?” This type of metacognitive thinking about the ten components is necessary as you design curriculum using the four parallels. Debriefing: Have one member from each group share their definitions and considerations and discuss with the group how each of these components help us to design curriculum that is comprehensive and reflective of student differences. 22

23 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Exemplary standards incorporate “big ideas,” enduring understandings, and skills of a discipline. Additionally, they provide clarity, power, and authenticity for teachers and students. Content is what we want students to know, understand, and do as a result of our curriculum and instruction. Standards are broad statements about what grade-level students should know and be able to do. Content (Standards) Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Compare the participants’ ideas with the definitions and exemplary characteristics that have been listed on the charts. Emphasize that content emerges from variety of sources. Certainly content arises, to some degree, from a teacher’s growing comfort with and expertise in a domain. When we understand a field deeply and richly, we know what matters most in it! There is no substitute for a teacher’s developing expertise in subject matter that he/she teaches. In addition, content may be spelled out in district curriculum plans and documents in the form of learning objectives, benchmarks, goals, or learner outcomes. Documents containing a list of state standards that identify the content knowledge, understanding, and skills that students will master at various grade levels are another source for curricular content. Certainly, textbooks also play a role in determining the content of the curriculum. In general, the most effective standards documents are those that help teachers focus on the essential structure of a discipline and the “big ideas” within that discipline that give the particular discipline its power and authenticity. When teachers are provided with these content standards and guidelines, it is critical for the teacher to determine the degree to which the content recommendations seem comprehensive (vs. a disjointed series of facts and skills), coherent (each portion flows from previous portions), authentic (characteristic of content used by a professional in the domain), and relevant (evident in its usefulness to students). Content is the most important of the key features of a curriculum plan because it provides teachers with a clear understanding of what students are supposed to know, understand, and be able to do as a result of their participation in a lesson, unit, or course of study. Without clear content, a unit dissolves quickly into a collection of disjointed activities unlikely to support meaningful learning. Effective content delineates a learning sequence that fosters development of ascending levels of expertise as students progress through the grades. Workshop Leader Activity: Have the participants discuss their experiences in trying to make sense out of their standards. Ask them how they interpret their district or state standards and how this compares with what you have explained. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Compare your reflections with those listed on the next series of slides. How does your thinking compare with that listed on the slides? What new insights have emerged in your thinking about the content? 23

24 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Well-designed assessments are diagnostic, aligned with the learning goals, and provide a high ceiling, as well as a low baseline, to ensure that all students’ learning can be measured. They are used before, during, and after instruction. High-quality assessments inform instruction. Assessments are varied tools and techniques teachers use to determine the extent to which students have mastery of learning goals. Assessments Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Effective standards documents also contain information that helps teachers align content standards with appropriate assessment strategies and criteria formats ensuring student growth over time. Assessment tasks determine the extent to which students have acquired the knowledge, understanding, and/or skills embedded within a performance standard or content goal. These tasks provide tangible evidence of student understanding and growth before, during, and at the end of a segment of instruction. Therefore, assessment should be varied. Preassessment data allow a teacher to know how much content students know at the outset of a unit so that the teacher can make appropriate lesson plan adjustments. Little useful learning occurs when a teacher “teaches” something to a student that the student already knows. Likewise, a student generally cannot learn what a teacher teaches if that student has significant learning gaps in background knowledge, understanding, and/or skill. Used effectively, preassessment encourages teachers to expand beyond the one-size-fits-all instruction. The key to designing an assessment is to align the activity and performance task with the knowledge, understandings, skills that a teacher has identified as his/her achievement targets for the instructional unit. Assessment should reflect a student’s accurate understanding not only of the major concepts covered in a curriculum lesson or unit, but also of the relationships between and among them. Workshop Leader Activity: Ask participants to generate a sample of assessment formats that can be used to access each of these categories (facts, concepts, enduring understandings, skills, and dispositions). Discuss how different formats yield different evidence of a student’s understanding of content. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Take your state standards document and select a particular content area to view, such as mathematics. Underline the types of performance levels that will be required from the students in your particular grade level. Is there an emphasis on factual knowledge, performances or processes that must be demonstrated, or major concepts to be explained, carried out, or performed? Identification of the types of performances required from students can assist you in aligning your learning activities within an instructional unit to your assessment. You may also find that your assessment design will require students to develop deeper understandings of the major concepts covered within the instructional unit. 24

25 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
A high quality introduction will include all six elements, as well as an advance organizer that provides students with information that they can use to help assess their acquisition of the unit’s learning goals. An introduction sets the stage for a unit. Components may include: (1) a focusing question, (2) a needs assessment to determine students’ prior knowledge,interests, and learning preferences (3) a teaser or “hook” to motivate students’ (4) information about the relevance of the goals and unit expectations, (5) information about expectations for students, and (6) consideration of students’ interests in or experiences that connect with the unit topic. Introductory Activities Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Introductory activities are created by the teacher and offered to students in order to acquaint them with the new curriculum content, and teacher expectations for students’ work and production during the unit. The activities should motivate and orient students to what lies ahead. Introductory activities that are created in this fashion are very different from the traditional one-sentence introductions such as “Please open your books to page 23). Some suggestions for creating well-designed introductions include: (1) Provide a focusing question derived from a standard or overarching principle embedded within a unit to promote curiosity in students and help teachers and students maintain a focus on meaning that is central to the unit. Focusing questions for a unit on the Civil War might be: What causes conflict? How does conflict lead to change? or Is conflict always a bad thing? (2) Include a “ teaser or “hook.” It can be motivating to students and may point to the relevance of upcoming content. A microbiologist can be invited into a classroom to discuss how they study bacteria. Additionally, demonstrations that spark students’ curiosity about the unit’s concepts may be used. (3) Begin by assisting students activate their prior knowledge. In the process, students attach their own past knowledge, experience, interests, and/or strengths to the new content. (4) Provide a graphic organizer. For example, a concept map of ideas in the unit can be given to students to help them to understand the purpose of the unit, the direction it will take, and expectations for high-quality work during the unit. Workshop Leader Activity: Divide into teams of 3. Each team member is to share one strategy they use for introductory activities. Ask them to discuss how this introductory activity motivates, orients, and acquaints students to the unit’s content or learning expectations. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Think about a unit of instruction that you have taught before. What kind of teaser or “hook” could be used as a motivational device to demonstrate or illustrate personal relevance of the topic to your students’ lives? Now, generate an essential question(s) that could be posed to your students. Essential questions should promote curiosity in students and help teachers and students focus on the “meaning” that is central to the unit. 25

26 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Beneficial teaching methods are closely aligned to learning goals, varied, promote student involvement, and provide support, feedback, and scaffolding for learners. Teaching strategies are methods teachers use to introduce, explain, demonstrate, model, coach, guide, transfer, or assess in the classroom. Teaching Strategies Explanation: (Highlight these important points) One of the most important tasks in designing curriculum is the selection of teaching activities, sometimes referred to as methods or pedagogy. Teaching strategies or techniques are methods that educators use to instruct students or connect them with the content. These strategies forward the learning goals within a curriculum unit and place the teacher in the role of facilitator, trainer, coach, or model of learning. There are many strategies that are more teacher centered and require less student inquiry or independence, while other strategies are more student centered and require more inference and independence on the part of students. No matter which teaching strategy is used, a teacher must adjust the level of teacher support, scaffolding, and coaching for various students, depending on factors like complexity of content, student familiarity with the strategy, and student independence in thought and work. Teacher comfort and competence with each method is valuable, but more valuable is a teacher’s ability to match the instructional technique with learning goals and to provide structure, guidance, and support for student success. Workshop Leader Activity: Using the next three slides, ask participants to explain the strategy, determine when it would be appropriate to use this strategy in instruction, and consider why it might be beneficial to use during the teaching of an instructional unit. Share these discussions in small groups and then discuss this as a whole group. Have participants generate other instructional strategies that they are familiar with to add to the list. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Use the next three slides and determine when and why it would be important to use each of the teaching strategies in your instructional unit. What other teaching strategies could you add to the list? Debriefing: When we give consideration to the teaching strategies that we use for instruction, we ensure that there is alignment between our techniques and our learning goals. Our selection of teaching strategies should be purposeful 26

27 Selected Teaching Strategies
Accuracy and speed in student’s recall of factual-level information A teaching strategy that helps students memorize and recall information with accuracy and speed. Drill and Recitation Efficient and equitable knowledge acquisition A method of teaching that consists of a teacher’s systematic explanation of a new concept or skill followed by guided practice under a teacher’s guidance. Direct Instruction Effective, short-term acquisition of new content knowledge A deductive strategy that consists of a carefully sequenced, illustrated oral presentation of content that is delivered to small and large groups of students; an oral presentation interspersed with opportunities for reflection, clarification, and sense making. Lecture Benefit Definition Teaching Method Explanation: These are only a few of the teaching strategies used during the teaching-learning process. There are many to consider (refer to pages of the PCM book). It may be important to discuss the roles that teachers and students will play when certain teaching strategies are used to promote learning. Consider, for example, this inquiry: “If a teacher decides to use lecture as part of her/his instruction, what would he/she want to consider when planning the learning activity to ensure that students are processing the information being delivered?” 27

28 Selected Teaching Strategies
Acquisition of content related to social issues; enhanced ability to think issues through logically An instructional strategy in which the teacher poses a carefully constructed sequence of questions to students to help them improve their position on an issue; can be used as a technique to bridge students’ current level of understanding with new knowledge that students need to acquire. Socratic Questioning Increased likelihood that concepts and principles induced from the simulation will be transferred and applied to the real world An inductive teaching method in which students assume roles of people engaged in complex, real-life situations. Simulation Acquisition of new categories, concepts, and macro concepts (e.g., vegetable, adjective, tragic hero, compromise) A method teachers use to help students understand the essential attributes of a category or concept; to achieve this goal, the teacher systematically leads students through a controlled discussion during which students compare and contrast characteristics of examples and non-examples of the category or concept. Concept Attainment Benefit Definition Teaching Method Explanation: These are only a few of the teaching strategies used during the teaching-learning process. There are many to consider. It may be important to discuss the roles that teachers and students will play when certain teaching strategies are used to promote learning. Consider, for example, this inquiry: “If a teacher decides to use Socratic questioning as part of her/his instruction, how would he/she prepare students for becoming involved with this type of dialogue?” 28

29 Selected Teaching Strategies
Acquisition of new knowledge, concepts, and principles; enhanced problem-solving ability An inductive teaching method in which the teacher presents an ill-structured, novel, and complex problem for students to investigate and solve collaboratively with teacher guidance and coaching. Problem-Solving and Problem-Based Learning Enhanced motivation, content area knowledge, and methodological skills An instructional strategy in which the teacher encourages individuals or small groups of students to explore self-selected areas of study. Independent Study Increased self-awareness; awareness of different points of view; enhanced curiosity; increased understanding of concepts and principles; enhanced ability to solve problems An inductive teaching strategy in which the teacher poses a task, problem, or intriguing situation, while students explore the situation across small changes in the data set, and generate insights about the problem and/or solutions. Inquiry-Based Instruction Benefit Definition Teaching Method Explanation: These are only a few of the teaching strategies used during the teaching-learning process. There are many to consider. It may be important to discuss the roles that teachers and students will play when certain teaching strategies are used to promote learning. Consider, for example, this inquiry: “If a teacher decides to use inquiry-based instruction as part of her/his instruction, how would he/she help students manage the process?” Continue with this type of thinking for each instructional strategy…”If I use _____, how will I _______?” 29

30 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Effective learning activities are aligned with the learning goals and efficiently foster cognitive engagement (i.e., analysis, critical, practical, and creative thinking) integrated with the learning goal. A unit’s learning activities are those cognitive experiences that help students perceive, process, rehearse, store, and transfer knowledge, understanding, and skills. Learning Activities Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Learning activities are the tasks that we design for students to develop the knowledge, understandings, and skills specified in the content goals. They should help students perceive, process, rehearse, store and transfer new information and skill. Learning that results in deep understanding requires activities that call on students to “grapple” with the new information and the disciplinary understandings that have come to form the foundation of the instructional unit. Analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills require students to “do something” with the new information. When students are required to use and process information, make new connections, and transfer this information into new situations, they have to perceive it and manage it mentally. As with the case with high-quality teaching methods, high-quality learning activities are aligned with content goals and teaching methods. They must link to students’ prior knowledge and help the students to “make meaning” of the knowledge, understandings, and skills that have been identified. Workshop Leader Activity/ If You Are Working Alone Activity: Use Figure 3.8 from the PCM book to explore how these thinking skills help to design instructional learning activities. Discuss how each of these skills can be used to process information in any of the disciplines. Consider, for example, the following essential understanding: Living organisms live interdependently with their environment. What task and accompanying learning activity would help students “make sense” of the essential understanding? Discuss how this learning task can be connected to a lesson that has students explore how characters in a story are shaped by their environments. Debriefing: Ask teachers if they have ever developed student activities that they thought would help students come to understand content, but actually created misunderstanding of the content. Discussion: Provide a personal story of a time when your learning activity actually did the opposite of what you hoped it would do because the task was not aligned to the content goals. 30

31 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Well-designed grouping strategies are aligned with the learning goals. Effective grouping strategies are varied and change frequently to accommodate students’ interests, questions, learning preferences, prior knowledge, or learning rate and zone of proximal development. Group membership changes frequently based upon learning goals and assessment of student learning. Assessments are varied tools and techniques teachers use to determine the extent to which students have mastery of learning goals. Grouping Strategies Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Grouping strategies enable teachers to arrange students in configurations most likely to enhance the acquisition of content and skills. A wide variety of grouping strategies should be used during the teaching of an instructional unit. Students should see themselves as members of many different groups, some based on interest, style preferences, and readiness levels. At times, it makes sense for a whole class to work as a unit. At other times, it is wise for students to work alone. Often, it makes sense for small groups of students to work together on part or, not all of a task based on readiness levels. On other occasions, a teacher will purposefully construct groups in which students bring to the group differing readiness levels, interests, or approaches to learning. Decisions about grouping should be based on content goals and the needs of students and should include both the directions and support necessary to ensure that students know how to work successfully in the particular group. Workshop Leader Activity: Ask participants to generate a list of different grouping arrangements that they have used. Have them record these on paper and beside each one ask them to identify what they had to do in order to use this grouping strategy effectively. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Do an audit check on yourself by considering how many different groups do your students participant in during the day. How do you prepare your students for group work? What effective strategies have you used? What kind of room arrangements are possible in your classroom? How do you explain your grouping patterns to your students? Discussion: In order to assist students in getting into assigned groups, we watched a classroom teacher visually diagram the four different room arrangements that she would use to group her students. The four arrangements were memorized by her students so that they knew exactly how to arrange their desks based on the type of grouping pattern the teacher requested. Discuss other strategies that are effective in helping students work in group settings. 31

32 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Powerful products are authentic, equitable, respectful, efficient, aligned to standards and diagnostic. Products are performances or work samples created by students that provide evidence of student understanding and learning. Products can represent daily or short-term student learning, or can provide longer-term culminating evidence of student knowledge, understanding, and skill. High-quality products often double as assessment tools. Products Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Products produce tangible evidence of student learning. On the other hand, products are can also be part of a learning activity. Thus products are strongly linked to learning activities, content, and assessment. Products should be used to measure student growth over time, to monitor and adjust instruction in order to promote student success, and as a basis for evaluating how well students can explain, interpret, apply, and transfer the essential content that has been identified in the unit. Products can take many forms: tests, worksheets, journals, performances, problem solving solutions, explanations, reflections and many others. Exemplary products are aligned to content goals, authentic, equitable, and diagnostic. Prior to the development of a product, students should have clear expectations for the knowledge and understanding that must be represented in the product, skills that must be used in completing the product, and habits of work that they should use to complete the product. Workshop Leader Activity/If You Are Working Alone Activity: Generate a list of products that would be created by practitioners in various disciplines. Consider what products a mathematician, historian, musician, biologist, etc., would create. Compare this list to the product list on page 62 of the PCM book. How do your lists and the lists on page 62 compare/contrast with the products that are traditionally produced by students? 32

33 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Exemplary resources are varied in format and link closely to the learning goals, students’ reading and comprehension levels, and learning preferences. Resources are materials that support learning during the teaching and learning activities. These resources will be varied to accommodate student differences, learning preferences, and interests. Resources should include print and non print sources, and human resources. Resources Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Resources represent sources of knowledge that students and teachers will use to interact with the content goals. Efforts should be made to collect resources that provoke thinking and promote clarity of understanding about content goals. Teachers should consider using print (i.e., biographies, poems, fiction, maps, charts, primary and secondary sources, etc.), non-print (i.e., paintings, photographs, experiments, events, videos, equipment, music, etc.), and human (content-area experts, older students, parents, community members, university personnel, business personnel, etc.) resources to help students interact with the content goals in many ways. It is important for a teacher to also select a variety of resources that can be used by students with varying readiness levels. Appropriate resources that meet student interests, preferences, and readiness levels help to ensure that all students have materials that they can use to help support their learning. Workshop Leader Activity: Ask participants to share how they have used community members or experts as a resource. How have they identified these people? What have they asked them to do? How have they organized the use of community members? How have they found interesting experts who are willing to assist students in their learning? If You Are Working Alone Activity: When selecting the resources for your instructional unit, it is often effective to consider the names of practicing professionals who could speak to your students about the topic or to help you teach a methodological skill that you are unfamiliar with (i.e., knowing how to photograph stars). Make a list of these content specialists or experts in your community that might be be used as a resource to you and your students. 33

34 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Powerful extension activities provide for student choice. They relate in some way to the content/standards, are open-ended, authentic, and generate excitement for and investment in learning. Extension activities are preplanned or serendipitous experiences that emerge from learning goals and students’ interests. Extension Activities Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) Extension activities are preplanned or serendipitous experiences that teachers orchestrate for individuals, small groups, or the entire class and that expand the basic unit plans. They emerge from the unit’s content goals as well as students’ interests and questions. Extensions can occur at any time during a unit. They may be of short duration, or may require more extensive time. For example, a teacher who was working on a unit that includes exploration of genetics and DNA found a “webquest” on the Internet that extended her unit of study and asked students to play the role of legislators in passing a law that would permit cloning. To use this resource in her instructional unit, she decided that she would have the students work on this activity during “Center Time” to help students apply what they had come to understand about genetics and DNA when considering the social and ethical implications of this knowledge. Extension activities can be used to promote the transfer and application of content goals to real world contexts and problems, to blend students’ interests and areas of expertise with content goals, and to connect content goals in one discipline to other disciplines or to other topics. Workshop Leader Activity: Hang chart paper on the wall and have teams of five teachers move around the room generating solutions to the following problems that are posted on the chart: Where can you find extensions that can be used? How might a teacher organize these extensions for students? If the extensions are to be used at a learning center, how could they be organized? What makes an extension interesting to the students? If You Are Working Alone Activity: Take the topic of a unit that you teach and then go to the Internet and run a random search of areas that are related to your topic. This is an interesting way to identify other extension activities that you may not have considered. Often you will find connections to related topics that are natural extensions for your students. I like to take my unit topic and place it in a “Google” search box and add the word webquest to see what interesting investigations other teachers have created using the Webquest format. To try this, type in the Google search engine address (http://www.google.com) and in the search box enter something like “Civil War webquest” and click the search button. The investigations that surface often provide wonderful extensions to your instructional unit. 34

35 Key Components of Comprehensive Curriculum
Well-designed modification strategies are closely aligned with the learning goals and students’ interests, questions, preferred learning modes, product preferences, prior knowledge and/or learning rate. Teachers can enhance learning by optimizing the match between the curriculum and students’ unique learning needs. One kind of modification represented in the Parallel Curriculum Model is referred to as “Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand.” Modifications for Learner Need (Ascending the Level of Intellectual Demand) Exemplary Characteristics Definition Curricular Component Explanation: (Highlight these important points) The most effective modifications in response to learner need are proactive rather than reactive on the part of the teacher. That is, the teacher assesses and observes students to understand as fully as possible their readiness of current curriculum goals, their interests, how they learn best, their sense of self-efficacy, and their motivational patterns. Preassessment tools, classroom discussions, student products, and day-to-day interactions among students are several ways that teachers find out how to make modifications for students and to develop more than one path to the critical learning goals of the instructional unit. Teachers adapt one or several of the components of instruction to accommodate the differences identified as potentially significant in student learning and may include: learning goals, learning materials, methods of assessment, teaching methods, learning activities, grouping strategies, products, rubrics, resources, coaching or scaffolding, pacing, working arrangements, and extension activities. The goal is to modify those curricular elements that encourage each student to learn as much as possible and as efficiently and effectively as possible. The concept of “Ascending Levels of Intellectual Demand” in the Parallel Curriculum Model is one type of modification based on learner need. It suggests the importance of a teacher monitoring the sophistication of a student’s knowledge, understanding, and skill as it inevitably develops along a continuum of knowledge, understanding, and skill from fledgling or novice to expert. The goal is to increase the intellectual demand in how the student works with the curriculum. The intent is to ensure continual learner challenge and growth. Workshop Leader Activity: Divide your group into base teams of 4. Assign 3 of the components (learning goals, learning materials, methods of assessment, teaching methods, learning activities, grouping strategies, products, rubrics, resources, coaching or scaffolding, pacing , working arrangements, and extension activities) to each member of the group. Group members that have the first three components are to get together with each other to generate how modifications can be made to these components and to record them on charts. Ask those who have components 4-6, and 7-9, and to do the same thing. Upon completion, each member is to return to their base group and share the suggestions that their group generated. If You Are Working Alone Activity: Consider how a teacher would ascend the level of intellectual demand in a unit of study. Generate a list of how to do this and then compare your list with that generated on page 12 of the PCM book. Now, consider what you would do if you did not have this expertise in a particular topic. What would you do? 35


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