Curriculum Conversation

Conversation Assignment : New Curriculum vs. Old Curriculum

  • What are the greatest benefits and challenges of teaching in the new curriculum?

Benefits:

  • The new curriculum allows different subjects to be taught together rather than separately which can be beneficial especially in Language Arts and Social Studies.
  • Open to personalization of certain units/themes.

Challenges:

  • No approved textbooks that are related to the new curriculum. Most textbooks date back to 2000-2005.
  • Time consuming to create new lessons and very few resources to accompany the new curriculum.
  • How do you know where to go in search of these resources?
  • How do we know what has been taught in previous grades?
  • How can we verify proper scaffolding has been done in earlier grades to ensure students are prepared/scaffolded adequately in order to excel in certain subjects?

What implications are there for you, as someone entering the profession during this time of transition?

  • The implication as a new teacher entering the profession is the lack of resources you will be provided as there is no previous knowledge to rely on from more experienced teachers. Also it will be difficult to know what was covered in previous years. With the old curriculum there was a scope and sequence and documents that would give teachers a better idea of what other grades are covering and therefore they will better understand what they need to teach. With the new curriculum there is no base model to refer to so in a sense it can be daunting but at the very least there is a smoother transition because you are only familiar with one curriculum and not two.

What questions/concerns do experienced teachers have about implementing the new curriculum?

  • Experienced teachers are questioning why does everything need to be changed all at once?
  • Why weren’t there small waves of changes rather than every subject all at once? Allowing time for change and adjustment would have been more inviting for experienced teachers to embrace the new curriculum.
  • What is the reasoning behind changing everything all at once? Why did assessment, reporting and curriculum all have to change at the same time?
  • Why are there no approved resources and textbooks to refer to? If it weren’t for the old textbooks she uses, she would not have anything to refer to.
  • As a new teacher, how would you know where to look to base your lessons/units off of?

What do experienced teachers want to communicate to parents about the new curriculum?

  • The teacher I spoke with said that most parents have not approached her on the subject and that the unit previews that she sends home to the students at the beginning of term are likely not being looked at thoroughly, if at all.
  • She believes that parents are involved in their students’ lives regardless of the change in curriculum and the effects of the new curriculum have not been apparent in the way parents discuss their child’s learning with her. It seems almost unnoticed.
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1 Response to Curriculum Conversation

  1. Isabeau Iqbal says:

    I think some of the most troubling questions/challenging aspects of this situation are brought up by these two questions you raised:
    “How do we know what has been taught in previous grades?
    How can we verify proper scaffolding has been done in earlier grades to ensure students are prepared/scaffolded adequately in order to excel in certain subjects?”

    I found the list of questions you relayed from the experienced teachers’ perspectives very telling.

    Thank you for these thoughts and further questions Jordan.

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