What is meant by the term curriculum development? Discuss its different stages.

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Curriculum development is a broad term related to the writing of curriculum for learners, including objectives, lessons, and assessment.

Curriculum development is not a one-time thing.

The development of an effective curriculum guide is a multi-step, ongoing and cyclical process.  (CT State Department of Education, p. 1)

The process of curriculum development needs to begin with objectives.  Before developing a lesson, you need to determine what you want students to know.  The best place to begin is with your state content area standards for the subject.  You’ll also want to consider the common core standards and the TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of other Languages) standards.  (See first link)  Let’s choose a standard from the Early Advanced Proficiency Level.

Interact with increasingly complex written material while relying on context and prior knowledge to obtain meaning from print. (TESOL)

Once you have a standard, you move on to specific skills students need to know to meet the standard.  For example, kids will need to understand how to read already, but they will need to access prior knowledge.  If I was designing a lesson for this, I would take a text that was “complex” and determine what prior knowledge was needed, and then incorporate that into my lesson.

Once the lesson is designed, assessment is a key piece.  Assessment is not a one-time test.  They can be formal or informal, summative or formative.  One example of an informal assessment of prior knowledge is a KWL chart, where students write what they know, want to learn, and what they learned.  Formative assessments occur during instruction, and summative ones occur at the end of a unit of instruction.

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