Our written curriculum should communicate the key elements of a course of study in a clear and consistent manner. These elements should include what is "enduring" or "essential" about a course, the big ideas and questions that reside at the heart of a discipline and that students will hopefully remember and be able to use when they are years removed from our classrooms. In addition, a written curriculum ought to provide a general road map that describes how the the learning will unfold, including a description of the essential knowledge and skills to be acquired as well as the means of assessing whether the learning has occurred. Below is a template for writing and sharing our curriculum. It includes a format for communicating the big ideas of the course, as well as the units of study that comprise our students' journey into and through these ideas.
Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions
Enduring understandings communicate the relevant goals of the course, reflecting our mission and our Grad-at-Grad,as well as discipline-specific standards. They should lie at the heart of a discipline and represent the "big ideas" and core processes to be learned.Essential questionsinvite the "uncoverage" of the big ideas and core processes expressed through the enduring understandings.
A copy of the tables below are available for download in MS Word format. One is laid out horizontally, as represented below, and the other vertically. Please feel free to use whichever version you are most comfortable using.
Course-wide Enduring Understandings
Course-wide Essential Questions
Below is the format for publishing the unit-specific description of our curriculum. Two downloadable versions of this unit template in MS Word format are available — one laid out horizontally, as represented below, and the other vertically. Please use whichever template you're more comfortable using.
"Students will understand that…"
"Students will explore…"
"Students will know…"
"Students will be able to…"