St. Ignatius

CDRP Glossary

Curriculum Design & Review Process (CDRP)

CDRP Glossary 

Goal – A goal is a general statement about what students should learn by the end of an instructional sequence or course. These should be drawn from our own mission and core values (Grad-at-Grad), and from relevant, discipline-specific professional standards (See "Standard" below.).

Enduring Understanding – These communicate the relevant goals of the course, reflecting our mission and ESLRs 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. Enduring understandings essentially anchor a course or unit and establish a rationale for it. They should answer the question, "Why is this topic worth studying?" Wiggins and McTighe offer four criteria or filters for selecting these big ideas and core processes. Samples of discipline-specific enduring understandings can be found here.

Essential Question – An essential question invites the "uncoverage" of the big ideas and core processes expressed through the enduring understandings. Essential questions have no one obvious right answer, address the philosophical or conceptual foundations of a discipline, raise other important questions across subject areas, and are framed to provoke student interest. Samples of discipline-specific essential questions can be found here.

Standard – Standards describe in general or specific terms what students should learn within a particular discipline (i.e., Science), reflecting best practices and current research in the field. Relevant content standards are typically published by states (CANY), national professional organizations (NCTENCTM), and other regional and national educational organizations (McRELISTE). 

Performance Expectations/Learning Outcomes – These are the statements that describe significant and essential learning that students have achieved and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a unit or course. They convey what students should "know and be able to do" (knowledge and skills). These knowledge and skill "expectations" are conveyed through the written curriculum template within the "Essential Knowledge" and Essential Skills" columns.

Written Curriculum – A specific, published description of a course which includes course-wide topics for enduring understanding and essential questions, as well as unit-specific descriptions of the curriculum for each unit. This description includes: (1) Enduring Understandings, (2) Essential Questions, (3) Essential Knowledge, (4) Essential Skills, and (5) Assessments. A written curriculum template can be found here.

Assessments – Any means by which we attempt to measure students' achievement of desired learning outcomes (quizzes, tests, papers, projects, oral presentations, etc.). These assessments can be either formative – to give student feedback and to "inform" instruction – or they can be summative – intended to provide a final judgement of competency in one or more areas.

Key Strategies and Resources – These are the instructional methods and materials required to implement the curriculum.

Pacing Priorities – These inform how much time a teacher spends on a particular unit, reflecting one's understanding of students' developmental needs and the kinds of learning activities necessary to help students achieve the learning outcomes/performance expectations of the unit.

Instructional Design – Refers to the day-to-day planning of learning activities and teaching methods.

Student Learning Results – These simply refer to the assessment data collected over time — quiz or test scores, rubric scores on writing assignments or projects, anecdotal evidence, etc.

Core & Bank Curriculum – To design a consistent learning experience for students and to accommodate the interests, passions, and expertise of our diverse faculty, a course should reflect a healthy balance of shared core curriculum and individual bank curriculum. Teachers of the same course should have the same course-wide enduring understandings and essential questions, and they should share an appropriate number of common units (i.e., core curriculum). Bank curriculum refers to those units of study that reflect particular teacher preferences and expertise. All units – core and bank – need to align to the course-wide enduring understandings and essential questions. 

UbD Format – This refers generally to "backward design," which means writing curriculum always "with the end in mind." It begins with [1] identifying the desired learning results, then [2] identifying acceptable evidence of the learning (assessments), and finally [3] planning learning experiences and instruction to help students achieve the desired learning results.