Extended curriculum transformation
THE 3-STEP CREATIVE CHANGE PROCESS
Our extended curriculum transformation process for school districts includes planning, professional development, classroom implementation & improvement. Key steps and questions during that process are explained below.
If your team would like to talk about other types of engagements (teacher workshops, keynote speaking, or initial curriculum consultations), reach out to us. We’d be happy to determine how we can help your district, school, or educators.
1. DISCOVERY & STRATEGIC PLANNING
1-3 days of meetings; Final plan completed within 1-3 months based on your timeframe
A strategic plan for your customized program that details achievement goals, evaluation methods, target grades/disciplines, a professional development schedule, expectations, timeframe, and budget.
How it works
We’ll conduct initial conversations with your instructional leadership team to determine where your district or school is now, and where you want to go. Together we’ll answer questions like these:
- What are your achievement goals? What do the data say?
- Is your curriculum working for all your students? How can we get more out of it?
- What is the best strategy? To reorient existing courses, create new one, or develop units across multiple courses?
- What grades will we target? What disciplines will we cover? How many teachers will we involve?
- How will we build buy in and excitement among the staff?
- What are the best ways to measure, document, and share our results to the community?
- What’s happening in the community that we can build on?
2. SUSTAINED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3-5 days of on-site training (typically in the summer) + other meetings in person and via web conferences. The curriculum redesign phase spans 4-6 months (we recommend fall semester for classroom implementation in the spring.)
With ongoing guidance provided by the Creative Change team, teachers redesign their courses and units to reinvigorate the curriculum and achieve the goals set out in the strategic plan.
How it works (or, What happens)
We deliver on-site workshops that immerse teachers in fresh, interdisciplinary content using hands-on activities that model effective practices. Teachers then determine how to reshape their own courses or units.
To help them make rich content accessible to students, we guide teachers to reframe their units and courses as stories—extended narratives in which students are characters, the community is the setting, and local and global issues form interconnected, compelling plot lines. As the story unfolds, students investigate complex questions, uncover patterns, and end the story with a project that offers real solutions for themselves and their communities.
Here are some of the questions that help teachers frame the story:
- What are your achievement goals? How will we measure success?
- What is going on in our community and world that will bring meaning to our students and help them learn to their highest potential?
- How can we connect those issues to the past, present, and future? To students’ lives and cultures?
- How can we teach students to be inquisitive, ask good questions, and be critical thinkers?
- What content do you already have? How does it smell – stale or fresh? ☺
- What materials from Creative Change’s library of resources (link to CRC) could help teachers? What new materials do we need?
This process doesn’t impose change; it helps teachers create it. We build on their expertise and work with them as professionals in a collaborative learning community. That’s why teachers love it.
3. IMPLEMENTATION, EVALUATION, COMMUNICATION & IMPROVEMENT
The new approaches are used in classrooms for at least one semester, followed by evaluation and communication of results. Evaluation, improvement, and expansion occur over the next years or more.
Students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community embrace new approaches, which continue to improve and are expand across the district.
How it works/What happens
Teachers deliver the recharged curriculum their classrooms. Because the teachers created it, they deliver the learning with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Creative Change provides ongoing support and resources via phone, webinar, and in-person meetings (when possible). Along the way, teachers and Creative Change gather data (test scores, student work, surveys, etc.), and evaluate the outcomes against initial goals. The results are documented and communicated to the district and community.
In the following year, Creative Change helps the district build capacity to expand the work to other classrooms, disciplines, grades, or schools. Lead teachers get training, support and resources to deliver professional development to other teachers. The community is kept informed of the success via media updates, events, and changes in learning outcomes. Parents are thrilled by their children’s enthusiasm for learning, not to mention improved achievement and aspirations.
The future is a story yet to be written. How can curriculum empower students to become authors of a better world? Susan Santone shares her vision.