Friday, February 2, 2018

6-Step Process to Designing Curriculum: Implementation (Part 5)

By Kim Miklusak

Last semester I took a Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction course at UIC. Our textbook, while a medical curriculum textbook, reminds us that curriculum design crosses education fields and that what we are doing in our classes every year has its grounding in research.  Kern, Thomas, and Hughes in their book provide a 6-step approach to curriculum development.  My goal is to share the theory behind our current practices to serve as a guide as design and redesign our courses.  Earlier steps can be found here.

Step 5: Implementation

Effective implementation of your curricular design, according to Thomas (et al), would include addressing all of the elements on this checklist displayed in the image below.  The checklist is broken down into several categories with specific considerations below each.
The checklist asks, for example, do we the appropriate
 faculty available for this course?  Do we have time, finances, and facilities to train them?  Do we have internal support from administration and external support, if it applies?  Do we have appropriate communication in place to facilitate between all personnel and operational support to distribute the materials needed?  Do we anticipate barriers and address them before they affect the curricular design?  And, finally, how do we roll out the curriculum and monitor it for adjustment?  Do we pilot a course, phase it in, or fully implement it?  Ideally, all of these steps would be addressed as we plan through our stages.  Considering them in advance would also help facilitate development and lead to smoother implementation--especially when partnered with a smooth first four steps of this design process.

In practice:

On the ground, on a daily basis, I wonder how many of these elements of the checklist are addressed as we plan.  Is it feasible for a classroom teacher to address any or all of them?  Is it the role of the PLC leader--if that structure even exists at your school?  Is it a department/division chair--is that person an administrator or a teacher-leader with possible release time?  Does that person have the ability to make these decisions, or are they more suggestions?

Please feel free to share other insights and ideas based on your experiences in the comments below!

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