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Leading Curriculum Development

Leading Curriculum Development

October 2008 | 192 pages | Corwin
'A book that every practitioner should own. The author has managed to describe the complex process of curriculum development in plain English.' - John Lundt, Professor of Educational Leadership University of Montana

Develop a curriculum that can transform an ordinary school into a school of excellence! Curriculum development, an essential part of educational leadership, helps schools establish purpose, define activities, and guide decision making. This thought-provoking how-to resource helps leaders make sound choices and develop constructive policies as they guide a school team through this critical school improvement effort. Written by an expert in the field, this handbook introduces educational leaders to dynamic curriculum leadership and a curriculum development process that leads to highly successful school programs. The author demonstrates how administrators can adapt curriculum to meet their school's changing needs, incorporate emerging technologies, and reflect new and creative ways of thinking about education. The book walks educational leaders through the process, showing them how to:

Move beyond maintenance and management to address short- and long-term school reform

Create a school curriculum team

Establish a regular curriculum cycle of analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation

Develop a path for curriculum improvement

Filled with case studies, sample challenges and solutions, planning sheets, and more, Leading Curriculum Development is a much-needed guide for designing academic programs that lead to excellence in student achievement.

About the Author
List of Figures
1. Defining Effective Curriculum Leadership
What Is Curriculum?

Curriculum is the Essential Function

Dynamic Curriculum Leadership

School Leaders Must Also Be Curriculum Leaders

The Leader as Helper and Guide

Accepting the Challenge of Curriculum Leadership


End Notes

2. Basic Tasks of Curriculum Leadership
Defining the Program

Collarborating for Success

Providing the Path

Coordinating Activity

The Leader's Role


End Notes

3. Making Curriculum Purposeful
Finding Your School Philosophy

Techniques for Finding Consensus

If-Then Logic

The Role of Standards and Benchmarks

Clarifying Goals and Objectives

Pre-Assessing School Capacity

Establishing a Destination

Validation as a Critical Element


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

4. Building the School Curriculum Team
Selecting the Team

Using Committees to Activate Change

Small Groups

Conducting Meetings


Other Methods of Effective Communication

Leadership Style and Climate Formation

Achieving Consensus for School Improvement


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

5. Constructing the Path for Curriculum Improvement

Clarifying the Steps

The Use of Feedback in Curriculum Work

Management and Time-Dating Goals

Standards as Boundaries, Not Goals


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

6. Detailed Planning to Implement Change
Curriculum Mapping

Alignment Criteria

Standards in the Curriculum

An Emerging Blueprint for School Improvement

Planning Tools That Empower


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

7. Curriculum Improvement Means Staff Development
Teachers as the Critical Ingedient

Why Many Teachers Dislike Staff Development

Preferred Staff Development Designs

Assessing Staff Development Efforts

A Word About Adult Learners

Curriculum as the Rationale for Staff Development


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

8. Closing the Circle Through Evaluation
General Functions

A Generic Design

Four Purposes of Evaluation

Eight Areas for Study

Using Technology in Evaluation


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

9. Coordinating Successful Curriculum Work
Some Reasons for Curriculum Failure

The Elements of a Comprehensive Plan

We're All in This Together

Planning Tools

Reporting to the Board and Superintendent

Timing Is Everything in School Improvement

Program Evaluation and Review

A Bath Tub Filling Up

Boosters That Can Accelerate Change


Sample Problems and Leader Actions

End Notes

Resource A. Reproducible Planning Sheets
Resource B. Standard Curriculum Planning Resources
Resource C. Curriculum Resources Sites on the Internet
Resource D. Recommended Resource for Keeping Up-to-Date
Resource E. Glossary of Terms

"A book that every practitioner should own. The author has managed to describe the complex process of curriculum development in plain English."

John Lundt, Professor of Educational Leadership
University of Montana

"A timely addition to the field of school improvement. The author creates a blueprint of easy-to-apply ideas and strategies that every school leader will find accessible and useful."

Lyndon Oswald, Principal
Sandcreek Middle School, Idaho Falls, ID

Book is accessible and well written, however the content did not align well with the learning objectives of my doctoral course.

Patrick Jenlink
Secondary Leadership Educ Dept, Stephen F Austin State University
May 11, 2013

Did not teach the course ultimately.

Mrs Elizabeth Speed
Teacher Education Dept, University of Texas - El Paso
March 11, 2013
Key features
  • Full-page, point-to-point descriptions of how to accomplish tasks
  • Organized around basic tasks and the theme of "getting started"
  • Work problems at end of chapters to practice skills learned
  • Case studies to focus on curriculum challenges
  • Checklists for completing tasks
  • Tools for upgrading the reader's knowledge base

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1. Defining Effective Curriculum Leadership

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ISBN: 9781412961417
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