We’re thrilled that Great Minds® CEO Lynne Munson has a prominent article in this month’s Education Leadership magazine where she shares her insights into high-quality curriculum planning.
In the article, Lessons from the Field on Comprehensive Curriculum Planning, Munson describes the essential elements of great classroom resources.
What Are the Steps of High-Quality Curriculum Planning?
For starters, Munson says any curricula schools adopt should be rigorous and aligned to high standards. These resources should also help students acquire deep knowledge on important topics and core academic skills.
“Having high expectations for all students must be our starting point, and we need to focus on systematically developing their background and content knowledge,” Munson writes in the article.
In addition, Munson explains that engaging and empowering classroom teachers in the important work of curriculum planning is vital.
We’ve done that at Great Minds from our earliest days, including during the writing of the EngageNY math curriculum.
During that effort, K–12 teachers and mathematicians from higher education worked collaboratively to ensure the math content was accurate and rigorous and the lessons would be accessible and usable in the classroom.
Munson also explains that ensuring a curriculum is coherent within and across grades is essential. And she makes the case for curriculum-aligned professional development.
“Too often, professional development centers on one-off, content-agnostic workshops. The best professional learning, by contrast, is content-focused, incorporates active learning, supports collaboration, uses models of effective practice, provides coaching and expert support, offers feedback and reflection, and provides teachers with adequate time to learn and practice new strategies,” Munson writes.
It's important to reflect on any missteps that invariably arise and focus on continuous improvement.
As Munson explains, we’re working with academic researchers to study the impact of our materials and professional development efforts at a school we partner with in Arizona, San Tan Heights K–8, and in a free virtual school we launched earlier this year.
This isn’t the first time Munson has written for EL, the flagship publication of ASCD. In 2011, she also authored an article in the magazine, calling for developing high-quality curricula.
We’re glad that, since then, Munson did more than call for great classroom resources but set her mind to creating them.
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Rachel serves as Great Minds' Chief Academic Officer. She leads a team of teacher–writers who craft coherent, knowledge-rich content. Rachel joined Great Minds in 2015 after serving as vice president, Literacy Content and Instruction, for Scholastic Education. She has more than decade of experience as a teacher. Rachel began her career teaching third and eighth grade in New York City. She then taught high school world and American literature in Pittsburgh. Rachel received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Vassar College as well as a master’s degree in secondary education from Hunter College, City University of New York.