What is Curriculum Planning?

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  • 0:01 Curriculum Planning
  • 0:54 Asking Big Questions
  • 2:06 Learning & Development
  • 3:34 Being Flexible
  • 4:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

A good understanding of curriculum planning is essential for good teaching. This lesson will help you learn what curriculum planning is, give you a sense of why it's important, and help you get ready to plan your own curriculum.

Curriculum Planning

Sometimes, life in the classroom seems so dynamic and hectic that it might feel as though all plans can go astray. As a teacher, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the big picture, and curriculum is the big picture. In other words, curriculum is the sum total of skills and concepts that students learn, explicitly as well as implicitly. Losing track of the big picture of a curriculum plan is totally understandable, but at the same time, having an overarching plan is an important way to make sure you don't lose track of what matters most in a particular unit of study. Sensible curriculum planning will bring focus to your teaching, and it will also make it easier to figure out what activities, projects, and lessons you do each day. Follow along with novice teacher Mr. Geller as he discovers what curriculum planning is.

Asking Big Questions

Mr. Geller is a new teacher at Rockford Elementary. His first grade classroom is beautiful, and he did a fantastic job building a respectful and engaged community during the initial weeks of the school year. Now, though, Mr. Geller is finding himself a bit stuck when it comes to planning curriculum. He knows it's important to have a plan, but he doesn't know where to start.

Mr. Geller talks with his grade-level colleague, Ms. Tiktin. She has been teaching a bit longer, and she reminds Mr. Geller that curriculum planning starts with asking big questions. She and Mr. Geller sit down together to think through what big questions they want their students to work on in their literary curriculum over the next six weeks. They decide on the following questions:

  • What is a character?
  • How do authors describe their characters?
  • What clues can we use to figure out a character's personality?

planning questions

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