Comparing a student’s performance based on how well other students are doing will only develop insecurity. It is also an inaccurate way to measure how the students are going with the teaching methods that a school is implementing. That is why many states and many schools are starting to realize the benefit of a standards-based curriculum. Instead of comparing students, this kind of curriculum will set the academic standards based on what the students should know and what they should be able to do.
Due to these characteristics, a standards-based curriculum can be a little tricky to create. But with a little help from other people and some know-how, you can create a standards-based curriculum. Follow the steps below as your guide:
- Learn more about standards-based curriculum. Do this by studying the standard curriculum in other countries. Read studies about this reform, too. It’s good to be equipped with knowledge in case some people in the administration will question your desire for a standards-based curriculum. You’ll need your learning to convince them that a change is needed for more quality education.
- Get support from other teachers. Share to some teachers your idea of creating a standards-based curriculum. Let them know what it is and what makes it more beneficial compared to the current curriculum. The more support you have, the more chances that the standards-based curriculum will be implemented, at least in your school.
- Meet with other teachers to frame a standards-based curriculum. The more brains, the better. While creating a new curriculum, think and consider other standards that should be followed. For instance, the state might have a set of lessons that should be taught to the students. Follow those while creating the new curriculum.
- Identify the SWBAT. These are the skills or things that the “student will be able to do” or SWBAT. For example, during the first grading period, students must be able to divide fractions or get explain the Big Bang theory. Do this for every grading period. The SWBAT will be your specific standards on what the students should know by the end of each period.
- Assess the new curriculum. Get the new curriculum into working by using it as your standard. You don’t have to wait anymore. For example, if the second grading period is about to end, then use the standards-based curriculum to assess the students. You will realize the loopholes of the new curriculum this way.
- Make lesson plans to meet the new goals. Based on your assessment, what are the things that you can do to meet the goals? Those will be used in your lesson plans. You won’t only plan about what topics you will teach the student. Plan also on what is the most effective way to make the students understand your lesson.
You will never know if the standards-based curriculum will work for you and your students better unless you have already tested it. There will be mistakes on the road but at least, your intention is clear—you want to help students to reach achievable skills and not to dwell on the idealistic. Forget about the textbook for now and follow what you think will be best for the students. That’s how standards-based curriculum works.