The Division's curriculum acts as the foundation on which teachers ultimately build experiences that facilitate student learning. The curriculum component of the Framework for Quality Learning is divided into five main parts: concepts; enduring understandings; essential questions; curriculum mapping; and, the unit planning framework.
Questions to Consider
- What should all students know, understand, and be able to do?
- What knowledge is truly essential and enduring?
- What's worth understanding?
- How can the curriculum we bring to our students engage them in meaningful questioning about the world?
- What is the role of curriculum in eliminating the achievement gaps?
Moving Learning Beyond the SOL
The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) may or may not represent what is most important for students to know, understand, and be able to do in any given subject at any given grade level. Teachers use higher-order thinking when they analyze and evaluate grade-level standards to identify the most import concepts and skills and articulate these clearly as what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do. They synthesize and use professional judgment when they map these grade-level concepts to discipline level concepts that represent what is most important in the discipline and to the Lifelong-Learner Standards.
What teachers know about teaching, learning, their students and their content and the decisions they make on a daily basis are the greatest factors in determining how well students learn and to what extent that learning occurs. When teachers work in collaboration through structures and systems indicative of a Professional Learning Community, teachers are more likely to engage in authentic professional learning, resulting in higher levels of learning for all students. Collaborative inquiry, analysis, and reflection are central to quality professional learning among Albemarle County educators.
Implementation of the Framework for Quality Learning will only occur through the commitment of all educators to professional growth that produces deep understanding, transforms mental models, and produces a continuous stream of goal-focused actions (Dennis Sparks, 2004).