When attempting to figure out where the curriculum gaps exist at your school and why, the logical place to start is with a curriculum review to determine what outcomes teachers were able to cover during each unit and what they missed during the school year. And while this is a good place to start as it points out the obvious, one cannot overlook the teaching methods being used at the school and whether they are consistent between teachers and grade levels, as inconsistencies can also contribute to gaps in student learning. How so, you might wonder?
For starters, when students are used to learning in a certain way and they switch teachers the following year to one using a different approach(es) from the previous year, it can take several months for them to adjust. During this transitional period, new curriculum may not be fully understood as students are not only learning new subject matter, but are also having to adjust to how information is being given and what the new expectations for demonstrating learning are. As a result, learning gaps can occur as students are focusing on more than just processing curriculum content.
Not only is the transition jarring for the students, but it can also be jarring for the new teacher as they are wondering why the students are facing difficulties in their classes. This can result in the teacher feeling as though they need to slow down curriculum being taught as the students aren’t moving through outcomes fast enough. This in turn has a direct effect on the pace of the units for the rest of the year because of having to omit some curriculum as there simply wasn’t enough time to cover everything during the school year.
While curriculum reviews are helpful in determining what was missed and where the gaps are, they don’t always give the full picture as to why. By taking a deep dive into teaching methods being used at your school and ensuring that as much as possible between grades and teachers are consistent, you will be able to eliminate many of the gaps that exist. Taking things one step further, if you are truly looking to create a cohesive teaching and learning culture at your school, the following articles will guide you in doing so.
What is an Educational Framework?
A Vision vs. an Educational Framework
Designing an Educational Framework
The Power of Planners
Individualized Teacher Planners: Do They Really Work?
Different Planning Solutions for Your School
Tips for Personalizing Planners at Your School
Feeling like you could use some extra guidance? Contact us! We are happy to help you in developing the educational framework and planners that will help you in establishing a consistent approach to teaching and learning at your school.