Connecting What to Teach with How to Teach It
Research confirms what effective educators and policymakers know from practice: The implementation of a "high-quality" curriculum, aligned to rigorous state standards, leads to notable student learning gains. Yet less than half of teachers report they are using curricula that are "high-quality and well aligned to learning standards."
As more districts take steps to adopt high-quality instructional materials, professional learning must be restructured to provide opportunities for collaboration and coaching, led by trained experts and teacher leaders. Only by redesigning professional learning to provide differentiated support for educators – whether in-person or virtual – can we ensure teachers are able to effectively use the materials to maximize learning for all students.
NIET shares six lessons, along with actions district, school, and teacher leaders can take now that translate to in-person and virtual settings:
- Focus on leaders first.
- Create time, structures, and formal roles for ongoing, school-based collaborative professional learning.
- Adopt a research-based, instructional rubric to guide conversations about teaching and learning with the curriculum.
- Anchor coaching and feedback in the curriculum.
- Recognize the stages of curriculum implementation and what teachers need to progress to higher stages.
- Ensure that districts work closely with schools to plan for, communicate, and implement school-based professional learning that blends support for curriculum and instructional practice.