By: Emily Cranwell, Kitty Davis, Lisa Kullman, Susan Walter
Our curriculum coordinators explain the method behind our consistent, diligent efforts to serve our students' needs.
Curriculum mapping is an individualized, school-based process that increases vertical (K-8 progression) and horizontal (across the grades) collaboration. Since the 2017-18 school year, and as an offshoot of our most recent AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools) accreditation process, we have been involved in the significant undertaking of converting our curriculum documents to a detailed and multi-faceted curriculum map. Every teacher here at The Country School has benefitted from thinking through why they teach what they teach and why they deliver instruction in a particular order. The collaboration that takes place during the curriculum mapping process helps lead to a well-thought-out, school-wide curriculum.
Our curriculum maps predict and then record the actual content that guides day-to-day instruction here at the Country School. This “living document” creates consistent opportunities for individual teacher and school-wide reflection and revision of curriculum. Our mapping is a process-oriented model that is respectful of the knowledge of every teacher, encourages collaboration and reflection, and is sensitive to the complexities of student learning.
Mapping our curriculum promotes ongoing discussion among teachers across divisions and disciplines to evaluate our curriculum process. This will help us to identify and capitalize on the talents of each of our fabulous teachers! In turn, mapping will also help us to more easily identify where collaboration can happen. We are also looking to more clearly define what students are expected to learn and to identify any gaps or redundancies. Mapping gives us the tools to illustrate the school’s instructional program for prospective students, accreditation teams, and new faculty.
Curriculum articulation is an on-going, continual process that allows us to reflect on changing student needs, teacher strengths, and school-wide initiatives. Making adjustments to the curriculum allows us to keep pace with the ever-changing world that students live in while keeping a constant eye on our school’s mission and values. Our teachers are current with effective new teaching techniques and are trying out new ideas, while staying anchored by our long-established commitments and relationships that make The Country School special.
The Country School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational, admission, and employment policies, or its financial aid, athletic, and other school administered programs.