Like other aspects of the educational process, curriculum and instruction experts need to stay current with new trends within the field and the science of learning. Curriculum development is not a static process but a fluid practice that fluctuates with the societal changes. Improvements to a school’s curricula can define and reflect the school’s culture and help it keep up with a changing world.
An online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) empowers students to build the necessary expertise to create relevant and dynamic coursework and improve student outcomes through student comprehension, designing better learning opportunities and promoting classroom diversity.
The Importance of Curriculum Development
The curriculum is at the core of any school. This cyclical process changes over time as the world develops and transitions. If the current curriculum within a school is outdated and doesn’t employ current technology or utilizes obsolete methods, it requires revamping. While the worlds of technology, science and history change at a rapid pace, shifts to modify learning materials and teaching methods should also advance to accommodate these changes. At times, these changes must be made from one year to the next.
One way to modify a curriculum is to incorporate revisions in world views when analyzing literature, which can take on a new approach when using standard reading examples. For example, educators can recognize that a narrative’s storyline and characters don’t change over time, but the discussions surrounding their motivations and actions can encourage new awareness and different ways of thinking.
Technology connects us to a larger world community, and student learning should reflect the way we process information and connect with various cultures. Incorporating engaging educational content by using technology, keeping up with global trends, ensuring consistency, having clear expectations and developing a system with clear benchmarks can benefit students of all ages. Teaching computer science develops problem-solving and collaboration skills while arts classes encourage creative thinking and imagination. Revamping learning strategies to focus on the necessary personal skills to succeed in society can jumpstart the curriculum of the future.
Adopting a high-quality curriculum can allow time for educators to focus on teaching, rather than researching or developing their own classroom materials. A well-developed curriculum has multiple benefits for the school, teachers and students. The opportunity for teachers to collaborate and examine the big picture of student learning and outcomes encourages knowledge reinforcement over multiple grade levels. Changes to a curriculum are necessary to keep up with current research and best practices regarding how to increase student learning and how to track progress. While there can be resistance to curriculum changes, improved learning strategies and curricula improve learning outcomes and streamline teaching processes.
ULM’s 100% online M.Ed. program in curriculum and instruction allows students to customize their focus of study. Students can choose focus areas like English as a second language, reading, special education or elementary education. This degree program supports add-on certifications in the areas of early intervention, reading specialist, English as a second language (ESL), early childhood, mild/moderate, academically gifted and educational diagnostician.
Students in this program will learn to perform a cycle of instruction and create a unit assessment portfolio including formative, diagnostic, summative and alternative utilized and analyzed across the instructional cycle, as well as conduct research-based instructional lessons and develop a school research study to identify and analyze specific problems in a classroom or school.