In the next ten days I will work with five very different schools/districts, and all five are (amongst other things) thinking deeply about curriculum. I am not a curriculum expert at all, but here is what I do know: curriculum is a tool of learning. Tools are at the far end of a logic model or backward design process. Curriculum is not an outcome. The outcome these schools and districts want is to build capacity for the ongoing development of curriculum (among other things). The process of designing curriculum is much more important than any bit of the product, and it is the process that needs the big change. In the past we have waited patiently for curriculum (among other things) to be handed to us, and that is no longer enough. We don’t want our students to act as passive receptacles of knowledge transfer, so we can’t be that ourselves.
My job is not to help these schools develop their curriculum; there are much better sources for that, many of whom are already teaching in these schools. My job is to help them understand the value of great process and build an internal capacity for the ongoing evolution of curriculum (among many other things!).
This is about as fundamental as it gets in school innovation. Do you and every member of your educational team (teachers, parents, students, community) understand the difference between process and product? Do they understand the difference between passive reception and internal capacity building? Does your community have clarity of expectation when it comes to who is responsible for owning that capacity?