Even after the events of the past two years, the definition of what constitutes digital curriculum is still a source of disagreement for some. Misalignment among educator roles regarding curriculum has far from disappeared, and in some cases, the gap has grown even wider, according to new research.
While the majority of educators are more optimistic about the state of their curriculum this year than before COVID-19, the theme of misalignment persists in several areas, including:
Quality of Curriculum
Perhaps intuitively, roles closer to the students (teachers, IT staff, school leadership) find it easier to measure curricular efficacy compared to other roles since they interact with students regularly. District leadership and curriculum or team leads tend to measure curriculum more quantitatively, based on numbers reflected in test and exam scores.
For the second year in a row, roles farther from the classroom (district leaders, school leaders) rated their own curriculum higher than those closer to the classroom (teachers and IT staff). Teachers were the most pessimistic about their materials, rating them at an average of 6.43, roughly 10 percent lower than the district leaders, who ranked their materials the highest.
When teachers and school/district leaders lack alignment on curricular quality, students suffer. This discrepancy is a testament to the fact that district and school leaders need better data and insight into the classroom. The first step towards addressing this issue? Believing in the power of digital. Districts must house their core curriculum in a manner that enables them to collect data on adoption, usage, and pacing. Dynamic digital curriculum management gives school and district leaders immediate access to key data around student performance and curricular fidelity.
What do we mean by curricular fidelity? When teachers follow their curriculum and its resources to the letter, they are implementing it with the highest fidelity. When teachers introduce outside resources into the curriculum, they implement with lower fidelity.
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