In my previous post I presented my vision for world class schools at UCF. In a series of six posts, I am going deeper into each of my six priorities for our schools.
Priority #4 – A Rigorous Curriculum
To be world class, our course sequences must offer paths to high levels of achievement, and offer a rigorous course of study across all core learning areas. Recognizing that each student learns differently and brings different knowledge and skills to each learning opportunity, our curriculum must also be increasingly individualized and customized.
We must explore and adopt new technology that empowers teachers to customize content and learning tools to matches the interests, aptitudes, and needs of students. In certain situations, online or blended learning may be an excellent way to teach certain subjects. Our district has taken measured steps in this direction, but must move at a faster pace.
Proven methods and materials must be used in our classrooms. We should be innovative, but innovation should happen within the boundaries of high standards and confirmed learning objectives. Our curriculum evaluation cycle is a smart way to manage the regular re-evaluation and improvement of all subjects. It should continue, relying on the expertise of our best educators to make improvements.
Other smaller changes are needed. Gifted Individualized Education Programs (GIEPs) must live up to their name and be more tailored to the unique strengths and needs of each student.
Our computer science and engineering curriculum needs more frequent and rapid updates to keep pace with the latest developments in software tools, programming languages, computer-aided applications, and robotics. And our STEM curriculum needs continued focus. Project Lead the Way, now being implemented at UHS, is a great step in right direction.