Academics

Curriculum Design

A “school design” is much more than curriculum but involves thinking through many aspects of the life of a school: educational objectives; choice of curriculum; rewarding and developing faculty; assessment systems; the culture of a school; school calendar; schedule; and hundreds of other decisions, each affecting one another.

As a new school, Avenues has had the unique opportunity to design its curriculum, and the other components of a school design, from scratch. Any curriculum design, however, is based on a number of well-established factors, including national and local standards and the school’s mission.

Avenues’ curriculum design process begins with consideration of these factors and then uses what Grant Wiggins, a nationally recognized educator, called “backwards planning” in his approach called “understanding by design (UbD.)” This approach focuses first on the outcomes desired, then works backwards, plotting the steps that will produce those outcomes. UbD helps teachers clarify learning goals, devise assessments that reveal student understanding and craft effective learning activities. Developed by Mr. Wiggins in association with Jay McTighe, UbD’s key idea is that a primary goal of education should be the development and deepening of student understanding, which is most effectively revealed when students can transfer what they have learned in one area to understanding in other areas. By defining what student outcomes they want to achieve, teachers then work backwards to develop their curriculum to reach those goals.

A major component of the resulting curriculum design is a good assessment program, which will allow teachers and administrators to evaluate how students are progressing and where they need to go. The curriculum can then be adjusted to respond to students’ needs, improving and strengthening it through many iterations, with more detail added with each iteration.

Curriculum design, then, is not a one-time process. The school is constantly reexamining the curriculum, fine-tuning and improving it, both during the school year and at the end of each year.

cycle

 

Apply to Avenues

Curriculum design is not a one-time process but entails constant fine-tuning and improvement.

Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

Fifth Grade Forensic Scientists…on the Case!

by Annika Gostomski
The students analyze evidence.

February 16, 2017 - Imagine if your typically peaceful day at Avenues was suddenly interrupted by the discovery that a horrible crime had been committed. Much to your surprise, the chief of the newly formed Avenues Department of Investigation then tells you that it would be up to you and your team of forensic scientists to collect the proper evidence and make sure the correct suspect could be brought to justice. This is exactly the scenario that the Avenues 5th graders encountered in science class this fall. More...

See all articles with these tags on our blog site, Open: 5th Grade , Lower Division , Science , STEM

Acts of Kindness in Pre-K

by Alexandra Gerba
A Tiger proudly shares an act of kindness.

February 14, 2017 - It all started with a simple conversation about kindness back in September. With a new configuration of students, and some students brand new to Avenues, it was important to establish a classroom community of inclusivity and respect. We first created a list of classroom rules – child-generated ideas that everyone agreed on to help keep our bodies, our classroom and our school safe and happy. More...

See all articles with these tags on our blog site, Open: Early Learning Center , Pre-kindergarten , School Culture

Intercultural Comedy with Jesse Appell

by Grace Jackson
In improv comedy workshops, Jesse led students through a series of games and activities designed to improve eye contact, hone concentration and encourage spontaneity

February 8, 2017 - “Everything I do in China, whether it’s buying vegetables or telling jokes, is a form of cultural exchange,” Jesse Appell told Avenues students during his visit last November. Based in Beijing for the past four years, Jesse has forged a career as a cultural intermediary between China and America.  More...

© 2017 Avenues World Holdings LLC. All rights reserved