Practice Brief 5 -- Topics: Implementation

Using curriculum adaptation as a strategy to help teachers learn about NGSS and developing aligned instructional materials

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Why It Matters To You
  • Teachers should analyze and adapt tasks in existing curriculum to support student engagement in the science and engineering practices.
  • District staff and PD providers should learn about how to support networks of teachers as they engage in curriculum adaptation and share the resulting instructional materials.
  • School leaders should support efforts to engage teachers in adapting, testing, and refining enhancements of currently-adopted curriculum materials.

What is the Issue?

Using curriculum materials aligned to NGSS is a crucial part of implementation, but there is very little aligned curricula to choose from, districts may not have resources to purchase it, and teachers typically don't have time to develop new curriculum from scratch. However, teachers can effectively adapt existing curriculum materials and instruction to better align with NGSS. This can help them learn about important parts of the NGSS vision for learning—and result in instructional materials for use across classrooms.

Authors:

TAMMY COOK-ENDRES, ALISHA TAYLOR & BILL PENUEL


Things to Think About

  • How will you identify teachers or schools to involve in this kind of PD effort? What grade-level / grade-band will you focus on?
  • What curriculum materials are strong candidates for adapatation? Which NGSS practices and DCIs will you focus on? Why?
  • How can you structure the PD to let teachers leverage their expertise and also learn about new approaches and ideas?
  • How will you network teachers to allow them to test, iterate and refine their enhancements? When will you share the enhancements with others?

Things to Consider

"Curriculum adaptation is immediately relevant to the work of teaching while it also prepares teachers for future learning." — Dan Gallagher, Seattle Public Schools

"What is particularly important is that teachers develop the capacity to design sequences of instruction by learning a set of pedagogical principles that can guide their selection or adaptation of materials." — Penuel, Gallagher & Moorthy (2011)

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