Getting Results with Curriculum Mapping

By Heidi Hayes Jacobs | Go to book overview

1 Development
of a Prologue
Setting the Stage for
Curriculum Mapping

Heidi Hayes Jacobs

[Prologue] in Greek means [before the action of the play.] Setting the stage, literally and figuratively, elevates the attention of all participants—the actors, the director, and the intended audience. As I have observed schools and districts develop their mapping projects, ample preparation time has characterized the most effective attempts. Clearly, the most successful education settings have crafted a prologue to their actions. They used advance scouting reports, research, and discussion groups before they applied substantial effort and energy. Then they identified key people and charged those people with advance planning for a new and dynamic shift in curriculum decision making.

Those effective districts and schools gave themselves permission to find out what they needed to know in order to create the conditions for success. Rather than acting on a strange statement that runs through some education circles—[We have the right to fail]—these people said, [We have the right to succeed.] Rather than starting a mapping initiative by abruptly declaring that [We are going to start curriculum mapping, folks,] the leadership teams and district personnel began by looking at the needs of their specific student population. They began by finding out how other schools used curriculum mapping to help with teaching and learning. Mapping can be an extraordinary vehicle to meet carefully defined needs. Curriculum mapping is a procedure for collecting data about the operational curriculum in a school or district referenced directly to the calendar. Mapping provides the basis for authentic

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