Strategic Curriculum Planning

Strategic Curriculum Planning

Pam Epler (Youngstown State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9242-6.ch002

Abstract

This chapter is designed to inform and educate the reader about the strategic curriculum planning as well as various types of curriculum designs and models. The chapter explains what strategic planning is and the various components of the plan, and provides a sample format to follow. The chapter continues with a discussion about three different curriculum designs, subject-focused, learner-focused, and problem-focused, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. The chapter finishes with a discussion about numerous curriculum models and the school leader's role in strategic planning.
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Background

The concept of strategic planning began back in the fifth century BC with the Greeks, who used it to develop their city states (ECRA Group, 2015). In the 1920s, the Harvard business model was developed for businesses to use, and 30 years later, in the 1950s, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analyses were used widely by businesses (ECRA Group, 2015). However, with little to no evidence from the scientific community that strategic planning was beneficial, it was abandoned until the 1990s, when it once again became popular (ECRA Group, 2015). At that time, school districts also took up the cause because they were being held more accountable for the academic achievement of their students as well as being held culpable for district finances (ECRA Group, 2015). Schools began “regularly engaging in the process of examining the mission and vision, assessing current state, setting goals, determining action plans to achieve their goals, and measuring progress towards meeting the goals” (ECRA Group, 2015, p. 3).

According to Billingham (2012), the use of a strategic plan to operate schools was a way to get more community members involved. It was also a way to get support from community businesses, lawmakers, and families of the students who were attending the schools. School district administrators and leaders understood that without this collaborative support, their strategic plan would more than likely fail.

Billingham (2012) suggested that there are four essential indicators that must be in place if a school is to have a successful strategic plan:

  • All stakeholders must agree to one plan. It may take much negotiating prior to the final plan, but without everyone headed toward the same end goal, there is no plan.

  • In order for a successful strategic plan to work and be functional, all stakeholders must be actively involved from Day 1. They must not only be involved, they must stay apprised of any changes that might occur and meet to discuss the adjustments prior to them being put into place.

  • School administrators and leaders know that engaging all stakeholders into the strategic plan will not only benefit the school as a whole but will also assist in increasing student achievement, which will lead to informed and well-educated citizens in the demographic society.

  • The use of technology should be prominent when developing a strategic plan for a school. School administrators and leaders can post documents for all stakeholders to review on a website as well as hold meetings via Skype so that all can attend. This makes collaboration much easier, and it is a convenient way to involve all stakeholders.

Key Terms in this Chapter

SWOT Analysis: A strategic planning technique that can be used in education to help a district or school identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to project planning and student achievement.

Problem-Centered Curriculum: A curriculum design that also uses a student approach but that instructs students to look at a problem or situation and figure out a way to solve it. Teachers expect students to use their real-life experiences to determine an answer.

Learner-Centered Curriculum: A curriculum design that is student-based, supports the individual interests and needs of the students, and is based on the belief that all learning should build on previous knowledge and be related to real-life experiences.

Quantitative Data: Measurable data (e.g., test scores and grade point averages) that can be used to assess curriculum.

Curriculum: The lessons or content taught in a school or specific course/program.

Qualitative Data: Illustrative, descriptive data (e.g., student comments/feedback) that can be used to assess curriculum.

Strategic Planning: An organizational technique for schools to use to set and accomplish specific goals and objectives.

Subject-Centered Curriculum: A traditional curriculum design that consists of students receiving lectures from teachers, reading textbooks, and regurgitating information on an assessment within a very specific timeframe.

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