Curriculum in Texas Schools

Curriculum development needs to be in the hands of teachers that understand the growing pressures to teach more while also being held to higher standards. The existing curriculum is designed for each subject and the delivery of material and information. With educational concepts being moved into earlier grade levels it has become nearly impossible to cover all the material. Teachers and administrators need to look at the different disciplines for common ideas, skills, or other links that might be used in an integrated curriculum. This educational approach will help prepare children to be lifelong learners. As educators we need to prepare children for the 21st century that develops abilities required by life rather that teaching departmentalized subject matter. Some of the methods that will help educators move into the 21st century are:

  • Interdisciplinary approach to curriculum
  • An emphasis on projects
  • Sources other than textbooks
  • Thematic units
  • Flexible student grouping
  • Brain research supports the notion that learning is best accomplished when information is taught in a connected pattern. With new curriculum development educators can put more emphasis on a constructivist approach to learning.

Texas educators need to decide what students should learn before developing or changing curriculum. The following are items of discussion that need to take place before moving ahead with curriculum development.

1. Discuss essential knowledge, and skills.
2. Plan for future trends in employment, globalization, and advances in technology.
3. Think about students' needs and abilities.
4. Provide a foundation of knowledge for successful learning in later years.
5. Develop skills that are necessary for success in learning content.
6. Reflect on new research on proven teaching methods and how students learn best.
7. Accommodate different learning styles.

Educators need to support the implementation of new curriculum by providing resource support and professional development opportunities. In addition, a website should provide online resources that may enhance curriculum and provide teachers and students further digital materials to learn concepts.

In conclusion educators need to redesign the way subject matter is taught in school. Our children are depending on us to prepare them for their future not our past. It will be interesting if the No Child Left Behind Act has any impact on changing how we educate children in the United States. It will be difficult since testing is driving most of the student's school day. Maybe they should be learning how to function and maintain in the global community.