Importance of Curriculum Supervision

Subject: Education
Pages: 5
Words: 1408
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

Curriculum supervision is integral in ensuring that the implementation of the same is well monitored. Curriculum supervision plays a great role in ensuring that teaching practices and the content being taught are followed. It is important to acknowledge the fact that curriculum supervision is a guiding tactic in ensuring that changes within a curriculum are easy to undertake. In this respect, a curriculum supervision plan plays a critical role in ensuring that curriculum changes and implementation are observed.

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Objectives of the supervision plan

The supervision plan is deemed to help the school system in providing a professional element in education. The supervision plan is also to aid in the improvement of the curriculum. This is by helping instructional leaders in focusing on areas that require curriculum change and development.

The supervision plan

The following supervision uses for components, each with different strategies that improve the curriculum.

Supervision plan timeline

The supervision plan depends on the strategy used in the curriculum supervision. Some strategies require a week, a month while the longest supervision plan should take a year.

Resources

A supervision plan requires resources such as assessments, assessment results, scoring templates, performance indicators and a school calendar. Other important tools are the lesson plan, a curriculum plan and a rubric or grading content matrix.

Mini-observations

This is the first component to be included in the supervision plan. This component involves observing how classes are conducted by teachers and the response by students (Marshall, 2005). Mini-observations is complimented by writing a note on observations made. The write-ups should indicate whether the teacher is following the curriculum and as to whether there are any ways the same can be improved.

However, the following procedure should be used for a successful implementation of the curriculum using the mini-observation supervisory strategy. Firstly, the instructional supervisor is supposed to take a period of 5 to 10 minutes to discuss with the teacher in the content taught in the class. This discussion is necessary in doing the follow-up when the teacher is teaching and taking notes against the information shared. Secondly, mini-observations should be based on the number of visits made on the follow-ups. This can be five or more visits and mini-observations in a day. This is important in rating the teaching performance.

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Another important aspect to focus on is a checklist on what is to be observed. This checklist should include important elements of improved teaching such as assessment of student mastery, student engagement, a good classroom culture and teacher mode of teaching. Another element that is necessary in mini-observations is using a system that records changes in every visit made. Mini-observations are an evaluation tool in assessing improvement in teaching and curriculum implementation. It is also essential to give feedback to the teachers on observations made during the visits. This can be done face-to-face or through emails.

Finally, mini-observation supervisory strategy should be able to provide information that links observations to the curriculum development and improvement. It is essential to remember that mini-observations should not take more than 10 minutes.

Curriculum planning

A curriculum plan is necessary in providing guidance to both teachers and students in understanding curriculum expectation after a certain period. The curriculum plan can be used as a supervisory tool. An effective curriculum plan should be able to exhibit the following. First, a curriculum plan should have year-end learning expectations (Harden, 2000). This is important in understanding the expected outcomes in terms of skills and knowledge accrued by students. An example of such expectations is that 3rd grade students will have skills to read and print electronic information by the end of the year. Another important expectation that complement the curriculum plan is the units to be covered. The plan should also include the grading criteria for the reporting score card.

Curriculum planning should be facilitated by the presence of a curriculum calendar. A curriculum calendar shows the timeline for each lesson and the number of classes on a weekly basis (Harden, 2000). The principal is supposed to supervise the curriculum using the calendar to check the whether it has been used effectively in improving the curriculum. Backward-designed units can also be used in improving the curriculum calendar. The supervisor plays a critical role in helping the teacher improve unit planning. Lesson plans are also essential during curriculum assessment. The supervisor is to review the lesson plans used by the teachers on a weekly basis. Weekly mini-observation visits by the principal or instruction supervisor to follow-up on strict adherence to lesson plan is recommended.

Interim assessments

Interim assessments are conducted by the principal or the instructional supervisor (Carr & Harris, 2001). The supervision focuses on the teachers’ input in relation to students’ performance. This supervision is recommended to dissuade teachers from just teaching the students. In this respect, interim assessments require a consensus between the teacher and the supervisor on how to conduct assessments. This is to ensure that students are able to attain mastery skills. The use of interim assessment can also be supplemented by on-the-spot assessments. The on-the-spot assessment is instantaneous and can be used to evaluate students understanding.

The supervisor is to evaluate the frequency in which the assessments are conducted by the teachers. However, the interim assessments are periodic and can be done on a monthly basis. An effective interim assessment must be used to foster good understanding between teacher and student. Moreover, the interim assessment improves quality of tests and follows a schedule. A good and systematic display of score or grades attained by the student during interim assessment is essential for supervisory purposes.

Teacher evaluation rubrics

Using rubrics to evaluate teachers is very effective since it minimizes on cost and resources (Popham, 1997). Moreover, the rubric grades a teacher who ultimately gets to know areas required for improvement. An effective rubric must first assess essential aspects that require supervision and evaluation. This entails planning, classroom management, delivery of instructions, assessment methods, family and community involvement and professionalism. The above evaluation aspects can be subjected to levels of proficiency. Such levels of proficiency are the expert, proficient, requires improvement and standards not met.

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The expert level of proficiency indicates that the teacher shows a high level of expertise and professionalism in the subject. Moreover, the teacher exhibits a sense of curriculum improvement. The proficient level indicates a standard grasp of the subject and the teacher knows how to use effective teaching strategies. The teacher at this stage also understands how to engage the student. The level that requires improvement is an indication that the teacher is yet to prove a level of expertise.

The teacher at this level is familiar with the subject and knows how to use teaching strategies that develop students’ skills. The level where standards are yet to be met is an indication that the teacher has little knowledge on the subject. Moreover, the teacher at this level has little idea on teaching methods to use in order to improve on helping the students acquire skills and knowledge.

The rubrics are essential for teachers’ self-supervision. Teachers can use the rubrics to set new goals that are specific and measurable.

Time management

Supervising on time management is very much critical in ensuring that a curriculum implementation and development are on course. A curriculum supervision plan should include the following essential when improving time management. Firstly, time management supervision strategy should have a focus on the student’s achievement. Moreover, the supervision plan should detail expectations and a systematic method on a time schedule on important aspects such as meetings.

Identifying curriculum deficiencies

Certain standards should be used to align the current curriculum achievement to standards or goals. Using a rubric or a content matrix is considered effective in comparing the curriculum standards and indicators to the present curriculum achievements or activities. In addition, a teachers’ lesson plan can be used to ensure that activities are aligned against the pre-determined curriculum goals (Ornstein, & Hunkins, 2009).

It is also important to have a comprehensive synopsis of the curriculum standards and expected outcomes. Consequently, a comparison between the standards and objectives should follow. Redesigning the curriculum is another option for correcting curriculum deficiencies. This can be done by introducing new lesson plans and new teaching methodologies. The instructional supervisor is recommended to advice the teacher to change the content of the teaching strategies in order to meet the curriculum standards. Using teaching enhancements that eliminate duplication in the curriculum is essential in correcting deficiencies.

References

Carr, J. F., & Harris, D. E. (2001). Succeeding with standards: Linking curriculum, assessment, and action planning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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Harden, R. M. (2000). The integration ladder: a tool for curriculum planning and evaluation. Medical Education-Oxford-, 34(7), 551-557.

Marshall, K. (2005). It’s time to rethink teacher supervision and evaluation. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(10), 727-735.

Ornstein, C., A & Hunkins, P., F. (2009). Curriculum: Foundations, principles and issues. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Popham, W. J. (1997). What’s wrong-and what’s right-with rubrics. Educational leadership, 55, 72-75.