The Elements of Education for Curriculum Designers 50 Research-Based Principles Every Educator Should Know
How should curriculum designers translate abstract learning outcomes into engaging learning experiences that get results? What is the right balance between depth and breadth or between content and skills? What methods should be used to continuously improve a curriculum over time? To answer these kinds of questions, the authors combined research from cutting-edge fields with their own first-hand experience to carefully curate fifty essential elements that demystify the work of curriculum design.
Written for utility, clarity, and practical value, this book provides indispensable professional development for educators working in a wide range of fields—from teachers and school leaders to educational publishers and instructional designers. The elements included are applicable across primary, secondary, and higher education as well as for workforce development programs. The Elements of Education for Curriculum Designers is an invaluable resource for anyone aiming to help others learn more effectively.
Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Advance Organizers 2. Aesthetics 3. Alignment 4. Background Knowledge 5. Backward Design 6. Breadth vs. Depth 7. Capstones 8. Case Studies 9. Content vs. Skills 10. Course Guides 11. Crosswalks 12. Curriculum Assessment 13. Curriculum Maps 14. Curriculum vs. Program 15. Development Cycle 16. Enacted vs. Intended vs. Assessed 17. Essential Questions 18. Five Hat Racks 19. Flexibility Tradeoff 20. Framing 21. Grain Size 22. Inclusivity 23. Innovator’s Dilemma 24. Interdisciplinarity 25. Iteration 26. Labeling Systems 27. Learning Objectives 28. Learning Outcomes 29. Learning Progressions 30. Learning Tasks 31. Levels 32. Magician’s Code 33. Mental Models 34. Minimalism 35. Modularity 36. Propositional Density 37. Proximity 38. Rigor 39. Scalability 40. Specialization 41. Spiral Curriculum 42. Stakeholder Assets 43. Storytelling 44. Student-Facing vs. Teacher-Facing 45. Student Work Samples 46. Subject-Matter Experts 47. Templates 48. Textbooks 49. Threshold Concepts 50. Usability vs. Learnability
"The Elements of Education for Curriculum Designers by Strauss, Volz, and Lidwell is a new dictionary of curriculum design. Understanding the nuances of curriculum design can play a critical role in both teaching and learning. This book is a simple and useful tool that provides readers with easy-to-digest one-liner definitions and Do’s and Don’ts that will help build an understanding of the multitudes of elements that exist in the development of curriculum."
— Dr. Lizabeth Fogel, Vice President Learning, Strategy, and Development, DoGoodery
"As an instructional designer, I always believed the old adage that distinguished ‘what is taught’ (curriculum) from ‘how it is taught’ (instruction) oversimplified the design of learning strategies and experiences. This book presents the intricacies of curriculum design in a way that recognizes the necessary blending of many elements to accomplish effective designs for learning."
— Wayne A. Nelson, Professor Emeritus, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, U.S.A.
"As the authors themselves note ‘in a world characterized by unprecedented complexity and accelerating change, the work of designing effective learning experiences has never been more urgent.’ This book is timely, engaging and thought provoking, and will be read with interest and profit by anyone and everyone with an interest in curriculum design."
— Professor Kendall A. King, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota, U.S.A.