Teachers as curriculum designers; we want to know your thoughts - RSA

Teachers as curriculum designers; we want to know your thoughts

Blog 4 Comments

  • Design
  • Education
  • Curriculum
  • Schools
  • Teaching
  • Social innovation

Another day, another divisive education headline. Whilst there is much to question within current education policy, there are also potentially new areas of opportunity opening up. The policy context of greater school autonomy, and emerging clarity about the future of the National Curriculum from 2014 (and the space to develop a ‘whole curriculum’ outside the National Curriculum), could be a key moment of opportunity for teachers and localities to reclaim the curriculum agenda.

As highlighted in the recent research of RSA Education colleague, Louise Thomas, the role of teachers is already changing to incorporate greater responsibility for curriculum development. However, as Louise outlines, there are significant challenges in ensuring that teachers are provided with enough support in overall curriculum development, in addition to the current focus on teachers’ subject knowledge.

The paper also proposes a particular focus on promoting the skills required to develop competency-based curricula in schools - especially where it relates to the needs of the local community - addressing the need for students to acquire, not just knowledge, but also the skills to apply it within the framework of their wider learning, future employment, and life.

In the context of these developments and challenges, the RSA Education Team is exploring ideas for creating a national professional development programme, which will aim to foster a new generation of curriculum designers, ready to make the most of the emerging opportunities. As such, it will add to the professional capacity of the teaching workforce as a whole and the capacity of schools to operate as autonomous, collaborative organisations. The programme will blend the learning and principles from two RSA programmes (RSA Opening Minds and the Area-Based Curriculum), as well as from curriculum design programmes globally, to create a high quality professional development offer that improves educational opportunities and outcomes for pupils.

That’s the idea but what do you think? Are there models out there that you think we should incorporate? What is the key to successful CPD? What are likely to be the key concerns for teachers and schools? Over to you…

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  • Great read! I just launched my own site for free guitar education and designed the curriculum from the ground up with a gamer type of user interface, it's called www.guitari.org - We would love to find a way to get RSA to animate our kickstarter presentation this Fall. Cheers! 

  • The only people that should design curricula are the students themselves.

  • I am extremely interested in what you have presented. I believe the role of the teacher should involve a certain amount of contribution not only to the curriculum being taught, but also the way in which the teacher applies it to their students. I am currently constructing a model for education reform in my home Province. If you would be interested in seeing my proposals, please contact me.

    ap  [email protected]

  • I'm very interested in helping local stakeholders and families to upgrade their conception of schools from 'the place where children go to be educated' to 'bright institutions that promote social engagement and assign knowledge & skills to people in my community'. 

    If I understand that there is such perspective, it's probable that I will attempt to explore how my self/family/business can be part of my local school.

    In my opinion, local events are still the best way to promote schools' social role. But instead of only organizing community events inside the school, let's take adult-interesting events outside (exhibitions, mini seminars - talks, surveys, shows, parties etc). In local pubs, stores, parks, churches, cinemas.. to make clear that our school is (can be) far more than that specific kids' building.