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The Curriculum Bridge

The Curriculum Bridge
From Standards to Actual Classroom Practice

Third Edition
Edited by:

January 2009 | 248 pages | Corwin

"Comprehensive in scope, this book thoroughly lays out what a classroom teacher or curriculum developer needs to do to create an effective curriculum that can then be adapted into actual classroom instruction."
—Stephen D. Shepperd, Principal
Sunnyside Elementary School, Kellogg, ID

Translate standards into classroom curriculum that fulfills accountability requirements and meets students' learning needs!

Meeting the individual needs of students and the requirements of federal mandates is a challenge that educators face every day. This third edition of an award-winning book focuses on curriculum, content standards, teaching, and testing and provides teachers with solid guidelines for best practices.

In this detailed, comprehensive guide, Pearl Gold Solomon discusses the bridge between the written and the taught curriculum and gives readers a big-picture overview of how the current political environment and public opinion affect standards and curriculum. The book offers:

  • An up-to-date review of educational research, including how learning takes place
  • Ways to connect curriculum and standards to best teaching practices
  • Information on traditional, alternative, and high-stakes assessments
  • Expanded coverage of how best to plan and implement professional development

This information-rich resource is an indispensable tool for all educators who want to make informed and meaningful decisions to promote standards-based instruction, improve student outcomes, and create the best possible environments for learning.

Preface to the Third Edition
Who Should Read This Book  
What This Book Is About  
About the Author
1. Why Standards and Tests Are on the Front Page
About This Chapter  
At the Top of the Political Agenda: Education  
Why the Focus on Standards and Tests?  
The No Child Left Behind Legislation  
Economic Influences and Some Words of Caution  
The Media Influence Opinions on Standards  
The Origins of the Current Wave of Public Concern  
Initial Responses of the Educational Community  
Government Calls for Reform  
Initial Responses to the Calls for Reform  
Standards in Other Countries  
A Summary: Systemic Change, Restructuring, and Reform  
2. Who Chooses the Curriculum? Are Standards and Tests Necessary?
About This Chapter  
Some Charismatic Differences of Opinion  
The Public Concerns, Opinions, and Influences  
Teachers and Teacher Organizations Respond  
University Professors and Researchers Respond  
Forms of Curriculum Control  
Nongovernment Influences on Curriculum  
Getting Ready to Design Curriculum  
3. About How Learning Happens
About This Chapter  
Educational Philosophy: Piaget and Constructivism  
The Changing Nature of the Concept of Intelligence  
Cognition, Metacognition, and Goals: Connections to Practice  
Real Experiences and Technology in the Instructional Process  
Connecting Research to Practice: Summary Hypotheses  
4. Choosing Standards and ?Designing Them Down?
About This Chapter  
The Curriculum Committee Meets  
A Bit of History  
Defining Standards in New Terms  
Curriculum Enactment  
5. Constructing Creative Classrooms
About This Chapter?Dealing With the Differences  
Organizing the Environment  
The Actors: The Performers and Their Director  
The Script: The Overall Plot  
6. How Are We Doing? Measuring Success
About This Chapter  
Standards and Their Measures  
The Purposes of Measures or Assessments  
A History of Assessment Forms  
The Quality and Consequences of High-Stakes Assessments  
Improving HSSB Tests  
Where Should Meg, April, and Brad Begin?  
Challenge 1: Establishing Validity and Testing Reliability  
Challenge 2: Tasks or Performances Versus Concepts  
Challenge 3: Writing Rubrics  
Challenge 4: Disaggregating the Assessment Results  
Challenge 5: Levels of Performance, Grading  
Challenge 6: Sharing Results With Students, Parents, and the Community  
7. Where Do We Go From Here?
About This Chapter  
Where Will the Leadership for Needed Change Come From?  
Professional Development for Teachers  
Using Technology and Its Networks for Sharing Curriculum and Research  
Technology for Communicating With Our Public  

"This book provides good, practical suggestions and ideas, and shows their connections to educational research."

Gary Schumacher, Superintendent
Monona Grove School District, WI

"Comprehensive in scope, this book thoroughly lays out what a classroom teacher or curriculum developer needs to do to create an effective curriculum that can then be adapted into actual classroom instruction."

Stephen D. Shepperd, Principal
Sunnyside Elementary School, Kellogg, ID

Contents of book did not clearly align with curriculum leadership course. The text is well written, but would be better suited for master level course.

Patrick Jenlink
Secondary Leadership Educ Dept, Stephen F Austin State University
May 11, 2013
Key features
  • Updated edition of Choice award-winning book.
  • Connects curriculum and standards to best teaching practices.
  • Covers traditional, alternative, and high-stakes assessments.
  • Strong potential for course adoptions and in-service workshops.

The third edition of The Curriculum Bridge begins its history of the status of American education with George W. Bush's 2008 "State of the Union" address, an event that took place seven years later than the onset of NCLB in 2001, the period of time that began the second edition. The new edition then looks back at the events of the previous three decades as they relate to the many current and historical influences on the schools of America. It also introduces some international comparisons. An intensive new update on the implementation of NCLB legislation is included. The pros and cons of federally mandated actions and their attached assessments are presented from the different viewpoints of teachers, researchers and the public. Descriptions of the impact of changes in the economy and an expanded media are also elaborated

The new edition presents emerging ideas of educational philosophy and the rapidly expanding findings of cognitive and neuroscience research. It delves deeply into the tools and findings of brain function research and how they may affect the science of teaching -- the theories of learning, and the practices that incorporate them. The specific connections of the research findings to the standards of curriculum as they are enacted in classroom practice are presented within the context of the curriculum products of agencies such as NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), the National Research Council, and the prescriptions of the states of California, Connecticut and Michigan. Precise examples of curriculum design in the current terms of content and performance standards are given. The need for explicit knowledge of embedded concepts and the frustration of teachers with the disparities and language of standards issued by the different agencies are also discussed.

The chapter on assessment in this edition expands on the methods of constructing formats and items that measure student knowledge of the matching curriculum. It also offers updated results on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) with comparisons to state test results. It reports on the reactions of teachers and the public to high-stakes tests as well as on their accomplishments and deficiencies including the tendency to "teach to the test." The benefits of disaggregating results and "value added" analyses are also addressed. The final chapter discusses the recent call for applications of test results to measures of teacher quality and the extensions and evaluations of research methods, including mixed-method approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative data.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Why Standards and Tests Are on the Front Page

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ISBN: 9781412969840