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  1. CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT Debbi Hardy Curriculum Director Olympia School District

  2. What is Curriculum? It is… • often confused with instructional materials or programs. (e.g., Harcourt Reading or Glencoe Math) • an aggregate of courses of study for a school district - what students are supposed to learn. • based on the state's standards, which serve as the minimum requirements for students. • outlined or summarized in school district documents which might include: curriculum guides, programs of study, course syllabi, teachers' unit plans, etc.

  3. What is Alignment? It is… the congruence or match between the curriculum, instruction and assessment.

  4. Establishing Common Language: • Curriculum – defined by district and based on the EALRs, GLEs, and Performance Expectations • Instruction – implementation of the defined curriculum • Assessment - multiple measures of proficiency for the defined curriculum

  5. Alignment Curriculum Defined by District and based on EALRs/GLEs STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Instruction Implementation of the defined curriculum Assessment Multiple measures of proficiency for the defined curriculum

  6. Alignment: congruence or match between curriculum, instruction and assessment • Topical alignment • Deep Alignment

  7. Curriculum Defined by the district and based on EALRs/GLEs STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Instruction Implementation of the defined curriculum Assessment Multiple measures of proficiency for the defined curriculum Topical Alignment • Congruence of the content (knowledge, skill, process or concept) in the curriculum, instruction and assessment • Initial level of alignment (Textbook Correlation Analysis)

  8. Examples of Content • Equality (concepts) • Addition Facts (knowledge) • Inference (skill/strategy) • Phoneme Segmentation (process)

  9. Alignment: congruence or match between curriculum, instruction, and assessment • Topical alignment • Deep Alignment

  10. Curriculum Defined by the district and based on EALRs/GLEs STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Instruction Implementation of the defined curriculum Assessment Multiple measures of proficiency for the defined curriculum Deep Alignment • Congruence or match between the content, context and the cognitive demand present in the curriculum, instruction and assessment

  11. What are the elements of deep alignment? The 3 C’s: • Content • Context • Cognitive Demand

  12. Instructional conditions – includes supplied materials, available resources, specialized vocabulary, time (“the givens”) Tasks – activities in which students engage Context:refers to the conditions under and the ways in which the content may be learned and demonstrated

  13. Examples: instructional conditions • Graphic organizers • A partner • List of key vocabulary words • Dictionaries, thesauruses • Highlighted text • A calculator

  14. Examples: student tasks • Summarize the text. • Explain the process used to solve the problem. • Draw, write about or verbally describe the mental images that occur while reading. • Explain your conclusions and support with evidence. • Write a persuasive essay about…

  15. What are the elements of deep alignment? The 3 C’s: • Content • Context • Cognitive Demand

  16. Cognitive demand… • refers to the kind of thinking process required of the student due to the complexity of the task. • can be identified or classified using one of many taxonomies.

  17. Application or Utilization of Knowledge For example: • Execute – to use a learned procedure in a familiar situation • Implement – to use a learned procedure in an unfamiliar situation • The more opportunities students have to practice skills, strategies and procedures on high-level tasks in a variety of rich contexts, the more likely it is that they will be able to transfer them to new situations.

  18. What are the elements of deep alignment? The 3 C’s: • Content • Context • Cognitive Demand

  19. Research Finding… “ The data give rise to a conclusion that reinforces the use of curriculum alignment…, … there were desirable gains despite the traditional predictors of poor student achievement—low socioeconomic status, being Black, being male, and learning in a school with over 800 children!” — Felicia Moss Mitchell, Ed.D AERA, 1999

  20. Research Finding… The ability of instruction to overcome initial aptitude differences relative to task difficulty was a goal of an alignment study. (Community College students – understanding main idea.) Lower aptitude students did not perform as well as higher aptitude students when test items misaligned from practice. On aligned tasks, alignment was so effective that lower aptitude students performed better under aligned conditions than did higher aptitude students under misaligned. (What was structured as misaligned was what one normally sees in the average classroom.) — The Fahey Study 1986

  21. Instructional Alignment: Searching for a Magic Bullet Instructional alignment routinely causes the 4-to-1 Effect, effect sizes exceeding one and often two sigma, about four times what we ordinarily see in typical classrooms. We routinely observe these large effects from small amounts of instructional effort. Presently, we find no other construct that consistently generates such large effects, which is probably why the idea of instructional alignment is so well-entrenched in the conventional wisdom of instructional designers, even if not in the programs currently found in most classrooms. — Alignment Study Analysis S. Alan Cohen 1984