Only one thing matters. The needs of our students.
Language arts teacher
Perseus House Charter School
The talents and abilities the future will demand of our students, as determined by ongoing feedback from alumni and the larger community.
Raul Quintanilla Middle School
The requirements of responsible citizenship! Public schools were designed to prepare the future citizens of our country, and the world. It is easy to lose sight of that in the midst of the clamor over standards, funding, and accountability. It is crucial that educators constantly examine the demands of responsible citizenship, and adjust their curricula to meet those demands.
Scott A. Laliberte
Gilford Elementary School
Gilford, New Hampshire
The factors that drive my curriculum are all data driven: first, the assessment of the skills the students arrive with to my class, then meeting them where they are, with priority given to skills that will be tested in March on the state comprehensive assessment.
Stranahan High School
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The driving force behind curriculum is determining students' needs using the African principle of sankofa, looking behind to clearly envision the future. Advancements in curricular design are spurred on by assessing our changing world. Young people are inheriting one that is smaller and glutted with information. To go beyond simply regurgitating facts is key to empowering youths. By taking those facts and processing them, they can begin asking why, how, and so what? Those are the questions that change passive consumers into critical evaluators.
Director of math and technology curriculum
White Plains, New York
Too many times, we're wrapped up in what makes our lives and jobs easier rather than how we can make the kids love learning -- particularly our subject -- and help them achieve and excel in both school and life. The effect on students should be the number-one gauge when any decision is made regarding schools.
Mount Pleasant High School
We should consider first what is developmentally appropriate for each grade level, then what ways are developmentally appropriate to teach that developmentally appropriate curriculum. Too many "developmentally appropriate's" in this short response? Not nearly enough!
Full-day kindergarten teacher
Blakely Elementary School
Bainbridge Island, Washington
The prime factor to be considered is the relevance of the material to the lives of our learners. Unless there is a way learners can recognize an actual connection between the material and their real life, they will have no interest in the material. Once something is relevant, then we need to attend to the comprehensibility for all. Of course, we need to tie this material to the accountability measures, but learning simply for the sake of learning is always valuable.
San Antonio, Texas
Social behavior and geological issues should be at the forefront of student learning. Children should be taught to question information and validate "facts" posed to them via their textbooks, the Internet, the news media, and the advertising community. Also, our children should acquire the ability to identify systems and how they behave -- cause-and-effect relationships. Proficiency in this skill will enable our children to excel in sciences of all types.