By Brooke Burns, Communications Manager
Amid PD days, Back-to-School nights, and other parent events, our principals, associate principals, and faculty have begun to share their feedback on the multi-year TAS curriculum review cycle, which is kicking off later this year. This curriculum review cycle will allow our school to systematically evaluate, review, and revise our curriculum to improve student learning. The school will repeat this cycle of self-study and analysis for all curricular areas in a return to normal practice after the disruption of the school’s previous review cycle during the pandemic.
“The goal of the curriculum review cycle is to establish a curriculum that is a living document, that is useful and used by all educators in our school,” said Amanda Jacob, Academic Dean and one of the administrators leading out this initiative.
As an independent international school, much of the comprehensive TAS curriculum has been developed through years of research and learning by our educators. Continuous review and improvement are essential components of maintaining a strong, research-based curriculum.
Our educational leadership team has met to review the feedback and will now form a core team with faculty members from each division of the school. This year, the team will tackle the curriculum review for social studies and history; over the next five years, all disciplines will go through this review process.
The educational leadership team decided to begin with social studies and history because many US states have adopted new standards that incorporate justice, equity, and diversity into their programs. While curriculum review is a best practice in schools in order to make sure all departments and subjects align fully with a school’s mission, this is also the perfect moment for TAS to bring the social studies and history faculty together along with the Director of Inclusion and Wellbeing to study and strengthen our curriculum.
Over the next 4-8 months, this core team will read extensively on research related to best practices, and synthesize their reading to create a philosophy statement and educational agreements to help align teachers within and across the divisions at TAS. This Phase 1 includes considerable self-study, where the core team will observe and analyze the current social studies and history curricula, and their outcomes within TAS.
After the research and data collection process, the core team will move into Phase 2 of the cycle. For 2-4 months, the core team will create a list of strengths and recommendations for social studies and history, which will inform the tangible action plans for each department to help support and develop the curriculum.
During Phase 3, which is slated to begin in the fall of 2023, the team will expand to include groups of teachers concerned by each recommendation. These larger teams will begin implementing immediately actionable recommendations and create action plans to execute on longer-term recommendations (like studying new resources or developing new programs).
In Phase 4, our teams will continue to reflect upon and refine the curriculum, to ensure that the changes and future improvements are well-aligned with the TAS mission, values, and beliefs.
We’re looking forward to the start of this important initiative!