Scenario: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Dr. John Summers was hired to be the curriculum director to enhance the teaching and learning process for the Dover School District.  Dr. Summers was the superintendent’s choice for the position because he was highly qualified in the area of curriculum development and his performance at a somewhat smaller school district with 5,000 students, in a neighboring state, was outstanding.  The district Dr. Summers came from was known for its high academic achievement, which was attributed to a well-planned curriculum supported by the principals, teacher-leaders, and teachers.

In contrast, the Dover School District was in curriculum disarray, and student achievement was low when compared with statewide achievement scores. As Dr. Summers soon discovered, some administrators, teacher-leaders, and teachers in the Dover School District construed their current curriculum as ideal because it met their standards. They also felt that if something was being taught, a curriculum existed. Others in the district, however, felt that a planned curriculum was vital for the district, but they were unable to generate the necessary leadership to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

1. To what extent do you believe a written curriculum for the various disciplines plays a role in this case?

2. To what extent do you believe the supported, tested, and learned curricula for the various disciplines play a role in improving the intentional curriculum?

3. Do you think there is any hope of changing attitudes? If so, how would you attempt to do this? If not, why?  

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