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Key Actions to Implement Curriculum

Research shows that to positively impact student achievement, teachers cannot be provided with any curriculum or set of instructional materials without also providing them with professional learning focused on how to implement those materials effectively to meet the needs of all students. (Blazar, D. et al., 2019) Refer to the research on effective professional learning practices  and refer to information about job-embedded professional learning.

The nonprofit group Instruction Partners engaged in a literature review and conducted research in 70 schools of varying sizes across 16 states and the District of Columbia to identify the key actions and conditions that resulted in systemic and systematic implementation of a curriculum, including the professional learning that changed teacher practice and led to gains in student achievement. (Read more about Instruction Partners)

Instruction Partners translated these findings to a 3 to 5 year guide that districts can follow. This guide is divided into three phases: selecting materials, preparing to launch, and teaching and learning, and is called the Curriculum Support Guide.

While these phases are inherently linear, it may be necessary to revisit certain steps based on the outcomes of other steps throughout the process. These phases and steps have also been created in such a way that a district team can step into the process wherever they currently feel prepared to do so.

Throughout these phases it will be helpful to document challenges as they arise and have a process for addressing those challenges. A tool such as the Challenge Solving Protocols and embedded within the Curriculum Support Guide, might be helpful for this purpose.