The Key Players in Curriculum Development in United States Schools
There are many groups and people that affect the curriculum that is being taught to children in the United States. From the federal government to the local community there is much influence over what curriculum students are learning. It is important to know how curriculum is being created and maintained because the education of future generations is very important.
The federal government passes federal legislations, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, to which schools are required to measure up to. NCLB mandates can directly impact the curriculum in the classroom. The federal government mostly influences the range of curriculum found in the classrooms in the United States.
The state provides support materials such as a syllabus and guide for each subject area and grade level. States also determine what students should learn and a list of approved materials can be used in the classroom. The state sets standards about what students should be learning by forming committees and holding public meetings where they listen to different groups of interest's opinions on curriculum. The state then sets the rules for student standards.
Districts also provide materials for teaching such as curriculum guides. Districts review the materials that can be used in the classroom and recommend specific materials that should be purchased. The district is also required to appoint specialists that make sure the curriculum is being supported and the teachers are prepared.
Schools are an important factor that influences curriculum because schools have to take the provided materials and syllabuses and bring it to the students. Schools also must remain aware of the student standards and maintain these standards. Schools have to make sure that the guidelines are being followed.
Teachers do not play a huge role in what curriculum is taught, but they do play a role in deciding how to teach the curriculum. Teachers also play a role in deciding what materials are used by attending district meetings and presenting reviews of materials that are being suggested. Teachers play a role in state decisions as well by joining statewide committees that set student standard laws.
The community plays an important role in influencing curriculum in a school. Different community groups of religious, political, and varying association influence a school by effecting what topics may be taught. The community is also influential when deciding on materials to use because they can become actively involved in district decisions about proposed material. The community also plays a role in extra curricula activities by hosting different clubs and teams.
All of these groups play a different part in influencing the curriculum that is being taught in schools, and students would not learn effectively if it was not for these influences.