This series of blogs will summarize and highlight important portions of our recent white paper, The New York City DOE/CUNY Library Collaborative: Bridging the Gap Between High School and College, which you can view here.
The whitepaper presents the progression and processes of the New York Collaborative Curriculum Revision Project (CCRP), a collaborative of high school teachers, college faculty, and librarians formed to build upon the new Common Core State Standards and better prepare students for post-secondary success. The posts will include sections quoted from the white paper as well as our own editorial.
Most changes to instructional practice in schools wind up creating paperwork for teachers – checklists that they must complete to prove their compliance with a top-down reform. The CCRP took a more ambitious route, connecting educators across disciplines and analyzing curriculum as a community of practice. The participants didn’t just identify problems but suggested ways to revise curricular units to make them more college aligned by selecting the right resources, setting reasonable expectations, and providing the proper tools for implementation.
As a result, high school teachers come away with concrete steps on how to implement their revised unit and to apply the same critical lens to the rest of their instructional practice… College faculty gain a clearer sense of the academic levels of their incoming students in order to adjust instruction and support to help these same students succeed. Librarians understand and know how to partner with teacher and faculty colleagues to take their instructional units and practice to the next level.
The overall goal of the CCRP working sessions is to design communities of practice around curricular unit revision and sustainable professional relationships. It is hoped that these relationships will continue because the participants value the process of collaborative dialog and analysis.
To find out whether those hopes were realized, the Collaborative created surveys for each participant and examined notes from each session as well as the final reports. Follow-up communication is planned to learn more from school librarians on the impact of the working sessions on their practice and their collaborative relationships. The Collaborative is also planning more in-depth research to increase the evaluation rigor of working sessions.
About the Author
Geoff is a Renaissance man, who can often be found reading about obscure historical topics, working on cars, or debating world affairs. He comes from a family of teachers and has a BA in communications.