A strong curriculum is essential to student success and to meet state and federal educational requirements. As a professional educator focused on curriculum and instruction, you will oversee and assess the curriculum and teaching standards at your institution or organization. Professionals working in curriculum design must receive additional training and education beyond what is needed to be a classroom teacher, meaning they must already have, or must gain and sharpen, specific skills to achieve success.
Below are five skills, listed in no particular order, that educators working in curriculum and instruction positions should possess.
1. Analytical Thinking
The ability to look at student performance data and use it to evaluate curriculum materials and teaching strategies is essential in this role. Based on analysis of various data points, you will make recommendations on changes to the current curriculum. Logical thinking is required to do so, and you must be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of the alternative solutions that you recommend.
In a curriculum and instruction role, you may be required to identify the performance measures you will use to determine student success and to make suggestions on how to improve or correct performance.1 You must be confident in your ability to work with data and evaluate outcomes using that data. Several of the following skills relate back to analytical thinking abilities.
2. Problem Solving
Problem solving skills are important to find success in all areas of life, and they figure prominently in curriculum and instruction positions. Using analytical thinking skills, you must be able to identify problems, which are often quite complex, and develop and evaluate possible solutions.
Often, these solutions are achieved with input from new information on trends in instructional methods and technologies.2 As such, active learning goes hand in hand with problem solving, as you must understand the implications of new information as you work through current and future problems. Once solutions have been identified and evaluated, you will work to implement the ideal solutions to improve learning outcomes and student performance.
Both verbal and written communication are essential in a curriculum and instruction position as you will disseminate information to administrators and teachers. When it comes to working with administrators, reports and other information on student performance and proposed changes to the curriculum needs to be shared and discussed. For teachers in the classroom, you will serve as a trainer and a mentor, providing guidance on instructional methods.
While you must be able to clearly communicate ideas and requirements to colleagues at varying levels, you will also need to be an active listener, allowing them to ask questions, voice concerns and offer suggestions to create a collaborative work environment. You may face teachers or administrators who do not agree with your recommendations or implementation of certain aspects of the curriculum, so the ability to persuade and negotiate will also come in handy in this profession.
Work in curriculum and instruction puts you into a leadership position at your institution or organization. Being an effective leader builds off of the communication and problem solving skills we have already touched on, as well as interpersonal skills that will allow you to forge good working relationships with your colleagues.
Change can be difficult for many people, and as you identify and solve problems by making changes to the curriculum and/or teaching strategies, you will need to provide guidance in a way that inspires others to follow. You may be called on to motivate and develop teachers as they work, which begins by building a solid foundation of respect and trust.
Decision-making skills go along with problem-solving abilities. In order to solve problems, you must be able to make decisions. Curriculum and instruction professionals spend plenty of time navigating the complex state and federal education standards, textbooks and teaching strategies, and then must figure out how to provide access to the desired curriculum.3 Taking these numerous factors into account, as well as costs and benefits of various solutions, they must be able to make informed decisions and move forward with a chosen course of action.
- Retrieved September 7, 2021 from mymajors.com/career/curriculum-specialist/skills/
- Retrieved September 7, 2021 from thebalancecareers.com/government-job-profile-curriculum-specialist-1669674
- Retrieved September 7, 2021 from resilienteducator.com/teaching-careers/k-12-curriculum-developer/