Teaching Textbook Curriculum
Design a Complimentary Syllabus
- Compose a syllabus that makes a logical connection to the structure of the textbook. Textbooks are written either as manuals intended to build knowledge sequentially or as a sampling of essays and lessons that can be used more like an anthology. Identify which of these two categories the textbook fits before designing the course syllabus. In the syllabus itself, make certain the principles of any non-textbook lessons are related directly to the textbook curriculum and provide a brief note if it's necessary to contextualize this information. Many students can easily become distracted with too much information. However explaining these links provides the teacher with a chance to reiterate important or foundational concepts.
- Recognize that trying to fit in an entire textbook into a single class may actually prove to be a disservice to the learning community at large. Even curriculum-standardized textbooks are written with an eye towards instructor preference. Many less experience instructors feel that they must squeeze all of the lessons and exercises into the course time allotted. However there is a point of diminishing returns in any classroom environment that needs to be acknowledged by the teacher. Read the textbook for the most important and relevant concepts and concentrate the most time there. Ancillary concepts can be introduced once main principles are mastered.
Remember Testing Deadlines
- Prepare students for exams by allowing for adequate review time. When teaching towards curriculum requirements, remember that the standardized model for learning is essentially designed to increase student academic performance. A teacher should make sure the proper material is emphasized so that students are directed to the material that will appear on the test. Contact a department administrator to get a copy of the test before it is actually proctored, if possible. While the idea of teaching to the test has received much negative attention, when operating in a strict curriculum framework, it is sensible to know what model of assessment the students will face. Plan accordingly or risk less than satisfying student results.