“Go into the whole world and spread the good news. Go therefore, and make disciples of all peoples. Baptize them and teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.” (Mk. 16:15)
“Catholic schools afford the fullest and best opportunity to realize the fourfold purpose of Christian education, namely to provide an atmosphere in which the Gospel message is proclaimed, community in Christ is experienced, service to our sisters and brothers is the norm, and thanksgiving and worship of our God is cultivated.” (US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005)
Definition of Curriculum
Curriculum has many definitions in education. For the purposes of this document, curriculum is the most basically defined as “what we teach.” More specifically for this document, it is the concepts and skills that students are expected to understand and demonstrate in each grade level.
Teachers are responsible for developing the classroom curriculum that their students will experience each day. The Classroom Curriculum includes specific activities, experiments, simulations, readings, and other content from which students will learn the concepts and skills in the Diocesan Curriculum. It also includes the instructional strategies that teachers use to teach the concepts and skills, as well as the assessment strategies used to guide instruction and evaluate student growth. Each teacher’s Classroom Curriculum should be developed under the leadership of the Principal and attend to the needs of his or her own students, the expectations and priorities of the parents, the teacher’s judgement about what is in the best interest of his or her students, and the traditions and charisms of the school.
Each unit of instruction should be documented by use of a Unit Cover Page. The Unit Cover Page should provide a summary of the unit rationale, the scope and sequence of the daily lesson plans, and a snapshot of the key instructional strategies used during instruction. The Diocese of Charleston focuses on the following key instructional strategies; providing opportunities for extending and refinement of knowledge based on student ability, application of knowledge to real-world situations in which students will understand how to use the knowledge in a meaningful way, and alternative forms of assessment such as performance assessments that measure the student’s ability by other methods than a pencil-paper or multiple-choice test.