The fundamental skill to a Curriculum and Instructional Leader such as a school principal is being able to provide the support and resources to teachers which enable them to deliver effective lessons using methodology that is comfortable for them and oriented towards their students’ needs and subject matter. Such leaders must have the tools to develop, plan and implement a cohesive educational program that can meet diverse learning needs (University of New Hampshire, n.d.). An instructional leader is competent in understanding the large ideas, knowledge, and skills taught in the core curriculum as well as being aware of the academic standards set for the specific courses and subjects. An instructional leader is also closely familiar with various research-based methodology and instructional practices used for student-centered instructions (ECRA, n.d.). Therefore, the leader is able recognize the conditions than enable teachers to use the methods and identify whether they are being used effectively. They can then either help teachers enhance their practice or to learn new instructional methods for better effectiveness as well as facilitate guidance and feedback from ‘model’ or experienced instructors (Bottoms, n.d.).
A cohesive and coherent curriculum focuses on alignment. That is, alignment of learning standards and teaching methods. Therefore, both the school and individual teachers have to match the content learned with the expectations of understanding outlined in standards that are then used in state standardized tests. The role of the Curriculum and Instructional Leader is to create a coherent curriculum and facilitate collaboration among instructors. In theory, a cohesive curriculum builds on what is learned previously, and the content learned across courses and subject areas is not redundant but can be used to fulfill the learning in the other subjects respectively (The Glossary of Educational Reform, 2014). There is evident alignment present with a structure that covers the whole school/grade level rather than individual teachers simply teaching based on academic standards presented to them. Even if different methods are used by instructors, the most effective means of teaching are employed and there is evidence of learning progression. An instructional framework competently developed with a cohesive structure and proven components is adaptable to work with varying teaching styles (Learning Focused, n.d.).
Bottoms, G. (n.d.). What school principals need to know about curriculum and instruction. Web.
ECRA. (2010). Curriculum leadership. Web.
Learning Focused. (n.d.). Instructional framework 101. Web.
The Glossary of Educational Reform. (2014). Coherent education. Web.
University of New Hampshire. (n.d.). Why get a graduate certificate in curriculum and instructional leadership? Web.