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EDLP 336: Curriculum Leadership in Educational and

Social Services Agencies


Summer, 2011

Judith A. Aiken, Ed. D. M-F, July 11-15, 2011

499B Waterman Building Location, Waterman, 426
College of Education and Social Services 8:30-4:30
Burlington, VT 05405

A change in curriculum is more than it appears. It involves not simply

the substitution of one element for another; that new element
frequently requires for its survival a compatible organizational
structure. In other words, when a curriculum change is introduced
without due regard for the context in which the change is to take
place, that innovation is almost surely doomed to short life.

Herbert M. Kliebard, 1988

When I act as a transformative curriculum leader, I consciously embody

a role needed to move others or myself toward richer teacher-learner
enactments. To determine what is needed, I assess the context
and apply what I have come to value and believe about learning, human
development, and decision-making. This interpretation of leadership
implies that leadership is shared among participants, and is
collaborative, not hierarchical.
Henderson & Hawthorne, 1995


This course is designed to engage participants in a study of curriculum leadership and

how one leads curriculum change and renewal in our educational institutions. The
course is intended for aspiring school administrators, as well as teacher leaders,
curriculum coordinators, department chairs, and instructional leaders. The goal is to
help each course member advance his or her own professional inquiry and
understanding of basic concepts and processes of curriculum, and to inquire into the
leadership knowledge, skills, and strategies one needs to serve in curriculum leadership
roles. Through an investigation into the philosophy and perspectives of curriculum,
curriculum concepts, curriculum planning, development, and assessment, and the skills
one needs to lead curriculum change in educational and human services, leaders will be

better poised to contribute to the organizational processes and human interactions
influencing their organizations.

1 This is an overview of the course. A complete syllabus will be available in June.

Through readings, class discussions, and course assignments and projects, it is intended
that participants will meet the Vermont competencies for administrative endorsement
and/or for other curriculum leadership positions in Vermont. The goals for this course

l. To deepen and expand understanding about the character and meaning of

curriculum—theoretical, philosophical, sociological, global, and historical-- and to examine
currently held values, beliefs, and dispositions toward the curriculum development process.

2. To broaden one’s view of curriculum leadership and effective curriculum

management techniques to support curriculum development and renewal in their institutions.

3. To understand the concepts and processes associated with curriculum

development, levels of curriculum development, types of curriculums, and factors that impact
curricular effectiveness, e.g. school culture, climate, scheduling, professional development,

4. To build understanding about multicultural dimensions of curriculum and how

the curriculum supports equal educational opportunities for all students/members by ensuring
a curriculum that reflects the diversity/needs of all groups.

5. To recognize challenges and problems associated with curriculum and that

have potential to influence the system and delivery of curriculum and instruction.

6. To meet personal learning goals for course participants.

Note: The above listed outcomes are linked to the VT Administrative Endorsement Competencies, 6.1, 6.2,
6.4, 6.6, 6.8, 6.9,6.10, 6.11, and 6.12. (See Program Handbook.)

Note: Given this is a one-week, intensive course, students should be prepared to

work hard making best use of time both in and out of class. It is important that
students attend all sessions. The goal is to provide a level of awareness and
understanding of the principles and practices of Curriculum Leadership, namely, the
processes to bring about curriculum development and renewal to support student
learning. Students will prepare concise reflections on all of the assigned readings in
preparation for each class. Reading reflections will provide opportunity for students
to think about how ideas relate to and or can help improve their own practices.
Students will also develop and present an individually designed research brief in
class related to an important curricular issue or topic. More information will be
provided in class.


• Selected course readings, discussions and reflections
• Instructor and student lead lecturettes and presentations
• Guest presenters by expert practitioners
• Panel Presentations
• Case study, simulations, vignettes, film, and role-play activities
• Student Journals/Notebooks (electronic preferred)
• Skill-based Practice
• Small group cooperative/collaborative activities
• Student designed applied projects
• Reflection, planning and writing time

It is intended that the agenda for each daily each session may include:

a. Review and discussion of assigned readings, small and large groups.

b. Guest speakers on particular topics
c. Collaborative sharing and discussion of materials as well as review of new
materials provided by both students and the instructor
d. ―Workshop‖ time to work on the projects--group and/or individual
e. Writing/reflective time
f. Library time (2x per week)
g. Quiet reading time/research/project development work
h. Consultation with Instructor time as needed

Note: Students are strongly encouraged to bring their laptop computers to use in class.

Course Products:

We will learn through a variety of experiences combined with readings, activities,

dialogue, and guest presenters. Opportunities to apply new learning in class and
outside-of-class are important components of the course. More information about
these products will be presented at our first class. Specifically, course participants will
complete the following:

l. Complete all readings and participate in class discussions and activities.

Prepare notes on readings and maintain them in electronic or notebook format, in order
to enrich class discussions. These notes are to be concise and capture the most salient
ideas in the readings, how they apply to you, and what you ―takeaway‖ from the reading.
They will be collected.

2. Select and research a ―curriculum‖ issue or problem. Based on your inquiry

you will prepare a ―research brief‖ to present to the class. More information will be
provided in class.

3. Prepare your own personal ―curriculum platform‖ that will direct your work as
a curriculum leader. This is a reflective piece, completed closer to the end of the

4. Group presentation on the Schiro book on curriculum ideology. More
information will be provided in class.

Course Evaluation:

Course grades will be based on your learning with respect to the course goals
and evaluation criteria as indicated above. Assessment will take into account your
understanding of the principles and practices that define good curriculum leadership
and how you are thinking about and applying this learning in course discussions and
assignments. Overall, grades will be determined using the following rough or
approximate ―weighting‖ for products and contributions:

Course Participation, Readings, and Mini Assignments 30%

Team Presentation 25%
Research Brief 35%
Curriculum Platform 10%

Course participants will also be asked to complete the standard UVM written
evaluations on the course and the instructor. Additional formative evaluation
feedback may be invited.

Any changes or modifications to this syllabus will be discussed with cohort members
and approved by members of the course and instructor.

Required Course Readings:

The texts for the course will be ordered through the UVM Bookstore. However, you
may purchase them online as well. It is important that you purchase your books in
advance of the class due to reading assignments for our first session. If you choose to
order on line, be sure to give yourself at least 2-3 weeks to obtain books!

Sorenson, R. D., Goldsmith, L. M., Mendez, Z. Y. & Taylor-Maxwell, K.

(2011). The Principal’s Guide to Curriculum Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4129-8080-7

The Principal’s Guide to Curriculum Leadership brings an important aspect of

educational leadership to the forefront of practice. This book introduces leaders and
aspiring leaders to the dynamic curriculum leadership and development processes that
lead to success for all students. The author walks the reader through the curriculum
development and renewal process that includes how a leader fosters a learning culture
and works collaboratively with personnel. The functions of curriculum leadership are
introduced to the reader along with a definition of what it means to be a curriculum
leader and the tasks associated with this work. Building learning environments and
teams, as well as planning for and implementing curriculum change and renewal are

discussed in the book. The book offers many practical ideas and forms and helps
leaders see how to do curriculum leadership work.

Schiro, M. S. (2008). Curriculum Theory: Conflicting visions and

Enduring concerns. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4129-5316-0

Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns by Michael Stephen

Schiro offers a clear and understandable analysis of four major educational ideologies
that have driven the curriculum field historically and currently. It helps the reader
understand the foundations upon which curriculum development has evolved, as well as
interpretations of the complexities and controversies in this work. The four major
ideologies (or theories) are explored and compared and contrasted in ways that
illuminate many of the ongoing debates inherent in the field of curriculum.

Other Readings:

In addition, supplemental readings may be assigned based on course content and

based on questions that may arise in class discussions. These readings will be on
electronic reserve and can be accessed from your own computer. Course participants
will also have opportunities to search out readings, through the library and/or on-line,
especially as they are related to your research brief presentation. A library training has
been arranged for you, as well as a research class.

Note #1: Students will be encouraged to visit websites of their professional

associations for their disciplines about information on standards and best instructional
practices, and so forth. These sites are often rich in resources (e.g. National Middle
School Association, National Science Teachers Associations, National Assessment of
Educational Progress, National Association of Teachers of Mathematics, etc.).

Note #2: Students may also visit some of the Vermont State’s web sites as well as the
US Department of Education sites to view recent and current information, educational
standards, reports and/or legislation about education in the US.

Religious Holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice.
Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the
second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the
semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious
observance to make up this work.

UVM Code of academic integrity: Offenses against the Code of Academic Integrity
are deemed serious and insult the integrity of the entire academic community. Any
suspected violations of the code are taken very seriously and will be forwarded to the
Center for Student Ethics and Standards for further investigation .

Accommodations: Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with

disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see

the instructor early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If
you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at to
learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center,
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay),
Fax: 802-656-0739, Email:, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General
office hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.

For more information, please contact Judith Aiken at 802.656.8199 or

Note: Professor Aiken is on sabbatical spring, 2011 and can be reached after May 30, 2011.