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The Parallel Curriculum
A Design to Develop Learner Potential and Challenge Advanced Learners

Second Edition


October 2008 | 336 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with National Association for Gifted Children

"The Parallel Curriculum Model helps teachers not only strengthen their knowledge and pedagogy, but also rediscover a passion for their discipline based on their deeper, more connected understanding. Our students think critically and deeply at a level I have never before witnessed."
—Tony Poole, Principal
Sky Vista Middle School, Aurora, CO

"What makes this book unique is its insistence on the development of conceptual understanding of content and its focus on the abilities, interests, and learning preferences of each student."
—H. Lynn Erickson, Educational Consultant
Author of Stirring the Head, Heart, and Soul

"The approach honors the integrity of the disciplines while remaining responsive to the diversity of learners that teachers encounter."
—Jay McTighe, Educational Consultant
Coauthor of Understanding by Design

Engage students with a rich curriculum that strengthens their capacity as learners and thinkers!

Based on the premise that every learner is somewhere on a path toward expertise in a content area, this resource promotes a curriculum model for developing the abilities of all students and extending the abilities of students who perform at advanced levels.

The Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM) offers four curriculum parallels that incorporate the element of Ascending Intellectual Demand to help teachers determine current student performance levels and develop intellectual challenges to move learners along a continuum toward expertise. Updated throughout and reflecting state and national content standards, this new edition:

  • Helps teachers design learning experiences that develop PreK–12 learners' analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills in each subject area
  • Provides a framework for planning differentiated curriculum
  • Includes examples of curriculum units, sample rubrics, and tables to help implement the PCM model

The Parallel Curriculum effectively promotes educational equity and excellence by ensuring that all students are adequately challenged and supported through a multidimensional, high-quality curriculum.

 
Preface to the Second Edition
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. The Rationale and Guiding Principles for an Evolving Conception of Curriculum
A Word to New Readers About This Chapter  
Reasons for Another Curriculum Model  
Theoretical and Research-Based Underpinnings of the Parallel Curriculum Model  
 
2. An Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model
A Look at the Four Curriculum Parallels  
The Core Curriculum  
The Curriculum of Connections  
The Curriculum of Practice  
The Curriculum of Identity  
Curriculum Combining the Four Parallels  
Planning Quality Curriculum  
Ensuring Fidelity to the Parallel Curriculum Model  
Looking Ahead in the Book  
 
3. Thinking About the Elements of Curriculum Design
The Big Picture  
Planning Quality Curriculum  
Some Key Components of Curriculum Design  
Components of a Comprehensive Curriculum Plan  
Content/Standards  
Assessment  
Introductory Activities  
Teaching Methods  
Learning Activities  
Grouping Strategies  
Products  
Resources  
Extension Activities  
Differentiation Based on Learner Need (Including AID)  
Lesson and Unit Closure  
Remodeling a Unit Using the Comprehensive Curriculum Framework: One Teacher's Approach  
Looking Back and Ahead  
 
4. The Core Curriculum Parallel
Why Four Approaches to Curriculum Design? Isn't One Good Enough?  
What Is "Core" in the Core Curriculum Parallel?  
How Are the Key Curriculum Components Reconfigured to Achieve the Goals of the Core Curriculum Parallel?  
Revising the Remaining Curriculum Components to Address the Goals of the Core Curriculum Parallel  
Using the Goals of the Core Curriculum Parallel and Key Curricular Elements for Lydia Janis's Civil War Unit  
Looking Back and Ahead  
 
5. The Curriculum of Connections Parallel
What Is the Curriculum of Connections?  
The Purpose of a Curriculum of Connections: Why Should a Teacher Emphasize Connections and Relationships?  
The Curriclum of Connections: When Should I Use This Parallel?  
The Characteristics of the Curriculum Components Within the Curriculum of Connections  
Reconfiguring Other Curriculum Components for the Curriculum of Connections  
An Example of the Curriculum of Connections Using the Civil War Unit  
Looking Back and Ahead  
 
6. The Curriculum of Practice Parallel
What Does It Mean to "Practice" in a Curriculum?  
Why Does It Matter to Have Students Engage in the Curriculum of Practice?  
Key Features of the Components of Curriculum in the Curriculum of Practice?  
An Example of the Curriculum of Practice Using Lydia's Civil War Unit  
Looking Back and Ahead  
 
7. The Curriculum of Identity Parallel
What Does Identity Mean in the Curriculum of Identity?  
Why Should We Be Concerned About a Student's Identity?  
What Are the Key Features and Characteristics of Curriculum Components Within the Curriculum of Identity?  
An Example of the Curriculum of Identity Using Lydia's Civil War Unit  
Looking Back and Ahead  
 
8. Ascending Intellectual Demand in the Parallel Curriculum Model: The Journey Toward Expertise
Ascending Intellectual Demand: The Path to Expertise  
Planning Backwards From Expertise  
Understanding the AID Continuum  
On the Continuum Novice  
On the Continuum Apprentice  
On the Continuum Practitioner  
On the Continuum Expert  
Transitions on the AID Continuum  
A Model for Planning Student Movement Along the AID Continuum  
The Novice in Science  
The Apprentice in Science  
The Practitioner in Science  
The Expert in Science  
Planning the Path Toward Expertise in Science  
The Novice in Mathematics  
The Apprentice in Mathematics  
The Practitioner in Mathematics  
The Expert in Mathematics  
The Novice in History  
The Apprentice in History  
The Practitioner in History  
The Expert in History  
The Novice in English and Language Arts  
The Apprentice in English and Language Arts  
The Practitioner in English and Language Arts  
The Expert in English and Language Arts  
Using the AID Continuum  
 
Resource A: Teaching Resources for Chapter 8
 
References
 
Index

Praise for the First Edition:

“This thought-provoking, creative, and inspiring book contains chapters by recognized leaders in the field. The authors offer guidelines needed for developing and implementing effective, valuable curriculum for all classrooms.”

New Horizons for Learning

"As a principal and instructional leader, I have learned far more about effective instruction and powerful unit and lesson design from the Parallel Curriculum Model than anything else. PCM helps teachers not only strengthen their knowledge and pedagogy, but also rediscover a passion for their discipline based on their deeper, more connected understanding. Our students think critically and deeply at a level I have never before witnessed."

Tony Poole, Principal
Sky Vista Middle School, Aurora, CO

"What makes this book unique is its insistence on the development of conceptual understanding of content and its focus on the abilities, interests, and learning preferences of each student. The Parallel Curriculum Model provides a path for educators to move from novice to expert."

H. Lynn Erickson, Educational Consultant
Author of Stirring the Head, Heart, and Soul

"Offers a sophisticated yet doable model for curriculum planning. The approach honors the integrity of the disciplines while remaining responsive to the diversity of learners that teachers encounter. This book provides a practical pathway for connecting the content and the kids."

Jay McTighe, Educational Consultant
Coauthor of Understanding by Design

Love this

Dr Kimberly Silbaugh
School Of Education, Lesley University
March 25, 2012

This is the most in-depth and comprehensive text on constructing challenging curriculum for all students.

Ms Jo Henderson
Education, Boise State University
January 24, 2012

My class description changed to integration of technology for gifted and this is no longer needed. Excellent resource however.

Mr SANDRA CAMPIE
QUALITY LEARNING, MISSISSIPPI BEND AREA EDUCATION AGENCY
November 2, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: The Rationale and Guiding Principles


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