Central Rivers AEA is committed to providing support. While recognizing the critical role of local schools in owning the curriculum adoption process and decisions, we stand ready to co-plan, offer just-in-time professional learning, and share research and tools to help schools facilitate their journey.
High-quality instructional materials (HQIM) serve as a foundational element in ensuring quality instruction, impacting not only teacher planning but also students’ access to grade-level standards. The direct correlation between student achievement and the availability of quality materials has been consistently emphasized in research, as evidenced by resources such as Ed Reports’ Why Materials Matter, NIET: High Quality Curriculum Implementation, or TNTP’s Opportunity Myth.
While the significance of HQIM has long been established, a subtle shift has emerged, advocating for a perspective that positions HQIM as a prerequisite to assessment systems, a deeper understanding of standards and intended curriculum work, and instructional practices.
These images are from the Universal Tier Guide from Iowa Department of Education.
Historically, instructional leaders invested considerable time in professional learning for all staff, assisting them in unpacking standards and creating aligned assessments as part of the preparation for a curriculum adoption cycle. Presently, the trend indicates that teachers utilizing HQIM represents one of the initial steps in fostering a system-wide comprehension of standards, ensuring the delivery of appropriate content and rigor to students.
The task of selecting materials has been aided in recent years by non-profit organizations dedicated to furnishing information on curriculum adoption cycles and materials. Ed Reports six-step process details the planning and preparation required before making a selection, with step six, implementation, underscoring the importance of creating a professional learning plan for the entire staff that encompasses the use of materials and feedback on their application in the classroom.
Another framework, Curriculumsupport.org, outlines phases beyond the material acquisition process, emphasizing the significance of support, ongoing professional learning, and coaching after acquiring HQIM. This approach ensures that teachers fully grasp and effectively implement the grade-level instruction that all students deserve.
Having High-Quality Instructional Materials alone is not sufficient for achieving student success. Even the best materials can yield poor results if used ineffectively. However, the shift in priority is evident; it is no longer a chicken-and-egg question. Without HQIM in place, teachers will spend significant time searching for resources, leaving insufficient planning time and mental energy needed for effective curriculum implementation.
Central Rivers AEA is committed to providing support. Our content consultants possess expertise in curriculum adoption. While recognizing the critical role of local schools in owning the curriculum adoption process and decisions, we stand ready to co-plan, offer just-in-time professional learning, and share research and tools to help schools facilitate their journey.