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Creating curriculum literate teacher candidates to support student learning

We know that teachers are grappling with unfinished learning and learning loss among their students from the past few school years. We also know that high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) are a critical component of strong, standards-aligned instruction and can support in recovering student learning. But in order to effectively understand and utilize high-quality instructional materials, teachers have to have the access to the materials and the knowledge and skills to use them. This skill set of recognizing, selecting, revising and facilitating the use of quality curriculum is known as curriculum literacy.

We’ve heard firsthand from teacher educators that shifting programming so that teacher candidates become curriculum literate poses several challenges: 

Challenge What We’ve Heard In The Field


Engaging faculty in designing coursework to include HQIM, addressing concerns and building expertise with the content 

“Faculty in teacher preparation programs are siloed and there are not structures in place to establish and adopt HQIM.”

Communicating about the curriculum work TPPs are doing, both internally and externally with partners, anticipating concerns related to HQIM and getting feedback from stakeholders
“Messaging surrounding HQIM has previously been unclear across teacher preparation programs.”

Supporting teacher candidates as critical consumers of curriculum during coursework and throughout their practicums. 
“It can be challenging to fit into current course requirements the training needed to help teacher candidates build the complex skill of utilizing high-quality instructional materials.”

We—representatives from five national teacher preparation transformation centers working with prep programs across different teacher training contexts and areas of expertise—formed a working group to create a guide to support prep programs and other transformation centers with this work. In this guide you will find example actions and guiding questions to help prep programs and transformation centers to overcome the above challenges and create opportunities for teacher candidates to become curriculum literate.

Download the Curriculum Literacy Guide

Meet the experts who authored this post

Strengthening Teacher Preparation Community of Practice
Ann Duffy
Ann Duffy
Principal Consultant
Grace Epler
Grace Epler
Director of Professional Learning
Ashton Toone
Ashton Toone

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