According to a Project Tomorrow® study, 92 percent of the district administrators surveyed believed that the effective use of technology in the classroom leads to greater student success.1 Yet meeting instructional goals is more challenging than ever. Educators now need to achieve public school curriculum standards, adapt to diverse student requirements, and seamlessly transition between physical and virtual instruction without disruption. In a report from SAM Labs, 78 percent of teachers say they haven’t received the training they need to effectively use technology in the classroom.2 For students to succeed in this or any other learning model, teachers must be successful first.
So how can teachers take more ownership of the classroom curriculum in an ever-changing environment? Based on the definition in The Glossary of Education Reform, the term “curriculum mapping” refers to the alignment of a learning standard and instructional techniques. For example, a district might want to look at how well a school or teacher has paired the student learning materials with the academic expectations described in a learning standard. Curriculum mapping and curriculum alignment can also refer to the process or diagramming of the many elements that are involved in educating K-12 grade students.3
Many districts are turning to curriculum mapping to ensure alignment between the content taught, the skills targeted, and the learning outcomes required for grades K–12. This program assessment enables school districts to bring all K-12 education instruction components together in a comprehensive resource that serves as both a guide and a reference source. Gale In Context: For Educators can help teachers and school administrators who are developing curriculum maps.
Building on the foundation of Gale In Context student databases, Gale In Context: For Educators merges quality, standards-aligned content with related lesson plans and instructional tools that enable teachers to find and personalize digital learning content, plan learning activities that work well for remote or in-person environments, and provide equity for all students. Along with the ability to collaborate from anywhere, For Educators offers core product features that directly support curriculum mapping:
- For Educators enables users to search by their state curriculum standards to find aligned content. For each standard, they can explore a variety of academic resource types and content levels to select the best material for the lessons they are planning.
- For Educators contains curated K-12 course subjects, such as mathematics, social studies, and science, arranged in a scope and sequence format with units and topics teachers can connect directly to their curriculum maps. Each unit contains multiple topic portals that give teachers the option to select resources that align to their instructional plans.
- For Educators offers custom lesson plans to help teachers incorporate learning activities that fit into their curriculum maps. Every lesson plan identifies the learning skills it targets so teachers know which standard objectives their students are working toward that support their public school curriculum.
This online database makes it easy for teachers to create curriculum maps and develop instruction that aligns with their teaching goals. With this one resource, teachers have access to a specialized tool kit to find and personalize digital learning content and educational activities for elementary–, middle school–, and high school–grade students. Gale In Context: For Educators also features a Learning Center to provide on-demand training to help educators self-teach virtual lesson planning and online teaching skills.
Equipped with these tools, teachers can continue to achieve public school curriculum alignment, meet instructional goals, and adapt to the diverse learning needs of their elementary–, middle school–, and high school–grade students to ensure they are successful, lifelong learners.
1. Based on the report “Turn Database Access into Action,” from a 2018–2019 nationwide study conducted by Project Tomorrow® in partnership with Gale, a Cengage company.
2. Bolkan, Joshua. “Most Teachers Say Classroom Tech Helps Students, but Teachers Need More Training.” THE Journal, October 26, 2017.
3. The Glossary of Education Reform, s.v. “Curriculum Mapping Definition,” updated November 18, 2013.