H. Lynn Erickson on Coherence in Curricula

“…But a coherent curriculum also fosters through the grades, in a deliberate and systematic design, increasing sophistication in critical content knowledge, conceptual understanding, and complex performance abilities. The current emphasis on meeting national and state standards requires thoughtful planning in curriculum design. We cannot afford to do dinosaurs and rain forests at three different grade levels. We need to use the precious time in schools to maximum advantage. This does not mean that we cannot do thematic, integrated units or bring relevance and active student engagement into the learning process. But it does signal the need for coherent curricular plans that achieve the desired outcomes for students–outcomes that are based on the realities of living, learning, and working in the 21st century, as well as the mandates of discipline-based standards and assessments.”

Excerpted from: Erickson, H. Lynn. Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Beyond the Facts. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press, 2002.

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