Lesson Plan and Curriculum Design

If you want a role in creating lesson plans that incorporate modern technology and new developments in education, a career in curriculum design could be a good fit. Keep reading to learn about the career responsibilities, academic requirements and job outlook for curriculum specialists.

Is Curriculum Design for Me?

Career Overview

Curriculum design involves selecting textbooks, planning lessons and developing materials that teachers can use in the classroom. If you pursue a career as a curriculum specialist, you'll strive to improve the quality of education that students receive. Other duties involve assessing teachers' lesson plans and recommending improvements. You may also be responsible for implementing a new curriculum to meet educational goals and state requirements or for introducing new technology.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), curriculum specialists, also called instructional coordinators, need to understand the learning needs for their target age group so they can create and implement an appropriate curriculum. You're likely to work within the K-12 school arena, but you're not limited to this age range. Colleges, online schools, corporations, medical facilities and government programs are all in need of those who can design curricula and incorporate modern technology to fit individual needs. Communication, leadership and interpersonal skills are key to working in the field, especially when conveying your ideas to teachers and garnering support from school administrators.

Employment and Salary Information

In May 2013, the BLS reported that about 133,840 individuals worked as instructional coordinators. The BLS projected that employment of these professionals would increase by 13% nationwide between 2012 and 2022, which is about average. While local and state funding may have an uncertain effect on job growth, schools and states will continue to need instructional coordinators to mentor and train teachers. According to the BLS, as of May 2013, the median annual salary for instructional coordinators was $60,610 (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Become a Curriculum Designer?

Educational Overview

Degree programs in curriculum design are only available at the graduate level. Most schools require that you have teaching experience to be considered for admission.

Master's Program

Through a master's degree program in curriculum design, you may explore the theories and methods used to develop, evaluate and implement a new curriculum. You'll also conduct research and write a thesis.

Educational Specialist Program

If you already have a master's degree and want to continue your education, you could earn an educational specialist degree in curriculum design. As a doctoral student, you'll learn how to use technology in a classroom, create a new curriculum and apply your research findings in a practical setting. Areas of research can include the impact of a solid curriculum on learning. Some classes may address the diverse teaching strategies used in a multicultural school system.

Doctoral Program

In addition to a career as a professional instructional coordinator, a doctoral program in curriculum design and instruction can help you acquire the credentials you need to teach curriculum design at the college level or go into research. In particular, you'll explore advanced methods for assessing curricula, discover trends in curriculum design and evaluate theories of learning. Along with completing a series of lectures, you'll engage in research and write and defend a dissertation pertaining to curriculum design and development.

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