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Curriculum mapping

What is it?

Curriculum mapping is a process for collecting and recording curriculum-related data that identifies core skills and content taught, processes employed, and assessments used for each subject area and grade level. The completed curriculum map then becomes a tool that helps teachers keep track of what has been taught and plan what will be taught.

Creating and working with curriculum maps is a 7-step process involving:

  • Phase 1: Data collection.
  • Phase 2: A review of all maps by all teachers.
  • Phase 3: Small mixed group reviews, in which groups of five to eight diverse faculty members share individual findings
  • Phase 4: Large group comparisons, in which all faculty members gather to examine the findings of the smaller groups.
  • Phase 5: Identification of immediate revision points and creation of a timetable for resolution.
  • Phase 6: Identification of points requiring additional research and planning, and a timetable for resolution of those points.
  • Phase 7: Planning for the next review cycle.

The purpose of a curriculum map is to document the relationship between every component of the curriculum. Used as an analysis, communication, and planning tool, a curriculum map

  • allows educators to review the curriculum to check for unnecessary redundancies, inconsistencies, misalignments, weaknesses, and gaps;
  • documents the relationships between the required components of the curriculum and the intended student learning outcomes;
  • helps identify opportunities for integration among disciplines;
  • provides a review of assessment methods; and
  • identifies what students have learned, allowing educators to focus on building on previous knowledge.

Bear in mind that curriculum maps are records of implemented instruction -- of what has been taught during the current school year. Projection maps, or pacing guides, on the other hand, project what will be covered in the future.

Explore it

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Learn more about it

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Sample curriculum map

To see an example of a curriculum map, visit the Utah Education Network.

For more information, see Mapping the Big Picture: Integrating Curriculum and Assessment K-12, by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs (Mapping the Big Picture: Integrating Curriculum and Assessment K-12, ASCD, Alexandria, VA, 1997).


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