The Curriculum Mapping KnowledgeBase

Element 1: Lay the Foundation

Purpose: Applying curriculum mapping within a district or school begins with an understanding of the fundamentals. These include being knowledgeable about the basic concepts, defining a vision for the initiative, and creating a leadership structure to support it. Element 1 outlines these tasks and offers resources for the teacher to gain such an understanding.

Activity 1: Understand Curriculum Mapping Concepts

Activity 2: Create a Shared Vision for Curriculum Mapping

Activity 3: Define the Leadership Structure to Support Mapping

Element 2: Launch the Process

Purpose: Wiktionary dictionary defines launch as "to set going; to give a start to (something); to put in operation." Curriculum mapping is an ongoing process. The process involves creating maps that drive instruction, reviewing and improving those maps over time, and learning how to master mapping strategies. Element 2 outlines these tasks and offers resources for district and school leaders and teachers to launch curriculum mapping.

Activity 1: Using Curriculum Maps to Drive Instruction

Activity 2: Undertake a Review Process to Improve Instruction

Activity 3: Learn How to Master Mapping Strategies

Task 2: Integrate Curriculum Mapping and Professional Learning


Guideline: Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs identifies the phases of curriculum mapping as "Laying the Foundation," "Launching the Process," "Sustaining and Integrating Mapping within the District and School," and "Mapping into the Future." In her view, these phases serve as an umbrella covering curriculum design and professional learning. The resulting curriculum maps can serve as a guide for an individual teacher's professional learning, as well as for grade-level teachers, a whole school, or a district.

Definition - Professional Development

The document offers the definition for professional development included in Title IX of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Professional Development: Follow Your Own Lead

From Education World, this resource is a reflection on teacher professional learning. "As schools move full-tilt towards a professional development model more attuned to collegial school-wide goals, educator Brenda Dyck explores the need to balance that model with one that recognizes the professional goals of individual teachers."

Professional Learning Communities at School

Professional learning communities offer teachers a way to interact and collaborate with their colleagues on instructional issues. This North Carolina Department of Public Instruction resource offers an overview of professional learning communities and explores what they are, why they are important, and how they are created.


Professional Learning Communities: What Are They And Why Are They Important?

This SEDL website provides an overview of professional learning communities.

Video: Four Phases of Curriculum Mapping

In this video provided by Curriculum Designers, Inc., Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs explains the four phases of curriculum mapping and connects the mapping process to a framework for professional development. This video runs 2 minutes and 5 seconds.


Video: Launching the Process of Curriculum Change

In this video provided by Curriculum Designers, Inc, Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs explains launching the process of curriculum change and connects the mapping process to a framework for professional development. This video runs 3 minutes and 2 seconds.

Element 3: Sustain and Integrate the Mapping Process

Purpose: Curriculum mapping is an ongoing process as teachers review and update the respective maps regularly. The process of updating their maps enables teachers to think about how they can improve and update their instructional approaches. The Element 3 tasks address incorporating assessment results into the mapping process.

Activity 1: Conduct Ongoing Strategic Monitoring

Activity 2: Unpack Assessment Data

Element 4: Advanced Mapping Tasks

Purpose: Curriculum mapping is an ongoing process as teachers review and update the respective maps regularly . The process of updating their maps enables teachers to think about how they can improve and update their instructional approaches. The Element 4 tasks address applying new instructional techniques and integrating technology with curriculum.

Activity 1: Update Maps with 21st Century Techniques