Behind the scenes: Liberty’s Curriculum Changes

“Hi, and welcome to English! We’re going to be learning a new novel this year, and we’ll be doing it together.” You’ve probably heard some form of this sentiment before, but have you ever thought about why the curriculum seems to change so much? After talking to some of Liberty’s department heads and those working on the administrative side of things, we seem to have reached an answer.

Emily Bassett, News Editor

Curriculum is changed for each subject every seven or so years. In some cases, like with the science curriculum, the materials are updated about every ten years.
“Some things that prompt the need for updated materials are books and other materials wearing out, as well as innovations in technology and teaching practices,” TOSA (teacher on special assignment) Susan Ford said.
Right now, Liberty is in the process of updating their science curriculum for the physics classes, and just finished an update to the biology curriculums. In addition to that, the English department is also changing and updating their curriculum.
“When you look at the sophomore English curriculum, all the books are written by white, European men. We’re looking to add some more diversity into the curriculum with this update,” Honors sophomore English teacher Henry Level said.

However, different staff may choose to implement different types of learning into their curriculums. For example, this year Level is integrating a new type of writing curriculum into his classes.
“Sometimes, the curriculum falls behind what both staff and students need to succeed. Because of this, staff will sometimes take on new material in order to fill those learning gaps,” Level said.
With those large changes from the district comes a whole lot of planning and coordination. For each specific course that’s changed, one staff member from each school will meet with their assigned TOSA multiple times throughout the year to plan the course.
“We begin the planning process in January 2 years before the decisions will be implemented. Over the course of those years, we have meetings to read new materials, talk about those materials, and begin field testing,” Science TOSA Lena Jones said.
Overall, while revamping the curriculum may cause strife for both staff and students, most agree that updating it will be beneficial in the long run.