Curriculum mapping

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Curriculum mapping is a procedure for reviewing the operational curriculum[1] as it is entered into an electronic database at any education setting. It is based largely on the work of Heidi Hayes Jacobs in Mapping the Big Picture: Integrating Curriculum and Assessment K-12 (ASCD, 1997) and Getting Results with Curriculum Mapping (2004, ASCD). Schools are using curriculum templates that display key components of the curriculum: content, skills, assessments, and essential questions.

Some states such as South Dakota have adopted curriculum mapping on a statewide basis and provide detailed online curriculum mapping resources for their professional staff.[2] Other states such as Indiana have mandated curriculum mapping as a tool for schools which do not meet Adequate Yearly Progress and also provide numerous online tools.[3]

Key to the approach is that each teacher enters what is actually taught in real-time during the school year, in contrast to having an outside or separate committee determine decisions. The entries by teachers are not left alone, however; in fact, because the work is displayed via internet-based programs, it is open to view by all personnel in a school or district.[4] This allows educators to view both K-12 and across grade levels and subjects what is transpiring in order to be informed and to revise their work.

The curriculum mapping model as originally defined by Dr. Jacobs has seven specific steps[5] that schools use to thoroughly examine and then revise their curriculum. There are both commercial companies and not-for-profit groups that have generated curriculum mapping software used around the world. Related to mapping, but separate from it, is the concept of a curriculum audit, described by Fenwick W. English. in "Deciding What to Teach and Test: Developing, Auditing, and Aligning the Curriculum" (1999, Sage).

Curriculum mapping is not limited to United States public schools.[6] A number of independent schools have adopted the curriculum mapping process[7] to review and revise their curriculum. The bulk of schools using curriculum mapping outside the US tend to be independent schools that follow an international curriculum (such as IB, AERO, or IGCSE) or public schools located in Anglo-Saxon countries.


  1. ^ Starr, Linda (29 May 2006). "Virtual Workshop: Curriculum Mapping". Education World. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  2. ^ South Dakota Department of Education Office of Curriculum, Technology, & Assessment, retrieved 6 June 2010 
  3. ^ Indiana Department of Education: Resources for Districts in Improvement and Corrective Action, retrieved 6 June 2010 
  4. ^ Truesdale, Valerie; Claire Thompson; Michael Lucas (2004). "Use of Curriculum Mapping to Build a Learning Community". In Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Getting results with curriculum mapping. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN 0-87120-999-3. OCLC 55960819. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  5. ^ Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. Mapping the Big Picture: Integrating Curriculum and Assessment K-12 (ASCD,1997). 
  6. ^ Jacobs, Heidi Hayes (November 1998). "The Teacher as Designer: Integrating the Curriculum". International Schools Journal (European Council of International Schools) 18 (1): 22–33. ISSN 0264-7281. OCLC 93367190. 
  7. ^ Jacobs, Heidi Hayes (Spring 1998). "'Connections, Mapping, and Structures for Learning' Interview with Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs". Independent School Magazine (National Association of Independent Schools) 57 (3).