Curriculum Guide Rating Scale

Rating Scale, plus a curriculum comparative assignment (see PDF downloads at the bottom)                                                                                                                                        Contact Leslie

rating photoThis was a preliminary exercise that I used in my graduate fundamentals of curriculum classes — an exercise meant to help my students begin to analyze curriculum.  It was merely a way of getting my students to begin to think about some of the components that are often part of written curricula.

The following form has been morphed over the years from something I was initially given in a long ago graduate class. Over the years it has been added to, modified and changed so that it met my teaching needs. It served to assist users in evaluating a variety of curricula at comparative levels. Please know this is a listing of anything and everything I have ever viewed in a curriculum guide and thus it would be highly unusual for one guide to contain all of the elements listed in the evaluation sheet. I suggest if you are going to use this for ratings, use the categories and components to help you compare and contrast different types of guides. If you do this, give each a different symbol as you rate them or use a different sheet for each one.

This exercise is meant to aid readers in deciding what is user-friendly curriculum and what is not. Readers will find that at national, state, and district levels there are often huge differences in what people term curriculum.  Some schools also use purchased or commercial curricula. The curricula you examine  may be very good and easy to use, or conversely, quite awful. The worst is probably the copied table of contents of some text. The more variety of documents viewers can examine, the more likely it is that they will find elements they think should be incorporated into a usable format. Curriculum is meant to be used, and utterly useless if no one reads it, or if it just sits on a shelf or in the deep recesses of a computer cache. Personal preferences should be internalized and  applied to writing your own curriculum.  Remember as you find aspects that you like, please share them with your colleagues or other professionals.

(*I have noticed no matter how many times I adjust the embedded table the munchkins living in WordPress seem to mess up the formatting of the chart. It is most vexing. Please print the PDF version as the little munchkins seem not to be able to mess with the PDF version of the chart! wilson’s curriculum check sheet )

Wilson’s Curriculum Preliminary Rating Skill Yes No Somewhat
1. TITLE PAGE – includes the following elements:A. Title of the guideB. Name and address of the school system or agency that is responsible for the development of the guide.C. Authors (Helpful in the event clarification or revisions are needed.)D. Grade Level(s)E. Subject Area(s)F. Date of Publication
2. PREFACE – introductory portion, orforeword includes the following:A. Brief statement as to what needs the guide fulfills ‑ a needs statement.B. A brief statement that tells why or how the guide was designed – a mission statement.C. Statements about the intended audience — for whom was the guide  designed.D. Acknowledgments ‑‑ mentions the individuals that planned and prepared the guide. (Backgrounds are often useful in placing documents in contexts.)E. Organization aids1). Table of Contents.2). References or Bibliography.

3). Glossary.

4). Appendix.

5). Index

6). Resources for the user

7). Tabs or color coded sections

5. INTRODUCTION ‑ specifies how to use the guide. Yes No Somewhat
6. PHILOSOPHY – clear statement or statements of the philosophy or beliefs behind the guide Yes No Somewhat
7. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN – Folks often use the terms aims, goals and objectives interchangeably. This can be confusing as they are not or should not be interchangeable in a formal curriculum document. Going frombroad to narrow remember the acronym AGO.)A. Aims (broad statements of instructions directions).B. Goals (subsets of the aims).C. Objectives (subsets of the goals).(The elements above might be called different things, but they should be in converging order.)1). Written in behavioral terms.2). Written as problem solving objectives.

3). Written as expressive activities. (Exploratory activities that trigger learning events.)

4). Written differently than behaviorally.

5). Combinations of the above.

(*2 & 3 are terms you may not be familiar with. You may wish to just check that they are written differently or check my website for related pages.)

D. Were instructional objectives:

Specific__  General__  A Combination__

E. Objectives were a general reflection of the general directions of the aims and goals.

F. There are suggested evaluation procedures.

SECTION 2 ‑ DESIGN:A. Relates philosophy, objectives and suggested content, one to the other.B. Follows a consistent organization and structure.C. Provides suggestions and directions, but not prescriptions.D. Relates guide to other guides or resources in the field.


F. Relates guide to other guides or materials within the system or district.


G. Document is well written.

H. Document is easily understandable.

I. Layout is user friendly.

J. Provides materials that can be reproduced

K. Differentiates directions for teacher and students.

L Differentiates objectives into must, need, and nice to knows, or as introduced, developed, and   mastered, or makes provisions for horizontal enrichment or vertical acceleration.

M. Includes lists and locations of supplementary instructional materials.

N. Suggests resources from school and/or community.

O. Encourages continuous revision by using looseleaf format or digital format.

SECTION 3 ‑ CONTENT, MATERIALS, AND PROCEDURESA. Time allotments are specified for each unit.B. Lists of general aims, goals and/or objectives for more than one grade level were provided.C. There are methods of differentiated instruction.1). Cognitive __Lower order thinking skills__(remembering, comprehending, applying) Higher order thinking skills__(analyzing, evaluating, creating)


2). Affective __

3). Tactile, kinesthetic, physical activities __

4). Learning styles __

5). Modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic/tactile) __

6). Creative activities__

7). Multicultural activities __

D. Includes outlines for:

1). Content __

2). Processes__

E. There is a direct and obvious relationship to the general aims and goals and the philosophy of the document.

F. Suggests a variety of materials.

G. Suggests a variety of supplemental or enrichment materials.

H. Gives lists of resources and reference material.

I. Suggests varied teaching models or instructional methods for achieving the goals.

J. Offers prototypes or a series of activities that achieve objectives.

K. Gives teachers appropriate background material to carry out objectives.

L. Allows for professional freedom in creating plans or alternative plans for reaching the stated objectives.

M. Includes suggestions or methods of evaluation.

My overall general impressions of this document(s) was:   Annotate reasons for liking or disliking the document here. Usable, or needs major improvements 

The PDF of the charts can be downloaded wilson’s curriculum check sheet and the curriculum guide analysis assignment wilsonanalysisassignment, before using please see usage polices