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Challenge 6. Lack of involvement in school-wide curriculum and instructional decisions

For many teachers, decision making about curriculum and instruction seems far removed from the classroom. As a result, they often feel a lack of meaning or ownership in relation to their work. In order to strengthen new teacher commitment to their schools and to the profession, there are several things that principals can do to increase teacher involvement in decision making. The tool below suggests several strategies for increasing the input of all teachers (including beginning teachers) into curriculum and assessment decisions. The options indicate ways for principals to work directly with new teachers.

Tool: Helping teachers take control of the curriculum


  • Elicit prior curricular knowledge and experiences from beginning teachers and help them make connections to new curriculum.
  • Scaffold learning by using a Venn diagram to compare what is known with what needs to be known.
  • Seek the input of new teachers regarding current curriculum initiatives. Have them report informally at faculty, department or grade team meetings
  • Ask beginning teachers to prioritize curriculum areas and tasks that they would like to develop.
  • Provide orientations to new curriculum initiatives.