Curriculum map: characteristics, parts and functions

Curriculum maps are visual tools that allow organizing what is going to be taught in an educational center, taking into account each subject or subject area, age period and period of the year, be they months, trimesters or semesters.

The curriculum map is presented in table form a

What is a curriculum map?

A curriculum map is an educational tool in which the contents of the curriculum are represented visually. For example, if you need a writer to write my paper for cheap this kind of a map will be of help. Thus, it is an element that helps teachers in the development and implementation of the school year. This tool is very useful since it allows teachers to find inconsistencies and overlaps in some of the elements they planned to teach or to find aspects of the academic year to improve.

To develop a curriculum map, it is necessary to specify the topics and skills to be taught in each of the school's subjects and levels. In this way, teachers can adapt their teaching style to the needs of the students and taking into account what the other teachers teach.

The format of the curriculum map is usually that of a spreadsheet or table. Its columns show the time periods with which you want to work, while the rows include information about the topics that will be taught during those periods. However, this is not the only way to prepare a curriculum map, since each teacher and center may consider another organization more appropriate.

Characteristics of the curriculum map

We can highlight three characteristics of the curriculum maps.

1. Data represented visually

The most advantageous characteristic of curriculum maps is that they are tools that allow representing all the information regarding a curriculum and student needs visually and in a single document.

Thanks to this, the curriculum map is very beneficial at the administrative level. Teachers can check with just a glance if they are meeting their goals or if they have to change something in their approach.

Another advantage of this point is that it is easier to understand for people outside the educational institution, such as newly arrived teachers, educational inspectors, and the parents of the students. It is a very intuitive tool to understand.

2. Summary of important information

When making a curriculum map, a lot of information has to be placed in a limited space.

For this, it is necessary to synthesize the data that is considered necessary and that is sufficiently clear to help understand what is going to be taught.

3. Organized in several sections

To make them easier to understand, the curriculum maps are usually divided into several sections complementary, according to various criteria established by the teachers who prepare them.

The exact divisions vary in each of them, depending on the technique used to create them, although they tend to look very similar.

  • Divisions are usually made based on these three criteria:
  • The areas to be taught (mathematics, language, biology ...)
  • The age of the student body
  • School period (quarters, semesters, months ...)

In this way, if you want to check what each age group has to learn at a certain point in the course, it is only necessary to look at the section on the curriculum map and see what school objectives are described in it.

Structure and parts

Although the form of the curriculum map can vary greatly depending on what has been represented in it, the truth is that in the vast majority of cases its structure is in the form of a table or spreadsheet.

This design is, in fact, one of the aspects of the curriculum maps that make them truly useful, allowing you to locate at a glance the data you want to consult about a student, their class or the subject in question.

Columns

Generally, the columns represent time periods, such as the quarters into which the academic year is divided. Along with this, in each of the columns, there are usually subdivisions, representing the different teaching areas to which the curriculum map refers, such as the artistic or scientific field.

Rows

In the part of the rows, the educational levels of the students to whom the classes are going to be taught are usually represented. Normally this division is made according to the degrees to which they belong, or based on the cycles in which they are found. In this way, some curricular maps can be divided into the years of primary, secondary, preschool... while others do it by putting them together with two by two or cycles.

You can also go a little further and make a much more detailed curriculum map, in which all the information about each of the students is captured. In these cases, the rows would represent the knowledge and objectives of a single student and are more oriented to schools with fewer students or special centers.

Elaboration

When developing a curriculum map, it is necessary for teachers to have established what teaching objectives they wish to achieve. In addition, teachers must make an effort and collect all the necessary information to specify what they want to teach and what they have seen other teachers teach as well, avoiding overlaps and repetitions.

Once this is done, the teacher will only have to capture the information of each of the courses he teaches in a spreadsheet or table. In doing so, you will need to ensure that the result is as clear as possible in order to facilitate its understanding in future reference or avoid misunderstandings if other teachers have to use that curriculum map.

As we have commented in the previous section, the organization of each curricular map may vary, either depending on the needs of the students, the academic situation or what will be taught.

However, and as we have seen, the most normal thing involves dividing the table into columns according to the curricular areas and the time periods in which the course is divided, while the rows would contain the information of each of the educational levels taught.

Functions in the educational field

Based on what we have seen, we can specify as two of the main functions of the curriculum maps.

Organize teaching activity

Curriculum maps tend to serve mainly as a tool that allows teachers to organize themselves, determining what school goals they have to achieve during the educational year.

It is usual that a single teacher has to take care of many students of different levels in their subject or subjects, which makes having a useful and clarifying tool such as the curriculum map greatly facilitate their teaching activity.

Guide to measure results

If a curriculum map is well prepared, it is also an ideal tool to measure the results achieved during the academic year. The curriculum map allows the teacher to realize at all times if he is achieving the results that he had set out to achieve at the beginning of the school year.

In case you have not reached the planned objectives, you can correct in a simple way, acting and reorganizing the contents that you teach in class, having a very simple reference when reading the curriculum map.

Conclusion

As we have seen, curricular maps are very useful tools for teachers, allowing to establish from the very beginning what they want to achieve during the teaching process. In addition, it allows us to see if there are teachers who overlap with others in terms of the content to be taught, in addition to being tools that allow evaluating how the course of the course is taking place and checking if the initially proposed objectives are being achieved.