Experienced Careers in Education teachers described the foundational shifts they made in their content and pedagogy to integrate the commitments and curriculum of Recruiting Washington Teachers into their CIE courses (Recruiting Washington Teachers Evaluation Report, 2013-14). They described these shifts as moving away from a focus on specific content or tasks to strategically selecting content and learning events to promote the enduring understandings that were at the heart of the program.
Carla Smith of Renton High School described the core commitments of the integrated program as prioritizing to focus on 1) authentic experience; 2) inquiry / problem posing; 3) collaboration; and 4) ethical implications of schooling.
Teachers from Tacoma’s two programs, Lisa Egenes of Lincoln High School and Jocelyn Hawkins of Mount Tahoma High school worked with Dr. Michael Hillis of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) as their university partner to rethink the curriculum. They articulated the following enduring understandings as the cornerstones to guide their curricular choices, identified as core learning targets:
- understand the relationship between public schools and social justice;
- clearly recognize that learning occurs in multiple ways;
- realize the personal agency they have for making a difference within their community: and
- recognize the varied roles and responsibilities of teachers.
In a time when we are accountable to multiple sets of standards, identifying the enduring understandings that are most important for students to take from the curriculum has helped these veteran practitioners in making curricular decisions about how to tailor the curriculum to the needs of their students.