An educationist’s career goes beyond teaching, and they can benefit the education department in roles other than a teacher’s. One such role is of a curriculum developer that requires specific training and education. Curriculum developers can use their skills to shape the entire education system, but first, they need to polish their skills. They should learn about the process of curriculum development and how to establish teaching standards accordingly.
In this article, we have discussed who a curriculum specialist is, what their job is, and how one can become a curriculum specialist.
Who is a curriculum developer?
Curriculum specialists or developers are individuals professionally trained in education. They are responsible for creating instructional criteria and curriculum processes according to different grade levels. Their primary job is to determine the instructional materials for elementary, middle, and high standards in a school.
After identifying what each standard will learn, they devise strategies and guidelines for school programs and instructors. These guidelines help teachers and students to be on the same page. Moreover, these guidelines help schools train all new and old teachers to upgrade their teaching techniques accordingly. These instructions also help teachers design relevant classroom instruction materials, including A/V aids and reading texts.
How to Become a Curriculum Developer
Becoming a curriculum developer is no rocket science. All you have to do is follow some mandatory steps explained below:
- Get a Degree
The first thing anyone needs for a professional role is relevant education. So, to become a curriculum developer, you need to do a bachelor’s and then a master’s in Urban Education. Master’s is the primary requirement for becoming a curriculum specialist. While you can do your bachelor’s in any major, your master’s should have education or curriculum as your major. Moreover, some programs also require candidates to take the Graduate Record Examination or GRE before applying for masters.
- Have Classroom Experience
While a curriculum specialist may not have an active role in a classroom, their primary job is closely related to classrooms and students. So, it is important to get the relevant classroom experience to devise a carefully curated curriculum map. By spending time in different classes, curriculum developers can identify gaps in the existing curriculum and prepare to address them in the new one. They work with textbooks, lesson plans, A/V aids, etc., to see how everything leads to improved student learning.
- Earn Teaching Certification
Most states also require curriculum developers to earn different teaching certifications and licenses. This requirement varies from state to state, and each state has its own criteria for licensure examinations. For instance, it is mandatory to have additional licenses, like administrative licenses in some states. Moreover, you might need to have certifications in your relevant courses, like curriculum development, theory, writing, etc. You can choose the grade level you want to work with during certifications and get trained accordingly.
- Apply for a Curriculum Developer Role
After completing your education, getting essential training, and earning the required licenses and certifications, it’s time to apply for the job. It would be best to do thorough research to find an open position for a curriculum developer at a specific institute. After finding an opening for your dream job, you should draft a resume and cover letter for the job and send it to the employer. You can also include any writing samples or custom curriculum you may have developed to prove your skills.
Tips for Becoming a Curriculum Developer
Now that you have fulfilled all the professional requirements, you should consider the following tips for becoming a curriculum developer:
- Draft a Strong Resume
A carefully crafted resume is your first impression on the employers. So, make sure you draft a strong and impressionable resume that guarantees a job as a curriculum developer. Consider the resume as your chance to show the employer how capable you are and what you can bring to the table. You can do that by mentioning your educational history, job experiences, curriculum development skills, and other related achievements. Moreover, you should also attach a brief but compact cover letter with the resume to give an overview of who you are and what you have to offer.
- Complete a Teaching Internship
Just like getting classroom experience helps develop a better curriculum, completing a teaching internship can positively influence your chances of becoming a curriculum developer. You get to teach different courses, develop lesson plans, and grade assignments during teaching internships. As a result, you become more equipped for a curriculum development job as you experience the world where educationalists may implement a curriculum designed by you!
- Choose the Right Undergraduate Major
Although it is not mandatory, choosing an undergraduate major relevant to curriculum development may help one become a curriculum developer. For instance, if you want to become a curriculum specialist for high school science classes, you should have a science subject like biology, physics, chemistry as your major. It will help you understand the kind of curriculum you will be designing after becoming a specialist.
Skills for Curriculum Developers
If you want to become a curriculum developer, you should have the following skills besides professional education and expertise:
- Attention to detail
- Interpersonal skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Strong communication skills
- Eloquent technical writing skills
- Time management and ability to work with deadlines
- Classroom experience of teaching
- Excellent subject matter knowledge
- Excellent lesson plan drafting skills
- Profound knowledge of computers and educational software programs
- Deep understanding of curriculum development according to each grade
The Final Verdict
Curriculum development is a skill that helps improve student learning and teachers’ ability to teach. When someone becomes a curriculum developer, they become a part of an overall revamp of an education policy. They are responsible for creating and approving learning materials and instructional guidelines for students and teachers. Becoming a curriculum specialist requires effort, but it is a fulfilling profession, bringing change in hundreds and thousands of lives. So, by earning a degree, getting relevant experience, and applying in the right places, anyone can become a curriculum developer and revolutionize education departments.