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How to Become a Curriculum Developer: Ensuring Quality Education

The curricula of a state, school district or private school are managed by curriculum developers (also called instructional coordinators). They design and implement the curriculum for a broad variety of subjects. Curriculum developers who work for a state or school district often need to integrate the teaching standards of the state or school district into the design of the curriculum. Those that work for private schools, including universities, will typically also have an instructional framework to guide the creation of curriculum. They might also review new textbooks or supplemental instruction materials for purchase by the school district.

Curriculum Developer Education Degree Requirements

While a few districts only require that curriculum developers have a four-year degree, it is typical for school districts to ask that curriculum developers have at least a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction, education or a related field. Curriculum developers who work at the state level or for a particularly large school district might benefit from having an undergraduate degree in their area of specialty, such as math or history, and a graduate degree that focuses on curriculum development.

During your graduate studies, you might take classes such as curriculum design and instruction, integrating technology into teaching, cultural issues in education, psychology applied to teaching, and strategic issues management. In addition to your courses, strong analytical and critical thinking skills might be advantageous for reviewing multiple pedagogies and understanding the specific needs of students within a particular state or district. Excellent interpersonal and instructional skills are also useful for working with other education professionals and providing effective professional development sessions to teachers.

The vast majority of school districts require that curriculum developers be licensed for the state in which they work. The district might require either a teacher’s license or an education administrator license. These qualifications may even vary among school districts within the same state.

Becoming a Curriculum Developer: Career Outlook

Curriculum developers usually work full-time during normal business hours. However, they might work in the evening to give presentations or instruct professional development courses. Curriculum developers may need to travel to different schools within a school district. A curriculum developer might advance by becoming a district curriculum supervisor. Like many other administrative education professionals, they typically work year round with no summer break.

Employment for instructional coordinators is projected to grow faster than average in the coming decade at a rate of 20%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Increased focus on improving pedagogy, particularly using technology, will likely create most of the job growth. For curriculum developers, the mean annual wage was $59,280 in 2011.

Curriculum developers may need to meet with state or district supervisors as well as teachers to gain feedback on making changes in the curriculum. Curriculum developers who work for colleges and universities tend to earn the lowest wages while those who work for elementary and secondary schools, both public and private, usually earn the highest wages. Be part of this growing profession by becoming a curriculum developer. Search for curriculum and instruction programs today!

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