Curriculum: It's what we teach. Instruction: It's how we teach.

  • Curriculum refers to stated learning goals that each child should master in every grade.  Instruction refers to the methods teachers use to impart these learning goals.
  • Curriculum and Instruction can also be thought of as an umbrella term that covers the spectrum of student learning such as instructional practices, knowledge of student characteristics and a variety of assessment strategies.
  • The principal is expected to be the instructional leader and therefore, must be proactive, cutting edge and highly informed.
  • The state of WV provides a comprehensive course of study for all students through its Content Standards and Objectives.  



The West Virginia Department of Education has defined standards for principals that apply to culture as:

Standard II - Facilitates Teaching for Learning for All

Contemporary leaders must assure that all students have access to and benefit from a rigorous standards-based curriculum characterized by high engagement, differentiation, relevance and the incorporation of instructional strategies that develop proficiency in the 21st century skills. The leader must assure that classroom assessments are an integral part of the instructional process and emphasize authentic and performance-based assessments to cause the creation of collaborative structures within the school for the design of highly engaging schoolwork for students, the on-going peer review of this work and the sharing of this work throughout the professional community.



  • Find and review the curriculum maps and objectives that make up the WV curriculum:  WV Policies 2510, 2520, and 2419.
  • How do you determine whether or not your teachers are delivering the required course content and skills?
  • How would you know a relevant 21st century currriculum and rigorous instuction is in place at your school?
  • Based on these policies, what are the learning goals students in your school should achieve?


  • Locate and study your school's data sources.  Data sources can include:
    • National test results (NAEP)
    • State test results (WESTEST2)
    • ACUITY data
    • Teacher created common formative and summative assessments
    • RTI Universal Screening Data
  • Create a database or spreadsheet of this information to share with your stakeholders.
  • Link this data to curriculum and instruction.  How are you going to use this information to affect change in instructional practices?



  • View Courageous Conversations PowerPoint
  • What was the most poignant section? 
  • How did it relate to your professional practices? 
  • What was the most important courageous conversation you have ever had?


Online Resources

Books and Articles

School of Improvement