Curricular Approach with three circle image including Mindsets, Processes, and Products.

Curricular Approach Processes, Products, and Mindsets

Launching a curricular approach is one thing. Ongoing development and a cycle of continuous improvement is another. Some of the basics remain the same, but rather than flowing in a more linear direction, the ongoing development is more unidirectional and iterative, which can be challenging if you don’t keep the complex uncomplicated. As I’ve worked with almost 100 campuses, I’ve been thinking about the usefulness of differentiating between the processes and products of a curricular approach. As I looked at the processes and products, an important component was missing, which led me to the mindset shifts.


Processes = How. The processes include ongoing ways of thinking, doing, learning, and leading for a curricular approach. Campus leaders need the various processes to launch a curricular approach, but they also need them for continued development and improvement. At launch, these processes might take place one step at a time; in ongoing development, they might be cycling or all happening at the same time. Tending to each of these processes is critical for strategy-level and functional-level leaders.


Products = What. The products of a curricular approach are what your processes develop, including the products within your learning aims and educational plans. Products might seem stagnant at launch as you initially create them. Through ongoing development, you will revisit and adjust the products as you continue learning. Campus leaders might revisit some of these products each semester or year (facilitation guides and sequencing); others they might adjust every 3-5 years (Ed Priority and Learning Goals).


Mindset shifts are above both processes and products. Some can be helpful to make before you engage in your processes and develop your products. Other mindset shifts result from the evolution of your curricular approach. Campus leaders might anticipate a few of these mindset shifts, but many are unanticipated. Most of these shifts impact far beyond student learning efforts and your curricular approach. They can shift how you approach other aspects of your organization, work, and leadership.

More to Come

I’m looking forward to breaking each of these down into its own posts and models in future posts.

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