The Israel Curriculum Team is created as the school moves to the curriculum development phase of the BASIS process. The team is comprised of 4-6 faculty members from both Judaic Studies and General Studies, including the BASIS Coordinator. The team’s role is to develop a comprehensive Israel education curriculum for the entire school based on the Israel Education Vision articulated by the school’s BASIS Leadership Team.
The curriculum development process in which the Israel Curriculum Team engages includes: mapping of existing Israel Education in the school; training in and utilizing the Understanding By Design (UBD) approach to articulate essential questions and enduring understandings; creating a school-wide curricular scope and sequence; and identifying and producing curricular content and materials.
The team does not work ex-nihilo. Rather, with the help and guidance of BASIS consultants, it builds upon what already exists curriculum-wise at the school. The idea is to revise the curriculum to be in line with the school’s newly articulated Israel Education Vision, and to incorporate new curriculum design and development strategies and tools introduced by BASIS.
Therefore, the faculty members best suited to be members of the school’s Israel Curriculum Team would have good knowledge of the school’s existing curricula (Israel education and other), as well as strong pre-existing knowledge of Israel and Israel education. Team members should also be proponents and practitioners of cross-subject area integration (as Israel education is to permeate the entire life of the school), as well as “outside the box” creative thinkers who can consider both formal and informal educational frameworks. Other considerations in choosing teachers or administrators for the team would be whether they have previous training in or experience with UBD, and whether they have clout within the school community and work well with others on intensive, ongoing projects such as this one.
The Israel Curriculum Team is assisted by BASIS consultants who share their expertise in curriculum mapping, UBD, and learning technology. The consultants also connect the team members with outside professional development opportunities in curriculum development, and help them identify resources useful for creating content for the Israel education curriculum.