Although students may never meet them or hear of them, but curriculum specialists play a vital role in shaping the classroom. They may monitor the progress of students and teachers in order to provide feedback and recommend improvements. They may be in charge of choosing technology and books that belong in the classroom. Curriculum specialists make decisions that affect learning throughout a school.
According to the College Board, curriculum specialists help develop programs and train instructors. They work on developing and ordering materials, such as textbooks, for the classroom. They help schools meet government standards. Specialists also measure student's learning and will recommend improvements when necessary. They may specialize in a single school subject. As technology becomes a dominant force within the classroom, curriculum specialists decide what educational technology is most beneficial for learning. They may also have frequent meetings with colleagues, instructors and school administrators. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), curriculum specialists are also known as instructional coordinators.
Curriculum specialists are experiencing a much faster than average projected growth through 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The highest levels of employment can be found within elementary and secondary schools which employ 50,020 curriculum specialists. Other industries that heavily employ curriculum specialists are as follows: colleges, universities, and professional schools; educational support services; junior colleges; and the local government. The top paying industry for curriculum specialists is the federal executive branch with specialists earning an annual mean wage of $84,360.
Curriculum specialists may work long hours, according to BLS. Unlike teachers, they mostly work year round. Many spend time traveling to different academic environments in order to attend meetings with school administrators and instructors. Curriculum specialists may experience stress because their work contributes to overall student performance which makes them accountable to school officials.
Many curriculum specialists were once teachers in the specific field they work within, such as math or English. They are trained in curriculum development. The minimum requirement for specialist positions in a public schools or other settings is a master's degree, typically in education. They also must have a state teacher or administrator license. They take continuing education courses in order to keep their knowledge current, according to BLS.
According to a BLS 2008 report, the national mean hourly wage for a curriculum specialist is $28.74 and the mean annual wage is $59,780. The national annual wage ranges from $31,800 to $93,250.
- Photo Credit "Frontier Classroom" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Corey Leopold (Corey Leopold) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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