Recognizing that strong teaching and effective teacher collaboration very often depend on a shared pursuit of common instructional goals for students, the Educational Services Division and a group consisting of middle school language arts teachers, principals, and literacy coaches began a process in the spring of 2017 to find, adopt, and ultimately implement a universal English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum for grades 6 through 8.
Following a pilot period during which 19 teachers introduced various curricular samples from three different ELA curricula in their classrooms, based on the staff recommendation, Inquiry by Design (IBD) was adopted as the core ELA curriculum for all BUSD middle schools.
Inquiry By Design (IBD) FAQ
What is the Basis of Inquiry By Design?
This curriculum is a Common Core aligned, discussion-based, and student centered approach to teaching English is based on the following:
- Close reading of complex informational and literary texts.
- Writing in a range of genres including narrative, expository, and text-based explanations and arguments.
- Reading and writing across multiple complex texts.
- Small- and whole-group, text-based discussions.
How is Inquiry By Design Different from What Teachers Were Previously Teaching?
IBD does not replace another curriculum, as the majority of BUSD middle school teachers were using curriculum they created themselves.
IBD is not a novels or textbook based program. The curriculum provides booklets with essays, short stories, and poetry for student reading and analysis. The program promotes students reading novels on their own during independent reading time. Check out this list of the readings and authors associated with the different units and grade level curriculum.
IBD strongly supports student centered learning. Students are encouraged to make meaning of the text on their own or in groups or pairs – with a few guiding questions, comprehension checks, or other more traditional methods. The teacher has the role of facilitator as opposed to expert with answers in mind.
Why did BUSD decide to adopt IBD?
BUSD decided to adopt one Common Core-based curriculum for all three middle schools in order to support academic equity of all students and promote best teaching practices. A common curriculum will allow teachers at sites and across sites to collaborate meaningfully and share knowledge and expertise more easily.