What is a Guiding Document?


Sample image of Guiding Document

In Madison, we use a curriculum model called Understanding by Design (UbD) by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins.  One of the key ideas of this curriculum design is the importance of focusing on the outcomes you desire for all students.  In our curriculum, these big picture outcomes are called “transfer goals” because we expect students to be able to transfer these skills and understandings to new situations and the world beyond school.  We design curriculum backwards from those ends and build key understandings and questions that will deepen student understanding in a K-12 system.  We use this document often as we write curriculum for a discipline.  All transfer goals and understandings are informed by standards and Madison 21st Century Capacities. You will see the related capacities in parenthesis’s following the transfer goals.   The capacities target five general areas for development: critical thinking; creative thinking; communication and collaboration; self-direction and global thinking.

In the area Social Emotional Heath, we look at the curriculum as the development of an ingratiated approach of a K-12 “Wellness” education which involves various disciplines to develop these outcomes.  We see the development of individual well-being as a integrated discipline that is equally important as a core discipline that should be taught as students’ progress through the system 

For that reason, our guiding document is informed by various standards including the following standards:

There is a dedicated curriculum cycle for development of the K-12 program and approach to Wellness.  In preparation for that writing cycle, the system has dedicated extensive professional development to ensure an informed approach to the development of the curricula and extensive training across the system.