Huh? What? I mean haven’t you ever graded papers or assignments while consuming a glass of wine? Chardonnay is often described as neutral, lean, crisp, fruity, oaky, or even medium to light bodied. Curriculum is often described as explicit, implicit, hidden, excluded, or extra-curricular. In all cases, there are varying types of both based on one’s likes and dislikes.
When the white grape is grown to produce Chardonnay, it is a planned event and creates a carefully crafted end product for consumers. Like Chardonnay, curriculum is created with the idea that it measures the totality of a student’s experiences or the mastery of their learning. The creation of both curriculum and Chardonnay are planned and provide a desired final outcome.
So, what’s my point? My point is…like the different varieties and tastes for Chardonnay, there are different types of curriculum and no one curriculum is going to benefit all students in every school or in every community. It simply does not work that way! (although I think we would like it to)! Every student has a different learning style, a different personality, and a different set of strengths and weaknesses, which makes for a variety of different academic needs. In order to combat this, I highly recommend getting to know your students. Who are they? What are their likes/dislikes? What do they do in their spare time? How do they learn? Getting to know a little bit about each student allows them to learn better because they know you are invested in their learning and them as people. In the end, just as a viticulturist grows a variety of grapes for different tastes based on consumer need, a teacher is constantly differentiating their curriculum based on student need.